After fielding in-eligible players in the first half of the season, high flying London Greenhouse Pioneers had 8 wins taken off them and awarded to the opposition, causing a major reshuffle to Division 2.
It means the Hoods were handed an extra win, moving them up to 7th in the league despite this weekend’s disappointing loss to Thames Valley Cavaliers (86-69). It also means that a home play-off tie is now back on the cards, with any one of 8 teams in with a realistic shout. Team Newcastle University (14&1), Kent Crusaders (13&2) and Thames Valley Cavaliers (12&2) are in a three way battle to win the league and take the number one seed in the play-offs, with London Westside (8&7) currently holding the 4th and final home play-off spot, just two wins ahead of the Hoods (6&9) who lie in 7th. The Hoods will play 6 of the 8 teams they are scrapping with between now and the end of the season, 4 of which are at home and with their injured stars returning day by day, confidence is high throughout the team tha)t not only the play-offs, but a home play-off is a realistic goal, which would be a huge achievement following the injury setbacks they have experienced this season.
Hoods II halved their weekend games, beating Birmingham Mets on the road on Saturday 49-73, including a 36-8 3rd quarter run, led by 23 points from James. On Sunday, they fell at home to top of the table Northants Taurus 70-86, James again leading the way with 21.
Hoods u18, leap-frogged their opponents Ilkeston Outlaws, squeaking past 63-62, but there was disappointment for Hoods u14 as they lost 38-75 to Manchester Magic
Saturday 4th February Results
Thames Valley Cavaliers 86-69 Hoods – Powell 18; Watts 11; Stanley 8
Birmingham Mets 49-73 Hoods II – James 23; Poynton 10; Williams 6
Hoods u18 63-62 Ilkeston Outlaws
Hoods u14 38-75 Manchester Magic
Sunday 5th February Results
Hoods II 70-86 Northants Taurus – James 21; Thompson 12; Katona 7; Watson-Roach 7; Nelson 7
Hoods (6&9) run for a home play-off berth starts this Saturday with a must win tie against Ipswich (8&8) at the Nottingham Wildcats Arena, at 6.30pm. Ipswich started the season slowly, but have strung some good results together recently, including being the only team to have beaten top side Team Newcastle University this season. The teams met back in November where a much weakened Hoods side was beaten 77-59, but back at home and in front of the Merry Men, the Hoods will be looking to grab the initiative back.
Junior Hoods u18 (9&9) will be looking to earn local bragging rights and keep their charge for a play-off spot alive as they take on local rivals Notts Nova (4&12) at 4.30pm at the Nottingham Wildcats Arena, whilst Junior Hoods u16 (9&1) have the biggest game of the year as they travel to Leicester Dynamite (10&1) for a game that could decide the league title. Both teams have only lost one game this season and a win for either would put them clear at the top with only a handful games left to play. Junior Hoods u14 (1&11) complete the Saturday fixtures taking on Leeds Force (6&7) at the Nottingham Wildcats Arena, with a 2.30pm tip.
On Sunday, Hoods II (4&8) are again the only team in action as they travel to Team Wolverhampton (9&1) who are currently in 3rd place and with a good shout of challenging for the league title.