Danum Eagles 106 Loughborough Student Riders II 77

George Colwill
George Colwill

Danum Eagles brushed aside Midlands Conference rivals Loughborough Students Riders II to book their place in the national play-off semi-finals.

Mathew Martin (38) again top scored, while Josh Metcalf (24) and Tom Hodson (14) helped avenge last month’s league defeat against the Riders.

Eagles started the brighter with George Colwill, Martin and Hodson establishing themselves early, while youngster Liam Knapp, promoted from the U18s squad, made an early impact with a three-pointer.

The home side led 31-21 at the end of the first quarter.

The second quarter saw perhaps the best basketball that the Eagles have played all season, picking apart the Loughborough defence time after time in the opening few minutes.

Metcalf found his range with three three-pointers and Martin took advantage of the Loughborough zone defence, igniting the Danum crowd by hitting four consecutive threes, including one on the half time buzzer to extend the lead to 64-44.

After the half time interval it was more of the same as Loughborough had no answer to the shooting of Metcalf, who contributed four more three-pointers in a five-minute spell.

With a 26-19 quarter for the Eagles and a place in the semi-finals effectively secured with ten minutes still to play, the tempo dropped in the final quarter. Coach Stafford called for composure and got exactly that.

Martin continued to contribute and brought his total to 38 and as the final buzzer sounded the Eagles had booked their place in the play-off semi-finals.

*Eagles would like to thank The Sportsman pub for their support this season.