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!
This weekend was all about #YouthBall (Eds: so… you’ll put pretty much anything in front of ‘ball’ and hashtag it I guess?) as sixteen programmes sent their best and brightest young Britballers to Sheffield to compete in the National Championship and National Plate tournaments.
Youth football is for ‘Ballers under seventeen, playing five on five match ups. Unlike other levels of the sport, Youth Ballers play multiple games in a day, and in these final tournaments, hosted in Sheffield Hallam University Sports Park, each team would be playing three match ups – with only the team that makes it through all three undefeated coming away with silverware!
First up was the National Plate Finals, made up of teams that came second in their respective regional conference:
U17 Plate Round One:
In many ways, the Round one match ups were the most important of the day. Lose here and a team could go no higher than 5th place, even if they dominated their subsequent fixtures.
The highlight of the first round was the Highland Wildcats lighting up the Cornish Sharks. The two programmes couldn’t be much further apart geographically, and apparently the scoreline also decided to reflect this.
Leeds Academy Assassins 24 v 13 Bedfordshire Blackhawks
Tamworth Phoenix 19 v 14 London Warriors
Highlands WIldcats 48 v 0 Cornish Sharks
Buckinghamshire Wolves 36 v 25 Manchester Titans
U17 Plate Round Two:
The field was now split – four programmes were playing for ranking, while the four winners from Round One were still in the hunt for silverware.
Leeds Academy Assassins 19 v 32 Tamworth Phoenix
Highlands WIldcats 38 v 0 Buckinghamshire Wolves
Bedfordshire Blackhawks 0 v 19 London Warriors
Cornish Sharks 16 v 39 Manchester Titans
U17 Plate Round Three:
This set up the final round to determine the #1-#8 rankings.
With the day winding on, the Sharks and the LA Assassins both took away walkover wins. In the 5th place final the Titans put on a show – putting out their best offensive performance of the day against the previously staunch London Warriors.
In the Plate final the Wildcats utter dominance of the Plate tourney continued, rolling out clear victors over the Phoenix – who at least did managed to singe the ‘Cats whiskers by putting up the only points the Highlanders had conceded all tournament!
Plate Final: Tamworth Phoenix 6-33 Highland Wildcats
3rd Place Final: LA Assassins 1-0 Buckinghamshire Wolves
5th Place Final: London Warriors 28-41 Manchester Titans
7th Place Final: Bedfordshire Blackhawks 0-1 Cornish Sharks
The Cats continue to show they’re a national force in the Youth and Junior games as they walk away with their second piece of crockery for #Britball16!
(We’re given to believe Plate trophies are actually more metally, and shiny, but this’ll do for now).
Next up came the eight conference champions – competing in the same three-round format tournament for the right to be declared Youth National Champions.
U17 Championship Round One:
The first round included some very tight fixtures as teams battle to ensure they’d be in the top half of the tourney rankings. Solent and Kent were edged out by the narrowest of margins.
Chester Romans 40 v 11 Lincolnshire Bombers
East Kilbride Pirates 16 v 8 Birmingham Bulls
Solent Thrashers 22 v 24 Cobham Cougars
Essex Spartans 8 v 7 Kent Exiles
U17 Championship Round Two:
Round two saw the two finalists stamp their authority on the tourney, each earning comfortable wins to secure their place in the National Final.
Chester Romans 13 v 25 East Kilbride Pirates
Cobham Cougars 34 v 14 Essex Spartans
Lincolnshire Bombers 12 v 23 Birmingham Bulls
Solent Thrashers 19 v 6 Kent Exiles
U17 Championship Round Three:
It seems the pirates were saving the best ’til last as they caught fire in the final and gave their strongest performance of the day. The Cougars clearly weren’t able to keep pace as the EKP Youth players went one step further than their slightly older brethren in the Juniors, and sailed away with a National Championship.
National Championship Final: East Kilbride Pirates 37 v 6 Cobham Cougars
3rd Place Final: Chester Romans 22 v 12 Essex Spartans
5th Place Final: Birmingham Bulls 24 v 6 Solent Thrashers
7th Place Final: Lincolnshire Bombers 0 v 27 Kent Exiles
It was certainly a very successful weekend for #Scotsball (yup, we’re doing that one too!) as both top Scottish programmes came away with silverware. Scottish teams took home three of the four available Youth/Junior trophies this summer, with the Pirates narrowly missing out on the Junior Championship to boot! With Scottish teams now making up a third of the Prem North and their development schemes developing the best young ballers in the country? The future looks bright for #Britball north of the wall.