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 the British American Football Association hosted the biggest international football weekend in the history of the #BritballNation!
There were five full contact international fixtures hosted at Sixways Stadium, Worcester this weekend, as the GB Lions Men hosted the Group B Tournament of the IFAF Europe Qualifiers for the 2018 IFAF European Championships, and the GB Lions Women welcomed #TeamSpain’s Women for an international friendly fixture.
**Spoiler Alert** It was a pretty good weekend for Great Britain.
Friday 16 September
European Championships Qualifying Tournament Round One
Game One – Czechia vs Netherlands
The first game of the weekend saw the #2 seeded Czech Republic taking on the Dutch Lions. Both sides looked impressive in size and ability during warm ups, with the dutch defensive line in particular showing a great balance of strength size and pace – particularly former NFL draftee Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe.
The Dutch started the game with the ball and came out ballin – a great return by Kevin Wesserling on the opening kickoff saw the Dutch start their drive in Czech territory, and it took only a few quick plays for Quarterback RIchard Bouthoorn to find Ananias Semedo in the corner of the end zone and take a 7-0 lead.
The subsequent Czech drive saw the Dutch defensive line dominant – Defensive End Kevin Bourne in particular causing problems for the Czech offence throughout the first half. A high snap on the punt meant the second Dutch drive would similarly start in Czech territory after the Czech punter made the best of a bad situation and scrambled to get a kick away out of the back of his own end zone.
The Lions moved the ball well, but penalties cost them and they were forced to settle for a field goal on. Similarly, the first productive drive from the Czech offence in the first half saw them picked off and returned deep into Czech territory – allowing another Dutch field goal, taking a 13-0 lead
The Czechs were showing signs of life however, driving deep into dutch territory as the clock wound down to the half – testing the Dutch defence twice from inside their own 1 yd line as they stuffed a first run from QB Jan Dundáček, only for an offside flag to give the big Czech QB another shot from the 1/2 yard line – just to be stuffed short once more.
However, the second half was all about the Czech Republic. Their defence stepped up the pressure as the first Dutch drive, now led by second-string QB Sven Janssen, stalled within their own 30 – indeed the Lions barely saw Czech territory during the second half.
Jan Dundáček brought the Czech offence to life, rushing for their opening score – though the PAT went awry with a bad snap leading to an improvised pass picked off in the end zone.
Fourth quarter, and the Czech passing game came to life Dundáček going long as the Dutch D jumped offside and moving the offence into the red zone. An initial score from Lukáš Růžek was flagged away, forcing them to settle for a field goal attempt that went wide left.
On the subsequent drive the Czechs would not be denied as Jan Dundáček drove the Czechs into Dutch territory with a combination of short sharp passes and powerful running for a QB – rounding out the drive with his second rushing score of the game – tying it up at 13-13.
The Dutch came out with their third Quarterback of the day, with Sven Janssen clearly looking dejected on the sideline and WR/K Tom van Duijn stepping in under centre. However, the Czech’s defence were finding their form and when the Dutch Running Back bobbled the hand off, Czech defensive lineman Ladlislav Pulec came out of the pile holding the football.
All the momentum now was clearly with the #2 seeds and it took them only one play to capitalise on the turnover – Lukáš Růžek taking the hand off at the 43yd line and making Dutch players miss all across the field to take in the score – 20 to 13 with the clock running down.
Heads were clearly dropping on the Dutch sideline, and with their 3rd string QB struggling to quite sync up with his receivers a turnover on downs allowed the Czechs to run out the clock on a demoralised Lions’ defence.
Full Time Czechia 20-13 Netherlands and an impressive second half performance from the Czechs – a clear threat to whoever they were about to meet in the winners’ fixture.
Highlights of this game we be up on YouTube shortly!