Despite Sheffield Sharks defeat against Newcastle Eagles on Sunday the final result doesn’t tell the whole story of a match.
The score fails to reflect that the Eagles, on course for yet another league title, had to summon all their best play to finally see of the Sharks at the EIS.
Sheffield’s performance shows they are on the right track but are still just short of being able to compete with the best teams in the league.
The visitors from Newcastle got off to a decent start and led by as many as eight points in the first quarter at 19-11, with Andrew Thomson pacing Eagles on the offensive end with 11 points in the opening frame.
However, Sharks erased the gap to 24-21 by the end of the period and had even jumped in front 34-33 in the second quarter, but it did not take long for Eagles to regain the upper hand.
A 15-2 run by the Newcastle side saw the guests go up 48-36 with a minute to go in the first half.
Leading 58-43 halfway through the third quarter, Eagles looked firmly in control of the game, but a 21-10 stretch brought Sharks right back into the game, as the hosts cut the deficit to 68-64 just before the end of the third period.
With six minutes remaining in the game, Sharks were down by only four points and very well still in the game at 76-72, but the duo of Andre Jones and Scott Martin found put together a 15-2 run for Eagles to guide the visitors to yet another win.
Jones led the winners with a game-high 30 points, eight rebounds and four assists, while Martin chipped in with a double-double of 19 points and 11 boards. Mike Tuck led Sharks in scoring with 19 points.
Sharks Guard Nick Lewis, who scored 15 points, said: “We almost got them. I think we just ran out of gas at the end and didn’t execute when we needed to. I think we made some runs but didn’t get the stops to take the lead. We need to focus on getting those stops.”
Sharks beat Leeds on Friday to split their weekend matches and Lewis thinks the season is beginning to turn for the better.
He said: “This weekend is a step in the right direction. I think if we get a couple more wins under our belts we’ll be good to go.”
* Scorers: Tuck 19, Babalola 18, Lewis 15, Cook 13, Holmes 8, Barber 6, Horstmann 5.