Week Five is in the bank and what a corker it was! Certainly some big results in the mix, including a first ever league win, some crucial top of the table clashes, and news from the finals of the 2017 Opal Series!
- In two top of the table tilts we saw the Brighton Panthers and Kent Falcons emerge victorious and move to 3-0 at the top of their respective conferences. Both have another fixture remaining before the break to see if they can head to chrimbo undefeated.
- A decade or so in the making, with these two sides having had a loooong history together in the South West, the Plymouth Blitz posted their first ever win over the UWE Bullets this weekend, 28-16. The win moves the south coast side, only promoted this season, top in the 1A South West for now… Though Cardiff have a chance to swipe the top spot back next weekend.
- The Birmingham Lions’ year may have started with a whimper, but they roared this weekend as they hosted the top of the table, undefeated Hurricanes, and mauled the travelling team at their ‘WonderLion’ event. Herts’ seemed to have no answer to a revitalised Birmingham offence, that quickly capitalised on ‘Canes’ mistakes to take a statement 36-19 victory.
Legion march to first ever league win
The Legion weathered a storm in their first season of Uniball last year – going winless and mustering on 12 points of offence across six fixtures… but the young programme found their first taste of success on Sunday as they hosted a beleaguered Bradford Bears, posting up 40 points in a convincing performance.
Tigers bitten by Sharks, in Yorkshire
A headline we guarantee you’ll only see in sports, the Hull Sharks shook up the 1A North at the weekend as they bested the previously undefeated, and largely unchallenged to this point in the season, Glasgow Tigers.
Perhaps even better than a scoreline that really shakes up the conference, is the way the result came together in the final minutes of the fixture:
“Into the fourth and Glasgow lead 0-3 in a game much better than scoreline suggests.
Sharks forced to punt but it hits a Glasgow player downfield and Hull recover deep in Tigers’ territory. They capitalise on the extra chance and convert the 2pt. 8-3.
A drive each way, but defences are dominating, until a botched punt snap sees Glasgow take over with good field position.
Glasgow score with 60 seconds remaining, and convert the 2pts to take an 8-11 lead… Their kick off however sails out of bounds.
Sharks start on their own 35 and on third down take a 5 yard hitch 65 yards for the TD and convert the 2pts! 16-11
The Sharks kick off is shut down inside the Glasgow 10 with less than 30 seconds left – surely that is the game?
But no! Catch and run by Glasgow #12 see Glasgow given one last chance to snatch the win – 4 seconds left on the Hull 12 yd line…
Incomplete pass ends the game.
The win moves Hull into first place in the 1A North… Despite still having a negative point differential following their opening day loss to the Mustangs.
Cougars claim second straight Opal Series Championship
The Coventry Cougars maintained their place a top the Women’s flag game with a dominant outing on Saturday – blasting their way through the Gold bracket knock out tournament to make it to the National Final – something they’ve achieved every single season since Opal began!
Facing against them were the new kids on the block, similarly from the Southern Conference the Hyde Park Renegades had made a splash in the Series by going undefeated thus far in their first ever attempt at Opal – including an impressive win over the Cougars, 20-13, only a fortnight earlier!
Still, the Cougars had clearly prepped well for their second shot at the Renegades, and put on a spectacle – a 44-6 rampage over the Renegades, securing the Opal Championship for yet another year!
But which teams didn’t have a happy time during Week Five?