After the postponement of two recent tournaments due to bad weather, the British League quickly rearranged matches spread at four different venues over the weekend of 17/18 March. For men’s team Solihull it meant travelling from their Midlands base to Gloucester on Saturday for one match and then driving 180 miles to Lancaster to complete a second the next day – an effort that proved well worthwhile!
Solihull are now poised to clinch their first Super 5s title, a remarkable achievement bearing in mind the club only re-joined the British League six years ago with a new young team and had to work their way up the ladder before finally qualifying for the top division as recently as 2016.
When the season reaches its finale next weekend, Solihull will need just one point from two matches – against City of Manchester and London Polytechnic – to make sure of the championship. So far, they have been unstoppable, defeating Cheltenham, champions for the past three years, 18-10 at Gloucester and then overpowering host club Lancaster 22-6 the next day.
The last tournament of the season will see three teams battling for the women’s Super 5s crown. London club Otter hold a narrow lead over current champions Liverpool Lizards and City of Manchester and they struck a significant blow by beating Liverpool 5-4. Liverpool recovered from 2-0 down to lead 3-2 at one stage, but a Robyn Greenslade goal and Katie Cutler penalty edged Otter 4-3 up at the end of the third period. Cutler netted again halfway through the last and Liverpool were unable to reply until they converted a penalty with seconds remaining.
Earlier, Manchester dropped a point in a 5-5 draw with City of Coventry. It could have been worse – Coventry led until Courtney Dean scored an equaliser 15 seconds from the final hooter.
City of Sheffield, Invicta and Team Northumbria will move up to men’s Division 1 next season after taking the top three places in Championship 1. Other promotions – men’s Championship 2, Portobello, West London Penguin, Welsh Wanderers; Championship 3, Manchester Hawks, Otter, Cheltenham Spartans; Championship 4, Caledonia Storm, Coventry, Tyldesley; women’s Championship 1, Leeds Sharks, Caledonia, Hucknall. For all the latest scores and news, go to www.bwpl.org.