BASKETBALL - Durham League - Something had to give in the top game of the Durham League first division this week as the two hitherto unbeaten sides, Nissan and Steve Whitehead Joinery and Double Glazing Middlesbrough Mavericks lined up against each other at Yarm.

What gave was Mavericks 100 per cent record as Nissan defied the odds to win 83-75.

A great start by Nissan was the key. Gary Simpson opened like the proverbial house on fire and by the fifth minute the visitors had stormed into a 17-2 lead. Wayne Bailey came onto court and seven points from him helped cut the Nissan lead to 24-17 as the quarter finished. Nissan had the better of the second period and their lead had stretched to 42-30 by half-time. Mavericks misery was compounded at the start of the second half when four turnovers gave Nissan four easy scoring chances, chances they grabbed with open arms to take control at 50-32 with three minutes of the half gone. Marek Pawlak turned on the power to bring Mavericks back to just 57-50 down with ten minutes left, but even he could do nothing to peg back the Nissan advantage.

Gary Simpson had his best game yet for Nissan to finish with 22 points. Hope added 19 as Johnson and Davie landed 13 each. Pawlak was at his brilliant best for Mavericks with 34 points whilst Bailey and Neil Thorne hit 18 and 13 apiece.

Middlesbrough College Academy A hosted and beat University of Teesside 100-84 in their derby at Acklam.

University started the better. Chris Harnish and Andre Moen did the damage and a 9-2 third minute lead had increased to 21-14 before Robert Shanks, Pete Osei and Neil Campbell turned the game around with 15 points which gave Academy the lead at 29-23 after ten minutes. Academy now had the momentum and with five minutes of the first half left they looked set to storm away at 42-25. A three-point basket from George Kiriakou and nine points in a row from Moen got University back on track and as the interval buzzer sounded the Academy cushion was down to 58-45. Scores from Moen, Harnish and Kiriakou helped reduce the gap further to 73-69 with ten minutes to play, before a tremendous finish, in which Osei took the lead, netted Academy the spoils.

Osei was excellent with 30 points for Middlesbrough College Academy as Shanks and Urwin added 23 and 17 points apiece. Moen and Harnish did best for University of Teesside with 25 and 23 as Kiriakou chipped in with 11.

The trio of division one games was completed with a 95-84 success for Norton, who notched their first win of the season against guests Willington Wasps. Wasps must have headed back up the A19 intent on practising their free-throws as they missed 24 in all and 14 in the crucial moments of the last quarter to lose a game which perhaps they could have won.

A trio of three-point baskets from Mark Winter helped give Norton the better of the opening period at 25-20 as Sam Scorer had done well to reply for Wasps. Norton had stretched that advantage to 46-36 by half-time thanks to the accurate shooting of Liam O'Donohue. The third quarter was mayhem as Winter and Paul Jenkins from Norton and Sam Scorer for Wasps all fouled out and by the time it closed Wasps had cut the gap to just at 65-64. Norton held their nerve in the final ten minutes as Wasps racked up the missed free-throws and Sam Butterworth piled on the points at the sharp end of a good fast-break.

Butterworth was the pick for Norton with 34 points as O'Donohue and Winter netted 26 and 17. Four players collected double figure scores for Willington Wasps; Sam Scorer (22), Campbell (18), Luke Somerville (16) and Ben Scorer (10).

In the second division unbeaten title chasers Trimdon Community College went into their home game with Hartlepool CJ Hydraulics A under strength, and although they did win, Hydraulics gave them a couple of shocks before the game ended at 101-77 to Trimdon.

Lee Norton gave Trimdon the better start and a 20-10 lead after seven minutes, before all five players on court hit baskets to bring Hydraulics back to 30-24 as the period closed. The second quarter was even. Trimdon's new signing John Anderson opened it with a three pointer and Hydraulics two youngest players, John Hetherington and Paul MacDonald, countered to keep the deficit to 51-44 at the interval. Good work from Steve Pearce cut the deficit again to just 57-54 four minutes into the second half before Hydraulics offence dried up. Trimdon took advantage with a 22-4 burst and with ten minutes left they were out of sight at 79-58.

Five players finished with double figure scores for Trimdon CCA; Chris Elliott (24), Ian Harrison (22), Norton (17), Wayne Oliver (13) and Anderson (11). Hydraulics two younger players, Hetherington and MacDonald, were excellent in landing 22 and 20 points apiece and they were given good support by Gareth Hammond and Colin Knight with 12 each and Pearce on 11.

Consett Steelers are very much back in the groove this season and they recorded their fourth league win from five outings in beating Old Houghtonians 72-59 on their court at Houghton-le-Spring.

A run of nine points without reply in the 13th and 14th minutes of the first half gave Steelers the half-time advantage at 37-30. Phil Smailes and Anthony Burdis had done the business for Old Houghtonians, but 20 points from Matt Patterson had given Steelers the cutting edge and the narrow lead. A good restart in which Dan Patterson and Mark Ewan scored the baskets increased Steelers cushion to 48-34 before Nathan Jenner and Burdis brought Houghtonians back to just one point down at 55-54 with four minutes of the game left. Brendan McNeaney held his nerve to hit 11 points in a row and steer Steelers to victory.

Matt Patterson was at his best with 31 points for Consett Steelers, mcNeaney and Garry Gowans added 15 and 11. Smailes, Burdis and Rob Taylor all netted double figures for Old Houghtonians with 16, 12 and 10 points respectively.

Belmont had to dig deep to maintain their 100 per cent record in the best of the week's third division games which gave them a 69-65 win at Stockton against Teesside Huskies.

The middle half of the game belonged to Belmont, scored 36-21 in their favour and won them the spoils as the third break was reached with them 52-40 up and in control. Reno Raftopolous was at the heart of a strong Huskies finish, but it was too little and too late.

Mark Elderkin was the Belmont match winner with 25 points as David Waldock also got 10. Daniel Cooper and Raftopolous hit 24 and 20 of the points which Huskies scored.

Specsavers Wear Valley Warriors were much too good for Durham Knights as every one of their players hit points in a 70-41 triumph. Four of those players did hit double figures; Ian Bunnett (18), Phil Holliday (12), Alan Scott (11) and James Anderson (10) as Warriors reached half-time 29-15 ahead and upped the pressure to win the second half 41-26.

Mike Aherne and Jamie Glen replied with 14 and 10 for Durham Knights.

Belmont also managed to fit in a 90-56 division three cup success against Specsavers Wear Valley Wizards as three-pointers from Mark Elderkin added to good work from Liam Haggerty, Stephen Orr and Craig McManus netted them a 24 point unanswered spell and a 30-6 cushion by the end of the first quarter and basically that was that.

Mark Elderkin topped the scoring for Belmont with 23 points, Orr and Waldock also hit double figures with 14 and 13 points each. Three players did manage double figures for Wear Valley Wizards; Michael Hall (14), Ian Hirst (12) and Mathew Waggott (10).

Results, week seven, beginning October 27 - Division One: Middlesbrough College Academy A 100 University of Teesside 84 ; Middlesbrough Mavericks 75 Nissan 83 ; Norton 95 Willington Wasps 84.

Division Two: Old Houghtonians 59 Consett Steelers 72 ; Trimdon Community College Association 101 Hartlepool CJ Hydraulics A 77.

Division Three: Specsavers Wear Valley Warriors 70 Durham Knights 41 ; Teesside Huskies 65 Belmont 69 ; Durham Knights 59 East Durham and Houghall College B 67.

Division Three Cup: Belmont 90 Specsavers Wear Valley Wizards 56.

Division Three

P W L Pts

Belmont 5 5 0 15

ED and H College C 4 4 0 12

Wear Valley Warriors 4 3 1 10

Hartlepool CJ Hydraulics B 5 2 3 9

Teesside Huskies 5 2 3 8

Durham Knights 3 2 1 7

Young Houghtonians 5 0 5 4

Wear Valley Wizards 5 0 5