Fans are just Fab

Fab Flournoy has paid tribute to Eagles' fans after they endured a two-hour delay before finally watching their side blow away Irish champions Cork Blue Demons 75-42.

Fab Flournoy

Fab Flournoy has paid tribute to Eagles' fans after they endured a two-hour delay before finally watching their side blow away Irish champions Cork Blue Demons 75-42.

A cancelled flight and six-car pile-up caused the Demons to arrive late leaving a crowd of 1,000 waiting in frustration.

Not surprisingly, the numbers had dwindled to around half that number by the time the game had belatedly finished at around 11.30.

Flournoy explained: "I cannot thank our fans enough for their loyal support. In the first place, to have so many turn up just to watch a pre-season friendly game is incredible.

"The fact so many of them stuck with us was amazing and they deserve so much credit.

"I know there were lots of our fans who were forced into leaving because it was getting late and they had to get home.

"I know they would have also stayed if they could."

Taking into account the fact the Cork side were involved in a serious road accident en route from Newcastle Airport less than an hour before tip-off, they should also be praised for their commitment in not wanting to let anybody down by abandoning the game.

Despite seeming to have held the Demons defensively, Flournoy was far from happy after the final buzzer had sounded and claimed his side were far from their best.

He said: "We still have a few players to bring in and we are short.

"We are also nowhere near where we need to be. In fact we are probably only half way there.

"We are rusty and missed far too many defensive assignments.

"In fact we were cata-strophic at times and need to find some consistency.

"Once we get Shawan Robinson in early next week and maybe a big guy then we can improve ahead of next Friday's opening game with Sheffield."

One big positive for the fans and Flournoy was the return of franchise legend TJ Walker and impressive display from debutantes Tom Sherlock and Brian McCotter.

Sherlock made outstanding blocks, although his night was soured after he received a face injury.

McCotter, meanwhile, sunk a flurry of threes after coming off the bench and showed his commitment to the cause after standing his ground when becoming involved in a fracas towards the end of the game with most of the Cork team.

Great Britain centre Chris Haslam was at the game and is returning home to consider his position over the weekend.

It remains to be seen whether he will return to the Springfield Honda-backed club on Monday or choose to accept a more lucrative offer from BBL rivals Leicester Riders.

Journalists

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