This is a new English-speaking content series which reviews the progression of teams in the British Wheelchair Basketball National League from Division 3 right up to the Premier League. This comes after the GB Men became World Champions and the GB Women won silver at the 2018 World Championships. I hope you enjoy the content.
In the North, Glasgow Rocks II top the table with a 6-1 win/loss record as they started off the season with a narrow two-point win over Wakefield Whirlwinds II (47-45) and have since gone on to prove to be a forced to be reckoned with. However, they did suffer a loss to RGK Tees Valley Titans III 41-28 as they have showed they are a threat in the division despite succumbing to North East Warriors by four points 35-31 in a north-eastern derby. Manchester Mavericks II look to be a dark horse in the division as they currently sit middle of the table.
In Central, Sheffield Steelers V (5-0) and Birmingham Phoenix (3-0) remain undefeated in their league. Steelers have been dominating teams by 20 or 30 points and likewise with Phoenix after their hiccup of a narrow two-point 39-37 win over Wolverhampton at the start of the season. The Bears III have also done well for themselves picking up three victories since the start of the season.
In the South East, the newly formed Frenford Falcons have yet to have their undefeated streak messed with as they’re currently 4-0. The same goes for Tornados II who are 3-0. However, the Essex-based team High Rollers look to be sneaking up the table as they put two dominant scores up against SportAble Rockets 78-11 and London Titans IIII 84-27.
In the South West, Cardiff Met Archers have gone 2-0 so far and look to regain promotion to Division 2. They are closely followed by Worcester Wolves who have won three out their four games played so far, with the 46-40 loss stemming from double overtime against Swansea Storm.
RGK Tees Valley Titans II have yet to suffer a loss in North claiming big wins over Lothian Phoenix (53-31) and Sheffield Steelers IIII (53-31.) Lancaster Bulldogs are also yet to be defeated as they secured a four-point victory 62-58 over North Wales Knights. Wakefield Whirlwinds (3-1) and Lothian Phoenix (4-2) have had a mixed bag of results in the opening months of the season.
The newly promoted Thames Valley Kings are 3-0 in the South, dominating against Sussex Bears and Norwich Lowriders and picking up an electric one-point win 58-57 against the Aces. The Bears II have also gone 3-0 picking up efficient wins against Lowriders, Plymouth Raiders and London Titans III.
The OWLS II (3-0) and Steelers II (2-1) maintain the top spots in the division with the OWLS II overcoming Steelers II by 11 points 61-50. A strong contender for third place is Manchester Mavericks who have a strong side despite suffering losses to OWLS II and Steelers II. Glasgow Rocks can’t be counted out either as although they got heavily beaten by OWLS II and Mavericks, they picked up a 61-17 win over Leeds Spiders and a 57-42 victory over the Jaguars.
In the South, Exeter Otters are on top by a mile going 6-0 this season with dominant wins over every team they’ve faced as they look to be a strong contender to advance into the Premier League next season, after being demoted a few years ago. London Titans II also look strong going 3-0 with convincing wins over Leicester Cobras, Tornados and Blackhawks. CWBA II have only suffered a loss to the aforementioned Exeter.
The reigning Premier League champions, Sheffield Steelers have had a successful start to the season going 3-0 with three of their players, Jim Palmer, James MacSorley and Harry Brown being current world champions as well as new signing Amy Conroy being a world silver medallist. Not to mention that power forward Tom Smith (also a new signing) has averaged around 20-25 points a game.
Premier League runners up The OWLS currently have an 0-1 record as they lost to the Steelers 68-62 in what’s being called the best game of the season so far. The rematch should certainly be interesting especially if Jack Perry has returned from injury by the 7th April.
Both CWBA and London Titans have also remained undefeated 2-0 whereas The Bears (0-2) and RGK Tees Valley Titans (0-4) are yet to pick up a win in the UK’s best league.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this article and tune back in for November’s review in a month which will also feature Women’s League and Junior League reviews.
Text: Dylan Cummings | Photo: Dave Dunbar