WORCESTER Wolves played well in spells in interim head coach Tony Garbelotto’s first match in charge but not quite well enough to secure a win.

Title-challenging Newcastle Eagles came to the University of Worcester Arena boosted by the return of their leading scorer Victor Moses.

Wolves had to cope without two of their mainstays — injured forward Deshawn Freeman and Miki Servera serving out a one-match suspension.

After falling into an early double-digit deficit the hosts fought back to nudge into a 54-52 lead just after half-time before Newcastle finished the stronger to take a 103-92 success.

Six minutes into the evening Eagles were already 19-7 ahead when Worcester student Daniel Johnson-Thompson joined the action to reject a Moses attack and then lay in his own shot.

One of a quartet of first-half three-pointers from former Wolves forward Jamal Williams maintained a tidy 33-19 advantage for the visitors before a second-quarter comeback commenced.

Darell Combs swept to a swift six points, Lester Prosper began to have an effect close to the hoop and Newcastle were hustled out of their earlier efficiency.

Adam Thoseby accepted a long Jordan Whelan assist to reduce the arrears to 46-39 and returned the favour when finding Whelan in the corner of the court to sink a triple.

Baskets from Combs on either side of the half-time interval finally edged his team 51-50 ahead.

Midway through the third period it was all level at 56-56 though Eagles had regained the upper hand at 71-63 entering the last quarter.

Newcastle’s momentum carried them forward into a dominant 88-70 advantage with five minutes remaining.

A late scoring burst from Robert Crawford gave respectability to the final scoreline.

Combs and Crawford led the scoring with 24 and 21 points respectively.

Whelan and Prosper notched 17 points apiece with the latter also grabbing 11 rebounds.

Moses led the way for Newcastle with 21 points supported by Williams on 19.

Though disappointed at the defeat Garbelotto took encouragement from aspects of the performance, saying: “We played pretty hard, especially after a lacklustre first quarter.

"We really picked it up in the second and third quarters before making some silly mistakes that allowed Newcastle to wrestle the momentum away from us.

“We didn’t have two of our main guys, Deshawn and Miki, and Alex Navajas got injured right at the start of the game. Overall I’m encouraged.”

Wolves are quickly back into action today at Manchester Giants (5pm).

The match will be the opening fixture for Manchester’s new venue — the George Carnall Sports Centre in Urmston.

“I’ll be absolutely distraught if we can’t win today,” added Garbelotto.

“We’ve got a lot of confidence. Miki will be back and hopefully Alex will be ready to play.

"If we play like we did on Friday night we have a great chance to win the game.”