Nine games took place during Week 15 in D1M, as well as a fixture in the National Cup. We've got a full recap of all the weekend's action.
The prospect of an unbeaten season for Team Solent Kestrels looms ever larger after local rivals Worthing succumbed to a 98-76 scire line this weekend.
A 27-7 opening blast for the hosts put Worthing on the back foot almost immediately, with former Thunder captain Brendan Okoronkwo in particular looking sharp in the early going. The Solent lead peaked at 37 points late in the 3rd quarter, highlighting the dominance from Coach Guymon's side, before the Kestrels eased to the final buzzer.
Okoronkwo finished with a 17 point, 16 rebound double-double as Ian Smith top scored on 19 points to go with eight assists. Cam Hildreth led the way for Worthing with a game high 21 points.
A loss for Worthing was capitalised upon by Hemel Storm as they routed Nottingham Hoods 125-87 on Sunday. Greg Poleon continues to contribute well following the departure of fellow big Lee Hodges, the American had a 24 point, 10 rebound double-double come the final buzzer.
Fellow high flyers Thames Valley Cavaliers pulled off a big road win against fellow playoff hopefuls Reading Rockets, coming out on top 100-81. The Rockets are still trying to find a replacement for American AJ Carr after losing the forward to a long term injury, but the Cavs had all the answers this weekend thanks to 23 points a piece from Blayne Freckleton and Taylor Johnson.
Two of the teams in double header action started the weekend playing each other as Nottingham hosted Reading, with the visiting Rockets claiming victory 97-67. Liam Davis enjoyed 20 points for the visitors, as Demetrius Houston scored 31 for the Hoods in defeat.
Barking Abbey grabbed a vital win on Saturday in their quest to avoid potential relegation, beating fellow strugglers Westminster Warriors 75-65. Five different players all made it into double digits for BA as part of a balanced offensive game plan, led by 15 points from centre Theo Hughes.
Coach Vear's side couldn't make it two wins from two on the weekend though as they fell 81-73 at home to Worthing. Picking themselves up after defeat to the Kestrels, the Thunder enjoyed 27 points in a full 40 minutes from Alex Owumi to turn a 37-31 half time lead into eventual victory.
Barking's Saturday success was made all the more valuable following defeats for both Essex and Liverpool. The Leopards went down to a 79-53 loss at home to Loughborough, and Liverpool came up short 119-66 on the road in Derby. Ollie Stanley had a 27 point, 10 rebound double-double for the Trailblazers, and Harrison Gamble enjoyed 16 points for the Riders as both players powered their sides to victory.
Finally, Bradford strengthened their claim for a playoff spot as they beat Leicester Warriors 84-77. David Walsh and Ricky Fetske both scored 19 points for the Dragons as six different players scored 10 or more for the hosts. TJ Henderson and Martyn Gayle had 21 for the Warriors.
The semi-final line up for the Men's National Cup is now set following Myerscough's 71-62 win over Westminster Warriors. The results ensures a presence from outside the top flight remains in the competition, though the North West side are the only D2 side left in contention.
Lewis McGlasson continued his strong form this season to finish with a game high 24 points, helping the hosts to a 43-35 half time lead that they'd never relinquish.
Jon Johnson top scored for the Warriors with 20 points.
Myerscough join Reading Rockets, Loughborough Riders and Team Solent Kestrels in the semi-finals, with the Riders looking to defend their crown from 2019.
5:30pm - Westminster Warriors 65-75 Barking Abbey STATS
5:45pm - Essex & Herts Leopards 53-79 Loughborough Riders STATS
6:00pm - Team Solent Kestrels 98-76 Worthing Thunder STATS
6:15pm - Bradford Dragons 84-77 Leicester Warriors STATS
7:00pm - Nottingham McDonald’s Hoods 67-97 Reading Rockets STATS
7:15pm - Derby Trailblazers 119-66 Liverpool STATS
2:00pm - Barking Abbey 73-81 Worthing Thunder STATS
5:00pm - Reading Rockets 81-100 Thames Valley Cavaliers STATS
5:00pm - Nottingham McDonald’s Hoods 87-125 Hemel Storm STATS
National Cup - 1:30pm - Myerscough College 71-62 Westminster Warriors
Six games fill the slate for week 16, highlighted by a Midlands derby between Nottingham Hoods and Leicester Warriors in Sunday's only match up.
Saturday sees a number of the division's leading sides hitting the road, with Worthing travelling to Derby, Barking entertaining Solent, Liverpool hosting Thames Valley and Hemel taking a trip to Westminster.
Elsewhere, Essex & Herts Leopards will look to grab their 2nd win of the season as they welcome Bradford Dragons.
Main image credit - Luke Simcock