Men's basketball player Jacob Graham passing a ball on the court
Jacob Graham was a key figure in the Eagles’ dramatic 60-59 defeat of Keele. © Ian Shard

It was a tough week for many Edge Hill University teams, but one which did shine was the men’s basketball side, who overcame the loss of key men to defeat Keele firsts 60-59 in a dramatic Ormskirk finale. 

The hosts trailed by 15 in the first quarter, but the match proved nip and tuck from then on, with the shooting of Michael Wilson and Jacob Graham crucial, as well as the combined defensive efforts of Will Paccito and Graeme Shaw. 

Four points behind with 20 seconds to go, a two-pointer from Graham brought the visitors within sight. Then, from Keele’s subsequent attack, Paccito stole the ball and found Daniel Eglits, who became man of the moment to make the game-winning three-pointer to give the Eagles an unlikely victory – and top spot in Northern Tier 3.

Netball player Caitlin Holland getting ready to pass the ball despite a defence from the Salford center
Caitlin Holland weighs up her options against Salford © Chris Mowatt

Netball produced two wins from four for Edge Hill’s teams – both against their opposite numbers from Chester. The firsts – now second in Northern Tier 2 – were 38-27 victors, with Lauren Kelsall, Liv Hill and Heather Parson instrumental to their success, while the thirds won 38-32, with Megan Poole and Beth Turnbull in fine form. Alas, the seconds went down 50-27 to Northern Tier 5 leaders Salford firsts, despite strong performances from Charlotte Knight, Ella Clague and Emily Ralph, while the fourths.- for whom Sophie Baker impressed – lost 37-21 to Keele thirds.

There were mixed results for the tennis sides, with the men – impressive so far this term, failing to get on the board in defeat to Durham fourths, although there was better news for the ladies, 8-4 victors over Keele firsts. Elise Bond and Abbie Parker both won their doubles and singles rubbers without dropping a set, while Hannah Whitehead won her singles after a lengthy three-set battle.

In badminton, there were defeats for both women’s sides and the men’s seconds, but the firsts did secure victory in their encounter with Northern Tier 3 leaders Chester firsts, prevailing 5-3 to strengthen their place in second.

Badminton player Kieran Waters waiting for the shuttlecock to fall, with his racket poised over his left shoulder
Kieran Waters helped the firsts to victory over Chester © Ian Shard

Elsewhere, Lucas Bradley’s goal wasn’t enough as the men’s seconds went down 2-1 to their Chester counterparts in football, while Nick Fletcher’s first-half opener proved in vain as the men’s firsts hockey team went down 2-1 at Manchester seconds.

There was also no joy for the women’s rugby union XV, who went down 61-22 to Northern Tier 2 title-chasers Liverpool John Moores firsts.