Rookie Recap – BAFA NL Week Three

First and foremost our goal here at DC is to grow the game!

However, to do so, Britball needs to find a way to tap into the UK’s vast and passionate sporting audience… sadly, most of which, don’t even realise Britball exists!

To that end, here’s a new trial series, aimed at giving newcomers to the #BritballNation the low down on what went down during the preceding weekend of Britball

If you’re new to the game, as a fan or a player, it can be a daunting prospect to try to get your head around the staggering number of results coming in during the heart of the summer seasons… DC’s here to try to demystify that for you!

So let’s jump right into it:

Rookie Recap – BAFA NL Week Three

So, what football happened this weekend?

AN AWFUL LOT OF BRITBALL!!

  • The Tamworth Phoenix repped Britball abroad as they got their competitive European debut in the North European Football League – a competition between the National champs of a number of European nations.
    The Phoenix took on Denmark’s Copenhagen Towers… and it’s fair to say it didn’t go great.
  • The domestic Under 17s and Under 19s leagues got underway! …Worryingly we still don’t actually have a confirmed structure or schedule for either of these so some of these fixtures took us a bit by surprise!
  • Under 17s play a five-a-side format of football and use a tournament format, typically on Saturdays – four teams head to one venue and play three games each.
  • Under 19s football has been split into two tiers this year for the first time – with the top tier (Division One) playing a 9-a-side format of Football, while Division Two plays 7-a-side football.
  • The Adult National Leagues Full Contact season entered its third week. There were sixteen fixtures across the three tiers (Premiership, Division One, Division Two.)
  • The Women’s game began its Diamond Series this weekend. The Diamond Series represents the annual opportunity for ballers from all across the British Women’s game to try out the 11-a-side format of the game. Designed to bridge the gap between the five- and seven-a-side formats of the game, and the 11-a-side National Programme. Emphasising just how big the women’s game is growing, for the first time this year the Diamond Series will feature three regional teams – the Southern Blaze, Northern Blizzard and the all-new Midlands Shock.

Ok, I want to find out about how my local team did!

  • First up, if you’re not sure who your local team is? You can find that out on our map. You can even filter it to only show your local full-contact Adult team – just open up the menu (top left) and untick all the options except ‘BAFA NL Adult League’ – et voila!
  • If you know which team you’re interested in, you can check out the weekend’s results either on our Facebook page, with a pinned post of all the scores, or search our Adult Results page where you could search for just your team, or a specific conference or week of the schedule!
  • Make sure you also check to see if your team has a website or social media of their own – like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

Right, got it. I’ve checked up on my team, but now I want to know the important stuff that went on elsewhere!

You’ve got it!

Phoenix Struggle in European Debut

The reigning British National Champions headed to Denmark this past weekend to take on the Copenhagen Towers, but were found wanting – suffering their heaviest loss in recent memory, 50-7.

The scoreline certainly looks bad, but it’s worth remembering a few things here:

Denmark have a semi-pro league, allowing them a number of paid players, some of which have experience of the game at a very high level in the states – including the Towers’ 2017 Offensive MVP Dayton Winn who previously played NCAA football across the pond:

The Phoenix lost out 50-7 in their first foray into European football, but with their next fixture at home? Expect Tamworth to have learned a lot from this experience and be a much stiffer challenge when they face their next European opponent, the Carlstadt Crusaders, on May 12th.

Titans and Blitz start strong in Under 19s

Two favourites to be contenders in their respective conferences in the Under 19s leagues found success on Sunday, as the Manchester Titans came from behind in the second half to take a 14-6 win over the Chester Romans, while reigning National Champions, the London Blitz, put in a confident performance against local rivals recently returned to U19s football, the London Warriors, with a 22-0 win.

We started out Under 19’s coverage this week, and hope to have a lot more to share with you about this crucial part of the British game moving forwards… Only we’re still waiting for a confirmed schedule and structure! Which is kinda awkward when fixtures are already getting underway.

Etone Jaguars dominate in opening U17s tournament

Much to our surprise (again, we’re frustratingly lacking in schedules with which to plan our preview content) the Sandwell Steelers hosted the opening tournament of the Under 17s league this Saturday.

The Tournament featured four teams kick off their campaigns – the Steelers, alongside the Etone Jaguars (entering their second year of competition) the Tamworth Phoenix, and the Leicester Falcons – rookie late additions to the league after the withdrawal of the Black Country Vipers just ahead of the season.

The Jaguars impressed in this opening tourney, winning all three of their fixtures – already outshining the number of wins they picked up in their rookie campaign last season!

And in the adult league…

The Edinburgh Wolves impressed in their first fixture of the year, taking a 30-10 win over the Sheffield Giants. With the Giants winning against the other top scots, the East Kilbride Pirates, earlier this year, it sets up the Wolves as strong favourites for their scot-off against the Pirates, upcoming this weekend!

In the Premiership South we saw a couple of competitive games between the Bristol Aztecs and London Olympians (20-7 to the Aztecs) and Farnham Knights and Bury Saints (26-16 to Farnham) giving encouraging signs that while these four teams may be well off the pace of the top two London teams in the Prem South, we’ll see see a whole bunch of competitive match ups between the rest of them!

In Division One two key matchups to take note of were a pair of nail-biting victories;
The Northumberland Vikings came from 0-19 down at the half to win 20-19 over local rivals the Gateshead Senators, while the Sandwell Steelers required a closing seconds goal-line stand to fend off an impressive looking Shropshire Revolution who gambled by going for 2 points and the win, rather than the 1pt kick and a tie, following a late score, allowing Sandwell to edge through as 20-19 victors as well!

And finally, in Division Two we saw a number of teams impress with their offensive output – lots of healthy looking scorelines for fans of highlight reels!

The Chester Romans impressed with a 30-0 win in their 2018 debut over a Halton Spartans team that had gotten off to a strong start themselves, and both the Worcestershire Black Knights and Dumfries Hunters turned some heads with their margins of victory (34-6) over the Wyverns and Blackhawks respectively.

And lastly, while they eventually came up short, the Norwich Devils returned to league action for the first time in 7 years this weekend and were certainly no pushovers – putting up 20 pts on a London Blitz B side widely touted as favourites for their conference title. Though the Blitz took with win with a confident 38-20 performance, don’t sleep on the Devils this year!


If you have any questions about the British game that you want answered? Don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Find us on Facebook and Twitter, or simply comment down below!

Alternatively, start a conversation with the Britball community by commenting on the Facebook post for this article.

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Nick

Nick 'Willy Tee' Wilson-Town hails from the South West where he's spent the last decade bouncing around various teams at the university and senior level. He came to fame on the now departed unofficial forum thanks to his regularly irreverent Uniball predictions and general 'BUAFL wafflage'. Follow him on twitter @WillyTee1