2017 – Heartbreaker against Warriors
In front of another big crowd at Brentwood, Leopards trailed early in the game but four Roberts points helped them tie the game at 8-8 and a Jamie Hayes trey kept them in touch at 16-14 down going into the first break
2005 – Leopards play-off hopes take a major knock
Paws London Capitals 83 (16,36,56)
Essex & Herts Leopards 64 (25,40,47)
Leopards’ play-off hopes took a major knock as they produced a terrible second half performance, on Saturday. The Big Cats went into the game knowing victory would ensure post-season play, but yet another second half collapse saw them heavily defeated.
Leading by four at half-time, Jon Burnell’s team were outscored 20-7 in the third period and 27-17 in the fourth to put Capitals back in contention for eighth place in the EBL. Steve Ogunjimi led the visitors’ scoring with 18, though seven of those points were scored when the game was effectively over, while Brian Moore was unable to continue his fine first half form, adding on three to his tally of 11 in the opening 20 minutes.
Having produced their best performance of the season to defeat title chasing London United the previous week, the Big Cats looked set to carry on where they left off as a Moore three gave them a 7-6 lead after three minutes play. Ogunjimi and Laurent Irish also sunk treys as Leopards remained in control, while Troy Selvey scored a put back from a Mark Quashie (pictured) missed free-throw to extend Leopards’ lead to 20-14 with 2:30 of the first period remaining. Another three from Ogunjimi and a Quashie put-back gave the large travelling support, who comfortably outnumbered the home fans, something to smile about as Leopards reached the first break 25-16 ahead.
Moore opened the second period scoring off an Ogunjimi assist, but that nine point lead proved to be as good as it got for the Big Cats, and a basket from veteran play-coach Solomon Ayinla brought Capitals within a point at 29-28 with 5:20 on the clock. A pair of treys from Moore took the lead back up to six, and the teams traded baskets until the final play of half-time saw Irish score with a jump-shot to send Leopards into the locker room with a 40-36 lead.
The third quarter has been Leopards Achilles’ heel this season, and once again the Big Cats collapsed in spectacular fashion, as they had only a single Ogunjimi free-throw to show for their efforts in the first six minutes. Meanwhile, with the home side seeming able to score at will with back-door cuts, Capitals took control of the game with 12 points to lead 48-43. An Ogunjimi jump shot and a fourth trey of the game from Moore ended the run, and reduced the arrears to two, but the respite proved short-lived as London closed out the period with an 8-1 run to lead by nine at the final break.
An Ogunjimi score and a successful “and-one” from Alexander took the lead down to six, but a pair of scores from Ayinla put Capitals back up by 10 again. Selvey reduced the deficit and took his personal tally to 10, but nine unanswered points effectively sealed the game with three and a half minutes remaining, and Capitals wrapped things up from the free-throw line.
Leopards: S Ogunjimi 18, B Moore 14, R Alexander 12, T Selvey 10, M Quashie 9, L Irish 7, M Eames, R Lloyd, B Stacey (DNP)
2000 – Play-off dreams end
adidas London Leopards 85 (12,33,57)
Johnson 35, Mensah-Bonsu 20, Brantley 14
Pertemps Bullets Birmingham 90 (13,32,62)
Lloyd 22, Jamison 18, Phoenix 15
Dairylea Dunkers Championship @ Brentwood Leisure Centre
Pertemps Bullets Birmingham ensured their qualification for the post-season play-offs with this 90-85 win at adidas London Leopards, and in doing so did Thames Valley Tigers a good turn too.
After a close and low scoring first half, it was the Leopards who led by a single point at 33-32. Bullets had runs of 10-1 and 7-0 in the third quarter to lead 52-47 with 2.45 remaining and the Leopards were never ahead after that.
Rashod Johnson was the game’s top marksman, scoring 35 points for the Leopards, while Nigel Lloyd bagged 22 for the visitors.