tadea Middlesbrough Lions v Liverpool
By Tom Jameson
Friday 09 Dec 2011 09:27:00
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Third placed tadea Middlesbrough Lions entertain ninth placed Liverpool and a convincing win could see the Lions go joint top if the result of the Rossendale v Stockport game goes the right way. Sunday 11th Dec Eston Sports Academy.

Lions will be hoping to display a similar performance to the last encounter with a Merseyside team two weeks ago when the Middlesbrough outfit posted a record 42-145 win over Mersey Tigers II. In that game defence was the key and the Lions have focussed the majority of their training over the last two weeks on defence.

Head Coach James Thomson believes this is the area, most in need of attention “We are the highest scoring team in the league, but our goal difference was not as good as we would have liked. Our intentions are to make our defence water tight from now to ensure we can contend for the title.”

In the Lions defence, they have played many tough games and these would be expected to be close. The pressure is now on against teams such as Liverpool who Middlesbrough will be expected to win. Whether they can win on Sunday by an impressive margin remains to be seen, but the Lions have never been beaten by Liverpool and despite the Merseyside outfit entering the game on the back of two wins; the Lions will be the strong favourites.

Middlesbrough have suffered with injuries in recent weeks with the news that former England Junior; Richy Summerbell has suffered a broken, fractured and dislocated finger which required surgery and will be out of action for two months. It is hoped the talented guard will be back in time for February for the big games against Rossendale and Stockport. The rest of the squad, although slim on numbers is healthy and raring to go with the exception of Dan Armory who is still nursing a groin strain.

Coach Thomson has also been pleased with the development of young Nigerian; Craig Mathema, who has enjoyed some extended time in recent games. “Craig has done well in recent games. He is prone to foul and still needs to adjust to our style and develop areas of his game but he is on the right track. He is a good rebounder and when he attacks the basket with conviction he is an explosive option. We just need to nurture his ability, but he is earning his minutes on credit and that is good for him and us.” added Coach Thomson.

Liverpool will look to Niall Mullen as their main scoring option while Chris Helsby is always a threat on the break. Malcolm Jones is an experienced shooter and their only real big man is Adel Sahel but he should not provide too many problems for Lions’ Mike Konanec.

The game begins at Eston Sports Academy this Sunday 4pm. Spectators are asked to be seated by 3.30pm and tickets are only £4 adults, £3 children and £12 family ticket (2 adults & 2 children) For more details visit www.middlesbroughlions.com



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