Match report: Leeds Force 71 Sheffield Sharks 85

Jerrold Brooks
Jerrold Brooks

A raucous Leeds crowd was not enough to deter the Sharks who rode the 33 point haul of star man Jerrold Brooks all the way to a Yorkshire derby triumph.

Sheffield leapfrogged rivals Force in the BBL Championship table with their superb win in a fierce clash.

The game got off to a tense start before a contested Louis Sayers three pointer gave Force an early lead.

Brooks then showed why he is the main man for Sheffield, rifling in a deep three and converting an and-one play just seconds later to give Sharks a 5-10 lead, one they would never relinquish.

A rare basket from George Brownell and a two pointer by the in-form Mike Cook put Sharks up 13-23 after the first quarter.

Brooks came back out and hit another three straight away to start the second quarter, stopping Force in their tracks as they looked to get back into the game.

Three baskets from Sheffield followed before a Cook three pointer capped a 3-17 Sharks run and gave Sharks a huge 16-35 lead just minutes into the second quarter.

Despite the best efforts of Waller and D’Andre Bullard, Force were outplayed in a first half that ended 24-42 in favour of Sharks at the break.

Force came out hot to start the second half though, with Sayers hitting another three pointer to cut the lead to 10 after only five minutes.

The Force revival continued behind make after make on the offensive end, reducing the gap to just five points at 44-49.

Sharks regained some momentum before Waller hit a big three at the end of the third period to make the score 52-59 going into the last quarter.

The fourth quarter started with a plethora of mistakes. Fouls, poor free throws, missed shots and turnovers riddled both teams as they desperately tried to seize the victory.

Brooks returned to the game amidst the chaos and brought Sharks back to reality, stealing a Bullard pass and converting it into four points to give Sharks a once again comfortable lead at 53-67.

Force had no answer for the sensational Brooks, as two more steals incredibly drew him his 10th and 11th foul, more than the entire Leeds’ team combined.

Another steal and four more points from the thieving Brooks put Sharks up by 15 and sealed the victory with just minutes to go.

Brooks finished with 33 points in a brilliant individual performance.