It’s the final week of the regular season in the Under 19’s game and, contrary to us jumping the gun a little early with re: the Farnham Knights, there’s still two postseason trophy spots up for grabs in the Southern Conference.
Chorley Buccaneers v Leeds Academy Assassins
by Kiren Brown
This weekend is a battle between two struggling teams in the Northern Conference. With the top four teams already set in stone, both teams will be fighting to stay clear of the bottom of the standings.
The home team, the Chorley Buccaneers will look to get their second win against a currently winless Leeds Assassins team this weekend in what should be a good northern battle although neither team will see the post season this year.
The Buccaneers look to bounce back after their loss on the road to the Highland Wildcats last week. After only conceding 34 points in 3 games before the heavy defeat, the Bucs’ defence will look to stay strong against a young Assassins outfit. Especially linebacker duo Alex Garcia and Dan Cleary who look to continue dominating the central field.
The Leeds Assassins will need to give it their all-in order to get their first win this season. After conceding an average of 38ppg this season, the Assassins need to seal up their Defense if they are to stop a Chorley offense behind QB Josh Mills that seems to be getting in rhythm.
After the loss to the Wildcats, Head Coach Dale Bottomley, he said that their aim in this fixture is to “execute aspects we have worked on in the weeks since our last game” and that that they look to ‘finish on a high’ after having an ‘extremely tough schedule’.
This fixture likely comes down to whether the Leeds side have the offensive strength to overcome a renowned strong Chorley D but as the Bucs’ last fixture showed, they can be scored against.
We look to forward to how the game will pan out!
Manchester Titans 1-0 Chester Romans (W/O)
Struggling for numbers this season, DC have been informed this fixture will not be going ahead as the Chester Romans feel they are unable to safely muster a sufficient roster to completely this match up.
Farnham Knights v Solent Seahawks
By Tom Henley
In their final game of the regular season, the Farnham Knights match up against the Solent Seahawks. Both teams still control of their own future, and look to book a place in the southern regional trophy.
A Farnham win would take the Knights to an impressive 4-2 record, however, those two losses involved a heavy defeat to the Blitz as well as a loss to this week’s opponents.
The record seems even more impressive considering that 70% of the Knights roster consists of U17 players, a very promising sign for the future of the team.
This season Farnham have been led by stalwarts; linebacker Gavin Dyall, Alex Taylor and future NCAA baller, Jake Trainor. Coach Chris Howard has a talented young squad and another win will provide a strong platform for a possible National Championship run next year.
The young Seahawks have had a mixed season with narrow loss to Kent and an unfortunate loss to the Blitz. Some will see Solent as lucky to have a chance to enter the post-season, others will say that’s where they belong and have been fighting their way through one of the toughest schedules in the Nation – their three losses this year coming against the reigning Under 19 champs, their subsequent two against the two sides who’ve steamrolled themselves to the Plate/Britbowl playoffs this season.
All that said however, a win is a must if the Seahawks want some postseason balling. With star players that would start for all teams in the country, Captain Harry Elton-Dobbin will bring physicality to this matchup either getting sacks or getting pancakes, he will give his all in what could be his final game for the academy. Potent returner Alfie Griffiths and wideout Tom Moore will also be a handful to contain, look for one of these two to get a score. Even so, an absence could also have a big impact on this game? Defensive star, Nic Bergemashi is out injured, potential leaving a weakness Farnham could exploit.
With everything to play for in this fixture, these two talented teams have the potential to give the Britball nation something special, lets hope that happens!
London Blitz v Kent Exiles
by Alex Mclachlan
When the Blitz faced the Exiles last season, the matchup would decide who came first in the division, and who would have to settle for second. In a shock result, the Exiles took the victory, using the momentum to propel themselves onwards to a Britbowl title. A year later, and the story is very different: whilst the Blitz will once again finish second, irrespective of Sunday’s result, the Exiles need the win to reach the .500 mark and make the postseason at all. The match is sure to be an interesting showcase, between two proud Junior programmes.
The Blitz have once again shown their class this season, despite an early slip-up against the Birmingham Lions, on their way to a 4-1 record. On offence, London have been consistently dangerous, particularly on the ground, racking up 174 points in their five games.
The Blitz boast one of the strongest backfields in the junior game, consisting of fullback Jason Soetan and halfback Aaron Mahoney-Jones, the latter of whom has scored 12 touchdowns already this season! Of course, with a strong running game comes a strong O line, and for this the Blitz turn to Michael Iluyomade, who has ‘brought back the London Blitz swagger’ with his ferocity and love for the game. On defence, too, the Blitz have shown their physicality, conceding the fewest points in their conference, despite having to face the Birmingham Lions (who have averaged over 35 points per game themselves). They will look to continue this against a strong Exiles team.
Kent have had some struggles thus far this season, though these have admittedly come against the top three teams in their conference. Despite this, the dream of postseason football is still very much alive for the Exiles. Less potent offensively this year than during their national title run, the Kentish outfit have leaned heavily on their defence to try and grind out results thus far. They will be hoping that this unit is up to the task come Sunday, as they will need to clamp-down on the run game if they are to win.
One can try looking to the not too distant past to try and predict this one. In the reverse fixture earlier in the season, the Blitz came away as emphatic victors, winning 36-0. However, it would be naïve to suggest that the rematch would automatically be a repeat walkover for the Blitz, and the Exiles will be sure to put up a substantial fight come gameday!