SHEFFIELD Sharks were distinctly second best last night at the EIS as they comfortably went down to the play-off chasing Mersey Tigers.
It was the third meeting between the teams this month and the victory gave the visitors the season series and kept alive their hopes of making the post-season.
Sharks were lacklustre throughout and will have to improve by a big margin tonight at second placed Worcester Wolves. A 6-0 start to the match by Tigers may have been a sign of things to come but Sheffield rallied to take the first quarter 19-16.
And they still led at half time after a scrappy second quarter. However, their 37-33 advantage was soon eaten into by Mersey with the impressive duo of Sam Cricelli and Miles Hesson combining to take the score from 44-44 to 51-60 by the end of the third period.
Tigers stretched their lead out to 22 (56-78) after a 16-5 opening to the final quarter, which put the game beyond Sheffield, for whom player-coach Atiba Lyons returned to action.
SHARKS: Langhurst 19, Tuck 19, Babalola 14, Patton 8, Lyons 6, Sing 4, Gachette 4.