YORK Tornadoes Basketball Club are on the up after securing a league and cup double.

The men's first team clinched the Leeds League division two title with a 97-84 victory over Bradford Maroons and will leapfrog division one to play in the premier division next season.

With two games remaining - against Harrogate Raiders tonight (THURS) and Aireborough Arrows on Saturday - the squad are on course to go through the campaign unbeaten.

The Tornadoes are also celebrating lifting the Yorkshire Handicap Cup, ousting teams from higher divisions en route to the final, where they toppled holders Mandela Warriors 144-74.

Defending top flight champions Mandela Warriors were hit by a barrage of early three pointers from the Tornadoes guards.

Mandela kept pace with Tornadoes, scoring at the same rate for most of the first half despite excellent defensive work from Justin Loblack and David Whiting.

A couple of big three pointers from Liam Hudson helped York gain control of the tie, with Hudson claiming 15 points to reach the 300 points mark for the season.

Mandela came back into the game in the final quarter, but York were not to be denied another trophy for their collection, while Scott Richards won the Most Valuable Player Award as a result of his 15 points and numerous assists.

The Tornadoes knocked out Easingwold, Wakefield, Aireborough and Leeds Tigers during their cup campaign, with all but Aireborough higher ranked opposition.

Richards, meanwhile, also led the way for Tornadoes in their league title clincher against Bradford, scoring 32 points in a game which saw a player from each side ejected just after half-time amid ugly scenes.

Club spokesman Andrew Johnson said: "It has been a very good week for York Tornadoes basketball.

"We now just have two games left to try to maintain our unbeaten record in the league before entering the premier league next year.

"Because we have been unbeaten all season, the league has asked our team to be promoted directly to the premier division.

"Tornadoes 2 will enter the second division and our third side will continue to play friendly fixtures throughout the year.

"The ladies team will also be in the Ladies Premier Division."

Further information about the club is available by visiting the website www.yorktornadoes.co.uk

Meanwhile, an appeal for new sponsors through The Press has yielded a boost for the Joseph Rowntree School-based club.

Backing from Hickory's American Diner has provided the club with new home and away kits for all their teams.

Johnson said: "Hickory's American Diner decided to sponsor the club thanks to the article in The Press about our needing sponsors.

"Therefore we have been able to purchase 100 kits for all of our teams, as we previously just had enough for the first team.

"So thanks to The Press for helping us find a suitable sponsor."