Leeds Force v London Lions: Newby eyes up series win over the Lions

Matt Newby.
Matt Newby.
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Coach Matt Newby is looking to secure the series and pick up vital points against the London Lions in Leeds Force’s penultimate home game of the season tomorrow.

With just four games left in the season and the play-offs now out of reach, the Force are looking to pick up as many points as they can in the remainder of the campaign.

There are still eight points to play for, and Newby said: “It’s disappointing not to have made the play-offs but the season isn’t over, there is still a lot to play for.

“We can still climb the table and that is the focus now.

“There are still points to pick up and if we do that we can have a respectable end to the season.”

Two of those eight points on offer are available tomorrow at the Carnegie Sports Arena when the Force welcome the London Lions (4pm start).

The series currently sits at 1-1 with Leeds picking up the win the last time the two met down in the Copper Box (92-81).

Newby is looking for his players to recreate that performance at home and come away with the series.

He added: “We played really well that night.

“It was a big win for us, for me in one of the best arenas in the league.

“If we are to come away with the win again it is important we put in a similar or better performance on Sunday.”

That night Leeds were hot from beyond the arc as they scored over half their points from three-point range.

Eddie Matthew was the most prolific as he shot 83 per cent from beyond the arc on his way to a season high 23 points.

Jack Isenbarger was close behind Matthew as he shot an impressive 80 per cent from three-point range on his way to a game-high 34 points.

Forward Rob Marsden believes if the Force can replicate their range shooting the Lions could be in trouble again.

He said: “That night our shooting was incredible. We have some strong three-point shooters in Eddie (Matthew), Jack (Isenbarger), Rob (Sandoval) and Jermaine (Sanders) so it’s an area of strength for us.”

Leeds will face a London side that will be full of confidence having beaten the Newcastle Eagles 93-86 in midweek.

Rob Sandoval remains the only doubt for the game having picked up a knock in last Friday’s White Rose derby.