On Saturday 12 November the London Lions and a somewhat vocal group of fans travelled north to Leicester for the quarter final of the BBL cup, knowing that the winning team would go on to face Newcastle in the semi finals.
The Lions looked the stronger team for most of the game, extending a 12 point lead at the end of q1 to a 16 point lead during a run early in q2 that prevented the Riders from scoring.
The Lions fans were loud and proud and on many occasions seemed to be out chanting the home fans. The commentator was doing his best to encourage the home fans, clearly realising the value of the fan support.
At the end of the half the Lions had a 13 point lead and both teams had a few too many fouls, including a Technical on the Riders coach.
The third quarter was a strange affair. It took almost four minutes for the score to change. The pace picked up a little from there and ended Riders 46 – Lions 57.
As the final quarter started the Riders were keen not to lose on their home court and were able to bring the score a bit closer. The Lions called a well timed time out and were able to stretch the lead a little again.
This prompted a Riders timeout at a point when Sullivan had received a Technical and the Riders coach looked close to getting his second as a result of his protests.
The Riders were then able to get the score within 7 but the Lions kept the pressure on and were able to win the game Riders 67 Lions 76.
Both teams had reason to take issue with referee calls on the night but the refs decisions were not the reason for the result.
Lions will next take on Newcastle Eagles in the league on Sunday 13 November and of course will face Newcastle in the Cup (date tbc).