Basketball: Sheffield Sharks 60 Leeds Force 62

Sheffield Sharks' John Barber scores the lay up against Leeds Force. Picture: Andrew Roe
Sheffield Sharks' John Barber scores the lay up against Leeds Force. Picture: Andrew Roe
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Sheffield Sharks suffered an embarrassing start to 2015 as they were beaten by BBL basement club and Yorkshire rivals Leeds Force.

The Force, in their first season in the top-flight, trailed 57-46 in the fourth quarter but went on a 16-5 run - capped by a James McCann three with 16 seconds to play and a free throw by Armand Anebo - to seal the match.

Sheffield Sharks' Nick Lewis scores with the slam dunk against Leeds Force. Picture: Andrew Roe

Sheffield Sharks' Nick Lewis scores with the slam dunk against Leeds Force. Picture: Andrew Roe

Sharks, still without point guard BJ Holmes, entered the game in good form after back-to-back victories over the Christmas period but couldn’t find a way past a determined Leeds defence.

Former Junior Sharks player Will Hall made an impression in the first quarter as his six straight points gave Leeds an early 12-8 lead.

However, Sharks point guard Nick Lewis scored five in a 7-0 close to the period and Zach Gachette added a two to open the second quarter as Sheffield led 17-12.

New Force signing Sam Attah single-handedly kept his team in the contest before half time.

The recruit from Durham Wildcats scored 14 of Leeds’ 19 points as the first half ended tied at 31-31.

An Attah two briefly put Leeds ahead at the start of the third quarter before a 5-0 Sharks run made it 36-33.

Sheffield could get no further clear than 45-40 as Force pegged their hosts back to 48-46 heading into the final quarter.

Sharks moved 55-46 ahead before Force took the lead with a 12-2 burst.

Skipper Mike Tuck’s three seemed to be enough for Sheffield to claim victory but Leeds had the last word to stun the home crowd.

* Sheffield Hatters will take on Leicester Riders on Saturday (11.40am) at All Saints Sports Centre in the semi-final of the Betty Codona Classic after a 99-68 victory over Cardiff Archers on Friday afternoon.

Leicester booked their place in the last four with an 81-51 win against Manchester Mystics.

Barking Abbey Crusaders take on Nottingham Wildcats in the other semi-final after victories over Northumbria and Sevenoaks respectively.

The final of the tournament is Sunday at 1pm at All Saints.