Sharks on way to Wembley

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The Independent Online

Sheffield Sharks' supporters breathed a sigh of relief last night when their team beat Manchester Giants 74-68 to win their Budweiser League play-off quarter-final series and justify the fans' faith in pre-booking their Wembley accommodation.

Sharks' victory at Sheffield Arena took the best of three series 2-0, following Sunday's 77-72 win in Manchester.

London Towers, however, must wait another five days to know if they can win a place in the last four. They slumped 80-70 at home to Newcastle Eagles to square their series 1-1.

The Eagles bounced back after losing the first game 91-79 at home last Friday to blitz London with a 19-4 fourth-quarter run, which opened a match-winning 73-60 lead. Scott Paterson missed most of last Friday's game with an eye injury, but returned to lead Newcastle scorers with 23 points. The decisive third game is at Towers on Sunday and the winners will face Sheffield in the semi-finals on 3 May.

Leopards, the Budweiser League champions who eliminated Leicester City Riders 2-0 at the weekend, will play either Chester Jets or last season's play-off winners, Birmingham Bullets. They play tonight at Birmingham, with Chester leading the series 1-0.