Leeds Men’s Basketball 1s comfortably saw off Durham on Wednesday afternoon to continue their unbeaten run and consolidate their place at the summit of BUCS Northern 2B Division. Leeds were in good form, having won all of their league and cup games this season, but would have been weary of their opponents, who were also on a four game unbeaten run.
After a shaky start where Durham dominated much of the opening few minutes the greens were trailing the visitors 10-19, largely due to giving away some unnecessary free throws which their opponents were quick to capitalise on. Leeds were quick to respond, however, finding the form that has seen them start the season so well, and they ended the first quarter with a slight edge over the North East side, leading 27-26.
It was a much weaker start to the side for Durham, who allowed Leeds to easily consolidate their lead, finding the net in quick succession in what was becoming an increasingly physical game as the visitors became visibly more and more frustrated as they fell further behind. Leeds continued to give away free throws that were frankly entirely avoidable, and it surely left the watching crowd wondering whether they could have dominated the score line even more otherwise. Either way, an especially good run at the end of the second quarter so the home side go in for the break with a 58-42 lead.
During much of the second half of the game there was a certain air of inevitability about the result, and as victory became harder for them to envisage some of the Durham players started to lose their temper, with more than one incident of an argument between a member of their ranks and the officials. By now it was Leeds who were being awarded the free throws, and were slotting them home with impressive accuracy, meaning that at the final break they had increased their lead to 79-61.
By this time it wasn’t a question of ‘if’ so much as ‘how many by’, as Durham seemed to lose the will to play in the final quarter, scoring only nine points as a Leeds team with all the momentum dominated to squeak over the 100-mark in the closing couple of minutes of the game, leading to the final scoreline of 105-70. Though they were understandably disappointed with the defeat after a valiant effort, it was disappointing to see strong words still being exchanged between a couple of the Durham players and the officials after the close of play. That wasn’t a concern for Leeds though; they deserved their win and have already asserted themselves as the team to beat in their division this season. They will be hoping that their league form translates into cup success, as they face Chester away in the last 16 of the Northern Conference Cup next week.
Photo Credit: The Gryphon