The MEC crossed the border to take on the HNC in the final round of cross-conference games. The Titans, Crows and Blackhawks travelled to Glasgow, while the Giants, Samurai and Vipers were hosted by Edinburgh.
Titans Show Credentials
Down a few players, and with their backs against the wall, the Titans arrived late to Glasgow due to issues with transport. They’d have been forgiven for throwing in the towel given the circumstances. After their previous game-day, a huge effort would be required to beat perennial Britbowl side, and hosts, the Glasgow Hornets. The two sides squared off in the first contest of the day, and what ensued was some of the more entertaining football we’ve seen this year.
Both sides went back and forth, trading long scores. Titans QB Alan Mead was safe with the ball overall, but an unfortunate tipped pass landed in Hornets safety Julian Holburn-White‘s hands. This change in possession gave the Hornets the slight advantage they needed. Still, the Titans wouldn’t go away. They held the ball, down one score, with under two minutes remaining. Some deep shots put the Titans in a 4th and very long situation. A batted pass resulted in a turnover, and the Hornets were able to bleed the game out.
In their second game, the Titans had too much class for the Comets in a comfortable win. The Titans might have gone 1-1, but they showed that they could go toe-to-toe with one of the top teams in the league. If they approach the playoffs with the same gumption, they could be a surprise package.
Giants Fight Back
With the Titans dropping another game, the Giants knew that a positive day in Edinburgh would be enough to get them back into the conversation for the top of the division. It looked unlikely when we heard that the Giants would be under-strength, but with the Broncos also ailing, the Giants were able to pick up a big victory over the Grangemouth side. A narrow loss to the Oilcats was a decent result overall for the Giants, as they showed that despite being out-manned, they’re rarely out-matched. Another victory over the Edinburgh Outlaws put the Giants 2-1 on the day, and at 7-3 for the season.
The Titans and Giants are now tied at the top of the MEC, and will take each other on the last day of the season!
The Sheffield Vipers found themselves in a bit of trouble after dropping a game to the Leeds Samurai earlier in the season. Now, they find themselves a game ahead of the Blackhawks, and two ahead of the Samurai, after the cross-conference round of games. They might have a chance to catch the Manchester Crows, who sit at 4-6.
The Vipers picked up a somewhat unexpected victory over the Broncos, 35-32. The Vipers routinely show that they’ve got enough firepower to compete when they have Keith Woodley under centre. We feel confident that the Vipers will continue to strengthen their position and compete in the plate tournament.
With the Vipers climbing up the table, the Newcastle Blackhawks were the side to replace them in the relegation places. Under the Scottish sun, the Blackhawks suffered two losses, as their porous defence conceded 77 points over the two games. The offence didn’t help against the Hornets, as they threw two pick-sixes, and struggled to move the ball. The Newcastle side haven’t tasted victory since week one, and could be automatically relegated if they fall to the Leeds Samurai on the last day of the season.
The MEC will be glad to see the back of the HNC; The Highland conference went a combined 21-9 against the MEC, with the Manchester Crows, Newcastle Blackhawks and Leeds Samurai in particular finding it hard going against their northern adversaries. Those sides went 1-4, 0-5 and 0-5 respectively in cross-conference play.
The Vipers and Giants enjoyed some success though, as they improved on their standings over the two weeks. The MEC resumes their inter-division play on the 14th of July, where some teams might see a return to winning ways against more familiar opposition.