Another corker of a week in our third weekend of BUCS action, as not only did we see the culmination of the Opal Series regular season, but a great variety of results in an almost-complete slate of Uniball games!
There were a lot of deserving teams for a Good Week mention this week, but we simply can’t call out all of them else it’ll lose its sheen! Still, we’ve crammed in those we felt most worthy:
- The Bristol Barracuda did a good job of expunging the memory of their 26-0 loss to the Lancers last year, as they leapt out to an early lead in their South West showdown. They possibly let their foot off the gas a little too soon however, as their 28-7 lead was reduced to a mere 4-point victory after the Lancers’ aerial attack found its groove in the second half, the game closing out a 35-31 victory to the Cuda, who move to 2-0.
- The Brighton Panthers might have lost, but boy did they make a game of it considering only a week ago they were scorched by the Burners 40-3! Only a few days apart and these two fixtures were chalk and cheese as this second showdown saw a defensive slugfest, only eventually decided by a fourth-quarter touchdown!
- The UWE Bullets earned their first top-tier victory with a 14-20 win over the Hurricanes that really shakes up the shape of the Premiership South!
- We asked the QMBL Vipers to prove they were Division One material, and they stepped up to the plate! Even this early in the season, their 9-0 victory over the Chargers could well go a long way to ensuring the Vipers are here to stay in the middle tier!
Colonials on the march!
The Lincoln Colonials suffered their way through a grim 2017/18 season, going winless and perhaps most painfully, pointless, through their five-game campaign. Roll forward to the 18/19 season and the Colonials got their season off to an impressively strong start with a shutout victory over the Chester Legion, posting up more points than we suspect they had players on the roster at this point last year!
We promised new-logo lids with a win – they should be on their way to your Facebook inbox guys!
Stags buck their way to Game of the Week victory
We’ve been receiving some really positive feedback on our new Game of the Week format articles – and we suspect it helps that so far most of the fixtures we’ve covered have been absolute bangers!
Easily the best showdown so far, however, was the Stags and Cobras squaring off on Sunday, as both outfits traded the lead back and forth throughout the fixture. Cobras drew first blood, before the Stags stabbed back, Cobras went ahead again, then Stags answered back with a score and 2PAT to take their first lead… it was an action-packed four quarters, but ultimately the new boys in the middle tier emerged on top, and currently sit pride of place 2-0 atop 1A South West!
Fourth Quarter Magic Gives Mustangs Win Over Knights
Were it not for the final forty-five or so seconds of this fixture, we’d probably be talking about the Napier Knights in this spot. The Knights seemed on track for a second-straight defensive shutout to open their campaign, with an interception returned to the two-yard line setting up the Knights’ lone score and a goal-line stand from just outside their own endzone keeping hold of it.
However, the Mustangs found some magic in their final drive, moving steadily down the field and assisted by hotheads from the Knights – an Unsportsmanlike Conduct penalty giving Northumbria a fresh set of downs inside the redzone with only seconds on the clock. Throwing caution to the wind, QB Christian Wood connected with Richie Howe for a heroic go-ahead score!
The 1A North looks like it’s going to be just as hotly contested as it was last year… and we’re loving it.
Undefeated – Pirates and Cougars reign supreme in Opal 18
And the 2018 Opal Series wrapped up on Saturday with an undefeated champion crowned in each of the conferences.
The East Kilbride Pirates built on their strong 2017 campaign with an undefeated regular season, going 14-0, most crucially picking up a 26-20 win over the Sheffield Giants that clinched them the conference title, and avenging the 20-24 loss to Sheffield side in 2017.
Meanwhile, the Coventry Cougars continued their utterly unstoppable form, wrapping up their 12-0 series with an average scoreline of 66-2 through their eleven games played. Can anyone hope to slow the Cougars down as they seek to pick up yet another Opal Series title?