There were a couple of hiccups along the way, but yesterday afternoon BUCS confirmed the Division One Quarter Finals fixtures to be played this weekend.
Division One saw the largest number of seeding upsets in the Final Sixteen round on Sunday as we saw three of the eight lower seeded teams come away with surprise wins!
In the North, though the #1 seeds the Sheffield Hallam Warriors handled their business well against the Mustangs, the #2 seeds Newcastle couldn’t keep the revitalised NTU Renegades in check during the second half – the Nottingham outfit clearly having rediscovered their form at the perfect time for a playoff run!
The Renegades are joined in the quarterfinals by two familiar faces as the Loughborough Students dominated the first half against the Napier Knights, and similarly, the Coventry Jets racked up a hefty scoreline over the visiting UCLan Rams.
As such, with all three 1A Midlands outfits coming out on top on Sunday, we know the Northern Finals will feature at least one outfit from this talented conference – can the Renegades bag another upset when they visit the Warriors this weekend? With Loughborough and Coventry having split their series during the regular season, which team will display the better postseason form?
Meanwhile, in the South we saw a similar situation with one conference in particular shining in the postseason action: The 1A South West sent three teams to the playoffs this season, and all three emerged on top in the first round of action, despite being underdogs in a couple of cases!
The Bath Killer Bees caused a massive upset when they put an end to the Brunel Burners’ undefeated campaign in a 6-7 squeaker, and the Exeter Demons turned heads too when they bested a Kent Falcons team that had held a narrow lead at the half.
They’ll be joined in the Quarter Finals by South West champs, the Southampton Stags who put up a healthy scoreline against the Surrey Stingers, despite Surrey being the team to draw first blood.
Finally, the quartet of southerners is rounded out with the South East champs, the UEA Pirates, who braved Viper infested waters to come away with a third victory of the season over QMBL – though this one by a much more narrow margin than when the two teams met in the regular season!
With the South West guaranteed at least one of the Southern Final berths, the Bees will hit the road once again to face the Pirates – eager to cause another massive upset and move one step closer to a swift return to top tier football.
Meanwhile, the Exeter Demons will travel to the Southampton Stags – a third trip to the Stags this season for the Demons, Southampton having hosted both regular-season meetings between the sides due to weather postponements.