Image Courtesy: Graham Virtue

Newcastle Eagles coach Fab Flournoy saw his side grab a 97-90 advantage in the first leg of their BBL Cup semi-final against Mersey Tigers, led by a 34-point haul from Trey Moore.

But neither side took a definitive step towards a place at the NIA in January with the hosts producing a fourth quarter rally after trailing for most of the tie, having been as much as 15 points down when Nate Reinking’s three-pointer made it 73-58 to the Tigers in the third period.

Andrew Bridge hit a three-pointer with the last play of the stanza to keep the Eagles within striking distance. They turned the game on its head through resolute defence and a fourth quarter surge that put them in the ascendancy in this two-legged tie.

The Eagles started with a 14-1 burst, led by Moore and Darius Defoe, as they restricted their visitors to just one point in five and a half minutes, to lead 84-80. A Charles Smith three-pointer and 4/4 free-throws from Moore in the final two minutes ensured that the Eagles take a seven-point lead into Wednesday’s second leg in Liverpool.

Mersey captain Drew Sullivan led all scorers with a massive double-double of 35 points and 12 rebounds.

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