Sheffield Sharks fightback to keep alive their play-off hopes

A stirring second-half fightback from Sheffield Sharks has given them every chance of continuing their quest for a third BBL play-off title.

Sheffield Sharks head coach Atiba Lyons. Picture Bruce Rollinson

Sharks looked down and out shortly before half-time of their quarter-final first leg with Newcastle Eagles, trailing the most successful team in league history by 17 points at one stage.

They got it back to a 12-point deficit at 50-38 at the break, and midway through the fourth quarter, finally levelled the scores at 73-73 on a Nicholas Lewis three-pointer.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Newcastle scored the last basket to win the first leg 79-77 but the contest is delicately poised heading into the second leg to be played at a Covid-secure neutral site of Worcester Arena on Thursday (5pm).

Head coach Atiba Lyons said: “It was definitely not how we wanted to start the game, Newcastle did a good job of knocking us out of our rhythm and we were over-thinking things.

“Second half we played more of our own game and the players take all the credit, they did some good individual things out there,” he said.

“We made some adjustments at half-time and the guys hit the floor running and made some great plays. They showed consistency and tremendous fight and heart.

“We’re happy to be in with a shout, it could have got real ugly for us.”

Jeremy Hemsley led the Sharks scoring with 21 points, Jordan Ratinho added 14 points and Antwon Lillard and Kipper Nichols contributed 11 points each. Bennett Koch added 10 points from the bench.

Support The Yorkshire Post and become a subscriber today. Your subscription will help us to continue to bring quality news to the people of Yorkshire. In return, you’ll see fewer ads on site, get free access to our app and receive exclusive members-only offers. Click HERE to subscribe.