Danum Eagles 69 Team Newcastle University 78

Bob Martin
Bob Martin

Danum Eagles’ Division Three title hopes were virtually extinguished following a thrilling 78-69 defeat to leaders Team Newcastle University.

Eagles led by nine points at one stage during the second half but the north east club staged a late comeback at Danum Academy to protect their perfect record.

Ross Stafford’s men now trail Team Newcastle by six points having played one game more than their title rivals - and realistically must now turn their attention to the play-offs.

Eagles battled into a seven-point half time lead and extended that following the re-start.

But with just two minutes remaining Team Newcastle, who have now won 15 games out of 15, showed their quality and made three big plays to snatch the game away from the hosts.

Oliver Hylands scored 20 points for the Eagles, while Mathew Martin contributed 18 points and 20 rebounds.

Head coach Bob Martin said: “This was a fantastic game of basketball - high quality from both teams.

“It was a great advert for sport in Doncaster.

“Eagles will be devastated by the result but must now look at the play-offs with confidence. We can beat anybody in the country.

He added: “When will this town wake up and see what it has? A basketball team that is two, maybe three, players away from the very top league.”

Eagles host Leeds Force Academy on Saturday (2pm).

n Danum Eagles under 18s took to the court before the men and put on their best performance of the season by mauling top of the table Leeds Tigers 77-48.

Mid-table Eagles showed what might have been this season by dominating the table toppers from the opening tip.

Jasminder Singh stole the show with a sensational individual performance, notching 27 points, ten rebounds and ten steals.

Eagles are fifth, eight points adrift of Leeds, with the season drawing to a close.