The second and final set of cross-conference games saw some blockbuster matchups between the Hurricanes and the SEC powerhouses, but there were plenty of other storylines for us to sink our teeth into. Here’s the 5 things we learned!
The Spartans made a statement on Sunday with Jeff Bond leading his electric offence into battle and they did not disappoint, putting up 46 points up against the Sharks and 48 against the Reading Lions. Dan Benning was the star of the show on both sides of the ball; every time you looked up he would be doing something incredible on O or D. The defence was missing influential safety Sean Martin who didn’t suit up for the games, but they managed to do well without him to shut down both the SEC offences. These two wins are massive for the Spartans who head into their home game day just one game back from the stumbling Titans, who they’re still to face…
A game day decision which saw Jamie Willars pull out due to illness saw the Titans call up Sam Tibbles who would step in to the offence using the wandering rule after playing on Saturday for Titans White. It wouldn’t matter though as Titans, who have started slow all season, found themselves in a familiar predicament of needing to come from behind to beat the Sharks. The Reading Lions would spoil the Titans’ good day by making it difficult in the heat for the Northants side to get any momentum. They ended the first half 31-13 down, however a better second half performance saw the Titans have chance after chance to try and get back into the game but they couldn’t overcome the excellent Lions, losing 38-27 in the end. The grudge match with the Spartans will follow in mid July and could decide who goes to the Britbowl, and who goes to the plate.
The Tale Of 1-9
Both the Cougars and Lions spent their Saturday with the toughest slate of games they’ve faced all season. The Cougars unfortunately lost their QB to a dislocated knee, (we wish him a speedy recovery!) and from reports we’ve heard this made their day even harder as the Cougars would slip to 1-9 on the season. The Birmingham Lions matched the Cougars, but showed some fight, putting in a shift against Victoria Park Panthers to run them close. The only plus side for both of those teams is that they will play each other next game day in Aylesbury which surely will decide who is relegated automatically and who will gave the chance to fight for survival.
Hurricane Downgraded to SEC category storm
The Hurricanes started their statement-day well, defeating the Victoria Park Panthers comfortably, however things went awry after halftime against the London Rebels. The Rebels came into the day somewhat under-strength on defence, with Tim Eaton among the star players missing. The Hurricanes took advantage in the early exchanges, going up 3 scores at halftime, however the Rebels rallied, and roared back to go ahead by 9. The ‘Canes found their spark again, and managed to tie the game after a TD and 2XP following some traded scores, however Kenny Bello provided the decisive score in this thriller. 60-53 was the final in this crowd-pleasing affair.
Against the Buttonhookers, the Hurricanes continued to produce on offence in the first half, trading scores with the reigning Britbowl champions. They couldn’t keep pace in the second half however, as errors began to creep into their game. They lost handily in the end, 57-38. While its a 1-2 record on the day, we’re not overly concerned about the Hurricanes’ title credentials. They showed they can score at will against three of the top teams in the league, 137 points combined on the day. They’ve essentially sewn up their conference, however if everyone held serve, they’d face a tough task in the Aberdeen Oilcats…
Phantoms go missing?
The Northants Phantoms found themselves missing from the pack chasing the final Britbowl space in the SWC Prem as the teams around them all picked up wins, while they would fall to 0-1-1 on the day. They ground out a draw with the Sharks and fell to the Reading Lions. They were missing Stuart Tarry but still managed to move the ball; it was the absentee Safety Dani Waples who would be the main problem as the Phantoms lacked the imposing presence of Waples in deep coverage, where they conceded the majority of their points. A spot in the plate competition seems certain for the Phantoms after the cross-conference games showed that they have some way to go to be competitive.