If The Season Ended Today – Unofficial – BAFANL Week 16

As we get towards the sharp end of the season, the playoff picture gets clearer and clearer every week. Here’s how things are looking after Week 15’s action.

PREMIER

As a reminder, the Premier is the easiest tier to calculate as the equation is simple – top two go through in each division, no wildcards.

Premier North

Tamworth Phoenix 2015 LTamworth Phoenix beat Sheffield this week, putting them on an insurmountable 9-0. With nothing to play for in their final regular season game against Premier North runners-up Merseyside Nighthawks, we suspect both teams may play their cards close to their chests…

In the relegation battle, Coventry Jets are cut off at the bottom.

 

Premier South

London Warriors LNo surprises here – at 9-0, the London Warriors have sealed the division. London Blitz have secured second place.

London Olympians are confirmed as down.

 

 

FIRST ROUND FIXTURES:

These fixtures are now locked up – each team’s remaining fixtures cannot effect their seeding.

Tamworth Phoenix (9-0) v London Blitz (7-2)
London Warriors (9-0) v Merseyside Nighthawks (7-2)

DIVISION 1

Getting a little more complicated now – in the three divisions in the second tier, the top two from each will go through. In addition, the two best 3rd place teams will also qualify.

NFC I

Edinburgh Wolves LThe NFC I has been dominated by the 10-0 Edinburgh Wolves, whose qualification has been assured for a while – they sealed the division last week and a perfect regular season and #1 seed this week. Yorkshire Rams (7-3) were Edinburgh’s final victim and after occupying second place for much of the season, now fall to third by virtue of head-to-head against the Manchester Titans (7-3).

 

 

MFC I

Sandwell Steelers LThe Sandwell Steelers (9-1) were crowned division champions in Week 12.

We have it on good authority that the Ouse Valley Eagles have forfeited their Week 14 fixture against the Doncaster Mustangs – so the ‘Stangs have secured second place. The Nottingham Caesars lost to Sandwell but it mattered not – Solent’s loss to Kent means that the Caesars have taken the final playoff berth.

 

SFC I

Bury Saints LThe 9-0-1 Bury Saints sealed the division last week and the undefeated season this week. The 8-2 Kent Exiles are a firm second place. Solent Thrashers had a chance to make the big dance and got the required help from Sandwell, but couldn’t uphold their end of the deal in their loss to Kent. This meant Sussex Thunder overtook them to take third, but have the worst record of the third placed teams so will not be in the postseason.

 

 

FIRST ROUND FIXTURES AS IT STANDS:

Caveat: BAFA are yet to clarify how the seedings will work – this is prepared on the assumption that the 1st place teams will be ranked ahead of the 2nd place teams, who will be ranked ahead of the 3rd place teams. This also applies to the Div 2 NFC and Div 2 SFC playoffs.

With no more regular season games to play in Division One these teams playoff berths are locked down.

#1 Edinburgh Wolves (10-0) v #8 Nottingham Caesars (6-4)
#2 Bury Saints (9-0-1) v #7 Yorkshire Rams (7-3)
#3 Sandwell Steelers (9-1) v #6 Manchester Titans (7-3, 19 papg)
#4 Kent Exiles (8-2)  v #5 Doncaster Mustangs (7-3, 17.7 papg)

Having withdrawn from competition we are assuming Clyde Valley Blackhawks and Peterborough Saxons will be the two sides demoted. However, BAFA have stated there may also be other relegations others at their discretion.

DIVISION 2 – NFC

NFC II North

Newcastle Vikings LNewcastle Vikings put themselves in pole position by giving the recently un-coached Glasgow Tigers a big hiding. Newcastle are 7-1 and will definitely be going to the playoffs in some position or other. Glasgow are 6-2 and have not conceded many points so will probably get in, but need another win to confirm it. The 5-3 Aberdeen Roughnecks hold 3rd. The 4-4 Dundee Hurricanes are not yet eliminated, but need to win out if they are to stand a realistic chance of qualifying.

 

NFC II West

Leeds Bobcats LLeeds Bobcats have won the division by virtue of being 8-1 and holding the head-to-head over Chester. The 6-2 Chester Romans are confirmed in 2nd as they hold the head-to-head over the Halton Spartans. Halton’s big loss to Leeds could hurt them in a number of ways – they are now right in the inter-divisional mixer on 5-4 and 26.8 average points conceded..

 

 

NFC II South

Leicester Falcons LThe 8-0 Leicester Falcons are now division champs. Staffordshire Surge sit 2nd on 5-3 and 3rd place is held by the 5-4 Shropshire Revolution. Contrary to last week’s article, Shropshire do in fact hold the head-to-head over Staffordshire so they merely need to equal the Surge’s record to overthrow them from their silver throne.

 

 

FIRST ROUND FIXTURES AS IT STANDS:

The caveat regarding seeding noted above stands for these fixtures as well. Once BAFA have released confirmed seeding clarification we can amend as necessary.

With most teams still having two games yet to play there’s still a lot of potential for movement in the seedings.

#1 Leicester Falcons (8-0) v #8 Shropshire Revolution (5-4, 22.3 papg)
#2 Leeds Bobcats (8-1) v #7 Aberdeen Roughnecks (5-3)
#3 Newcastle Vikings (7-1) v #6 Staffordshire Surge (5-3)
#4 Glasgow Tigers (6-2, 10.1 papg) v #5 Chester Romans (6-2, 19.8 papg)

 

DIVISION 2 – SFC

SFC II West

Oxford Saints LOxford Saints have already sealed the division, but improved to 9-0. Second place Bristol Apache (7-2) will not have their place confirmed until the final week of the regular season. The 3rd place Cornish Sharks (5-3) are hanging on and in with a decent shout at a 3rd place playoff spot. Heck, they could even nab second if they beat Torbay and then beat Bristol by 7 or more…

 

 

SFC II South

East Kent Mavericks LThe SFC II South is led by two 7-1 teams, the East Kent Mavericks and the Berkshire Renegades, with not so much as a gnat’s fart between them. The Mavs currently hold the head-to-head but the two face off again in week 17. The Bournemouth Bobcats occupy 3rd place on a strong 6-2 record. This is one of the closest divisions around!

 

 

SFC II East

London Hornets LThe London Hornets roll on to 8-0 and are assured of a postseason place. The currently second place Wembley Stallions are 7-2 and have to play the Hornets one more time, which is why the Hornets are not yet confirmed as division champs. The third place, 6-3 Cambridgeshire Cats are suddenly right in the frame for second place – they have the head-to-head over Wembley so merely need to beat bottom-dwelling Ipswich and hope that the Hornets repeat this week’s result in the reverse game to propel them up the table!

 

FIRST ROUND FIXTURES AS IT STANDS:

The caveat regarding seeding noted above stands for these fixtures as well. Once BAFA have released confirmed seeding clarification we can amend as necessary.

With most teams still having one or two games yet to play there’s still a lot of potential for movement in the seedings.

#1 London Hornets (8-0, 4.6 papg) v #8 Cambridgeshire Cats (6-3)
#2 Oxford Saints (9-0, 10.5 papg) v #7 Bournemouth Bobcats (6-2)
#3 East Kent Mavericks (7-1) v #6 Wembley Stallions (7-2, 12.6 papg)
#4 Berkshire Renegades (7-1, 6 papg) v #5 Bristol Apache (7-2, 9.2 papg) 

N.B. We are keeping London and Oxford ranked by papg rather than number of wins, as ultimately this will be the tiebreaker in the event that neither loses.

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