Urban's Alim Hirji

Urban aiming to take down champions

Author:
Matt Shaw

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Premier British League returns for the second weekend of action this Saturday, with all eight teams jockeying for position at the start of the campaign.

Here’s all you need to know ahead of the Saturday showdowns.

Urban TTC v Drumchapel Glasgow

Urban welcome defending champions Drumchapel looking to build on their surprising opening-round victory over Ormesby.

A 5-3 win over the Cleveland-based side put the rest of the competition on alert, however their title credentials will be given another thorough examination against their Scottish opponents this weekend.

Urban have named an unchanged side for their first home game of the campaign, meaning Japanese star Satoshi Aida will lead the side once again after his impressive win over Danny Reed last time out.

He will be joined by seasoned competitor Szilard Gyorgy, Hungarian counterpart Daniel Shaffer and Alim Hirji to take on Drumchapel.

The Scots, meanwhile, have made two changes following their 4-4 draw with Ormeau. Belgian international Yannick Vostes has been handed his debut and comes into the event in fine form following his participation in the German Challenge Series.

He will be joined by Swede Simon Berglund, who is ranked 297 in the world and plays in Swedish National League.

David McBeath, fresh off the back of his involvement in the Belgium Open last week, will look to retain his unbeaten record and will be joined once again by Victor Guang Shi.

BATTS v Ormesby

Harlow-based BATTS will look to build on their opening-day whitewash when they host Ormesby in their first home game of the campaign.

Following their 8-0 rout of Cardiff, BATTS’ title-credentials will be put to the test against an Ormesby side looking for their first win of the campaign after suffering defeat to Urban last time out.

Local lad Ethan Walsh will get his chance to shine in front of the club’s fanbase after being called up for the fixture. Walsh, who is ranked three in the TTE Junior Rankings, will be joined by French defender Rami Betelu, who will make his first appearance of the season at No 1, replacing Malte Moregard.

Ormesby have put faith in the quartet that came up short against Urban, meaning Danny Reed and Darius Knight will spearhead the attack and will be assisted by Viktor Brodd and Matej Mamut.

Fusion v Cardiff City

Fusion will finally get their season up and running when they host Cardiff. The established Premier British League side didn’t feature in the opening round after their game with North Ayrshire was postponed, with the fixture now set to take place next weekend.

However, they will be keen to get off the mark against a Cardiff side looking to bounce back from their 8-0 defeat to BATTS last time out.

Fusion finished third last year and will be relying on familiar faces to do the business this year. The likes of Kazeem Adeleke and Lorestas Trumpauskas will be joined by Emran Hussain and former British League winner Niall Cameron as they look for another successful campaign.

Cardiff could yet make wholesale changes for the match, with the likes of Canadian international Antoine Bernadet and Finland-based Mikka O’Connor signed up to feature this year.

Ormeau v North Ayrshire

It will be a historic day for the competition on Saturday as Northern Ireland hosts its first ever Premier British League match.

Ormeau, unbeaten following their impressive draw with Drumchapel last time out, face Scottish opponents for a second round running as they take on North Ayrshire in their first home game of the campaign.

They have made two changes for the match, with Spanish star Oriol Monzo being called-up to play at No 1. That means Paul McCreery, a four-time Irish champion, will play at No 2, and fellow Irish champion Gavin Maguire at three. Ex-Ireland international Keith Knox will play at four in place of Owen Cathcart.

For North Ayrshire, this is their first game of the season after the postponed match with Fusion. They will be hoping to better last year’s fifth-placed finish, and two of the key components of that success, Sean Doherty and Chris Main, will feature on Saturday.

They will be joined by youngsters Andy Macpherson and Harvey McDonald, who will both be relishing the opportunity to impress in the top flight against international competition.

Macpherson played three times in last year’s campaign, while for McDonald, it will be his first taste of Premier British League action.

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