Uiversity of Sheffield 75-62 Leeds Met thirds
The University of Sheffield men’s basketball team got off to a flying start in their season by defeating Leeds Met thirds comfortably, in spite of a wobble.
The Sheffield side showed their strength in the final 10 minutes, amassing 23 points to boost the winning margin.
Sheffield started brightly with Andy Chiguri converting the first five points on the way to a 9-0 lead after seven minutes.
Although Leeds Met soon hit back with three unanswered two-pointers, Chris Ratcliffe, who impressed throughout the match, finished one of his four three-pointers in the match sublimely to give Sheffield a six point cushion. He added four more points as they went in 18-10 up at the break.
The second period saw indiscipline creep into the play, and the increase in fouls allowed Leeds Met easy points.
Ratcliffe started the period with an excellent three-pointer. Though mistakes crept in, Sheffield still netted some valuable points to maintain a lead; most impressively from a move between Dan Beels and captain Daniel Dawson. After a steal, Dawson netted the rebound.
However, Leeds Met closed the gap and during a time-out, Sheffield coach John Kelly questioned his team’s lack of attempts to claim rebounds.
The team talk may have helped as Kelly’s side started to be more offensive at rebounds.
Despite this, Leeds Met stayed strong and gradually brought the scores level at 31-31, but Chiguri was fouled as he netted a two-pointer and took the free throw to give Sheffield a slender advantage.
Sheffield played much better in the third period, combining good defence with more offensive rebounds.
They didn’t convert anywhere near as much as they were producing but this spell was encouraging for the whole team.
Two Ratcliffe three-pointers added gloss to the scoreline as Sheffield went in to the final 10 minutes with a 52-45 lead.
The fourth period saw a strong offensive display from Sheffield as they strolled to victory.
The best move of the period came from Beels; from a steal, he went the full length of the court to score, before adding another valuable point after getting fouled in the process.
Seven points in the last minute extended the margin. Beels added four of these, giving Sheffield the perfect start to the season.