We are half way through the Outlaw Flag League and Week 2 saw some great flag football action. Once again, we caught up with Stanley Flashman to discuss his top 5 games of Week 2, and a recap of how things sit at the mid-point of the season with just one week of the regular season left.
Wigan Bandits 20 vs 27 Warrington Revolution
In the game of the day, the North West rivalry would come to a head in a fiercely fought battle between two up and coming sides with potent offences. It would be the impressive play of Dino Vernazza who continued his fine form from Gameweek 1 making plays on the ground with the wildcat offence, mixed with plays through the air to keep his team scoring. The Revolution relied on the leadership of Richard Keates, as they went blow for blow with the Bandits to lead 21-20 with minimal time remaining on the clock. Keates delivered an expertly timed drive to end with a final score to Matt Anderson to kill off the game. Game balls in this contest would go to Daniel Boylan for the Bandits for his score to bring the Bandits within touching distance of the win, and Jamie Lyness for the Revolution who recorded 3 sacks and 2 tackles in an impressive defensive performance for his team.
Northants Titans Prometheus 37 vs 20 Chichester Sharks
The Sharks would see Neil Henderson return under centre, which would allow Corey Bedford to thrive out wide on offence. However, the Titans Prometheus would produce an impressive first half against the Sharks which saw them take a commanding lead with two touchdowns to Arden Shaw and a safety from youngster Raj Sanghera. This would kick the Sharks into gear, and they would improve as the game wore on. However, the Titans would keep their foot on their gas as Matt Tibbles would throw further scores to David Radford and Sam Tibbles to give the Titans an unassailable lead to leapfrog the Sharks in the Bandit Flag Conference. The Sharks would respond in the second half with Corey Bedford picking up a touchdown and XP and he would throw one of his own to Neil Henderson. Game balls in this contest go to Ollie Tibbles of the Titans and Neil Henderson of the Sharks.
Chichester Sharks 44 vs 33 Northants Titans Oceanus
The Sharks would come into this contest against Titans Oceanus needing a win after their earlier loss. They would get off to the best possible start as Corey Bedford would return the opening throw off for a score and he would go on to pick up 4 further scores in a dominant performance. Simon Merton picked up 4 scores of his own to complete a stellar offensive performance from the Sharks, which we’ve come to expect. The Sharks defence on the other hand had some issue containing their opposition, but made just enough stops to keep the Titans Oceanus at bay. Game ball in this contest goes to Simon Merton for his 4 Touchdown performance for the Sharks and Sean Atkinson for an impressive debut game, showing potential of becoming one of the top players in the OFL.
Rugby Raccoons 6 vs 19 Cynon Valley Celts
A battle of two rookie teams saw a tight tussle throughout with strong defensive performances, including some excellent short yardage tackling by both teams. Most notably, Celts leader Josh Evans and Sam-Tyler Prosser from the Raccoons made significant impacts for their respective teams. The score was tight, and it would seem like their would be no breakthrough until Josh Evans undercut a Raccoons pass to pick off Marcus Gambrill and return it for a score. Dale Davies would find Elis Nash for one final score to kill the game, giving the Celts an important victory. Game balls in this one go to the aforementioned Sam-Tyler Prosser and Josh Evans for their excellent defensive showings.
Northants Phantoms 26 vs 12 Blood, Sweat & Beers
Following on from their earlier loss to the Titans Atlas, BSB would look to improve on their fortunes with a match up against the Phantoms. The Phantoms would capitalise on the BSB’s depleted roster by putting up 26 points with Anthony Muddiman the pick of the bunch with two touchdowns to add to his impressive game day. The defence led by Dani Waples would do just enough with an interception of his own and they would limit the Blood, Sweat & Beers to just two scores in the game from Andrew Krag to Chad Stevens as the Phantoms would jump into tied 1st with the Titans Atlas. Game balls in this contest would go to the signal callers in Jez Smith and Andrew Krag.
Elsewhere in the OFL’s Exile Flag Conference, Northants Titans Atlas had a successful game day which saw them go 3-0 for a consecutive week after a day which saw them pick up a forfeit win against the absent Burnley Tornadoes. They would be dealt a blow which saw the Titans down to 6 players including star QB Adam Grindrod, Centre Jordan Melay would step up as the Titans Atlas QB for the day. The story for the day would be the incredible defensive performance though as they created 14 interceptions (5 of which went for Pick 6’s) and Jordan Melay would move the ball just enough to pick up wins against a depleted Blood, Sweat & Beers side who had 5 players themselves and a NuOla Waves team who were also lacking in players. The only blemish on their day would be the 2 points conceded to a safety on the first drive in their first game of the day. Results of 32-2 & 37-0 would see them leapfrog BSB to the top of the table as they look to Week 3 to try and reclaim their EFC throne.
Jumping up one spot from #3 would be the Phantoms who completed another successful game day with another 3-0 record to see them just behind town rivals Titans Atlas on points scored. These two teams face off in Week 3 to decide who will take the #1 seed in the EFC. Jez Smith lead his team to an excellent set of wins, utilising the talents of Stuart Tarry to put his team in position to challenge for the EFC title.
Falling one spot into #3 is Blood, Sweat & Beers who fielded a weakened side throughout the day. They’ve got a task ahead of them to try and improve on their position, but they undoubtedly have the talent to pull it off.
Rounding out the Top 4 after a strong Week 2 are the Coventry Cougars. James Ashmore and Kieran Eaton provided the spark on the day to see the Cougars leapfrog the Cynon Valley Celts. The Cougars should be feared, as they’re capable of surprising any team they face.
The remainder of the EFC saw the Cynon Valley Celts firm their grasp on 5th place, after losing only to the Cougars. Just behind the Celts is the Cavaliers who fared better in week 2, going 2-1. The NuOla Waves picked up their first win of the season, while the rest of the conference went winless. The H2H’s at the bottom of the EFC are getting more and more complicated now as each team seems to have picked up a victory over the other. We are hoping that Week 3 will be the decider in that race for the plate playoffs.
Over in the Bandit Flag Conference side of the OFL, the Victoria Park Panthers would recruit the help of GB Head Coach Alan Young and a scratch team of Carluke Cobras to take part in their second game week in their stead. It was a gamble, as the 5-man squad would be acting as transplants for the day, but the gamble paid off. An emphatic 45-13 win against the Cougars Women, 32-14 triumph against the Warrington Revolution and a shut out shellacking of the Swindon Storm (42-0) would give the Panthers 3 wins to add to their total. They’ll have the aforementioned Alan Young to thank, as he assembled a competent squad and threw for 18 TDs. The defence excelled also, creating 7 turnovers and 5 sacks along, with an impressive 53 tackles from their 3 games. Follow that, Victoria Park!
A solid showing by the Northants Titans Prometheus saw them take a 3-0 record on the day with victories over Panthers Black (41-19) and a thrashing of Panthers Yellow (75-0) which saw Matt Tibbles throw for the single game TD passing record. The most impressive victory of the day would be the 37-20 victory over the Chichester Sharks to overtake their rivals.
Following on in third place are Chichester Sharks. They would end the day with a 2-1 record, finishing their day with a defeat to the Titans Prometheus but produced victories against Titans Oceanus (44-33) and Cougars Ladies (53-20). They still have a match up against the Victoria Park Panthers to look forward to, and could well put the cat among the pigeons with a victory there.
Rounding out the Top 4 is Warrington Revolution who finished their day with only one loss against the talented Cobras. They won their other 2 games without their signal caller Lewis Jaundrell, so they’ll be pleased with their performance.
The remainder of the BFC saw the Panthers Black improve with a 2-1 record on the day, a disappointing loss to the Titans Prometheus was the only blemish as they pulled away in the race for the top seed in the Stanley Flashman Plate Competition, while a playoff position is not out of reach. Wigan Bandits suffered a 1-2 record on the day but are still in a good position for the Plate Playoffs, but also might fancy their chances of sneaking a playoff spot. Half a game behind them is the Swindon Storm picked up another victory but suffered two losses to see them middle of the pack with 3 games remaining. Cougars Ladies stay in the Plate Playoffs contention with their first win of the season over the Panthers Yellow to go along with their Draw from game week 1. Finally, Titans Oceanus and Panthers Yellow both went 0-3 on the day but will be hoping to pick up victories as game week 3 comes around.
Here are the statistics leaders after Week 2 with just one week of the regular season left to play, there is plenty of stats to be gained.