With one of the busier weekend of the D1W season upon us, the league standings should be much clearer once this weekend is completed. With just 14 games left on the season as a whole, getting 7 of those out of the way by Monday morning will make a big difference to the table. With battles taking place across the division, 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.
An important fixture at both ends of the table, both teams need a win in this one. For Solent, they need to win out and the D1W title will be theirs. With a tough trip to Barking on the cards for Sunday, the Kestrels need to make sure they take care with this one and give Lancashire their full attention. For the Spinners, they are so close to potential D1W survival. After an absolute gift last weekend when Anglia Ruskin forfeited their game with the Spinners 20-0, that result gives the Lancashire side the head to head between the two teams. Now all they need to do is match Ruskin come the end of the season and they’ll be safe. With 3 games to go, this battle is far from over.
Previous meeting – Lancashire Spinners 36 v 77 Team Solent Kestrels
With Julie Page out of the lineup, Lancashire have had to rely on younger players like Chloe Wright in recent weeks - Myerscough College
On paper, this is Solent’s most difficult game between now and the end of the season. With Barking in pole position to secure 4th place and a home tie in the 1st round of the playoffs, they’re going to be playing hard down the stretch to make sure that doesn’t slip away. Solent did manage to handle Barking when the two sides met on the South Coast back at the end of January, but BA have gone 4-1 since that game and are in good form right now.
Previous meeting – Team Solent Kestrels 65 v 52 Barking Abbey UEL
We may have said that Lancashire just need to match Anglia Ruskin to stay up, we never said it would be easy. An incredibly difficult weekend for the Spinners sees them follow up a visit to Solent on Saturday with a trip to Southwark. No travelling side has won in either of those venues this season, so don’t expect an upset here. Lancashire’s best chance is their final game of the season against Bristol Flyers.
No team has more games remaining than Southwark and they should be able to win all 4 without too much trouble. With home games against Lancashire, Exeter and Reading, their only real test should be a trip to Essex on the final day of the season. Even if the Pride do win out, they still need Solent to slip up somewhere if they’re going to move in and grab the D1W title.
Previous meeting – Lancashire Spinners 71 v 76 Southwark Pride
Another fun quirk of the schedule, these 2 sides are going to lock horns twice in as many days. On Saturday, the Flyers will be the hosts before both sides hit the road to match up in Loughborough 24 hours later. With Charnwood still cemented into that #3 seed, they’re going to stay there barring a huge blip in form from Southwark. Bristol can still make moves up the table though despite not owning the head to head with 4th placed Barking. At a minimum, the Flyers should be looking to finish the season strong and hang on to 5th place. That could be tricky though with these 2 games against the Riders.
Previous meeting – 1st game this season.
Looking to capitalise on any mistakes by the Flyers, Essex need to get themselves in front of Bristol as the head to head isn’t in their favour. With 1 of their remaining 3 games being against Southwark, the Blades really do need to win their other 2 fixtures and hope that Bristol falter twice against Charnwood. Reading are still fighting for a playoff position but finish the season with some tough games. At home here against Essex, the Rockets host the Riders next week before traveling to Southwark the week after. That is a difficult run in for a team with 1 win in 11.
Previous meeting – Essex Blades 66 v 47 Reading Rockets
The 1st team to complete their fixtures this season, Anglia Ruskin know a win here would be huge for their playoff hopes. It’s all or nothing though as a loss would mean Anglia Ruskin can’t finish above Reading due to the head to head and they’d finish at least 2 points behind Bristol Storm. A more pressing concern should be staying ahead of Lancashire below them, but Ruskin may have fallen lucky with the Spinners brutal fixtures to end the season.
It’s a similar story for the Storm here to. With just 2 games to go, Bristol travel to Solent to end their season and that will be a tough game to get points from. 2 losses to finish the year will mean the Storm are out of the playoffs as they don’t own the head to head with Reading either. This game really is win and you’re in stuff.
Previous meeting – Anglia Ruskin University 56 v 44 Bristol Storm