Barking & Dagenham Erkenwald 70
Richmond Jaguars 62
Steve Herd goes (very) strong to the hoop.
Declan McCusker exploded for 6 quick points at the beginning.
Dela Agbolegbe is rejected by the big Jaguar defence.
Dave Churches and Steve Herd trap a Jaguar.
Steve Herd hit 14 points.
Mark Denchfield looks to pass inside.
All Photos Copyright 2005 Peter Horrell
Erks clinched their place in the Founders Cup semi-finals with a hard fought victory over Richmond in physical encounter that saw each side whistled for 23 fouls. The Erks will now meet the winners of the Northern pool in the Final 4 on April 16, tip-off time & venue to be confirmed.
From the outset, the Richmond front-line yielded little to Erks big men, ex-Erk Nick Dewey having an effective game around the basket, scoring 16 points & dealing well with the threat of Dave Churches. However, Erks coach Declan McCusker came out firing with 6 quick points as he drove to the basket as along with point guard Dela Agbolegbe, the Erks guards led their side to a 19-15 first quarter advantage. Richmond, who took their only lead of the game briefly at the start of the 2nd quarter, remained in touch largely through the efforts of Bennett who finished well on the brake & drove to the basket, leading his team with 19 points. However a Shab Niaz 3 pointer gave the Erks the lead again and the first half closed at 30-26.
Niaz was on song again at the start of the 3rd quarter as the Erks opened up a 9 point lead, however the Jags once again hit straight back to close to 39-38 before Jaguars coach Marshall protested a foul call once too often for referee Courtney Carter, Steve Herd hitting the 2 free-throws for the foul and a further 2 for the technical to give the Erks the momentum once again. Erkenwald closing the 3rd quarter with a potentially decisive 56-44 lead.
Richmond were far from finished though, as big forward Holgar Marsen started to school Dave Churches and John Powell around the hoop, he hit 7 straight points and 9 in total in the final period as the Erks lead dwindled to just 4 points. However the experience of Dave Churches, who finally came good with 6 straight points, and the safe handling of Dela Agbolegbe allowed the Erks to run the clock down, a final Shab Niaz trey putting the icing on a 70-62 victory.
Churches 16, Herd 14, Agbolegbe 12, Niaz 11, McCusker 6, Powell 5, Denchfield 5, Overare 1.
Bennett 19, Dewey 16, Marsen 13, Farquharson 8, Hyde 4, Marshall 2.
Report posted: 07/03/05