Resilient Sheffield Sharks were defeated 87-78 by undefeated league leaders Newcastle Eagles at Sport Central.
After a cagey start from both sides, Eagles forward Scott Martin began to control the game, hitting three consecutive three pointers to push Newcastle out into the lead.
However, the plucky Sharks managed to keep up with the Eagles and end the quarter only down by three points at a score of 15-12.
Eagles began to take control of the game in the second quarter, quickly establishing a 24-16 lead with three consecutive baskets from captain Charles Smith without reply.
Every attempt Sheffield made at a comeback was dealt with quickly, primarily by centre Darius Defoe, who picked up 10 points in just the second quarter.
Sharks’ morale did not crumble though.
Back to back three pointers by George Brownell and John Barber, and a solid 14 points by TJ Robinson, sparked a revival as the half ended 40-36.
The game restarted with dominant Sharks captain Mike Tuck owning the court, netting a perfect three pointer.
He followed it up with a huge dunk to level the scores at 42-42.
The challenge for the lead went back and forth until a John Barber two pointer pushed the Sharks in front.
Newcastle responded to the Sharks’ surge of energy with eight unanswered points and Scott Martin making his fifth three pointer of the game, to lead 69-58 going into the final quarter.
The final ten minutes began with two excellent three pointers by Eagles star Joseph Chapman which put his side up by 15 points with nine minutes to go.
Sharks threw everything they had into the last quarter, with points from Tuck and Jerrold Brooks, but it was not enough to defeat the in-form Eagles.
Robinson picked up the MVP award for Sharks, with his 21 points and 10 rebounds helping his side match Eagles throughout the whole game.
Sharks’ next fixture sees them travel to Leicester to face the Riders for a third time this year, on Saturday, November 21.