Women's National Cup opens this weekend
The Women's National Cup gets under way this weekend with eight games scheduled in the competition's opening round.
2012 Cup winners City of Sheffield Hatters, Cardiff (formerly UWIC) Archers, Nottingham Wildcats and Sevenoaks Suns are all automatically through to round 2 having finished in the top four last season while Division 2 sides Manchester Mystics, Solent Suns, Bristol Storm and Durham Wildcats advance because of forfeit or team withdrawals.
There are, however, five Division 1 teams who face the pressure of being eliminated by lower tier opponents at this early stage.
On Saturday Barking Abbey host London Westside, Leeds Carnegie welcome Bury Blue Devils and Division 1 newcomers Loughborough Students Riders take on Birmingham Mets. The following day sees Team Northumbria facing fellow north easterners Sunderland City Predators while the newly promoted Newham (NASSA) Stars face Brixton Topcats.
The three remaining first round games see all-Division 2 clashes.
Bromsgrove Bears host Northamptonshire Titans, Oaklands College Wolves play Ipswich Bobcats and Reading Rockets take on Oxford, who are new to the national league.
The second round of the Cup is only two weeks away meaning by the end of October all quarter finalists will be determined.
Photo courtesy Dave Moore