Sheffield Division Two
MLS Sharks 39
Worksop sealed the SBL Division Two title with victory over their nearest rivals MLS Sharks.
The nine-point victory last Thursday saw the hosts capture their third title in five years with two games to spare.
The result means Sharks can only tie on points with Worksop if they win the rest of their matches and Worksop lose theirs.
But as ties are resolved firstly by the head-to-head results between the teams, it means Worksop’s double over the Sharks this season gives them an unassailable position with two games to spare.
Coach Steve Lawes said afterwards: “We didn’t go into this game worrying about the permutations of the league table, we just concentrated on the task in hand.”
“It was satisfying to get the win over the full strength Sharks side and prove ourselves worthy champions.”
“This is our third trophy in five years which is a great reward for the continued effort and commitment the lads put in.”
The decisive encounter was a close run thing from start to finish.
Sharks edged the opening exchanges for a 4-0 lead. Mark Boot then netted twice in quick succession as Worksop got into the game to trail 9-11 at the first break.
Worksop switched tactics in the second period and tried to work the ball inside more as Sharks found themselves in foul trouble.
Forward Jamie Clarke punished the Sharks with some neat inside moves to net eight points in the quarter and help Worksop back to all-square, 19-19 at the half.
Jurijs Kamaltdinovs netted twice early in the third and Worksop crept ahead for the first time to lead 27-23.
A Sharks three-pointer reduced the deficit before another strong move under the basket from Clarke took Worksop clear again.
Boot and Brett Shelton concluded the Worksop scoring in the period with mid-range jumpers to give Worksop a 33-29 lead at the final break.
Adam Drabble and Steve Lawes got among the points early in the fourth period as Worksop tried to take control of the game but Sharks hit back with a 6-0 run to trail by just one point with three minutes to play.
As has been the case on numerous occasions this season though, Worksop drew on their experience, stayed cool under pressure and closed the game out for the win.
Another Boot jump shot was the catalyst for an 8-0 Worksop flourish. Adam Kingswood layed in and Jurijs Kamaltdinovs netted twice from the free-throw line and again from close range to seal the victory and the club’s first ever Championship win.
Worksop: Boot 12, Clarke 10, Shelton 8, Kamaltdinovs 8, Kingswood 4, Drabble 2, Luke Richardson 2, Lawes 2, James Penrose.
SBL Division 2
Team W L PF PA PD Pts
Worksop 10 2 710 522 188 20
MLS Sharks 8 4 703 658 45 16