A fourth-quarter power show from Sheffield Sharks saw Cheshire Phoenix on the wrong end of a 97-86 at EIS Sheffield on Friday night.
Atiba Lyons’ side ended their three-game wait for a first win of the season against Glasgow Rocks five days ago and closed on a 12-4 run to double their tally in this one, while inflicting a fourth straight defeat on John Lavery’s side.
But despite the reverse, Cheshire, who were short handed for the trip following an injury to influential skipper David Aliu, can take some solace from a decent performance on the road with five of their starters all reaching double figures. Kinu Rochford registered an impressive double-double of 20 points and 17 rebounds.
Tip-off had been delayed by 10 minutes due to traffic problems caused by a nearby One Direction concert, and when the contest did begin it was nip and tuck for much of the first three quarters.
Cheshire had led by five points early in the final stanza before Mike Tuck and the hugely impressive Antone Robinson, coming off his first BBL All-Star Five selection of the season, began to take control in the paint on both ends of the floor.
Phoenix’s cause was not helped by 16 turnovers, but Sharks connected on their final four field goals as they executed well in the key moments.
Robinson finished with a game-high 28 points and nine rebounds as Jerrold Brooks added 25 and Tuck had 20 points and 10 boards.
Cheshire triumphed when these teams met earlier this month , but could not recapture that success despite 23 points from Akeem Ellis, who topped the scoring for the Nix.
Match Report by Dave Powell for the Chester Chronicle