Derby Trailblazers Academy 82 – 85 Manchester Magic Academy

Derby and Manchester served up another EABL thriller in a tightly contested northern conference battle, with the Magic heading back up the M6 with an 85-82 win.

It was hard to separate the two teams throughout. Derby held a narrow 25-20 lead after the first period, but it was tied at 43-43 and 62-62 at the end of the next stanzas.

However, it was Magic who found a timely run to take a 5-point advantage going into the last 28 seconds as Derby called time out. A Charlie Brown put back reduced the deficit to 3 and when the EABL’s steal leader Stuart Matimba intercepted a half court pass it looked like it might end up tied again at the end of regulation as Brown found Bowman at the three point line, but his attempt hit the back of the iron with 9 seconds remaining and Derby were forced to foul to stop the clock.

The result means the two teams are now tied with 7-4 records in the race to make the play-offs. Derby’s only consolation is that they take the head to head having beaten Magic by seven earlier in the season, the next two weeks will determine whether that matters or not as the season comes to a close with a handful of critical games.

Derby travel to James Watts next Wednesday while Magic travel to Charnwood.

Derby scorers: Bowman 24, Brown 20, Matimba 17

Manchester scorers: Grant 20, Gordos 18, Shegow 13

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