I’m trying to take Monday’s to work on the site and spend time with my lil ‘un, but to ensure we’re not leaving everyone hanging until Tuesday each week for Good Week / Bad Week, Quick Takeaways returns for Week Twelve!
BAFA National Leagues: Quick Takeaways Week Twelve
Under 19s Division Two | Strong day for Sheffield
The Sheffield Giants had themselves a strong tournament on their home turf, picking up a pair of wins that allow them to finish the season on a high note. We already knew the NE Academy and Romans were playoff-bound, but it’ll be a good confidence boost to wrap up the season.
Under 19s Division One | Exiles survive scare against Tigers
The Kent Exiles manage to hold onto their #2 spot in the South after edging a 2-point victory over the Thames Valley Tigers – a team who’ve shown a steady improvement in their form throughout their 2019 campaign.
The Exiles look likely to lock up a shot at championship playoffs with a win against the Warriors next week – only a Cheetahs win over the undefeated Blitz might create a three-way head to head capable of making things a lot more confusing!
Meanwhile, the Tigers might miss out on playoffs this year, but in truth they’ve been a pleasant surprise in their second season, fighting their way through one of the toughest schedules in the South with their heads still held high. Kudos Tigers.
Adult Premiership | Prem North gets even messier as Manchester fall to Wolves
When the Phoenix and Nighthawks saw this week’s scoreline, I’m fairly certain they’d’ve high fived if they could, as both these teams can now control their own potential postseason fates!
However, the Edinburgh Wolves incredibly resilient performance not only shakes things up at the top of the table, but will have also reverberated in the Giants’ and Falcons’ camps as all of a sudden we see three teams tied up with two wins, but only one of them has poached one from an ‘upper half’ contender, essentially giving the Wolves a step on their rivals to dodge the drop.
27 July, Wolves vs Falcons is looking like it’s going to be a HUGE deal.
Adult Division One | The South Stays Interesting thanks to Away Wins
The London Hornets got the better of the Cats, which means we’ll need to wait a while longer to see if Cambridgeshire can secure the crown… Though admittedly, it’ll be a big ask for the Gladiators to rock the boat and the SFC 1 East frontrunners still hold the head-to-head over the Hornets.
Meanwhile, in the SFC 2 Central the Sussex Thunder came away from Hertfordshire not only with an essential victory, but also, more crucially, a sizeable enough victory that they steal the head-to-head over the Cheetahs. Should Sussex win out while Herts come up short against the undefeated Solent once again? It’ll be the Thunder, not the Cheetahs, who join the Thrashers repping the Central in the postseason!
Adult Division Two | Do we need a Division Three?
It’s something that gets talked about each season, though with no real conviction… but do we need a National Leagues Division Three?
Sure, we’re seeing big, one-sided scorelines in all three tiers this season, much as every other season… But nowhere do we see them as regularly as in the lowest tier of the Adult game, where today we saw four of the nine fixtures hit by Mercy Clocks, with the London Blitz‘s 68-0 and Swindon Storm‘s 0-69 results out of the SFC 2 South looking particularly egregious.
Prem and D1 teams that have an off year can drop down a tier, easing the pressure, and often follow up with strong, morale-boosting campaigns that help rebuild the programme…
But for D2 teams that find themselves off the pace? There’s nowhere to go, and as I’m sure they’d tell you, it’s really rather hard to recruit players to a team that loses by a Burger+ multiple Sundays a summer.
Less games… but at least they should be competitive ones.