Force fall short but still target play-offs – Sayers

Sheffield Sharks' TJ Robinson.
Sheffield Sharks' TJ Robinson.
0
Have your say

Force came up short in their midweek battle against the Sheffield Sharks (81-70) as well as their match-up with the Glasgow Rocks on Easter Sunday (77-65).

In the second of three away games in a row, Leeds Force faced the Sheffield Sharks and failed to come out victorious. It was another difficult loss to take with the season’s end fast approaching.

The first half was just what we expected it to be; hard-fought, fast-paced and tightly contested.

Both teams put together some impressive runs and were clearly playing with confidence.

Although the first quarter was controlled by the home side, it was the second quarter where we gave them something to think about. We took the lead and were ahead by as much as nine points with only a few minutes remaining in the half.

But the resilience displayed by the Sharks helped them close the gap and tie the game before the half-time buzzer sounded.

The second half didn’t go quite how we had hoped. While the Sharks continued to execute and put points on the board, we began to struggle. We were successful in creating the shots that we wanted but, unfortunately, we failed to convert.

Despite this, we managed to keep ourselves well and truly in the game which is testament to our determination and desire to win.

With little over two minutes left in the game, we were trailing by only five points. Sadly, the Sharks remained solid down the stretch and so five points was as close as we got. The game finished 81-70.

Force’s stand-out performances came from Kwan Waller, who had 19 points on the night.

Louis Sayers had 17 of his own and Marek Klassen finished with 13 points, eight rebounds and nine assists.

To finish off a tough week of games away from home, we ventured back up to Glasgow to take on the Rocks in what was, disappointingly, another defeat at the hands of the Scottish side.

We went into the game intent on leaving with a win, but a slow start and an all-around sub-standard first half saw us in a hole that ultimately was too difficult to get out of. We went into the half-time break having scored only 27 points to their 41.

In the second half, we looked like a totally different team. We began to make the shots we had been missing earlier in the game and they were having to work much harder for their shots.

We closed in on the Rocks and trailed by nine points with six minutes to go. It proved to be too big a task to come back any further as the home side closed the game out and eventually secured themselves the 77-65 win.

Rob Marsden and Kwan Waller led Force with 16 points each, followed shortly by Marek Klassen with 13 points.

On Friday (April 1) we return to our home floor to play the London Lions.

Winning this game is vital to keeping our play-off dreams alive, so get yourself down to the Carnegie Sports Arena and bring on the noise!

Andrew Hambleton.

Andrew Hambleton joins Leeds Force ahead of new season