The Friday Preview
17th March 2017
With several of the Super 8 sides playing against the England Juniors in the Challenge Series, there are just five Super 8 league fixtures to be played this weekend.
The sole men’s fixture – an all-London affair on Saturday with London Lynx travelling to play Malory Eagles – stands out as the game of the weekend and it could be a fraught affair.
With Solent already relegated, Malory currently occupy the relegation play-off spot. However, a win over 5th placed Lynx in their final fixture of the season would see them jump to potential safety. In doing so, another capital team – London Docklands – would drop to 7th and would be left needing something from their final match (vs IBB Polonia next weekend) to avoid the play-off.
A big win for Malory could even see Lynx themselves dragged into the play-off scramble, ahead of their final fixture, away at Sheffield Hallam.
In the Women’s Super 8, the all-conquering Team Northumbria are in action twice on Saturday when they host the division’s two bottom sides. Winless City of Salford are up first at 13:00, followed by Team South Wales at 17:30. If the hosts can take the maximum six points available, they will go to the top of the table with enough of a gap to keep Team Durham behind them should they manage to beat Team South Wales on Sunday.
In the remaining fixture, 4th placed Pulsepoint London Orcas host 5th placed Tendring on Sunday with a mid-table finish already guaranteed for both sides.
Dropping down to Women’s Div 1, unbeaten Birmingham welcome Malory Eagles on Sunday, knowing that a win would put them within a whisker of securing promotion. The hosts made it 11 wins from 11 last weekend when they dispatched Herts 3-1.
On the same day but at the other end of the table, there’s the archetypal six-pointer as 8th placed Herts entertain 7th placed Worthing. If the home side can conjure up their first win of the season, they will move off the bottom and into the relegation play-off spot at Worthing’s expense, with just two fixtures apiece remaining.
Over in Men’s Div 1, Cardiff Celts can reclaim 2nd place from Richmond if they can win at 8th placed Northumbria / Middlesbrough Academy on Saturday. With just three fixtures remaining (including a possible last-day crunch game at home to Richmond), fourth placed Tendring will likely need to win at Leeds this Sunday to stay in the play-off hunt.
Looking back at last week’s highlighted matches, Polonia SideOut London took a firm grip on a top three spot in the Women’s Super 8 when they beat Team South Wales 3-0. New Forest triumphed 15-11 in a five set thriller against City of Bristol to climb to second place in Men’s Div 2 South.
In Men’s Div 3 Central, Cambridge and Anglia Ruskin emerged with two 3-1 victories in the big triangular of the weekend, firing themselves up onto the shoulders of the current top two, Norwich Spikers and Ipswich. Meanwhile in Women’s Div 3 North, Leeds bagged two 3-0 wins to all but secure the league title.
Sadly, two of the weekend’s other big fixtures – Wessex at London Aces in Men’s Div 2 South and Black Country 1 at Richmond in Men’s Div 1 – were both cancelled at short notice.