Sheffield Sharks: "We wouldn't mind if champions were wearing blue and yellow"

The B. Braun Sheffield Sharks are playoff ready. There were contrasting approaches to the final regular season game last Friday.

Thursday, 6th May 2021, 6:00 am

The big-spending London Lions came to Ponds Forge and gave lots of game time to their big name players. The Sharks chose to run the full roster evenly, mindful of the busy two weeks to come.

The Lions game was a dead rubber – London confirmed as second place finishers and ourselves in fifth. However, it served as a useful exercise in preparation for ‘May Madness,’ the title given to the Playoffs this season. After a close first quarter, London pulled away to a 36-47 half time lead on the back of 20 points from former Shark Dirk Williams. We continued to share the minutes between our players, continued to find the hoop but couldn’t quite match the Lions, who ran out 68-80 winners.

Jeremy Hemsley lead our scorers with 14 but the MVP award went the way of Bennett Koch for his 12 points, eight rebounds and four assists – the latest in a series of eye-catching displays from the big Wisconsin native.

Regular season wrapped up, thoughts soon quickly turned to the playoff quarter finals and our opponents Newcastle Eagles. Assistant Coach Marko Backovic summed up our thoughts on the challenge ahead.

‘One thing I will always give Newcastle credit for is that they are winners. They seem to be having lesser seasons for them recently but they’ve still won two trophies. They’re a tough side, they know how to grind stuff out. We’ve done well against them but they’ve also done well against us. So we know what we need to do, we’re working on that and we’re excited for the match-up.’

The Playoffs take place over two legs at the quarter final and semi final stage. In this Covid-affected season, central venues are being used. We took on Newcastle on Tuesday and play the second leg at the University of Worcester Arena today (6th May) again with a 5pm tip. The aggregate winner will move on to the semis. The final is a one-off affair at Leicester’s Morningside Arena on May 16.

The league can be rightly proud that they have completed the season through such challenging circumstances. We wouldn’t mind if the champions were wearing blue and yellow though!