It’s a crowded weekend for fixtures across the tiers with, in theory, 30 fixtures getting underway this weekend!
But theory doesn’t necessarily mean reality…
Saturday is the new Sunday!
More and more teams have begun to shift fixtures to Saturdays. Whether this is an emulation of the College game in the US, or simply because it’s the only day they can secure their venue? Either way, apparently DC don’t get a day off any more.
We’ve got four fixtures getting underway today:
Birmingham Lions v Kingston Cougars – the Lions have long preferred Saturday fixtures
Cardiff Cobras v Exeter Demons – The Cobras celebrate their <insert scarily large number here> anniversary this weekend with old boys galore descending on Cardiff to celebrate their club’s long and proud history. Regardless of whether the current Cobras win out on the Gridiron against the Demons during the day’s fixture, we expect there to be a number of Cobra Alums heading back to their respective present-day teams with sore heads on Sunday morning. Happy Birthday Cobras!
UCLan Rams v Manchester Titans – UCLan are another programme that has moved towards playing their home fixtures on a Saturday, to ensure they have access to the quality facilities their institution allows them
Bangor Muddogs v Liverpool Raptors – and finally the Muddogs-Raptors fixture has been shifted a day forwards, and up to Liverpool, to assist with the fact that Bangor’s pitch is… Well, you can guess from the video footage they shared during the week how well their pitch has fared.
Nemesis go the way of the Dragons
Yep, it’s our second casualty of the 16/17 season, as the Northampton Nemesis have been forced to withdraw from competition due to a lack of available players.
Nemesis President, Jack Verling, shared with DC:
We have had to withdraw ourselves from the remainder of this season due to an insufficient squad size (a combination of low recruitment and several veteran players dropping out). We feel the best step forward is to take a break as a team, and come back stronger in the next academic year – this shouldn’t be the end of Northampton American Football.
Troubling times for a programme that saw such great early success and had the potential to become a regular contender in the 2A Midlands. We join the Nation in wishing the Nemesis the best with their road to recovery!
Of course, this means their fixture against the Coventry Jets this weekend, as well as remaining fixtures against the DMU Falcons, Huddersfield Hawks and Leicester Longhorns will, we assume, all be awarded as walkovers.
Pyros’ flame continue to sputter
And one has to wonder whether the next team to follow the Spartans, Dragons and Nemesis into withdrawal might be the UWS Pyros, who have struggled with low numbers throughout this season, leading to three heavy losses in the fixtures they’ve played, alongside a number of postponements.
Their Rain Week rematch of the Edinburgh Predators game (pushed back due to lack of medical cover) was delayed further due to lack of coaches, and this weekend’s game against the feisty Heriot-Watt side has had to be postponed, or potentially forfeited, due to a lack of available players.
Troubling news for the long-tenured programme, but hopefully they can find a way to rally more bodies to the cause and play out the remains of their season!
Dark times for Division Two
This means that once again we see the fixtures dropped coming exclusively from Division Two, where there will now be three walkovers awarded this weekend, and potentially a fourth pending decision of the UWS/Heriot-Watt game.
With every team’s season already reduced to six games, these drop outs see the amount of football being played in the bottom tier reduced even further, causing a great amount of dissatisfaction for those teams in the tier who do have all the pieces in place to play fixtures every weekend and are eager for more opportunities to develop both on and off the field.