Losing is not an option – Dorsey

Veteran forward Tony "Dynamite" Dorsey is determined to ensure Newcastle Eagles' season doesn't end tonight when they host Milton Keynes Lions in a crucial play-off quarter-final clash.

Veteran forward Tony "Dynamite" Dorsey is determined to ensure Newcastle Eagles' season doesn't end tonight when they host Milton Keynes Lions in a crucial play-off quarter-final clash.

The two-time league player of the year certainly knows what it takes to win trophies.

And, having arrived on Tyneside in November predicting silverware, he is adamant the Springfield Honda-backed club can overcome Milton Keynes and make it to Finals Weekend.

"Our season ending this week isn't an option for us," said Dorsey. "For it to end against Milton Keynes, with no trophies and also to miss out on the play-off finals on our home court, is unthinkable.

"That alone is motivation enough.

"One of the two teams will have played their last game and will be going home come the final buzzer - and I don't intend for it to be us!"

He added: "We want to win for ourselves and our own pride, but also for the club generally and not least our fans.

"We owe it to them from the standpoint of getting to the biggest weekend of the basketball season, here in Newcastle."

Despite the players desperately wanting to book their semi-final place for a week on Saturday to join Guildford, Sheffield and the Rocks who have already qualified, Dorsey has warned that it will be a huge challenge against a physical Lions side.

"It will be a close game," he said. "Really close. It will be a tough and physical game and I expect that, with both teams having not played for a while, it will be sloppy in the early stages and maybe a bit uneasy on the eye in that respect.

"When you have had time off from games, it takes a quarter or two to really get in the flow, but we have to make sure we don't start the game too slowly.

"We have played each other four times already this season and we both know each other's strengths and weaknesses, so it will come down to composure and whichever team puts its foot forward and doesn't make mistakes."

He continued: "We are confident but also know that this is a huge test and our biggest game of the season because we want to extend it and reach those finals."

Certainly if Dorsey continues his scintillating form of late then the Eagles have a great chance of progressing.

And they will be at full strength with Fab Flournoy and Andrew Bridge continuing to play through the pain barrier, having sustained niggling injuries in the last month or so.

Lions will be without Robert Youngblood but will include two former Eagles players in Tony "Hurricane" Windless and Mike New, as well as ex-Newcastle coach Tom Hancock.

Season tickets are not valid tonight although discounted tickets can be bought by season ticket holders if they bring their card with them.

Journalists

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