Match report: Newcastle Eagles 86 Sheffield Sharks 84

Mike Tuck made 25 points against leaders Newcastle Eagles
Mike Tuck made 25 points against leaders Newcastle Eagles

The Sharks came agonisingly close to a major BBL Championship upset as they were edged out by runaway league leaders Newcastle Eagles at Sport Central.

Despite 25 points from captain Mike Tuck and a huge double-double from TJ Robinson, Sheffield could not hold on to a late fourth quarter lead as they fell just short of becoming only the third team this season to beat front-runners Newcastle.

Shots fell at a furious pace early on as Britain’s top two offences showed the crowd exactly what they could do. The high scoring quarter ended with the Eagles just about on top, leading 29-25.

Sharks scored their first points of the second quarter nearly four minutes in before Tuck added five more quick points to his tally to draw Sharks level.

Robinson caught fire soon after for Sharks. The big man bagged two steals, three rebounds and six points, all within two minutes, to help give Sheffield a 41-44 lead at halftime.

The Sharks started to hit first gear in the second half as Robinson secured his double-double and Tuck took his tally to 23 points with a three pointer.

A great period left Sheffield with a 57-65 lead after three quarters.

The lead would be very short-lived however as the Eagles came storming back. Newcastle captain Charles Smith scored six points in quick succession as Eagles remarkably took a 72-67 lead after just three minutes of fourth quarter play.

The Sharks did extremely well to steady the ship after Newcastle’s run and amazingly retook the lead on the back of a Jerrold Brooks three with just two minutes left.

Rahmon Fletcher dunked to put Eagles back into a 86-84 lead with 30 seconds left before Sheffield’s last second effort to win just missed.

Sharks will hope to bounce back on Sunday against struggling Surrey Scorchers.