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Week 4 Preview – WEABL

Luke Simcock

Week 4 of the season is upon us and there’s already plenty to enjoy since the season began last month. With the news that Myerscough have forfeited their game against Charnwood, that leaves four games on the WEABL schedule to examine this week.

Manchester Mystics Academy (0-1) v Nottingham Academy Wildcats (0-0)

Manchester Mystics Academy couldn’t convert a slender half time lead into a victory against defending champs Charnwood last time out, but they can still take plenty of heart from their performance. Converting 20 minutes of quality into 40 will be Manchester’s next task, starting against Nottingham tomorrow.

Nottingham are the last team in the Northern Conference to get their schedule underway. The Wildcats went 1-8 last season, with their lone win coming on the road in Manchester. They’d no doubt enjoy a repeat of that result to get their season going.

2018/19 results – Manchester Mystics Academy 60 – 31 Nottingham Wildcats Academy/ Manchester Mystics Academy 69 – 73 Nottingham Wildcats Academy

Copleston High School (1-0) v Barking Abbey (2-0)

Copleston started their season with an impressive victory on the road against CoLA, and fending off Barking Abbey would be another solid result for Coach Drane’s side if they can manage it tomorrow. Current WEABL Player of the Week Ella Pearson will no doubt play a big part in their push to remain unbeaten.

Barking have looked solid in wins over Itchen and Oaklands, moving to 2-0 in the process. Only twice has a team scored over 80 points in the Southern Conference this season, with BA doing it on both occasions. Copleston played a great defensive game to hold CoLA to just 40 last week. Can they produce a similar display to slow the visitors tomorrow?

2018/19 result – N/A

City of London Academy (0-2) v Oaklands College (0-2)

CoLA topped the Southern Conference with an 8-2 record last season but a slow start to 2019/20 has the programme sat at 0-2 after losses to JMA and Copleston. Playing a winless Oaklands team may be a good tonic for the London side though, particularly given their dominance over the Wolves last season.

After going 1-9 last year, Oaklands are looking to make positive strides in the new season. Although there’s no shame in going winless against Barking and Reading, the Wolves would prefer to grab a win or two before they get too far into their schedule.

2018/19 result – City of London Academy 82 – 23 Oaklands College

John Madejski Academy (2-0) v Itchen College (0-1)

An unbeaten start to the season has seen JMA grab a share of the Conference’s top spot with Barking. An opening game win over last season’s WEABL finalist CoLA showed this is a Rockets team to be reckoned with this year, and that might be too much for Itchen tomorrow.

After a break in their schedule following an opening day 87-44 home loss to Barking, Itchen are back in action and looking to continue their development as a programme. Although the final result may not go their way tomorrow, Coach Milner will no doubt have her side focusing on the process of improving each week in their 2nd year in the WEABL.

2018/19 result – John Madejski Academy 66 – 44 Itchen College