Worcester Wolves 86 Sheffield Sharks 86: BBL Trophy semi-final first leg ends all square

Sharks' Rob Marsden
Sharks' Rob Marsden
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A dramatic end to a rollercoaster game saw Sheffield Sharks’ BBL Trophy semi-final first leg with Worcester Wolves end all square.

The Sharks headed south following a mixed weekend last time out - a gritty win at home to Manchester Giants was followed by a disappointing defeat at Plymouth - and were hoping to avenge a BBL Cup semi-final loss to Worcester earlier this season.

Atiba Lyons’ side started on the front foot as a slow first quarter came to life with an 11-0 Sharks run, some fine shooting from Sheffield’s Dirk Williams the highlight. Williams hit 11 first quarter points as Sheffield took control, leading 27-16 at the buzzer.

It was the same story in the second period. More superb Sharks offense and sharp shooting from the free throw line - Sharks had hit nine from 11 mid-way through Q2 - gave Sheffield breathing space. At half time the Sharks enjoyed a surprisingly commanding 49-37 lead.

Worcester, though, started to reel the Sharks in midway through Q3. However, back came the Sharks again with Mike Tuck shooting 2/2 from the free throw line to give Sheffield their biggest lead yet at 15 points.

Worcester were, however, starting to look dangerous towards the end of the third, bringing the score to 71-64 with a 10-2 run. That set up a dramatic conclusion, with Worcester eventually coming back to level the scores before falling behind again, only to edge into an 86-83 lead with seconds remaining.

There was a twist in the tale though, Mackey McKnight sinking a last gasp triple with 5.5 seconds remaining to secure a rare tie and head back to Sheffield at 86-86.

Rob Marsden (pictured) put in an eye-catching shift for Sharks with a 12-point and 10-rebound double-double.