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Crunch weekend for Essex Leopards

PUBLISHED: 16:00 23 February 2017

Essex Leopards are facing two key games this weekend

Essex Leopards are facing two key games this weekend

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Big Cats facing fight to avoid drop

Levett Essex Leopards return to action, after a weekend off, with two key fixtures in under 24 hours as they look to secure their place in Division One.

The Big Cats host Westminster Warriors at Harlow Leisurezone on Saturday (7.30pm), before travelling to Eastleigh the following afternoon to face Solent Kestrels.

With eight league games remaining, Steve Ogunjimi’s side probably need four wins to ensure a 14th consecutive season of top-flight Division One basketball and as they face all the teams in the bottom half of the table during that run, they have their destiny in their own hands.

Westminster will arrive for the final game at Harlow this season still looking for their first victory of the campaign, sitting bottom of the table with an 0-17 record.

Among those 17 losses was a 90-57 hammering by the Big Cats at Capital City Academy in November where a 25-10 third period proved key, but the early season meeting between the teams in the National Trophy was much closer as Leopards escaped with a 69-64 victory.

Tickets for the game are available on the door or can be booked at leopardsbasketball.co.uk.

There is no respite for Big Cats as they then move on to Solent on Sunday for a 2.30pm tip-off.

The south coast side have made a good start to life in Division One, currently sitting sixth with an 11-7 record, and also reached the National Cup final.

When the teams met at Harlow in November the fans were treated to a thriller as the Big Cats won 98-93 in overtime thanks partly to a 34-point performance from Mike Martin.

Leopards are still hopeful that Martin will return from a heel injury before the season ends, but it seems unlikely that the former England international will be fit in time for this weekend’s games,

The Big Cats return to the Brentwood Centre with a pair of home games on Sunday March 5 and 12, before completing the season with four straight away games.


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