- National Teams
Watch the live stream as Essex Blades take on Anglia Ruskin University in the Women’s NBL Division 1 Playoff Final from the National Basketball Performance Centre in Manchester.
The Final between Essex and Anglia Ruskin looked an incredibly unlikely pairing when the competition stopped for its annual Christmas break.
After playing their final game of 2017, Ruskin were 1-8 and rock bottom of the standings. Going 9-4 the rest of the way meant that ARU were no longer just trying to survive, but managed to slide into the 7th seed for the playoffs. Impressive wins against Southwark and Oxford Brookes in the post season saw Anglia Ruskin’s resurrection completed.
For the Blades, their story is much more straight forward. As the cream of the crop in Division One, they have rarely looked troubled throughout the campaign.
A 20-1 record is a testament to that and the regular season title was locked up some time ago. A surprise loss to Ipswich in the Women’s National Cup Final was an unexpected bump in an otherwise smooth road that could well lead to playoff glory.
With the Blades holding the #1 seed and Anglia Ruskin the #7 seed, the form book would suggest a comfortable win for Essex could well be on the cards.
However, these two sides have matched up well in the regular season and despite two victories for the league winners, they were both close games. The edge might be with the Blades, but this one is far from a done deal.