Barking & Dagenham Erkenwald 94
Boldon CA 91
Mark Denchfield top scored with 31 points.
Erks celebrate Shab Niaz's trey at the buzzer.
Erks' Founder's team 2005.
The last ball through this hoop was Shab's trey.
Martin Overare scores with a reverse lay up.
All Photos Copyright 2005 Peter Horrell
Erks booked their place in the Founders Cup final with a sensational victory over TyneMet league side Boldon, the Erks rallied from a 33-12 deficit after just 7 minutes to take the lead midway through the 4th quarter, and then as the lead see-sawed in the final 4 minutes, the Erks regained possession with 3 seconds on the clock and the scores tied at 91-91. Veteran shooter Shab Niaz was the man entrusted with the final shot and after picking up the ball inside his own half, Niaz drove up the floor and swished a 30 foot prayer on the buzzer to send the Erks into their 2nd Founder's Cup final, some 8 years after losing out in overtime to Wearsiders Jarrow in the 1997 final.
Early on Boldon's veteran ex-BBL guard Alan Hopper put on a demonstration of jump shooting, the Tynesiders hitting a ridiculous percentage from outside on their way to 35 first quarter points and a 59-46 first half lead. Hopper had 26 points at half-time, and with team-mates Lloyd & Jackson also knocking down their open shots Boldon had 10 treys by the half. Erks were hanging on by a thread at this stage, with an almost exclusively outside attack, hitting 9 treys of their own. Shab Niaz weighing in with three and Dave Churches with one, but the star of the show was young guard Mark Denchfield whose five 3's and 19 first half points were keeping the Erks in the game.
Probably more important though, was Denchfield's defence on the red hot Hopper, the ex-Hemel man was having to work harder for his points as the game went on and the Erks kept nagging away at the Boldon lead. With the Erks discovering an inside game in the second half, forward Martin Overare hitting 12 of his 14 points late on and centre Dave Churches scoring 14 second half points, the lead was down to just 2 points at the end of the third quarter. By this stage Boldon were struggling to get Alan Hopper the ball, so his brother Neil took up the charge. The ex-Teesside man had 16 in the second half as he imposed himself around the basket.
However after their first half barrage, Boldon didn't hit a trey in the second half, whilst the Erks, with Denchfield hitting another 4 on his way to a team high 31 points, managed 7, and it was this constant threat that allowed the Erks to take the lead late on. Not to be outdone, Boldon point guard Lloyd stepped up to support the Hopper brothers with 3 quick jump shots, but a costly turnover as Alan Hopper drove to the hoop for the potential game winner, allowed the Erks a 3 second window of opportunity that Niaz managed to exploit to hit the game winner.
Erks face the Aussie/Kiwi expats of ANZSAC in the final, after the Antipodeans out-classed Huntingdon 86-59 in the first semi-final.
Denchfield 31, Churches 25, Niaz 18, Overare 14, Herd 6, McCusker, Agbolegbe, Glennard.
A Hopper 32, N Hopper 24, Lloyd 21, Jackson 12, Green 2, Patterson, Gorman.
Report posted: 17/04/05