Division 2 Roundup - Week 15+ (Cup R2)
Published 28/01/2024 at 18:27:32 by Martin Johnson; edited 2 times, last on 30/01/2024 at 17:20:16 by Martin Johnson.Improved Cup Prospects
The second round of Challenge Cup matches saw a much improved set of results for Division 2 teams, as compared with the first round.
Although three teams had walkover wins in the first round, the four teams that actually played all lost. In contrast, the second round saw all seven teams in action, and five of them won, with one of those two losses being to a fellow Division 2 team!
In Group 9, Newport Pagnell Lagondas bounced back from a first round loss, to score a big win over a 2-player Topspin from D1, with a huge margin of 188 points! Their final round match will be against another D1 team, Van Hire (who also beat a 2-player Topspin by a similar margin), and the winner of that match is assured of going through, probably as runners-up to Moghuls, who have already won twice and still have Topspin to play.
In Group 10, Mursley Hawks, who'd had a walkover in the first round, completed a 48 point victory against D3's Shockwave, who'd beaten Vanquish by 22 points in the first round. This gives Hawks a very good chance of going through. A win in their final match against Vanquish would assure topping the group, as would a loss of anything up to 34 points. Even a loss of up to 74 points would mean Hawks still finishing as runners-up.
Group 11 started as a group of just three teams, but with D1's Sharks not competing, meant it was just Milton Keynes Pioneers and Wolves to battle it out for top spot, with both to go through to the knockout stages. Pioneers scored a big 104 point win, to go through as top of their group.
Group 12 is the one group involving a D2 team to have the full complement of four teams competing. Greenleys Valiants had lost their opener by just 14 points to Hasbeens from D1, but bounced back with a win by just 13 points against D1's Avengers. With D3's Cavaliers having won twice, they look likely group winners, probably leaving Valiants to battle it out for runners-up spot with Hasbeens, as their points difference is just 5 points (in Hasbeen's favour). However, in the third round, Valiants have to take on Cavaliers, whilst Hasbeens take on fellow D1 team, Avengers.
Group 13 looks to have been an unlucky one for Leighton Buzzard Spitfires. With the only Premier team entered, Titans, having conceded in this group, Spitfires followed up their narrow 3 point loss to D1's Primes, with another loss, this time by 48 points against D3's Wooden Tops, which means they'll miss a top two placing. Wooden Tops and Primes will thus battle it out for top spot in the third round.
Finally, Group 14 contains two Division 2 teams, and the two faced each other in the second round. In the first round, Greenleys Sultans of Spin had lost out by just 6 points to D1's Pumas, whereas Milton Keynes Powers had a walkover. In this round, Powers beat Sultans of Spin by 26 points, in a scratch match, which means that Powers will qualify along with Pumas, but Sultans of Spin will finish in 3rd spot. Powers would need to beat Pumas in the third round to top the group.
Meanwhile, it's back to League action this week, with one of the picks of the fixtures appearing to be leaders, Mursley Hawks, on a nine match winning run, against fifth-placed Milton Keynes Powers, who are on their own six match winning run, so .. something has to give! Elsewhere, second-placed Leighton Buzzard Spitfires take on Newport Pagnell Lagondas, who have had three big wins in a row; third-placed Woburn Sands Mosquitoes visit equal-sixth placed Milton Keynes Pioneers, whilst eighth-placed Greenleys Valiants will take on equal sixth-placed fellow Greenleys team, Sultans of Spin.
Team of the Week : Milton Keynes Pioneers.