Only Bristol Storm stand in the way of Solent Kestrels claiming D1W title

With the regular season reaching its final full weekend, only 2 games will remain on the schedule after this Saturday. That means a lot of battles will be concluded up and down the table. With so few games left on the season, we’ll cover the best and worst case scenarios for each team this weekend 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.

Team Solent Kestrels (18-1) v Bristol Storm (6-13)

Team Solent’s best case scenario: Beating Bristol will mean that Solent are crowned as the 2016/17 D1W champions. Owning the head to head with Southwark, a tie at the top on 19 wins and 38 points will suit the Kestrels just fine. Playing this game at home will also be a big help, no team has travelled to Solent and won this season.

Team Solent’s worst case scenario: A loss would open the door for Southwark to win out and claim the D1W title themselves. It’s a straightforward equation for the Kestrels.

Bristol Storm’s best case scenario: A complicated one, a playoff place is still within Bristol’s grasp but it will be a tough. A win here and Bristol could still pip Reading to 8th place. A win and a 3-way tie on 14 points would also see Bristol into the playoffs. If Bristol lose, they could still make the post season but only if Lancashire, Bristol and Reading all tie on 12 points. That mini table would put Bristol into the post season. A straight tie with Reading on 12 points is no use to Bristol as they don’t control the head to head. See, we told you it was complicated!

Bristol Storm’s worst case scenario: Bristol own the head to head with Lancashire, so relegation isn’t an option with a loss. Failure to win will mean that the playoffs are quite likely off the table though, so it’ll be an early end to the season and a 9th place finish.

Previous meeting – Bristol Storm 49 v 52 Team Solent Kestrels

Solent Head Coach CJ Lee has managed to get his side to within 1 game of claiming the D1W title - Mansoor Ahmed

Southwark Pride (16-1) v Exeter Eagles (0-19)

Southwark Pride’s best case scenario: Winning out for the Pride coupled with a loss for Solent in their final league game of the season will send the D1W title to Southwark. It requires help from elsewhere, but all the Pride can do is hold up their end of the bargain and keep their fingers crossed.

Southwark Pride’s worst case scenario: Watching Solent seal a win against Bristol will mean that Southwark’s title challenge is over. A loss for the Pride here would do the same thing, but that isn’t likely to happen. Really, all eyes are on Solent from a Southwark perspective.

Exeter Eagles’ best case scenario: With attention turning to the process over results for the Eagles some time ago, the best thing that Exeter can hope from this game is that their players continue to develop from the experience they are being presented with.

Exeter Eagles’ worst case scenario: With 3 forfeits already on the season, Exeter are on thin ice already. With the team now on -4 points for the season, the Eagles need to get their players out on the court in this one regardless of the final score.

Previous meeting – Exeter Eagles 33 v 76 Southwark Pride

Lancashire Spinners (5-14) v Bristol Academy Flyers (11-8)

Lancashire Spinners’ best case scenario: With 1 game to go, the best that Lancashire can do is a tie with Bristol Storm or Reading on 12 points. The Spinners don’t own the head to head with either of those teams and a 3-way tie would still see Lancashire finishing in 10th. Ending the season on a high is all the Spinners can hope for.

Lancashire Spinners’ worst case scenario: With relegation already confirmed, it doesn’t get much worse than that. Lancashire battled down the stretch and picked up 8 of their 12 points in 2017. It was too little, too late though.

Bristol Academy Flyers’ best case scenario: As Bristol don’t own the head to head with Barking, the best the Flyers can hope for is a win here and Barking slipping up away to Essex. That would hand Bristol a home tie in the 1st round of the playoffs against either Barking or Essex.

Bristol Academy Flyers’ worst case scenario: A loss tomorrow could still drop Bristol all the way down to 6th. Essex are one of the few remaining teams in the division with 2 games to play but the good news for the Flyers is they own the head to head with the Blades. A 3-way tie between Bristol, Barking and Essex would most likely see the Flyers finish in 5th.

Previous meeting – Bristol Academy Flyers 64 v 51 Lancashire Spinners

Essex Blades (10-8) v Barking Abbey UEL (11-8)

Essex Blades’ best case scenario: This game could get complicated as well! Most simply though, if Essex win their remaining 2 games and Barking and Bristol both lose their final game this weekend, the Blades will claim 4th. With this game being required to decide the head to head between Barking and Essex, it’s hard to draw too many conclusions without seeing how it plays out. A win is understandably the best outcome for Essex though.

Essex Blades’ worst case scenario: If Essex lose, 4th place will be out of sight. It would then come down to the Blades final game against Southwark next weekend to decide their final league place. As the Flyers own the head to head with Essex, those team tying come the end of the season could mean a 6th place finish. 2 losses will certainly mean a 6th place finish.

Barking Abbey’s best case scenario: Owning the head to head with Bristol, winning this weekend will confirm Barking as 4th place finishers regardless of any other results. That should be the goal for BA.

Barking Abbey’s worst case scenario: A loss for Abbey this weekend could create the possibility for a 3-way tie between the teams placed 4th-6th. That would actually drop Barking down to 6th spot, putting Essex in 4th and Bristol in 5th. Bristol and Essex winning out to close the season would also see Barking finish in 6th.

Previous meeting – Barking Abbey UEL 31 v 45 Essex Blades

Reading Rockets (6-12) v Charnwood College Riders (13-6)

Reading Rockets best case scenario: With 2 games left on their season, albeit tough ones, Reading can still finish on 16 points and leap frog Anglia Ruskin into 7th place. Reading own the head to head with Ruskin, which could be handy if the Rockets can only pick up 1 win rather than 2 to finish the season. As covered when discussing Bristol Storm, the 3 way ties in play here are complicated. A 3-way tie between Anglia Ruskin, Reading and Bristol Storm would see Reading out of the playoffs. A 3-way tie with Bristol, Reading and Lancashire would also see Reading out of the post season picture. A straight head to head with Bristol Storm would be fine though.  The Rockets should be rooting for Solent and Bristol Flyers this weekend.

Reading Rockets worst case scenario: Because of their extra game, nothing is dire for the Rockets this weekend but as that last fixture is a trip to Southwark, it’s hardly likely to yield points. Bad things are likely to happen to Reading’s playoff chances if Bristol find a way to beat Solent. If Lancashire win and bring a 3-way tie into play, that would also be bad.

Charnwood College Riders best case scenario: One of the most straight forward teams in the league, Charnwood can’t move up or down and are confirmed as the #3 seed for the playoffs. Finishing on a high with momentum will be important, Charnwood also won’t know their opponent and #6 seed until the Flyers/Barking/Essex battle plays out.

Charnwood College Riders worst case scenario: A loss is generally bad in most scenarios, but fortunately defeat won’t cost the Riders in the standings. As Charnwood are 1-4 in their last 5 games, they’re hardly roaring into the post season. They should look to rectify that this weekend.

Previous meeting – Charnwood College Riders 79 v 50 Reading Rockets