L Lynch Trophy groups confirmed ahead of weekend start

The group stage of the inaugural L Lynch Trophy has been announced and there will be 24 high-quality games for basketball fans to watch online over three weekends. 

The competition sees all 14 NBL Division One clubs, together with invited academy sides Myerscough and Charnwood, competing in four regional groups of four. Playing each other once, the top two sides in each group will progress to the quarter-finals. 

All games in the group stage will be played in central bubbles and will be livestreamed. 

"We're delighted to introduce the L Lynch Trophy at part of our campaign to improve the profile of Division One," said Loughborough Riders' MD Russell Levenson, who represents the top-flight clubs on the Basketball England working group along with Thames Valley Cavaliers' Robert Banks and Dave Ryan of Oaklands Wolves. 

"Our partnership with L Lynch is exciting for us and we hope that the competition will help get basketball back in front of supporters after the problems Covid-19 has caused." 

How the four groups look 

Group one will be hosted by Solent Kestrels at their impressive new venue and will see the all-conquering Division One and National Cup champions joined by old rivals Worthing Thunder along with BA London Lions and division new-boys Essex Rebels. 

Oaklands Wolves have a top-flight team for the first time following their merger with one of the most famous names in the British games, Leopards, and the St Albans-based side will host Group Two. They will be joined by neighbours Hemel Storm along with local rivals Reading Rockets and Thames Valley Cavaliers. 

Midlands pride is on the line in Group Three as Loughborough Riders host Nottingham Hoods and Leicester Warriors along with D2 side Charnwood who will be looking to cause an upset. 

Myerscough will stage Group Four, and they will be joined by Division Two champions Newcastle, Bradford Dragons and Derby Trailblazers. 

The group stages will be played over three weekends, the 10/11, 17/18 and 24/25 October. Livestreaming links and details of the opening weekend of games will be announced on Friday.