Sharks lose cup grip

The NTL National Cup is one piece of silverware that the holders, Sheffield Sharks, will not be keeping in their trophy cabinet this season, after they were knocked out 112-100 at the former winners Thames Valley Tigers on Saturday night.

The NTL National Cup is one piece of silverware that the holders, Sheffield Sharks, will not be keeping in their trophy cabinet this season, after they were knocked out 112-100 at the former winners Thames Valley Tigers on Saturday night.

John McCord was joint top scorer on 29 points with Greg Meldrum and steered his team to victory after Meldrum and Tony Christie fouled out late on.

Sharks, already without injured Richard Windle, also lost Zach Bennet on five fouls and rallied to 96-89 before McCord inspired a 6-0 spurt to make the game safe. In a bizarre finale, when Stuart McKay fouled out, Tigers played the final 22 seconds with four men on court.

Foul-calling also played a major part in the 83-81 win at Milton Keynes Lions by the favourites, London Towers.

The Lions player-coach, Nigel Lloyd, was called for four fouls in the opening three minutes, leaving Towers to build a 48-34 half-time lead. Lions still had the chance to win the game with 16 seconds left, but Towers survived to join Tigers in the quarter-finals at Aston Villa Leisure Centre on 29 October.

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