By Twm Owen
The first of back-to-back fixtures likely to decide the destination of the British American Football Association Division Two South West title takes place this weekend.
The South Wales Warriors travel to Paignton to put their 5-0 record on the line against the equally perfect Torbay Trojans.
The victors of Sunday’s clash (2pm) will hold the advantage ready for the rematch a fortnight later at the Warriors’ Llanharan home.
The fixture list and the situation mirrors last season when both undefeated teams first met in Paignton where the Warriors needed a late defensive touchdown to secure a 6-14 victory in the first game in which they had trailed an opponent last season.
The Warriors then asserted their dominance in the return fixture with a 42-0 victory at the Dairy Field to seal the west title in a season which ultimately finished at the semi-final stage.
The Trojans are ranked number 10 and will be keen to show they are equal to the Warriors despite having played several closer games than their high scoring visitors.
Both sides last played on June 9 when the Warriors enjoyed a comfortable 7-26 road win over the Somerset Wyverns.
On the same day the Trojans did put up 49 unanswered points over the division’s bottom side the Worcestershire Black Knights. That gave the Trojans their second big victory over the Black Knights having also recorded a 46-0 victory in Worcester early in the season.
Otherwise, though the Trojans have been in closer, lower scoring games this season. They opened their season with a 20-12 home victory over the Bristol Apache, the team relegated from division one who they heavily recruited from during the off-season, and only two points separated them in Cornwall from the Sharks whose only victory has come against the Black Knights.
While the Warriors were unable to break the 30 point margin, as they have in all their other games, in their two fixtures against the Somerset Wyverns they were never really challenged in either game. The Trojans could only score two defensive touchdowns when they visited Somerset.