A nightmare of a first quarter for Mansfield Giants proved too much to overturn in defeat to Sheffield Saints.
With a later than normal tip off, the game got in to swing with the visitors taking a very quick five point lead.
Two points then came from Mansfield’s 6’8” Joe Macdonald, Liam Burton and Medz Loftian to bring the game back in to perspective.
Points were traded up to the seventh-minute when the visitors ran out a purple patch and stretched there lead to 29-17.
The Giants had a time out to stop the flow of the game and managed to nail two from the line to go 29-19 down in the first.
The second quarter saw the home team battle to bring the game back, but only managed to knock one point off the Sheffield lead at the half way stage as the score line stood at 45-53.
The home side again pressed to claw back the deficit in third and fourth quarters but Sheffield’s experience held tight to finish 83-97 to the visitors.
Coach Richards said: “We were out-played in every department, which was very disappointing. Their experience shone through as they controlled the tempo of the game throughout.
“This put a stop to our usual fast pace game on the offensive end. They also had some outstanding shooters which we never managed to contain.”
And added: “Consequently we were always chasing the game from start to finish. We should be a little stronger next week with the return of Barry Plummer, which will give us a better inside presents and better inside-out game style.”