ABL Roundup – October

The new ABL season is underway, with action-packed contests taking place around the country on a weekly basis.

With the first month of the 2021/22 season now completed, we cast a glance across the six ABL conferences to find out how teams are getting on.

Northern Conference

It’s been a faultless start to the season for Allerton High School and Carmel College, with both teams sat at 4-0. Aston Manor aren’t far behind at 3-0, with Stoke on Trent College (3-1) also in the mix.

Success this season would follow up on Carmel’s trip to the post-season in 2019/20, when the Darlington-based programme went 10-5 as the #14 seeds.

With leaders Allerton taking a trip to third place Stoke this week, plus further ties against fourth place Aston Manor and co-leaders Carmel also pencilled in for November, there are some choice match ups on the horizon in the Northern conference.

Eastern Conference

The pace setters in the East are undoubtedly Dagenham Park as the first team to four wins this season, still yet to taste defeat.

Wins over County Upper School, Mayfield School, Goresbrook School and Long Road Sixth Form have left the Essex programme with an early cushion to their next closest challenger, and they could make it five in a row as they play Moulton College next.

Second place belongs to Sigma Sixth Colchester at 3-0, closely followed by Mayfield School at 2-1.

Those two sides meet this week in what is sure to be a cracker.

Western Conference

St Charles College won the Western conference in 2019/20, closing with an impressing 15-1 record. They’re already off to a similarly hot start at 3-0 after wins over The Crest Academy, Ealing and West Thames College.

The former ABL finalists aren’t top dogs for now though, instead looking up at Northolt High School, who have won all four of their games so far.

With three of the conference’s nine teams having only played a single game, it’s still early days in the West.

Southern Conference

HTS Storm were the #1 seeds last time the ABL enjoyed a post-season, putting together a perfect 18-0 campaign in this conference.

Still yet to taste defeat, Holy Trinity have won three from three so far, and are being matched closely by Bracknell and Wokingham College (3-0) and Guildford County School (3-1), who play former EABL outfit BHASVIC this week.

Storm and Bracknell are set to play on 10 November in what could be the pick of the Southern conference games this month.

South East Conference

2019/20’s co-champions New City College have got their title defence off to the best possible start in the South East, going 3-0 across their opening games.

They can move to 4-0 this week, but they’ll have to overcome currently unbeaten Riverside Sixth Form (2-0) in order to do so.

As the Conference’s two remaining perfect records, the winner of that contest can grab an early advantage in the South East.

London Central Conference

It’s a similar story for 2019/20’s other co-champs Haringey Sixth Form, who are also on a three game winning streak to begin the new season.

They take on currently winless Queen’s School this week and stand a good chance of making it to 4-0.

Oasis Academy and Leyton Sixth Form College (2-1) will both look to benefit should the former ABL winners slip up, whilst new entry Chadwell Health Academy (1-1) currently sit in fourth.

The ABL debutants have to face leaders Haringey before the month is out, that’ll no doubt provide quite the test for their developing squad.