Leeds Force eye up back-to-back wins after arresting slide

Clayfell Harris.
Clayfell Harris.
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Leeds Force are back in action tonight as they welcome the Glasgow Rocks to the Carnegie Sports Arena.

Force got back to winning ways last week when they came back to beat the Surrey Scorchers 76-62.

Leeds looked to be heading for their sixth straight loss at half-time when they were 38-33 down, but a storming third quarter raised the roof as they turned the tables on Surrey.

The rhythm came back into their play and the speed of their attacks was frightening at times. Surrey were caught in the Leeds Force headlights.

Coach Matt Newby was happy with the level of performance and pleased to get the two points which has lifted them back into the play-off positions.

“It was important for us to get the win,” he said. “The onus was on me and the boys to come out and perform and I think we did that. A special mention in that game has to go to Clayfell Harris. I thought he was extremely good against the Scorchers.”

Attention now turns to facing the Rocks, who travel down from Scotland looking to close the gap on Newcastle Eagles and Leicester Riders, who sit above them.

Force have already encountered the Rocks this season as they met in the BBL Cup where Leeds lost out narrowly in a tight game. Leeds did get the win against Glasgow in the tail end of last season that helped push them into the play-offs, but coach Newby knows his side must be at their best to get a result: “It was a five-point game a couple of weeks ago, and we were without Rob Marsden so we can play to their level.

“Just because we are at home doesn’t guarantee we will win the game. We need to go up a few gears. If we can produce that same level of performance as the second half against Surrey against Glasgow, we are in for a good game.”

Force will need to put in another strong display defensively if they are to keep out the Rocks, something Newby is well aware off.

“We all know what Kieron Achara can do,” said Newby. “The experience he has is incredible. He seemed to get every rebound when we played north of the border.

“Neil Watson is another fantastic player; he complements Achara really well.

“They have a strong roster and I expect them to be up there at the end of the season.”

With a full week to prepare for the visit of the league’s only Scottish outfit, Leeds have time to hone in on how to stop the Rocks.

Meanwhile, Newby still has the same bodies to choose from in his roster.

Rob Marsden picked up a few knocks last week, but is expected to make a full recovery for the game.

Tavarion Nix

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