Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Riders' Late Rally Dents Title Hopes of Eagles after Defeat; NEWCASTLE EAGLES 64 LEICESTER RIDERS 77

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Riders' Late Rally Dents Title Hopes of Eagles after Defeat; NEWCASTLE EAGLES 64 LEICESTER RIDERS 77

Article excerpt

Byline: Adam Thomas

LEICESTER Riders completed a dramatic final quarter comeback to dent the Eagles' title hopes as they lost 64-77 at Sport Central last night.

The Riders had initially looked off-colour, with the Eagles looking to have effectively stifled their attack.

However as the game went on Leicester went from strength to strength, and the Eagles became more tired and desperate as their opponents regained their composure.

Newcastle began the game strongly, after player-coach Fab Flournoy issued a rallying call. And the crowd did their best to aid Flournoy and his team.

There was an electric atmosphere at Sport Central with the crowd roaring as Anthony Rowe's early free throw went wide.

Leicester look rattled from the start, as a wild pass from Trevor Gruis was hurled into the front of the East Stand.

Flournoy in the match programme said Newcastle had "worked hard to find a formula to beat them". And the Eagles had looked like they had finally cracked it.

Numerous missed shots by Riders players left their head coach Robert Paternostro was visibly frustrated on the sidelines.

Defensively the Eagles looked solid, hoping they had finally cracked the code to beat the Riders.

With Rahmon Fletcher netting a buzzer-beater at the end of the first quarter, the Eagles held a five-point lead.

The second quarter was scrappy, with so much at stake both teams' competitiveness was being pushed to the limits.

The Riders made a stronger start this time, closing down the deficit to one point within a few minutes of the restart.

However Leicester's ill-discipline gifted the Eagles easy points.

Riders' Shane Walker pushed Flournoy over after he attempted to grab the rebound from Darius Defoe's free throw.

Two points he was happy to take, making it 36-28 with two minutes left on the clock until half-time. …

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