The first of the day’s games saw Newcastle, top of Division Four North battle it out against Divison Three North leaders Liverpool. It was Newcastle who got off to a flying start, hitting three, three pointers within the first five minutes. Liverpool regrouped and came back to lessen the gap and trailed by three with a score line of 17-14 going into the end of the first period of play. Newcastle were able to extend their lead to nine points going into half time with the score line standing at 34-25 to the North East team. The second half saw a hard fought physical and mental battle between the two sides, with momentum swinging both ways but neither long enough for Liverpool to catch up or Newcastle to run away with the score. Newcastle were able to close in the game and be crowned Men’s National Shield Champions with a final score of 68-59.
The second encounter of the day, the Women’s National Trophy saw Midlands South East leaders Oaklands College Wolves (St Albans) square off against the top team in Midlands South West, Oxford City Hoops.
With Oaklands holding a faultless 10-0 record this season and Oxford scoring at a higher rate than any other team in the Women’s Basketball League, the battle lines were drawn in what was set to be an exciting dynamic final to crown the champions of the Women’s National Trophy.
It was a closely fought battle with both teams displaying some fantastic talent and showing grit and determination throughout. Oaklands were able to go ahead at half time with a 13 point lead and a score line of 44- 31.
In the end it was a convincing win for the Wolves, taking the Women’s National Trophy crown with a 73-54 win over their Oxford City Hoops competition.
The penultimate game of the Senior Cup Finals was The Patron Cup, with Lancashire Spinners taking on London Lutuanica to be crowned victorious. Both teams were promoted into NBL Division two from their respective sections of Division three last season. Going into this contest, The Spinners had been on a seven game unbeaten streak, last losing to Lutuanica in a close Division two battle. With an impressive showcase of skill from both sides, the play in the run up to half time saw a highly physical contest between the two sides, with Lancashire leading by 15 points at the half time break with a score of 56-41. The Spinners were able to run away with the lead in the second half winning 118-86 with a fantastic performance from player/coach Steven Gayle who picked up Most Valuable Player for his 22 points, 10 assists and seven steals.
The pinnacle game of the day saw recently crowned National Cup Champions Manchester Magic take on fellow mid table Division One side Leicester Warriors in a bid to be crowned the Men’s National Trophy Champions. Manchester charged ahead with a solid game plan and physical presence and were able to push on and forge a healthy 15 point lead by half time, leading 44-19.
Head coach Paul Middleton spoke of his team’s double title, “I’m so pleased for the team. It was a different game to what we expected but credit has to go to our team. We started so well which made it difficult for Leicester to come back.
They had a go and all credit to them but we were able to step up the intensity again and increase the gap. There’s something about this group of players and stepping up to big occasion games. They play a harder and are more determined so it’s now my job to carry that through to our league games because when we’re playing well we can beat anyone.”
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