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I hope all who read this and even those who don’t have had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, but it’s almost time to start working off that Christmas dinner as the second half of the 2021/22 Uniball season approaches but before that, let’s look at who stole the show in Div 1 before the midseason break.

1 – SGS Pride – South Western 1

Is this a surprise to anyone?

The SGS Pride are showing that the choice to have them circumvent Divison 2 was a good one.

The Pride sit at 4-0, with a point differential of +205, the same differential as the Nottingham Gold who currently sit at the top of the Prem North and both of them currently sit behind the top spot of the highest point differential in the league, UWE Bullets who sit at +228.

You can see with their undefeated record and the massive gulf in points scored vs points allowed the Pride have put themselves in rarified air in their debut season.

Boasting 3 shutout victories and only having 6 points scored against them by the Southampton Stags, it seems that the Pride are going to take their destructive path all the way to the Prem if they keep playing the way they are.

2 – NTU Renegades – Midlands 1

The NTU Renegades currently lead the Midlands division 1, sitting on a record of 4-1. Though the Renegades may still hold the Midlands crown due to undefeated Loughborough having a game postponed against the Warwick Wolves.

The Renegades have 3 shutout victories in their campaign so far, 2 over Leicester and 1 over the Coventry Jets, whilst their only loss comes against Loughborough.

With their current record, the NTU Renegades have 8 of those sought after BUCS points and if the Renegades can get past Coventry and Warwick again, this division could come down to the last game of the Renegades schedule against Loughborough on the 13th of February.

3 – Hertfordshire Hurricanes – Southern 1

Hertfordshire Hurricanes fresh from the Prem are proving why they were even there to begin with, sitting at 4-1 and having 8 BUCS points the Hurricanes are making a case to go back to the glory of the Premiership.

Despite having an impressive point differential of 0, the Hurricanes have shown that they can keep cool under pressure having 3 of the 4 wins come by beating their opponents by a point, though impressive I am sure the Hurricanes would prefer a higher points margin in the second half of the season.

Looking forward for the Hurricanes, their first game back will be against the team that put a loss on their record, the Royal Holloway Bears and Hertfordshire are going to look to level the series against them to maintain dominance over the Southern 1 divison.

4 – Imperial Immortals – South Eastern 1

Another team who holds 8 of those delicious BUCS points, though not quite in the same glory as NTU, Hertfordshire or SGS Pride, as the Immortals have had 2 walkover victories both against the ARU Rhinos.

That being said Imperial aren’t just coasting off walkovers, as they have managed to shut down the potent offence of the Brunel Burners twice, holding them to just 6 points over their two matchups.

Despite winning two games Imperial hasn’t managed to score more than 12 points in a game, a statistic that shows that their defence must dominate their side of the ball.

The test for Imperial is going to come during the second half of the season, as they have the Essex Blades twice and the QMBL Vipers again who handed Imperial their first loss of the season.

5 – Newcastle Raiders – Borders 1

Now moving on to those who have 6 BUCS points, but that is through scheduling more than anything, the Newcastle Raiders are a perfect example.

Currently perched at 3-0 the Raiders are dominating the Borders 1 division, boasting 2 shutout victories and only allowing 7 points in their first game of the season against the York Centurions.

Given that the Raiders face 3 teams they have already beaten plus the Hull Sharks who seem to be stalling, the Raiders are on the path to clinching the Borders 1 already.

6 – Manchester Tyrants – Northern 1

Much like the Newcastle Raiders, the Tyrants are undefeated and reign with 6 BUCS points.

However, there are few more teams on the tail of the Tyrants than the Raiders. The Sheffield Hallam Warriors and the Sheffield Sabres both sit with 6 BUCS points but both of the Sheffield teams records are 3-2.

The Tyrants however have pulled away by defeating the Warriors twice both times by a margin of 2 points.

The division isn’t a seemingly locked as Borders 1 as the Tyrants and Sabres have yet to play each other and as it’s the first game back for the both teams, January 30th could prove to be when the Northern 1 title gets locked up for Manchester.

7 – Loughborough Uni – Midlands 1

Loughborough might have the same record as Manchester and Newcastle, but they are in a different boat, despite being 3-0 they are currently second in the division behind NTU.

But what makes this even more interesting is that Loughborough are the team that handed the NTU their first loss of the season, so it could just be a matter of time before Loughborough takes the division.

Loughborough’s first test will be in their first game back from the midseason break as they have the Warwick Wolves who they beat in their first game of the season but only by a margin of 2. Considering that Loughborough are 3-0 without playing the Leicester Longhorns, should again bolster their legitimacy as unless there is a major turnaround by Leicester, those games should add another 2 for Loughborough.

But as stated above when discussing NTU, this division could come down to the NTU Renegades vs Loughborough on the 13th of February and one of these teams could take the division on Superbowl Sunday.


One To Improve

Reading Knights – South Eastern 1

It happens, it’s happened to me. A team to go completely scoreless through the season and it seems to be happening for Reading.

The Knights currently stand at 0-5 and a point differential of -200, which is the worst differential in all 3 divisions of Uniball,

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve learned from my mistakes and I don’t like to say anything is a foregone conclusion but I think it’s likely that Reading will be heading down from Div 1 following this season.

However, the Bath Killer Bees are above them with a 1-3 and if the Knights can somehow beat them it could throw a spanner in them being relegated. But that’s just trying to stay positive.

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