THE Essex Leopards moved to within touching distance of a place in the National Trophy quarter-finals as they hammered Worthing Thunder 90-64 at the Basildon Sporting Village on Sunday.

Carl Josey led the scoring with 18 points during an impressive individual display.

But the guard took more pleasure from the result than his own pleasing performance.

“I just do what I have to do and it’s getting the results that are most important,” said Josey “Our defence was superb and we all played hard.

“It was a good all-round team performance and we have a great chance of going through now.

“However, we want to try to secure a top-two finish in our group because that would mean we would be at home in the next round and that’s very much the aim, so we will be working hard to win at Hemel Storm this weekend.”

Leopards are currently third in their group after leading right from the start of the game against Thunder at the weekend.

Josey led the way for the Big Cats with an 18 point haul, 12 rebound double-double and also added five assists.

Simon Cummings had eight assists to go with his 14 points, while Taner Adu also finished on 14 points. But the victory came just 24 hours after an 88-83 defeat at the Leicester Warriors, also in the National trophy.

And that frustrated Josey.

“We let them beat us in the second period really and that’s disappointing,” said the 25-year-old.

“We did get some momentum back but the refs weren’t the greatest and things didn’t really go our way.

“However, we took our frustration out on Worthing and played much better in that game, so we feel things are starting to come together now and the morale is good again.”

Greg Hernandez led the scoring for Leopards on his competitive debut with 22 points while Josey bagged 21 and Adu 15. Leopards are back in action on Saturday when they travel to Hemel Storm, tip-off 7pm.