Display Shaw was better from Eagles

New boy Shawan Robinson shrugged off concerns his place could be under threat when Jeremy Hyatt finally arrives after providing the spark which ignited Newcastle Eagles' season.

New boy Shawan Robinson shrugged off concerns his place could be under threat when Jeremy Hyatt finally arrives after providing the spark which ignited Newcastle Eagles' season.

The sharp-shooter racked up 17 first-half points to set the tone for a barnstorming Eagles' performance last night as they completed a 95-81 rout to leave Plymouth Raiders shell-shocked.

Supporters disappointed not to see Hyatt back on the floor at tip-off could have been forgiven for forgetting about their former favourite altogether as the hosts came flying out of the blocks with Robinson leading the way.

He said: "It was great to pick up our first win as it has been a long time coming for us. We had a long wait in between this game and our last one.

"We were knocked back on to our heels in the first two games and did not know what had hit us. In that first game against Sheffield we were unlucky but in our last game we just did not show up at all.

"Fab has been telling us every day in practice we have to be hungry and we have to play defence and I thought that was what we did."

The defensive intensity was phenomenal in the opening stages and paved the way for the kind of team performance the home supporters have become accustomed to in recent seasons, all of the senior players racking up huge numbers.

TJ Walker was back to his effervescent best and left himself just one assist short of a triple-double after picking up 10 points and 10 rebounds.

There were also double-doubles for Defoe and Flournoy while Olu Babalola scored 19 points.

Perhaps the most telling statistic came from guard Andrew Bridge, who not only racked up 12 points but also pulled down 12 rebounds to underline the degree of the Springfield Honda-backed club's efforts.

It was the host's energetic opening which destroyed a tired-looking Raiders team. Incredibly, after just 15 minutes, Flournoy's men had broken the 50-point barrier and led 52-28.

It was a lead which eventually went out to as many as 30 before a late Plymouth surge added a little more respectability to the scoreline.

With Hyatt now expected to arrive some time during the middle of the week, fans will be fascinated to see how Flournoy fits both Hyatt and Robinson into his team, although the latter is not too concerned.

He added: "I just want to play basketball and am not too worried what people might be saying or thinking.

"I have known Jeremy all my life because he is also from Raleigh and I have grown up knowing about him.

"I told him during the summer I was going to his old team and everything was fine.

"Now he is coming back I am looking forward to it just like everyone else.

"It is great to have a player like him joining us."

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer