Thames Valley v Newcastle highlights penultimate weekend of D2M action

With Ipswich already in the clubhouse and done for the regular season, 6 other clubs will join them after this weekend as we edge ever nearer to the finish line. With 6 games on tap, there’s still plenty to be settled across the D2M standings as the lines between success and failure get thinner all the time. We’ll cover each game in full as well as providing the score of the previous game that teams have played this season. With the primary tie breaker between two sides being their head to head record (including points difference) between each other over the 2 fixtures in a season, teams are not only looking to win but also secure any potential tiebreakers should two sides be equal on points come the end of the regular season.

Thames Valley Cavaliers (17-3) v Team Newcastle University (18-2)

A huge game not just for standing but also for securing the head to head record, the hosts have the most to do in this one after losing in Newcastle by 8 last month. These teams met in last season’s Division 3 playoff final and with promotion to D1M on the line for this Sunday, the stakes keep getting higher. Martelle McLemore and Philip Perre combined for 45 points that day at the National Basketball Performance Centre, but Team Newcastle are a different proposition this season. Richard Austin and Roman Nelson are genuine game winners surrounded by a strong roster. With the possibility of leapfrogging their rivals and grabbing 1st place, can the Cavs get it done? Or will Team Newcastle take another huge step towards the D2M title?

Previous meeting – Team Newcastle University 74 v 66 Thames Valley Cavaliers

Martelle McLemore and Thames Valley are no strangers to a late season fight with Team Newcastle - Mansoor Ahmed

Doncaster Danum Eagles (6-14) v Tees Valley Mohawks (8-13)

The recent form of Doncaster and Liverpool has meant that London Greenhouse Pioneers have been dragged down into the mix at bottom of the table. Doncaster have been solid at home in the last month, knocking off both London Westside and Ipswich, so there is hope in this one for the Eagles who can still beat the drop. Their game at home to the Pioneers next week could end up being a relegation decider.

Tees Valley suffered a hammering last time out in Derbyshire, they’ll be hoping for a few reinforcements after being thin on the ground in that game. The race to secure 7th and 8th is still tight and the North East side can’t afford to drop more points if they are going to make the post season.

Previous meeting – Tees Valley Mohawks 92 v 78 Doncaster Danum Eagles

London Greenhouse Pioneers (7-13) v London Westside (10-10)

This one matters a whole lot for both sides. For the hosts, they need to pick up points to stay in front of Liverpool and Doncaster and put some pressure on the Mohawks and Arrows in case they drop points. A loss would mean that with 1 game left, their season finale with Doncaster could be a head to head decider between those 2 teams for D2M survival.

London Westside know a lot about their own future right now. 2 wins to end the season will be good for a 4th place finish and a home tie against Ipswich to start the playoffs. A loss here though confirms the outcome of failing to catch Ipswich in 4th, but also brings into play the possibility of falling behind Nottingham in 6th as well. Currently tied on 20 points each, the Hoods own the head to head so Westside need at least 2 points, and maybe more, to finish the season. Stakes are high in the capital this weekend!

Previous meeting – London Westside 57 v 75 London Greenhouse Pioneers

Newham Neptunes (4-17) v Liverpool (7-14)

With Newham already relegated, they can still have a big say in who potentially goes down with them. The good news for Liverpool is that their destiny is in their own hands. A win here and the Merseyside outfit will be safe as they can’t be relegated in either a 5, 4 or 3 way tie down near the bottom if they make it to 16 points. If everyone somehow wins out and it’s both Doncaster and Liverpool finish on 16 points, that goes to Liverpool and they’re safe there to. A loss to Newham here though, well that’s a completely different set of complications!

Previous meeting – Liverpool 90 v 74 Newham Neptunes

Nottingham Hoods (10-11) v Kent Crusaders (16-3)

The Hoods have a very tough match up to finish the season but with the motivator of a potential 5th place finish, they’ll be raring to go in this one. Unfortunately for the hosts though, the Crusaders have their own motivators in play; potential promotion to D1M and the possibility of winning the league. Knowing that one team must lose between Thames Valley and Newcastle on Sunday, Kent will continue to be in the thick of things with a win. 6th place is already confirmed for Nottingham and that is a nice thing to have in the bank, but they’d love to grab something a little more appealing with just 1 more W.

Previous meeting – Kent Crusaders 74 v 55 Nottingham Hoods

Thames Valley Cavaliers (17-3) v Killamarsh Derbyshire Arrows (8-13)

2 home games on the weekend, the goals for the Cavs is simply. Winning both will mean a 19-3 record that will put them top of the D2M standings with their regular season complete. Team Newcastle’s 1 remaining game is against Kent, it’s no sure thing that they make it to 19 wins. Thames Valley’s match up with Newcastle really can’t be understated (especially with head to head factored in), but this fixture won’t be a gimmie. The Arrows have sprung some surprises on the road this season, topping both Ipswich and London Westside.  Plus they won by 49 last time out, that’s always good for the confidence.

Previous meeting – Killamarsh Derbyshire Arrows 68 v 91 Thames Valley Cavaliers