Search

Super Leopards slay Dragons

17:00 07 January 2014

Leopards Ish Fontaine goes on the attack (Pic: Paul Phillips)

Leopards Ish Fontaine goes on the attack (Pic: Paul Phillips)

Paul Phillips

Big Cats bounce back from defeat

Leopards bounced back from their loss in Leeds to clinch a stunning 82-80 victory at Bradford Dragons.

England’s most capped player, Ronnie Baker, was the hero as he drained a three with eight seconds left to put Leopards 81-80 ahead.

Some great defence forced the Dragons into a turnover, and Baker was sent to the foul line with 1.2 seconds remaining where he hit the first shot before deliberately missing the second to run the clock down.

Earlier in the game the Big Cats had trailed by as many as 14 before three Kris Clark three-pointers in the third period dragged them back into the game.

And they still trailed by five with just over two minutes remaining before Robert Youngblood and Clark set up the thrilling finish with some good foul shooting.

It was the third time Dragons had lost in the league this season, with Leopards having inflicted two of those defeats on them to take the head-to-head decider.

The Big Cats started well, leading 12-9 after five minutes of action, but were pegged back to 18-16 going into the first break before a 7-0 run at the start of the second half put the home side in charge.

The home side led 31-24 when coach Youngblood called a time-out with 4:24 remaining in the second period, but worse was to follow when he and Baker collided, and Youngblood was forced to limp out of the action.

Despite the loss of the veteran forward Leopards stayed in touch, trailing 41-34 at half-time, but the game appeared to have slipped away from them as Bradford extended that lead to 14 midway through the third period on the back of 10 unanswered points.

The introduction of Baker at the point guard spot, moving Clark to shooting guard, paid off as the American drained three baskets from long range and Baker beat the buzzer with a floater to cut the deficit to 64-59 at the final break.

The Big Cats could make few inroads into the deficit in the early stages of the fourth period, Youngblood calling a time-out with 6:29 remaining and his side down by six.

And although Clark made it a three-point game at the five-minute mark, Leopards were still five down when Youngblood limped back into the game with three minutes to play.

Youngblood drained a pair at the foul line before Clark also hit two free-throws to make it a one-point game heading into the final minute.

But Leopards trailed by two heading into the final 23 seconds before Baker’s heroics set up the win.

The Big Cats shared the points out nicely with Baker, Ish Fontaine and Courtney Van Beest all finishing with eight, Youngblood adding seven and Iaon Nickson having his best game as a Leopard with five points and as many assists.

Dragons were led by 14 points from Dan Foley, with Vance Silcott and Denis Scott adding 13 apiece.

0 comments

Latest Sport Stories

Rhys Murphy of Dagenham & Redbridge scores the opening goal against Bury (pic: Dave Simpson/TGSPHOTO).

Victoria Road supporters can watch this weekend’s match for just 50p

Jodi Jones has been in excellent form for Dagenham & Redbridge in the Essex Senior Cup (pic: Dave Simpson).

Academy star was included on bench at Cambridge alongside captain Abu Ogogo, but Jack Connors surprisingly missed out

09:55
London Raiders forward Liam Chong had praise for goalie James Tanner after last weekend's matches (pic: John Scott)

‘Goalie was our best player’

Action from the latest indoor cricket matches at UEL

Latest news from indoor cricket league

Most read sport

WW100

Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.

News from your area

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Romford Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24
Our trusted business finder

The iconic skeleton is set to be replaced by a giant blue whale skeleton in 2017, and people on Twitter really aren’t happy about it.

Citizens of New England wished they had temperatures “barely getting above freezing”.

That’s English literature, maths, physics, biology, chemistry, geography, history and languages, if you didn’t know.

But we’re reassured it’s just the way the schools are counted that’s made the difference.