TWO of Ellesmere Port’s leading basketball players went head to head in Britain’s top-flight league on Sunday.

Phil Brandreth, the 27-year-old Cheshire Jets stalwart who took up the game at Whitby High School, faced Josh McGinn, the 19-year-old former Ellesmere Port Catholic High student who has signed this season for the Mersey Tigers.

The BBL Championship match, played at the Northgate Arena in Chester, saw the Jets run out 88-64 winners over the Tigers in front of a capacity crowd.

Despite ending up on the losing side, McGinn impressed in a Tigers team that showed heart and determination.

“I thought we played well,” he said.

“I was happy with my performance but it’s only game two of the season and we will continue to improve.”

Jets coach James Hamilton hailed Brandreth as an unsung hero of his team.

He said: “I was proud of Phil. He does all the things the stat sheet doesn’t see and you need those kind of players on your team.”

Hamilton also gave another player from Ellesmere Port – youngster Niel Gillard – a taste of the action from the bench.

The coach said: “Niel will play a lot of minutes because he is my only back-up for Gabe (Haskins) and he has matured a lot as a player. He has really impressed me.”