The second string unit of the Erks squad made the short trip to Barking last night to take on the league's basement boys, Eastbury Tigers.
With Mark Denchfield not playing, there was no need for the team to await Mark's entrance which is usually about four seconds before tip off time. With Craig Pringle missing, the likelihood of all team members being present and listening during time outs was also significantly increased. Also, with Declan and Church replacing Gary and Jonny Lee, the possibility of losing to Eastbury also decreased (see earlier loss in season to Forest).
Erks started very lively with Dela, Gareth and Martin all looking particularly hungry for points in the first quarter. With Eastbury now playing on the big Eastbury court (as opposed to the shoe box that they have played in for the last twenty five years), the run and gun game was more likely to occur.
With the game almost over at the end of the first quarter with Erks leading 34 - 6, all six Erks had already registered points on the score sheet.
Disaster was to follow in the second quarter for Garbage Time Dave Churches when Ken Bates of Eastbury out muscled and out rebounded Church on numerous occasions whilst racking up eight of the home team's twelve points in the first fifteen minutes. Further humiliation was then to follow as Bates head faked Churches and drove around him while securing yet another score on the Garbage man. With the Erks team in bewilderment as to Churches lack of movement, coach McCusker then realised that Church was wearing Paul Haydan's old boots which were welded to the floor. The coach had no option but to bench Churches so that Erks dominance could then continue which it did until half time where they lead 60 - 18.
The second half was more of the same with Gareth shooting every time he got the ball (and hitting occasionally), Martin trying to drive through gaps that were not there and Dela continuing to run the floor at a pace which was significantly slower than when he was five years younger and two stone lighter. The coach's instructions that nobody should shoot the ball one second into an offence (apart from himself) were widely ignored until he secured his spot in front of the Eastbury bench and coolly nailed a succession of jump shots, including 4 three pointers.
The fourth quarter saw Martin take Garbage's place with Ken Bates now dominating him at both ends of the floor resulting in Martin picking up three fouls, no rebounds, three turnovers and being scored on at ease. Garbage re-entered the game and, realising that the easy option was to throw shots up from outside, he rained a succession of missed three pointers. Erks then ran out easy winners.
Declan McCusker 28, Gareth Sims 26, Martin Overare 20, Garbage Time Dave Churches 18, Dela Agbolegbe 14, Twinkle Toes Atkinson 8.
With Cardinals beating Stars last night, this has almost certainly meant that Erks will now finish fourth and will look back at the three losses away at Forest and Home to Stars and Gintaras which has probably cost the Erks at least three league places.
Report posted: 07/03/08