Louis Sayers - Feel The Force: Defeat to soaring Newcastle Eagles shows how far we have come at Leeds Force
Our prestigious visitors came into town on Friday night having not lost a single game so far this season and, bearing in mind our last match-up with them resulted in a convincing 26-point win for them, they were obviously full of confidence.
However, as I said in last week’s column, we are improving a lot each week and have come a long way since the last time we met. We knew it was in our hands to prove it though and we were ready to do so.
The first quarter was a close one and was all tied up until two jump-shots in the closing minute took the Eagles ahead by four at 21-17.
The visitors started to hit their stride in the second quarter as they pushed their lead to as much as seven points but we did not give up!
With a run of our own we brought the game back to 30-30 with about four minutes left in the half. To finish the half, as expected, the league leaders put together yet another run and went into the break 47-38 ahead.
We went into the second half hungry and tried to close the gap on the Eagles.
Ignited by some tough defence and an energised crowd, we closed the gap to five points by the fourth minute of the quarter.
Sadly, and despite another valiant effort in the final quarter to keep the league’s front-runners on their toes, we weren’t able to catch the undefeated Eagles as they continued to make plays down the stretch.
The scoring was spread and there were five Force players with double-figure points totals on the night. Rob Marsden finished with 14 points, D’Andre Bullard tallied 13 points, while Darrell Bethune, Clayfell Harris and myself all contributed 10 points each.
As an athlete, and I think I speak for my team-mates when I say this, I will never be okay with losing.
But acknowledging how far we’ve come and the work we’ve put in to make such strides, means we can start to understand how far we can go from here.
I for one am excited for the rest of the season.
This week in the BBL, Leicester Riders advanced to the BBL Cup Final for the 3rd time in four years. They defeated London Lions 75-65 in the second leg of the semi-final on Saturday night which meant the won 152-130 on aggregate.
In the first leg of the other semi-final, which took place on Sunday between Cheshire Phoenix and Newcastle, it finished 113-85 in favour of the visitors.
This puts Newcastle in a great position going into the second leg on their home floor and makes their spot in the final almost assured
Aside from results, some other big news in the BBL this week is the return of GB international and former London Lions Guard, Orlan Jackman.
He makes his return to the BBL after spending a couple of years playing in Europe. But he wont be playing for the nation’s capital this time around, he’ll be signing for the Worcester Wolves. This addition will definitely help the Wolves in their quest to win some silverware this season.
As we approach the Christmas break, teams are starting to hit their stride and we are no exception. We have just one more game before a two-week period off and we want to make it a win!
So come and join us at the Carnegie Sports Centre on December 11th and cheers us on as we try to emerge triumphant against the Sheffield Sharks.