A BRAVE effort by Paul Smith's Cheshire Jets was not enough to overcome the dominance of the Sheffield Sharks as Atiba Lyons' side booked their place in the BBL Cup final against Mersey Tigers with another commanding display.
Trailing by 22 points after getting off to a slow start in the first leg at the Northgate Arena, the Jets never quite got into gear to launch the comeback they needed against the robust Sharks.
Matt Schneck was too hot to handle for the Sharks earlier in the season and it seems that despite his rookie status, his influence is sorely missed as the Jets suddenly find themselves struggling to contain their title rivals.
Whether the balance of the side has been affected, it seems Smith may not be able to give replacement centre Jason Killeen the benefit of any more time to get up to speed if the Jets are not to lose more momentum in the BBL Championship race before the Christmas break.
The Jets didn't win a period until the third at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield, a stat that meant they had lost the previous six periods of play over two legs.
It was in the third that they rallied and gave the travelling fans some slim hope as they won the period 37-16 but by then they trailed 70-63 and faced a battle to win by 23 points to secure their final berth.
Once more it was Jeremy Bell and Quemont Greer that offered the Jets optimism. Greer scored a game-high 29 points and Bell added 22 of his own but the Sharks have a deep squad and they spread the work out while the Jets held with a tight rotation that, when everyone is firing, is tough to beat.
But there was not enough scoring support from the rest of the team and with only 27% of shots from outside the arc successful and 34 rebounds made to the Sharks 52, there was only going to be one winner.
Fortunately for Smith his side have not got long to dwell on their exit form the cup as they travel to Glasgow for their first meeting with Glasgow Rocks on Sunday in the BBL Championship, which is now the Jets' sole focus.