NBL Division Two Preview - Week 19 (8/9 February 2020)

With more four teams pulling double-headers this weekend, week 19 contains 12 D2M games as the race for the post season continues to heat up. 

Game of the week

Derbyshire Arrows (8-6) v Myerscough College (9-2)

Our game of the week contains one of those double-header teams as we focus on Myerscough's trip to Derbyshire Arrows on Sunday.

Making up games following a deep run to the semi-finals of the National Cup, Myerscough have played fewer fixtures than any team in the Northern Conference. If they win their games in hand, they can pull level with current leaders Team Newcastle University, giving Myerscough extra incentive as they play catch up.

The Arrows are within touching distance of tomorrow's opponents and beating them would further strengthen Derbyshire's claim to a playoff spot. Owners of a modest three game winning streak after victories against Manchester, Derbyshire Spartans and Sheffield Hallam, the Arrows will also be looking to capitalise on Myerscough's one point loss in the U18 National Cup final last weekend. A number of that side also play in D2M, meaning coach Neal Hopkins will need to get his players back up to speed as soon as possible this weekend.

Elsewhere in D2M

Myerscough open their weekend with a tricky trip to face 6th place University of Chester (7-5), who have won 4 games on the bounce including a victory over current Conference leaders Newcastle.

Manchester Magic (9-4) are another Northern team set for a busy weekend as they entertain playoff rivals Charnwood College Riders (8-5) on Saturday evening before taking a trip to play Derbyshire Spartans (5-8) on Sunday.

There's a top v bottom clash in the North East as leaders Team Newcastle (12-2) play host to a Sheffield Hallam University (0-12) side still looking for their first win of the season.

In the Northern Conference's only other game, Bristol Hurricanes (2-11) take on Team Birmingham Elite (5-8). After a slow start to the year, the Hurricanes won back to back games either side of the mid-season break but have since gone off the boil with three straight losses. Winless in their last three games as well, Birmingham aren't faring much better but someone will pick up a valuable win tomorrow.

Southern Conference leaders Essex Rebels (11-2) continue their campaign against bottom side Sussex Bears (2-10), having won their last six games. With just five games left in their schedule, regular season success still lies squarely in their own hands.

Ipswich (9-3) lead the chasing pack behind the Rebels, and they'll look to keep the pressure on with a win on the road against BC Medelynas London (9-4). With a game against Essex still to play, Ipswich will want to win every game they can between now and that return meeting.

Greenwich Titans (5-8) play host to one of the Southern Conference's double header teams on Saturday, with 9th place Cardiff Met Archers (3-9) heading to the Capital. The Archers will stay in London for Sunday's fixture as well, that's against East London All Stars (4-5). The All Stars begin their own double-header with a local derby, heading across town to play against a familiar foe in London Westside (6-5).

The Southern Conference schedule is wrapped up by a clash between two sides scrapping for potential playoff places as Team Solent Kestrels II (4-8) in 8th take on 4th place London Greenhouse Pioneers (6-5). Both these teams feature former D2M Players of the Week in Yonathan Napoleon (Greenhouse) and Ashley Williams (Solent), with both men already enjoying a 50 point or better performance this season.

Full fixtures and stats

Saturday 8 February

3:00pm - Greenwich Titans v Cardiff Met Archers - LIVE STATS
3:00pm - London Greenhouse Pioneers v Team Solent Kestrels II - LIVE STATS
4:00pm - Essex Rebels v Sussex Bears - LIVE STATS
5:30pm - Bristol Hurricanes v Team Birmingham Elite - LIVE STATS
6:00pm - University of Chester v Myerscough College - LIVE STATS
6:00pm - London BC Medelynas v Ipswich - LIVE STATS
6:15pm - London Westside v East London All Stars - LIVE STATS
6:30pm - Manchester Magic v Charnwood College Riders - LIVE STATS
7:00pm - Team Newcastle University v Sheffield Hallam University - LIVE STATS

Sunday 9 February

1:30pm - East London All Stars v Cardiff Met Archers - LIVE STATS
4:15pm - Derbyshire Arrows v Myerscough College - LIVE STATS
5:00pm - Derbyshire Spartans v Manchester Magic - LIVE STATS