Another week and, despite there being only a single game played, all the staples that we’ve come to expect from the Junior league: tough Football; unfortunate player turnout and Blitz dominance.
By Alex Mclachlan
London Blitz vs Farnham Knights
On Sunday, the Farnham Knights travelled to the home of the London Blitz, in what was always going to be a tough contest. Circumstances for the Knights, coupled with an all-round impressive display by the Blitz, led to a 46-6 victory for the London side.
The Knights were hit with the unfortunate plague of Under 19s Football, that is the Summer holidays, leaving them with reduced numbers and the absence of key players. They performed admirably, holding the score to 8-6 midway through the second quarter, but further injuries, including one to team captain Jonny Mee, left them with a mere fifteen fit players by the half. With that, despite competing until the final whistle, the result was assured.
However, this should not take anything away from the Blitz team, and the performance that their players put in. You can only beat the team opposite you, and the Blitz certainly did that. They were strong across the board, as they have been all season long, with their size and speed being marvelled at by opposition coaches. Their close links with the DSA programme, along with the withdrawal of the London Warriors from Junior competition, means that the Blitz have the pick of London’s best young ‘ballers, along with some of the best coaching for them.
That being said, there were some standout performers for the Blitz. A backfield combo of fullback Jason Soetan and running back Aaron Mahoney-Jones ran rampant all day, the former laying some huge blocks to spring the latter, and allow him to showcase his speed. On the defensive side of the ball, Domonyc Steer displayed his nose for the ball, getting himself a pick and returning it to the 1-yard line. The Blitz coaches were especially impressed with their rookies on Sunday, with players making impacts in their very first games. Of particular note was Malachi Jameson, who made a huge difference on defence.
This result was not only important in and of itself however, as it has major implications for the postseason also. With the victory, the Blitz move to 3-1, and are in the driving seat to take second place in their conference. Farnham, on the other hand, now face an uphill battle, and will have to hope that other results go their way, should they want to make it to the grand final. They have also lost some ground in their goal of reaching the third-fourth playoff, allowing both Solent and Kent a foot in the door, that both will be hoping to capitalise on.
Congratulations too, must go to the Birmingham Lions. With Farnham’s loss, no one can catch the Lions, making them champions of their division! They will go into the playoffs with this title, though must remain focused if they are to hold onto it.