WORCESTER and Newcastle may be at opposite ends of the country but there is a sporting rivalry growing between the two cities on two fronts.

In both rugby union and basketball, matches involving the pair will go a long way to determining the fates of their respective teams over the next few weeks.

Warriors are chasing Newcastle Falcons in their bid to avoid relegation from the Aviva Premiership, while at the other extreme, Worcester Wolves are vying with Newcastle Eagles for the British Basketball League title.

The latest chapter in that story was written at the University Arena on Friday night when Wolves were on the wrong side of an 86-78 defeat against the Eagles.

While Paul James' team, who also beat Newcastle in the BBL Trophy, remain top of the table with nine games to play, the result allowed Newcastle to close the gap to just four points with a game in hand.

Crucially, it also gave the north east outfit the head-to-head record between the teams at 2-1, meaning they would finish above Worcester should the teams be level on points come the end of the campaign.

Although the teams don't have to play each other again this season, their clashes to date could well shape each other's destiny when it comes to the eventual destination of the title.

Over at Sixways, the Warriors are gearing up for their visit to the Falcons on Sunday, March 30, which is effectively the last-chance saloon in the relegation battle.

With Dean Ryan's men currently 11 points behind their rivals, nothing short of victory at Kingston Park, probably with a bonus point to boot, will do for Worcester.

Warriors are of course also pinning their hopes on making the journey with a morale-boosting win over Wasps under their belts.

But, regardless of whether they have closed the gap before the Falcons clash, defeat in the north east would virtually send them down to the Championship.

Whereas Wolves just about hold the upper hand in their battle, the Falcons' points advantage makes them the clear favourites in their tussle with the Warriors.

It all certainly makes for interesting times.