Eagles take on the sharks

The Springfield Honda Newcastle Eagles travel to Sheffield today looking to bounce back from their Friday night loss to the Scottish Rocks.

The Springfield Honda Newcastle Eagles travel to Sheffield today looking to bounce back from their Friday night loss to the Scottish Rocks.

That defeat was a minor setback in the Eagles quest to retain their BBL Championship and ended an 11-game winning streak.

However, this afternoon's game gives Newcastle a break from league action as they face the Sheffield Sharks in the crucial BBL Trophy semi-final.

The prize for the winners is a match up against Plymouth Raiders in the final after the Raiders disposed of Leicester Riders on Friday.

The Trophy is a competition close to the Eagles' hearts as it was the first silverware they won under Coach Fab Flournoy back in 2005.

A further incentive for Flournoy's men to reach the final is that it is being staged at the Metro Radio Arena on Sunday, March 4.

It won't be easy as the Sharks are a tough outfit and playing well at present. They are in the top three of the BBL and last week beat league leaders Guildford Heat on their own court.

They also have the league's form player in Jeff Bonds who won the January Player of the Month award and is their danger man along with guard Blake Shelton.

However, in Flournoy, the Eagles have an award winner of their own as he took the Coach's award for January.

It is those coaching skills that will be needed as he plots a way for his side to lockdown Sheffield on defence and create enough offensive opportunities for the Eagles to book their final place.

There is sure to be a red hot atmosphere at Ponds Forge this afternoon as a massive travelling support will add their vocal effort to the Eagles cause.

Both they and the team hope it will be enough to reach their sixth national final in the last three seasons.

Journalists

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