Sheffield Sharks: cup defeat can’t mar rest of season

Sheffield Sharks' Mike Tuck. Picture: Andrew Roe
Sheffield Sharks' Mike Tuck. Picture: Andrew Roe
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Sheffield Sharks must quickly get over their crushing cup disappointment and get back on the winning trail tonight.

Their midweek BBL Trophy semi-final defeat to Leicester Riders was a massive blow, but they have to park the issue before they face table-topping Newcastle Eagles in the BBL Championship - a team they haven’t beaten since 2014.

Sheffield were only four points away from facing Newcastle in the Final but will now have to concentrate on the Championship.

Sharks are in the middle of an busy run, with the Newcastle game being their fourth of a five match span over nine days.

Sharks captain Mike Tuck said: “This has been by far our busiest and most testing week of the season so far. Away in Worcester, two legs of the Trophy Semi-Final and then an away weekend up and then down the country in Newcastle and Surrey.”

“First up will be Newcastle at their gym. Always a tough place to play, they have great fans, great atmosphere, and a solid team. “We haven’t seen them in a while so it will be good to match up against them again while we are really coming together as a team.

“They are still at the top of table and have this year’s BBL Cup under their belt so it will be a good test for us.”

Newcastle have won the last five British trophies on offer and are in prime position to add two more to their collection in the near future. Eagles are in the final of the BBL Trophy and are in first place in the BBL Championship.

Newcastle have been near invincible at times this season, but Coach Fabulous Flournoy’s team is currently injury ridden, something Sharks will be looking to take advantage of on Friday.

“Everyone is on a day-to-day schedule.” Flournoy said. “It’s difficult for us (to practice). That hurt us after the Cup Final, not being able to practice and prepare going into the Worcester game.”

The game is scheduled to tip-off at 7:30pm on Friday at Sport Central Newcastle.