1 April Covid-19 update: Sporting events in London and surrounding areas remain behind closed doors this month due to national lockdown restrictions, where not already postponed or cancelled. See below for the latest spectator updates, including any rescheduled dates.
🏀 BASKETBALL (W). WOMEN’S BRITISH BASKETBALL LEAGUE ~ 2 April onwards ~ Barking Abbey & Oaklands College MATCHES CURRENTLY BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
The WBBL 2020/2021 championship season – featuring the top 11 women’s clubs sides in the UK – passes the midway point this month. BA London Lions have enjoyed a superb start to their campaign rattling up eleven wins from 12 matches. In second place Leicester Riders – with ten wins and one loss – are stalking the Lions and Sevenoaks Suns in third are the only unbeaten side with eight wins on the spin. Lions host Sevenoaks Suns on 4 April in what promises to be a fascinating battle. Oaklands Wolves – based to the north of London in Hertfordshire – are slowly climbing the table after a shaky start to the season, back-to-back wins against Durham Palatinates and Essex Rebels at the end of March a real boost to Wolves’ confidence | 🎟️ Tickets not available. Some games available to stream see the WBBL Twitter feed for match-by-match details.
⚽️ FOOTBALL (M). PREMIER LEAGUE & CHAMPIONSHIP ~ 2 April onwards ~ Venues various MATCHES CURRENTLY BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
The Premier League season moves towards the business end with London clubs Chelsea, West Ham and Tottenham Hotspur in the mix for a top-four finish and Champions League football next season, while Arsenal remain in the hunt for a place in the Europa league. Crystal Palace have all but secured Premiership survival on 37 points while Fulham – promoted last season – face a crucial month of fixtures in their battle to avoid relegation. In the Championship the London sides for the 2020/2021 season are Brentford, QPR, Millwall and Watford with Watford and Brentford both in the promotion hunt | 🎟️ Tickets not available all matches behind closed doors.
🏒 ICE HOCKEY. SOUTH CUP: HARINGEY HUSKIES V MILTON KEYNES THUNDER ~ 3 April ~ Alexandra Palace MATCH BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
The EIHA South Cup draws to conclusion this month. It’s been a tough campaign for Haringey Huskies who finish with a double-header against Milton Keynes Thunder, starting with a home fixture at Alexandra Palace on Saturday 3 April. Face-off is at 4.30pm as Huskies go in search of the first of a couple of wins that will see them finish about their rivals from up the M1 | 🎟️ Tickets not available. Match available to watch on Facebook Live or the Haringey Huskies YouTube channel see the Huskies FB page for details.
🏉 RUGBY UNION (W). PREMIER 15s ~ 3 April onwards ~ Venues various MATCHES BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
As Allianz Premier 15s season approaches its final two rounds the London influence is fierce in the top tier of women’s club rugby. The league comprises 10 sides with reigning champions Saracens Women, Harlequins and Wasps FC Ladies – all from the capital – occupying the top three spots in the table and in great shape to qualify for the play-offs in May. Wasps continue to catch the eye while Saracens and Harlequins could not be separated in their recent top of the table clash at the StoneX Stadium, the match finishing 17-17 after Saracens levelled things up with a last gasp Zoe Harrison penalty | 🎟️ Tickets not available. Some matches available to stream see the Premier 15s website for details.
🏀 BASKETBALL (M). BRITISH BASKETBALL LEAGUE ~ 3 April onwards ~ Copper Box Arena & Surrey Sports Park MATCHES BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
Stand by for a hectic month of fixtures in the BBL 2020/2021 championship season, featuring the top 11 men’s professional basketball sides in the UK. London Lions (who play their home matches at the Copper Box Arena in the Olympic Park) are looking to retain the league title they won in 2019. An impressive current roster including former NBA guard DeAndre Liggins who has been in stellar form this season, none more so than in last month’s BBL Trophy Final which London Lions won first time in their history beating Plymouth Raiders 88-82 in a gripping match. The Lions – who play no less than 10 matches this month – occupy fourth spot with games in hand on Plymouth Raiders, Newcastle Eagles and leaders Leicester Riders above them. Meanwhile down the A3 the Surrey Sports Park in Guildford is the home of Surrey Scorchers. Currently in ninth place the Scorchers will be chasing a winning spell this month to move away from the foot of the table | 🎟️ Tickets not available. Match streams can be purchased individually or as part of a monthly pass from BBL Player.
⚽️ FOOTBALL (W). FA WOMEN’S SUPER LEAGUE & WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP ~ 4 April onwards ~ Venues various MATCHES IN APRIL BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
FAWSL and FAWC action continues with a host of matches featuring the best women’s club sides in England. Champions Chelsea – whose 33-game unbeaten league run (an all-time WSL record) was ended by Brighton in February – join Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United representing teams from the capital in the 2020/2021 Women’s Super League. Chelsea are top of the table with Manchester City in hot pursuit. Manchester United and Arsenal are their closest challengers. In the Championship Charlton Athletic, Crystal Palace, London Bees and London City Lionesses ensure there is plenty of London interest but none have been able to mount a title challenge. The Lionesses lead the way for the capital currently sixth tn the table – but London Bees are bottom and in danger of being relegated. | 🎟️ Tickets not available. All Super League games, together with one Championship match per round, available to stream from The FA Player.
🏐 NETBALL. NETBALL SUPERLEAGUE ~ 4 April onwards ~ Venues various MATCHES BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
The 2021 Vitality Netball Superleague season continues apace this month with Rounds 9-12. The UK’s top level, elite netball competition features eleven teams from England, Scotland and Wales including newcomers Leeds Rhinos. London Pulse – having put together a blend of seasoned international stars and rising English talent in search of a first VNSL title – have endured a challenging start to the season with one win from their opening 8 matches. However Pulse have played very well in patches of late and if they can find some consistency the wins will surely start to come. Surrey Storm and Saracens Mavericks are the other sides based within easy reach of the capital and it’s Mavericks – with five wins from 7 matches – who are faring best while Storm have notched up two victories. The first 9 weeks of VNSL matches are at Studio 001 in Wakefield. Thereafter London’s Copper Box Arena hosts Rounds 12-20 starting 26 April to 21 June. Location for semi-finals and Grand Final on 26/27 June is TBC | 🎟️ Tickets not available. All matches live on Sky Sports or streamed on the Sky Sport YouTube channel.
🏏 CRICKET. COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP ~ 8 April onwards ~ Lord’s and The Oval MATCHES BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
A big summer of cricket has lift-off this month with the County Championship. In a revised format for 2021 the 18 first-class counties are split into three groups of 6 sides. The counties play their group rivals home and away with the top two sides in each group progressing into Division One, while the third and fourth-placed teams and fifth and sixth-placed sides move into Division Two and Division Three respectively. The Bob Willis Trophy final – a five-day showdown at Lord’s at the end of September – will take place between the Division 1 county champions and runners up. London sides Middlesex (based at Lord’s) and Surrey (based at The Oval) are in Group 2 along with Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Somerset and Leicestershire. All eyes this month will be on a London derby when Middlesex and Surrey lock horns at Lord’s from 22-25 April | 🎟️ Tickets not available. All county matches available to stream via the EBC website.
🥊 BOXING. MATCHROOM PROMOTIONS ~ Saturday 10 April ~ SSE Arena, Wembley EVENT BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
Seconds out for championship boxing at The SSE Arena presented by Matchroom Promotions. Top of the bill is rising welterweight star, the unbeaten Conor Benn. ‘The Destroyer’ puts his WBA Continental title on the line against Samuel Vargas, with a huge domestic clash against Amir Khan or Kell Brook in Benn’s sights if he wins. Also on the bill an intriguing clash between Watford’s Shannon Courtenay and Australia’s Ebanie Bridges for the vacant WBA Bantamweight world title, while Savannah Marshall makes a first defence of her WBO middleweight title and Glasgow’s bantamweight Kash Farooq returns after his masterclass win over Angel Aviles | 🎟️ Tickets not available.
🏊♀️🏊♂️ SWIMMING. 2021 BRITISH SWIMMING SELECTION TRIALS ~ 14-18 April ~ London Aquatics Centre TRIALS BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
Expect a stellar cast of British swimmers – lead by superstar Adam Peaty – to be in the pool at the London Aquatics Centre for the British Swimming Selection Trials Championships. Traditionally the British Championships, this year’s event has been scaled back and will focus on senior selection to international competition later this year, including the delayed Tokyo Olympic taking place from 23rd July to 8th August. Who will be on the plane to Japan to represent Team GB in the pool? All will be revealed over the next 5 days | 🎟️ Tickets not available. For details on how to watch the event visit the British Swimming website.
🏉 RUGBY UNION (M). PREMIERSHIP & CHAMPIONSHIP ~ 16 April onwards onwards ~ Twickenham Stoop & Brentford Community Stadium MATCHES CURRENTLY BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
The Gallagher Premiership 2020/2021 season continues with Rounds 16 and 17 featuring the 12 best club sides in England. Exeter Chiefs are defending the title they won last November beating Wasps 19-13 in the final at Twickenham Stadium. Harlequins and London Irish are London’s representatives – currently fourth and sixth respectively in the table and both in the mix for a place in the play-off semi-finals in June. All eyes will be on their London derby on 24 April taking place at Brentford Community Stadium, the new home of London Irish. Before that both clubs are in European Challenge Cup action: London Irish entertain Cardiff Blues on 2 April and Harlequins welcome Ulster to Twickenham Stoop on 4 April. Also this month it’s a busy month for the new Green King IPA Championship season 11 sides and 10 rounds of fixtures through till 22 May with the play-off finals on 12 and 19 June. Richmond, Ealing Trailfinders and Saracens fly the flag for the capital with Saracens and Trailfinders due to collide at the Stonex Stadium on 25 April | 🎟️ Tickets not available all matches behind closed doors.
⚽️ FOOTBALL (M). FA CUP SEMI-FINAL: LEICESTER CITY V SOUTHAMPTON ~ SUNDAY 18 April ~ Wembley Stadium PILOT EVENT – LIMITED NUMBER OF SPECTATORS ALLOWED
Southampton are one match away from their first FA Cup final since 2003 when they lost 1-0 in the final to Arsenal. Their semi-final opponents Leicester City have the weight of history on their shoulders having never won the biggest trophy in domestic football despite having featured in four finals, the last of which was in 1969. Awaiting this afternoon’s winner in the final on 15 May will be either Manchester City and Chelsea who meet on Saturday 17 April | 🎟️ Pilot event for spectators. 4,000 tickets will be made available, most likely to local residents in the Brent area.
🏇 HORSE RACING. CLASSIC TRIALS & JUMP FINALE ~ 23-24 April ~ Sandown Park Racecourse BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
They’re under starter’s orders at Sandown Park for the start of the new Flat season and the big finale of the 2021 jumps season. The two-day meeting features the bet365 Classic Trial Day on Friday which includes the Group 3 Classic Trial and Group 2 Mile. Then on Saturday the bet365 Jump Finale sees the champions of the season celebrated alongside of a feast of National Hunt racing including the Grade 1 Celebration Chase, two Grade 2 races and the prestigious bet365 Gold Cup | 🎟️ Tickets not available. Meeting will be broadcast on terrestrial TV see the ITV Racing schedule for details.
⚽️ FOOTBALL (M). CARABAO CUP FINAL: TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR V MANCHESTER CITY ~ Sunday 25 April ~ Wembley Stadium PILOT EVENT – LIMITED NUMBER OF SPECTATORS ALLOWED
Tottenham Hotspur go in search of their first silverware since 2008 at Wembley Stadium. But standing in their way are Pep Guardiola’s formidable Manchester City side. Juande Ramos was the man in charge when Spurs beat Chelsea 2-1 in the League Cup and thirteen years, later in the same tournament, it’s Jose Mourinho who is at the helm at Tottenham looking to live up to his reputation as a manager with a solid track record of regularly winning trophies. The side from north London will start as underdogs against a Manchester City team who are already destined to win the Premier League title this season but will be sure to want more silverware | 🎟️ Pilot event for spectators. 8,000 tickets are due to be allocated to the clubs, local residents and council staff including health sector workers.
🏉 RUGBY LEAGUE (M). CHAMPIONSHIP. LONDON BRONCOS V OLDHAM ~ Saturday 24 April ~ The Rock MATCH BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
A new Championship season has lift off this month with the capital’s top side, London Broncos, looking to start their campaign in winning style and set up a push for promotion back to Super League where they played in 2019. Broncos face an opening day trip to Halifax Panthers before taking on French side Toulouse Olympique XIII. A hat-trick of April fixtures concludes at Rosslyn Park RFC – known as ‘The Rock’ – when Broncos welcome Oldham to their current home venue. The Broncos are hoping to play their home matches at the new 9,300 capacity Plough Lane Stadium in the long term, with the outcome of their groundshare application imminent | 🎟️ Tickets not available.
🏇 HORSE RACING. APRIL RACEDAY ~ Wednesday 28 April ~ Ascot Racecourse BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
The 2021 Flat season at Ascot Racecourse has lift-off this afternoon with a seven-race card to savour. Four specific trials for the Royal Meeting are led by the Group 3 Longines Sagaro Stakes. The two-mile contest has been won by several horses en route to Gold Cup glory, most recently Her Majesty The Queen’s mare Estimate in 2013. Dee Ex Bee landed the 2019 renewal for trainer Mark Johnston and subsequently finished runner-up to champion stayer Stradivarius in the Royal Ascot showpiece | 🎟️ Tickets not available. Meeting may be on terrestrial TV see the ITV Racing schedule for confirmation.
🥊 BOXING. QUEENSBURY PROMOTIONS ~ Friday 30 April ~ BT Studios BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
Sunny Edwards versus Moruti Mthalane for the IBF world flyweight title is top of the bill on a night of world championship boxing from Queensbury Promotions. Mthalane represents a formidable foe for ‘Showtime’ Sunny who was born in Sutton and tonight takes his first crack at world honours in his 16th fight as a professional. Already the British super flyweight champion tonight Edwards takes a serious step up against South African Mthalane who is defending his world title having not lost since 2008. In what is a high stakes card, Belfast star Michael Conlan (14-0) provides the chief support as he takes his first fight at super-bantamweight against the tough Romanian Ionut Baluta | 🎟️ Tickets not available.
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