LANCASHIRE Spinners senior men’s team are National League Division Three Northern champions.

When second-placed Newcastle lost their fourth game of the year on Saturday, mathematically they couldn’t catch Spinners with two games to go and so they handed the title to the leaders.

The first of those games was Sunday’s fixture at Myerscough, a basketball academy whose players are selected to attend colleges in the USA.

And the Bury-based side were unable to mark their title with a victory, eventually going down 79-56.

Without three starters – Barry Webster, Josh Houghton and captain Conor Porter – the team had to dig deep and find their resolve.

From the start Myerscough brought energy and intensity but Spinners matched this with good ball movement and inside moves.

Adam Oldham found space inside while Joe Swindells and Arnold Emelone hit from the outside as they established a 24-18 lead at the end of the first quarter.

What happened in the second quarter was unusual for Spinners.

Myerscough raised their intensity while Spinners struggled to find any sort of threat. Defensively they were slow and offensively they made countless mistakes, each one being jumped on by the home team giving them a 26-3 second-quarter score and a 44-27 lead at half time.

With Luc Baldwin, Alex Plumb and Callum Brady getting minutes on court, the team rallied and with a huge dunk by Nathan Schall, they won the third quarter 21-18 but still trailed. Unfortunately, Oldham, who had been providing energy all game, picked up his fifth and final foul on a questionable call which depleted the rotation even further.

And Spinners simply did not have what it takes to reverse a 14-point deficit. Myerscough were relentless with their attack and energy levels, finishing the quarter up 17-10 to finish as winners by a 23-point margin, was a true reflection of the two teams on this day.

There is time to regroup and focus on making marginal improvements and end the season with a win.

Spinners travel to Liverpool on Saturday then have a two-week break before the playoffs begin on March 21.

“I don’t think I need to tell anyone that was a poor showing,” said head coach Mbongeni Greg Mpofu. “It’s plain to see. We have to do a much better job of adjusting on the fly, and not being affected by external stimuli.

“That being said, Myerscough played an impressive game. They’re hungry, fighting for their play-off lives, and were well worth their win.

“We have one more chance against Liverpool to finish on a high note, then play-off preparation begins in earnest.”