Ross Wilson dunks in the home fixture against Newcastle Eagles. Photo: David Millican
Teesside Lions will celebrate in front of their home fans this Sunday in their final league game of the season; as league champions of Division Three North Conference.
Following victory over Newcastle Eagles II and news of the 90-54 loss suffered by rivals Tees Valley Mohawks away to Sheffield Elite the final standings were settled and the preparations for the play-offs now begin.
With their destiny in their own hands, it was an important double header last weekend for Teesside and the team duly responded with an emphatic 54 point win, albeit a slow start, over Sheffield on Saturday followed by a solid 22 point win over an aggressive Newcastle outfit.
The play-off seedings are still to be confirmed with the Lions final league game at home to Sheffield Elite still important to the final draw as the 16-team play-off system is dictated by win % and points difference meaning there is still much to play for as teams vie for the more favourable opposition.
Sheffield Elite II have lost all their games this season and while nothing is guaranteed, the result is expected to be a Teesside victory. However all teams around the country eligible for the playoffs will now want to finish with maximum affect to place themselves in the best position to advance to the Play-Off Final on Saturday, April 23.
Across the country Lions currently have the fifth best win % and likely to face either University of East London or Barking Abbey, two very strong London teams. This game will be a home draw for Lions and take place on Sunday, March 27 ahead of the quarter final on the weekend of April 2/3.
To matters at hand, Teesside must first dispatch of Sheffield Elite II and whilst enjoying the fresh aroma of the league championship, attention must remain focused on the job at hand.
Sheffield will not be looking towards this fixture with great excitement, having already suffered their two biggest losses of the season at the hands of Teesside. A 104-38 win for Lions at Eston Arena in October and a 123-59 Lions victory at Sheffield a last week meaning the coaching staff will have a difficult job of motivating the team into believing anything but a loss is on the cards.
The opportunity, however small, still remains for them to collect their first win of the season and Teesside must ensure not only that this does not happen, but the winning margin is up there with the other results between the two sides.
Tickets are available now for both games at TeessideLions.com
Get all the latest news, updates, things to do and more from your local InYourArea feed.