The Scoop – 20/21 August 2016

We’ve been reliably informed that on Sundays, some of the #BritballNation actually do something other than pay attention to our manic live coverage of each and every* Britball game?!

Little things like working, supporting, or even playing in the actual games themselves all rather inconveniently get in the way of keeping yourself up to speed with the results and ramifications from around the #Nation.

Never fear, DC is here! With a scoop of the important bits from the past weekend of Britball!


Youth, Junior, Division One and the Premiership are all wrapped up, so there were only eight games across the #BritballNation this weekend as the third tier entered the postseason.
So what’s the scoop?

Division Two North

It was a great week for the home teams in the North as we saw a wealth of fairly one sided match ups.

As expected, the seemingly untouchable Leicester Falcons made short work of the Staffordshire Surge, almost putting up a fifty-burger in the first half! Leading 48-0 entering Q3 it was therefore a rather pedestrian second half for the Falcons who, fighting the running clock as well as the stubborn Surge defenders, rolled out 62-0 victors. This Falcons season is looking like one of the most dominant in Britball history.

Similarly,the Newcastle Vikings made short work of the Glasgow Tigers. A far cry from when the Vikings scraped out a 7-0 victory in week five, the last two times the teams have met the Vikings have utterly dominated their NFC2North rivals –  54-14, 48-0. Indeed, the Tigers, who were having their strongest season since 2009, have gone 1-3 since the #Tigergate controversy where they parted ways with their Head Coach under murky circumstances.

The Leeds Bobcats got their game off to a shaky start when the Shropshire Revolution opened up the scoring early. It was a closely fought first half, and the Bobcats once again suffered DC’s wrath for their taunts regarding half-time cake supplies – seeing the Revs close the gap to a single point… However, from there the Bobcats, perhaps fuelled by their sugary midway treats, turned on the burners. Putting up nearly 40 points in a half of football (52-21 at full time) the Leeds team scored their second fifty burger of the season and advance to the semis looking dangerous.

The final fixture in the North was expected by many to be the most competitive. The Roughnecks had shown strength on defence all season long, keeping the Aberdeen side in their games by not conceding more than a pair of scores all season long. However, while the Aberdeen team have to be used to long trips, it seems the ~400mile trip south did a number on the Scotsmen that the Chester side’s namesake could never manage. The Chester Romans needed no wall to keep the Scots out – they dominated the Aberdeen Roughnecks right from the outset. For a clearly improving side that earned its postseason trip on the final day of the regular season it must have been a rough trip home for the Roughnecks following their 43-6 loss.

 

Division Two South

In the south at least things were a little bit more competitive – at least in a couple of the fixtures.

The SFC2West Champions, the Oxford Saints, have been building momentum going into the postseason. The Saints looked utterly dominant as they took their conference rivals, the Cornish Sharks, to pieces. GB Lions selectee James Walter continued to prove a man amongst boys in the basement tier, while lead back Tony Glover got the team pumped up in the pre-game, before powering in a clutch of TDs.

The Saints’ conference nemeses, the Bristol Apache, also had a strong start to their postseason. Travelling across the breadth of the ‘Nation to Kent, the Apache gave a hint at the relative strength between the SFC2 West and East as they put up their highest offensive output of the season on an East Kent Mavericks team that had led their conference for most of the season. The Bristol team’s 54-12 win sets up their third meeting of the season with the Oxford Saints – great news for the #BritballNation as sparks always fly when the Apache and Saints go head to head and the ultimate winner is the sport itself (Eds: Cringe…)

The other two southern fixtures were far more tense.

The Cambridgeshire Cats had finished their season strong, upsetting the previously undefeated Wembley Stallions in week thirteen to begin a three game win-streak entering playoffs. Their foundation is a strong defence that conceded no more than two scores all season long, and an offence that was finally clicking as the year came to a close. They travelled to a freshly crowned Berkshire Renegades side who had looked consistently strong on both sides of the ball, and indeed for much of the fixture the two teams were separated by only a single point, with the Cats holding a 14-13 lead. However, the Cats’ claws came out in the fourth, putting up two unanswered scores to come out 27-13 victors.

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Perhaps the most exciting fixture of the weekend took place in the capital, with the Wembley Stallions travelling to face their conference champs, the London Hornets, for the third time this year. The Hornets had gotten the best of both of these match ups, and so it was quite a surprise when the first reports coming from the sideline reported the Stallions holding a 13-0 lead! However, apparently making this scoreline public immediately jinxed the Wembley side as within moments of the scoreline going public the Hornets had piled in back to back scores for a 14-13 lead! The tense atmosphere built as the Hornets held their knife-edge lead into the fourth. The Stallions had the ball, and with the clock running down they took a shot downfield… Only to have it picked and returned for the score – sealing the Hornets 20-13 victory in the closing seconds of the game.

This gives us, with BAFANL thankfully not using the seed stealing format that BUCS confounded everyone with last year, with the following fixtures:

The Falcons will host the Romans, while the Vikings welcome the Bobcats. Down south the Hornets will play hosts to the Cats for the second time this season - a third meeting of the two teams with the previous two fixtures decided by the thinnest of margins. Similarly, two conference rivals go head to head when the Saints take on the Apache in what is one of the most hotly contested rivals in the tier.
The Falcons will host the Romans, a daunting task for the Chester team, while the Vikings welcome the ever hug-hunting Bobcats.
Down south the Hornets will play hosts to the Cats for the second time this season – a third meeting of the two teams with the previous two fixtures decided by the thinnest of margins. Similarly, two conference rivals go head to head when the Saints take on the Apache in what is one of the most hotly contested rivals in the tier.

#BurgerWatch

We’ll not get into what it says about the disparity between teams in the basement tier when six of of eight fixtures were decided by 30-or-greater points margins of victory… We’ll just cheer on the three earners of the burgers! #NOMNOMNOM

Apache-50-burger Falcons-burger Bobcats-50-burger

We’ve really gotta get these things sponsored…

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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