On this day – Sept 19

2014 – Leopards lose battle of the big cats

Essex Leopards v London Lions, 19 Sept 2014; Courtney Van Beest;The battle of the big cats proved to be something of an anti-climax as a depleted Leopards’ side went down 87-48 against London Lions in front of a big crowd at the Brentwood Centre, on Friday.

With east London gridlocked and flash flooding leading to delays on the railways, Leopards were without several key players including Dave Ajumobi and both point guards, Albert Margai and Ronnie Baker, and after a good start the hosts were overpowered.Essex Leopards v London Lions, 19 Sept 2014; Will Ashby;

American forward Byron Richards scored Leopards’ first nine points and four straight Lawrence Brown points kept them ahead 16-13 with eight minutes gone. A pair of Adrien Sturt baskets saw Lions pulled within one point but  Andre Allette beat the buzzer to send the home side into the first break with a 20-15 lead.

That proved to be as good as it got for the hosts as Lions opened the second period with a 15-2 run, and they were outscored 27-7 in the second quarter and 28-8 in the third as the BBL team ran out comfortable winners although the home side did compete to the end.

Courtney Van Beest led the big Cats with 15 points, while Richards finished with 11 points for the home side despite suffering an ankle injury in the second half.

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