Baker wants strong finish from his Essex Leopards side

PUBLISHED: 15:00 19 February 2018

Levett Essex Leopards coach Tom Baker talks to his players (Pic: Paul Phillips)

Levett Essex Leopards coach Tom Baker talks to his players (Pic: Paul Phillips)

Paul Phillips

Levett Essex Leopards coach Thomas Baker is looking for his team to finish the season strongly ahead of their trip to Ipswich on Saturday.

The Big Cats saw their hopes of a top two finish virtually ended when they lost at home against Thames Valley Cavaliers, but Baker wants his side to finish with the best possible record.

“We’ve got eight games left, and we need to put a decent run together so we go into the play-offs in good form,” he said.

“We don’t know what will happen with the spare spot in Division One, and if we can finish the season with an 18-4 record and win the play-offs we have a good argument to go back up.”

Saturday’s trip to Ipswich will be the third meeting between the teams this season, and although the Big Cats have won both games, the Suffolk side have caused them some problems.

When they travelled to Copplestone School in September Baker’s team overcame a 19-16 first period deficit to record an 89-58 victory in the Patrons Cup.

The league meeting at the Brentwood Centre in November saw Leopards led for more than 39 of the 40 regulation time minutes but let a 23-point lead slip as the visitors forced overtime.

But the extra period saw the Big Cats regain the momentum to overpower the Suffolk side with a 17-3 run to record a 94-80 victory.

The Suffolk side have slipped down the table in recent weeks, and will go into the game in joint seventh place with a 6-11 record.

Leopards return to the Brentwood Centre on Sunday, March 4 when Derbyshire Arrows are the visitors, tip-off 4pm.

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