A DISJOINTED Eagles side crashed to their first defeat since the opening game of the season last night in Scotland.
In losing the game the Eagles handed their opponents a confidence boost ahead of the sides’ BBL Cup semi-final in two weeks’ time,
That will of course be a totally different ball game, but the Eagles’ fans and more importantly the players now know the task ahead of them to make the cup final.
Last night though was about league points and despite not picking any up Newcastle still remain in pole position in the BBL. However Fab Flournoy’s men have to look at themselves critically and ask how after such a dominant run of wins they produced such a poor performance.
Defensively the Eagles were way below their normal standards, while on offence they could not establish an inside game to open up their normal deadly shooting.
The home side shaded an even first quarter 20-18 after twice being four points down. But it was the second period when Rocks opened up a decisive advantage.
The Eagles actually had a four-point lead at one stage but two 12-2 runs during that period rocked the Eagles and led to their hosts having a 51-40 advantage at the half.
Despite having the interval to sort things out the Eagles floundered as Rocks kept rolling. An 11-4 opening took the gap out to 18 points and the Eagles were grounded.
All heart and cohesion seemed to leave Newcastle as the lead stretched in the fourth to 22 at one stage. Coach Fab Flournoy showed his obvious displeasure at the abject surrender by emptying his bench and finishing the game with youngsters Aaron Nielsen, Will Spragg and Brian McCotter on court.
The Eagles will be hoping that this is a minor blip rather than a major bump on their road to glory this season.
A good week’s practice and some soul searching is required to ensure Flournoy’s men get back on the straight and narrow before two games this coming weekend.
The Eagles are now BBL joint leaders with Milton Keynes and Plymouth after the latter cruised to a convincing 71-57 victory over Sheffield Sharks on Saturday night.
TOP SCORERS – Scottish Rocks: Rob Yanders 26, Julius Joseph 20, Sterling Davis 18.
Newcastle Eagles: Richard Midgely 18, Lynard Stewart 12, Charles Smith 16.