Danum Eagles bow out of national play-offs

Bob Martin
Bob Martin

Danum Eagles bowed out of the national play-offs with their heads held high following a 109-80 defeat to Oxford Brookes University in the semi-finals.

The Eagles, Division Four (Midlands) champions in their first ever season at senior level, had beaten Woking Blackhawk Flyers and Loughborough Student Riders II to reach the last four.

But the trip to face Oxford Brookes proved a bridge too far for the Doncaster club.

Eagles started the game without two of their most influential players in George Colwill and Arron Price.

Despite this the visitors came out of the blocks quickly and took an early lead.

The first quarter saw the Eagles’ two big men Tom Hodson and Matt Wilson pick up three fouls each which really put Ross Stafford’s side in trouble.

Eagles found themselves 15 points down at half time, and the second half followed a similar pattern with Danum unable to close the gap.

A late run by the Eagles cut the lead to nine early in the fourth quarter but Oxford upped their game again and re-opened the gap to finish up 109-90 winners.

Mathew Martin again led the scoring with 18 points and 15 rebounds, while Josh Metcalf also contributed 18.

The defeat brought the curtain down on a season that began in very difficult circumstances following the death of popular player Nana Jumah at a training session in November.

Danum Eagles officials have previously stated the club’s intention to reach the BBL ‘within five years’.

Head coach Bob Martin said: “This has been an incredible season: league champions, promotion, final four - all after the death of a teammate.

“I am so proud of these players.

“We will continue to build and move towards our goal of reaching the top.”

n Danum Eagles U18s’ season ended with a 76-57 defeat at City of Birmingham. Liam Knapp (24) led all scorers.