LANCASHIRE Spinners got the better of Calderdale Explorers in a battle of third against second in Halifax to move to the top of the table.

The 71-56 triumph made it six straight wins for the Whitefield-based side in National League Division Three North, the fourth tier of British basketball.

Connor Porter led the way for the Spinners with 32 points on his return as captain.

Joe Swindells chipped in with 11 and Barry Webster 12 including two from two three-pointers.

“This was one of those potential banana-skin games, so I’m happy with the result, and just as happy with how we achieved it,” said head coach Mbongéni Greg Mpofu.

“We worked hard over the past week on our game plan, as Calderdale present us with a particular challenge that few others in the division can, with them being able to match our size, but as is our way, we were still able to force them away from their identity for the most part, and hit key shots when we needed them.

“Conor Porter was all over the floor on both ends and put in a real captain’s performance.

“We also welcomed back Josh Houghton who provided a real calming presence.

"I’m pleased for him to be back with the group and having fun with it.”

Neither team could find space in the early going as the teams traded baskets with the Spinners initially trailing before coming back, Webster with some impressive blocks.

In a fast-paced game, the visitors kept their composure with Swindells, Porter and Houghton all chipping in with three-point shots to give the Spinners a 37-34 half-time lead.

Third quarter was a back and forth affair with Arnold Emelone and Adam Oldham playing well defensively.

The lead was extended narrowly out to four points heading into the final period, the score 53-49.

It was there that the Spinners really built some momentum and with some fine defence and quick points on the break, the Bury side led 63-52 with five minutes left.

Swindells added another three as the visitors pulled clear in the closing stages on another good day at the office.

The Spinners’ next home game comes on Saturday, February 8 against one-time leaders Newcastle who the Spinners knocked off top spot at the weekend.

The Eagles do have a game in hand however.

Tip off at Phillips High School, Whitefield, is at 6.30pm with adults £2 and under-18s £1.