It was a HUGE weekend of fixtures, both in the world of Uniball, and of course the Sapphire Series Finals took place this Saturday!
While we lost half the BUCS fixtures to the weather, there’s still more than enough good and bad to go around!
- The Brighton Panthers unbeaten streak continues with a win over the Regents. As #1 seed, they’ll now host the Div Two South Conference Cup fixture (most likely next weekend) and most impressive of all? It’s now been 20 Quarters of football since the Panthers’ D conceded a single point!
- The Portsmouth Dreadnoughts Women’s team completed an undefeated season on Saturday, clinching the Sapphire 2A Title with a hard-fought win over a tough Sandwell Steelers side, 18-14.
- Alongside them, the Oxford Saints women overturned their regular series loss against Kent to win the inaugural 2B Series Championship, with an impressive 42-18 victory over the Exiles.
- The Newcastle Raiders capitalised on two defensive scores to earn themselves a place in the Division Two North Conference Cup Final – a Safety and a Pick Six giving them the edge in a defensive duel with the Manchester Tyrants that saw the Raiders stifle a 2PAT attempt following a late score from the Tyrants that would’ve likely taken the game to overtime.
Lions make it FIVE straight with Sapphire Series Championship victory
The Lions made short work of Manchester in the first round, taking a 42-2 victory, before seeing a repeat of last year’s Championship final – taking on the Carnegie Chargers.
Credit where it’s due, the Chargers are clearly determined to close the gap on the Lions. With a final score of 40-22 a significant shift from last years 56-6 Championship Final result, the Lions will need to continue to up their game series after series to stay ahead of their hungry rivals in the women’s game.
Bullets shoot into the top tier
They had to overcome some pretty shoddy weather and a slow first quarter, but the UWE Bullets are Premiership bound following a 26-3 win over the Kent Falcons – an impressive feat considering the Falcons had conceded only 34 points all season long prior to this semi-final fixture!
UWE will take the Bath Killer Bee’s place in the Prem South next season, and hopes at the programme are that their top tier placement next season will attract even more talent to their fledgeling scholarship programme, allowing them to really mix it up in the Premiership next season.
First up, however, is their date at Sixways Stadium next weekend!
Braves blast their way to their first National Championship game
They rightly gave our BUCS Office some schtick on Twitter following the game, as despite #TeamDC picking unanimously against the Braves, Derby took a second-straight win against Stirling, knocking the defending champions out of the postseason and earning the Midlands side their first-ever trip to the BUCS National Championship!
Tight interior defence and the ability to bust big plays when it really mattered gave Derby a narrow 13-12 lead going into the second half, which they were then able to capitalise upon for a further score in the fourth quarter.
With light snow throughout the game, Stirling couldn’t seem to get their passing going at all in the second half, forcing them to grind down the clock on the ground despite needing to chase an 8-point deficit to simply take the game to overtime. With a final hail mary attempt going out the back of the end zone, Derby were able to kneel out the final 36 seconds and head to their first ever National Championship fixture – should we expect a big Braves crowd on Sunday given the quick 90 minute trip to Worcester?
But which outfits didn’t have a great time of it this weekend?