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Danum Eagles make winning return to National League

Oliver Hylands top scored for Danum Eagles.
Oliver Hylands top scored for Danum Eagles.

Danum Eagles celebrated their return to the National Basketball League with a thrilling 91-90 victory over Stockport Falcons.

The Doncaster club withdrew from the NBL earlier this year due to financial reasons.

But the men’s team has bounced back in quick time after a group of players took it upon themselves to gain re-admittance into the league.

A last second free throw by Robin Hewson earned Eagles victory against Stockport at Sir Thomas Wharton Academy. 

“We had a challenging period but now we’re back,” Eagles’ head coach Bob Martin told Sine FM.

“The men’s team is back in Division Four and the mini-Eagles programme is taking off.

“Losing the men’s team was the worst day I’ve had in 21 years in Doncaster.

“And I have to thank the players for bringing it back because I wasn’t really aware that they were doing it and then I got a phone call saying ‘were back’.

“It’s fantastic because there’s still a large nucleus of the team that was so successful.

“Our goal now is no different to when we entered Division Four before. We want to win Division Four and work our way up the leagues again.”

Eagles built up a 17-point lead at one point in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s season opener.

But the Falcons battled back and hit numerous three-pointers to go two up with only seconds to play.

Oliver Hylands hit two free throws to tie the game at 90-90 after being fouled.

Hewson then made the play of the game by stealing the ball on Stockport’s inbound pass. He was fouled and after missing the first of two shots kept his cool to win it for Eagles.

Hyland led the way for Eagles with 28 points and 15 rebounds. Player coach Josh Metcalf tallied 16.

Eagles’ men’s team were elected to the NBL in 2014 and gained back-to-back promotions in their first two seasons, jumping from Division Four to Division Two.

But a downward spiral followed after being forced to play their home games at The Pods in Scunthorpe in order to satisfy league requirements. 

Last year the club ended their 17-year association with Danum School as a result of cost-saving measures by Outwood Grange Academies Trust.

They had been struggling at the wrong end of Division Three when a decision was taken to withdraw from the NBL.