With the Premier Divison having teams sweating at the bottom of the tables, there’s still plenty of teams looking up and feeling good about their chances of facing them in a play-off! There’s still six divisions to discuss as the BAFA Division One North and Division One South are our focus today!
Beginning with the HNC, the champions have been crowned, as Carnegie have only seeding left to play for. They can sew up #1 from the North with a pair of wins against the Colts and Silvercats, which we expect them to pick up.
The Colts and Silvercats are locked in a tight battle for the promotional playoff place. Their series is tied at 1-1, however the Colts are above the Silvercats by a half-game, after the Aberdeen outfit drew with the Killer Bees. The Silvercats need to hope the Spartans do them a favour by defeating the Colts, while the Colts will be praying that the Sabers give them some breathing room! Both teams need perfection, but the Colts are definitely in the driving seat!
Elsewhere, the Spartans could climb above the Killer Bees in the table with a 2-0 day, but 1-1 won’t do, as they’d still be a half-game behind the Glasgow development side. The Sabers would need to do the same in order to climb. The battle between Paisley and Sabers looks likely to be the battle of the wooden spoon, as either could still finish bottom of the HNC.
Another division with its champion crowned – the Nottingham Honey Badgers have an unassailable lead over the rest of the division as they sit at 10-1. Their win over the Revolution means that if they go 2-0, they’ll be automatically promoted. Their promotion parade starts if they beat Calderdale and Sheffield Giants 2. They’ll be hoping that Carnegie slip up somewhere to in order to snatch the #1 seed, but it’s highly unlikely!
The Rooster, Knights and Giants 2 will all be playing for improved standing for the end of the year, and a potential plate spot if things go their way!
In the West, the Revolution need to do some final-week housekeeping in order to claim their division. They’ve got the Wigan Bandits 1.5 games behind them, so a win will be enough to clinch a division crown in their debut season!
The Bandits are pretty much destined for the plate competition, and won’t be caught by any team behind them. The same goes for Chorley, who’ll be keeping an eye on proceedings elsewhere to see if they’re going to the plate. That being said, they’ve got the Bandits and Revolution this weekend, so 0-2 seems likely.
The Cavaliers could jump the Oldham Owls if they defeat them – both sides figure to lose to the their other opposition on the day, so it’ll be an exciting battle to see who finishes not-bottom!
The South has three divisions also, with all three pretty much decided in terms of the winners – however final standings are still up for grbas. We’ll start with the South West.
The South West has been a division plagued with forfeits. Swindon and Plymouth have been guilty of this this year, and that has hurt the points differentials of the Trojans and Exeter. That Trojans are leading the pack at 8-0, and take on the Falcons and Celts on the final day of the year. The Falcons have been the closest thing to a challenge for the Trojans this year, amassing 6 wins and 2 losses. Dependent on what happens elsewhere, they might be getting a promotional play-off berth, but we’re guessing that the Trojans will conquer them to wrap up the division. The Falcons can get revenge on the Hammerheads, and then wait patiently for the other results. They’ll be watching the Bedford Blackhawks and Reading Knights in particular.
The Celts are locked into third, and can’t be caught, while the Buccaneers (provided they show up), the Hammerheads, and Storm (again, assuming they appear) are all in the race for who finishes bottom.
The Smoke are chasing perfection going into the final day of the season, and have the luxury of playing the two bottom sides from the conference. The Hell Hounds and Lucky R’s will be finishing bottom and second bottom no matter what happens – it’s just who can do better in their second fixture that will decide who has the indignity of finishing last. The Hell Hounds have the Ware Wolves, while the Lucky R’s will take on the Reapers.
Speaking of the Reapers, they’ve pretty much shot themselves in the foot. They’ve squandered their slender lead over the Knights, and are now 1.5 games back with two games to go. The Bucks Wolves have the same record as them, and will provide a stern test. The Wolves also could sneak into playoff contention if loads go their way, but they’ll need to go 2-0 to start. They’ve got the Reading Knights on their schedule as well, who are in prime position to advance. The Knights just need one win over the Ware Wolves to seal second place in the division.
Regardless of who finishes in second, they’ll all be hoping Beford and Exeter slip up somewhere. The Reapers have a stronger points differential, so they’re in pole position, but that could all change with one slip-up!
The South Mid division has the Titans White sitting comfortably at the top now after a strong game-week 5. It was touch-and-go, but they’re a game away from winning the division, but they’ll be almost definitely in a play-off scenario for promotion. They could beat their sister side, the Titans Black, or the Leicester Huntsmen to seal the deal
Bedford are the team with the most intrigue. They’re two games back from the Titans White, but their series is tied. An epic choke job from the Titans White is required for the Blackhawks, while they need to take care of business against the Cougars Ladies and Leicester – which we’d expect them too. It probably still won’t be enough, and but should cement #5 seed if our calculations are correct, as 9-3 would not be beatable by the Falcons provided they lose to the Trojans. They need the Reapers to slip up in a game though to climb higher. Are you keeping up?
The Panthers have slipped back in the race though, so will likely be looking at a plate spot, as they figure to go 2-0 against the Raccoons and Cougar Ladies.
The Huntsmen, Titans Black and Raccoons sit 5-5, 4-6 and 3-7 respectively. The Titans Black and Raccoons meet to see who finishes 5th, but the Raccoons need a monumental whipping of the Titans Black to climb higher.
The Cougar Ladies have a tough final slate of games against the Blackhawks and Panthers – we don’t expect them to win either of these games, but they’ve proven us wrong before!