GROUNDHOG DAY AT HEREWARD COLLEGE

The curtain finally comes down after a long season of basketball in Coventry &
Warwickshire, and it reaches its climax with two cup finals this week.

It will feel like “Groundhog Day” at Hereward College where the new league Champions and
Championship Shield winners Tile Hill Trojans will be aiming to make it a clean sweep of trophy
victories, but standing in their way will be runners-up from both competitions to date Arden
Griffins. If they are to lose their “bridesmaid” tag they will have to defend their ten-point handicap
start they get courtesy of their league record, but it will be tough, as they have already met five
times, with Trojans coming out on top in four of those games and their only defeat being in the
second-leg of the Shield final when Griffins turned it on in the dying minutes to almost claw back
a twenty-six point first-leg loss.

Both sides are “up” for the final with almost full-strength sides being planned and it promises to
be a feast of exciting play when the game tips-off at 8.15. Trojans reached the ultimate game
with a comfortable 91-56 win over second division Coventry Phoenix, while a devastating third
quarter brought Griffins success in their return match at Rugby Rage. The Arden side hit six threepointers
on their way to a 31-9 period and that opened up a match-winning gap for the Solihullbased
side who went on to close at 87-72.

The Challenge Cup final, at Woodlands on Wednesday (7.50), features Henley Hurricanes and
Rebels – two sides from division three who have almost totally opposite records from the regular
season, but threatens to be another nail-biter. The League have adjusted the figures based on a
complete season and Rebels will start at 70-0 against a Henley side which could well be elevated
straight to division one after mauling most of their opposition in the bottom tier. They house some
talented Lithuanian players who also perform in the West Midlands Premier League and are totally
out of place in the lower ranks, but were placed there with the league fully expecting a college based
student-filled squad.

Henley, will have to play a pressing game and the question is whether or not Rebels can hold out.
They did just that in their semi-final against a weakened Trojans 3 side before winning 67-61 in
their second-leg, having won the first by a similar margin, and Henley slipped to a 105-96 defeat
in their second-leg at Tornadoes but had hammered their hosts at Henley two weeks earlier and
had enough in the winning margin to coast to victory on aggregate.

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