With just two weeks of the competition to run, Horspath remain favourites to win the inaugural BCTG Elite League despite their shock home defeat by second placed Poole at the weekend.
The Oxford club now needs to pick up a single point in their last match of season on the final day of what has been a highly competitive 2012 campaign. The problem for the Hammers is that they have to travel to Sheffield in search of that valuable point which may be easier said than done.
The Yorkshire side is unbeaten on their home track and could go into that match on 28 October with aspirations of their own if they could win their three remaining matches. First they face the potentially difficult hurdle of home and away battles with Wolverhampton next weekend on consecutive days.
The match-up at Ashmore Park on Sunday 21 October 21 looks like the toughest challenge to their hopes but the Stars victory in the Fiesta Fours last weekend will give them added impetus.
Meanwhile Poole could finish their best ever season in the league on level points with Oxford if they can get a result at Leicester on the last day of the campaign. The East Midlanders have struggled to get their best team out all season hence their uncharacteristically low position in the table. Defeat at Ipswich on 27 October could threaten Leicester with the unthinkable prospect of the wooden spoon position. "All in all, it amounts to probably the best finale for many seasons," commented Elite League manager Dave Flemming.
Sky Sports will shortly be screening BCTG race action from all seven Elite venues in their 'Sports Unlimited' programme with the following matches featuring:
Poole v Oxford
Wolverhampton v Birmingham
Birmingham v Oxford
Leicester v Wolverhampton
Ipswich v Sheffield
Oxford v Poole
Sheffield v Oxford