British Wheelchair Basketball National League Review: January 2019
Wakefield Whirlwinds, Jaguars, South West Warriors and Northern Ireland have all topped their respective junior league tables which means that their chances have increased of advancing to the Elite 8’s in April. RGK Tees Valley Titans, Aces, Thames Valley Kings and London Allstars all finished in second place.
North Wales Knights have had ups and downs in the North to start the new year as they beat table toppers RGK Tees Valley Titans III (45-31) in their first match back but then lost to them (43-35) a few weeks later. Knights were also in action against North East Warriors and were victorious (54-35) whereas Titans III faced Vikings and beat them (60-23.) Warriors lost in a close game versus Manchester Mavericks II (37-34) however, they did manage to beat Bolton Bulls (50-23.) The Bulls also suffered a (64-31) loss to Wakefield Whirlwinds II whilst Vikings picked up a massive (50-18) win over Calerdale and so did the Whirlwinds (49-22.)
Wolverhampton caused a shocking upset in the Central league as they broke the undefeated streak of Birmingham Phoenix (65-54) as well as also picking up a (48-27) victory over Derby Wheelblazers who also lost to Stoke Spitfires (56-22.) Despite the shocking loss, Birmingham were able to regroup as they beat Leicester Cobras II (62-25.) The Cobras also lost to a strong Bears III team (57-23.) Whereas Spitfires secured back-to-back wins over RGK Tees Valley Titans IIII (31-23) and (50-25.)
Swansea Storm have been successful in the South West this month as they came out on top in games against Hampshire Harriers (56-48) and Thames Valley Kings II (52-24.) Kings II also fell short against Cardiff Met Archers (40-34) who are now 5-0 this season. CWBA III have yet to get their momentum back as they lost to Harriers twice (40-26) and (43-33) and also to Worcester Wolves (58-36.)
Brixton Ballers have stuck to their winning ways in the South East as they beat SportAble Rockets (64-14) and had a close game with London Titans IIII ending (49-43.) Titans IIII were also heavily beaten by Frenford Falcons (71-32.) Blackhawks II have had a mixed bag of results this month as they came up short versus Tornados II (39-28) but picked up a (52-12) win over Brunel Bulls who also lost (48-18) to the High Rollers.
The clash between the two Southern table toppers happened this month between Thames Valley Kings I and The Bears II and it was the Kings who came out on top (61-56) however, shockingly their undefeated streak would be broken a few weeks later by London Titans III who beat them (58-54) in a nail-biting game. The Bears would also beat Aces (63-25) only for Aces to pick themselves back up by defeating Norwich Lowriders (66-32.) Sparrows were unable to overcome Sussex Bears and lost (62-35) but did secure a narrow (46-40) win over Plymouth Raiders who also picked up a narrow victory over London Titans III (47-44.)
Lancaster Bulldogs have now gone 6-0 this season in the North with hefty wins over Jaguars II (67-33) and Newcastle Eagles (71-38.) Eagles continued to suffer loss after loss (71-37) to North Wales Knights I and (76-35) to Wakefield Whirlwinds I who also beat Jags (71-23.) North Wales were victorious in both matches against RGK Tees Valley Titans II (42-38) and (55-47.) Sheffield Steelers IIII saw of Wakefield Whirlwinds I (58-51) in a Yorkshire derby.
There were no Division 1 North fixtures this month.
In the South, London Titans II have been on a roll in the South having picked up victories over Sheffield Steelers III (54-44) and twice against Swindon Shock (73-32) and (88-25.) However, Steelers III recovered after securing a massive (77-34) win over CWBA II. Tornados I have also been victorious over Blackhawks I (53-43) and Leicester Cobras I (43-42.) Cobras also lost to the undefeated Exeter Otters (56-36) who now go 8-0 this season.
Sheffield Steelers maintained their position at the top of the league after wins over London Titans (61-45) and CWBA (84-51.) Whereas The OWLS claimed victories over RGK Tees Valley Titans (81-15), The Bears (71-33) and London Titans (86-51) ahead of their IWBF Champions League campaign starting this Friday.
Text: Dylan Cummings | Photo: Dave Dunbar