PREVIEW: Suns and Riders to reignite rivalry in WBBL Championship opener

Sevenoaks Suns and Leicester Riders will reignite their fierce rivalry on Saturday evening in their opening game of the 2019/20 WBBL Championship season, and it will be the first meeting of four, after both clubs were again drawn against each other in the WBBL Trophy Semi-Finals and the WBBL Cup Quarter-Finals!

Sevenoaks started their season two weeks ago with an 81-60 win over Caledonia Pride before defeating Newcastle Eagles 81-57 in the WBBL Trophy. The two wins placed them top of their group and they will now play Leicester in a one-leg match in the Semi-Finals over the weekend of February 15/16, 2020.

History will then repeat itself as Sevenoaks were drawn against their rivals once again, this time in the WBBL Cup, which will be played on a one-leg basis at the start of December.

In the only home fixture of the four matches, Sevenoaks will be looking to get ahead of their rivals in the Championship when they tip-off at 6.00pm this Saturday at the Sennocke Centre. 

After going unbeaten in the Championship last year, all teams will be out to defeat the Suns, but with returning players such as Cat Carr, Ta’Yani Clark, Judit Fritz, Renee Busch, Julia Koppl and Janice Monakana, the opposition will come up against a team with vast experience and skill. New arrivals Irene Garrido-Perez, Ijeoma Ofomata, Jess Hunt and Asha Andrews will also be looking to extend Sevenoaks Championship run.

In fact, the last time they lost a match in the competition was actually against Leicester at home way back in February 2018. Since then Sevenoaks have won 28 Championship matches in a row.

Suns v Riders recent history suggests it’s a hard call
Sevenoaks versus Leicester has long been a highlight of the WBBL Championship, with the two teams facing each other five times last year. Sevenoaks went on to win the Championship without losing a single game, so we know the results of those matches. However, both teams also played each other in the WBBL Cup and Trophy last season as well.

Suns got the best of their opponents in the Cup semi-final at the start of the year with a terrific 85-49 win at home, but Riders then turned the tables in the Trophy beating Sevenoaks 70-65 at the start of March which pushed them on to lift the trophy in .

Such is the power of these two franchises, they then met for a final time in the 2018/19 season when they played in the WBBL Play-Off Final showcase at the O2 in London on May 19th.

Sevenoaks once again getting the better of their rivals with a 60-55 win to take the title for a third successive season. So it was 4-1 to Suns in all competitions in 2018/19. We now ask what will the new campaign hold for both teams as they go head-to-head once again.

2018/19 head-to-head record

  • October 6: Championship – Sevenoaks Suns 85 Leicester Riders 49
  • January 5: Cup Semi-Final – Leicester Riders 71 Sevenoaks Suns 83
  • January 13: Championship – Leicester Riders 58 Sevenoaks Suns 77
  • March 2: Trophy Semi-Final – Leicester Riders 70 Sevenoaks Suns 65
  • May 19: Play-Off Final – Sevenoaks Suns 60 Leicester Riders 55
  • Total points: Sevenoaks Suns 370 Leicester Riders 303