Force edged out after a home thriller with Rocks

Matt Newby

Matt Newby

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It was heartbreak for Leeds Force as they fell to a late flurry of baskets to go down 71-65 at home to the Glasgow Rocks.

There was no way of calling which was the game was going to go with the scores level and two minutes left to play.

Glasgow with their depth and experience dug deepest and came up with the answers in an enthralling game of basketball. It was a slow start to the game from the Force as they quickly found themselves 10-0 down as the Rocks found their range early.

After a timeout from coach Matt Newby, Leeds fizzed into action as they went on an eight- point run with a Jermaine Sanders basket sandwiched between Jack Isenbarger and Eddie Matthew triples.

Gareth Murray halted the Force momentum momentarily but late baskets from Clayfell Harris and another Isenbarger basket from behind the arc made it a five-point game after the first period.

Leeds sparked into life in the second as they went on an 11-point run to turn the game in their favour.

Rob Sandoval stole the ball and despite being pushed over found the basket to level the scores. He then scored his resulting free throw to put his team ahead for the first time.

Glasgow did get their act together with regular baskets as they found themselves ahead by one point. Nothing could separate the two sides as they went in level at the break with the score 36-all.

The third was a tense affair with both sides cancelling each other out. Matthew came up with another triple in the corner which levelled the game again as Glasgow threatened to move ahead.

The Rocks edged the third by a point as it became clear this game was going to come down to fine margins.

Chances fell for the Force but they couldn’t find the basket.

The lead changed a mammoth 12 times in the second half but it wouldn’t go to 13 as the Rocks went on a six-point run in final minutes.

Hayden Lescault dealt the deciding blows as his run meant Rocks returned north of the border with the points.

Leeds Force coach Matt Newby has his work cut out in the coming off-season following his side's hefty last-day defeat to Cheshire Phoenix.

Cheshire Phoenix 128 Leeds Force 77: Force go out with whimper as red-hot Phoenix party