The SWC started their first round of inter-division games this weekend, and our correspondent Jordan Melay was there to let us know how it went!
Northants Titans Blue 56, Coventry Panthers 6
This is the 6th meeting of these teams in a calendar year. The two sides have met previously in BAFA, OFL and Friendly Action. Coventry Panthers would be confident heading into this game after their offence put up 30 points against Titans in a Pre-Season affair, and they would need to hope they could keep the Titans offence below that number to come as victors in this contest. However, they were unable to as the Northants Titans, firing on all cylinders, came up big on both sides of the ball with some big plays from Nathan Coles and Arron Timson on offence, followed up by pick 6’s by Harry Brailey and Connor Melay turned this into a lop sided affair. Our game-ball in this one goes to Connor Melay, who was touted to be one of the best offensive players this season. He has made the switch to defence and is lighting it up just as much.
Hereford Stampede 27 , Northants Titans Blue 14
Hereford came into this game following a big victory against division rivals Cardiff Hurricanes in their first gameday, and they kept form in what was a close affair in the first half. A single score separated the teams at the mid point in the game, with Hereford just ahead. A strong defensive display from the Stampede shut down the usually strong Northants Titans Blue offence. However, the Titans Blue had two excruciating end-zone drops in the first half, which they would later rue. The second half was where the game kicked into life, with the Northants Titans finally responding with a score of their own. Hereford then followed that up with a touchdown of their own, before a turnover on defence gave them the ball back. They capitalised to make the score 19-7. The Titans Blue were looking for a way back in to the game, which is where Titans RB Arron Timson took matters into his own hands with two monster runs. The Hereford defence had been tackling well so far in the game, but they were now swiping at thin air as Timson brought the game closer with a TD run, 20-14. Titans defence held strong on the following drive and after a sack on 4th down, they managed to turn the ball over but the referees, or so they thought. The referees threw a flag for contact on the QB to give Hereford the ball 5 yards away from the half way line and a fresh set of downs. A great grab from Jay Jay Spencer set up Hereford to score once more and give them an unassailable lead. This was a much needed victory for the Stampede, and they put the rest of the conference on notice. The gameball in this contest is split. Jay Jay Spencer, who proved he is one of the best wide receivers in this conference, if not, the whole of the UK, earned half of the honours. Arron Timson gets the other nod, as he carried the Titans on his back in this losing effort.
Northants Titans White 37, Merthyr Tydfil Thunderducks 19
A close first half saw the Thunderducks & Titans White going blow for blow as they traded scores. This half ended with a march downfield by the Titans White offence. With 1 second left in the half, RB David Radford produced a super jinking run to the endzone. which knocked the wind out of the Thunderducks going into halftime. Titans White came out strong in the second half and didn’t take their foot of the gas with excellent defensive performance which saw them pick up 4 interceptions including one freak pick which bounced off the receivers foot into a sprawling Darryl Taylor‘s hands. Game ball goes to David Radford who along with his amazing TD run, followed up with a number of clutch catches down the stretch to close out the game.
Northants Titans White 51, Coventry Cougars Ladies 24
Both teams came into this game winless, and desperate to earn their first W in the National League. Northants Titans White led by Matt Tibbles were the stronger team throughout this one scoring on all but one drive but Cougars Ladies were not to go quietly amassing scores from good play from QB Millie Barrett but the Titans White defence held firm on a number of drives in the second half to stop Cougars Ladies from making a comeback in this one. Gameball in this one goes to QB Matt Tibbles who threw for 8 TD’s including a beautiful deep ball to Arden Shaw and one to younger brother Sam Tibbles on a great corner route to the back pylon.
Thunderducks 20, Panthers 6
A close game between two teams in need of a win was changed after a pick 6 by the Merthyr Tydfil defence. The Coventry Panthers offence struggled to get going against the strong man defence scheme that Thunder Ducks were playing during this game. The highlight of this game was a spectacular catch from Dylan Bowditch who gets our gameball just for that catch alone. This set up the Thunderducks with great field position after a number of 4 and outs in a game ruled by defence. Bowditch was the shining star on offence.
Stampede 39, Cougars Ladies 12
Hereford Stampede, coming off a great victory, started slow on offence when they came up against a stubborn Cougars Ladies defence. The game was close at 7-0 when the first half came to a close. Whatever, the Hereford captains said in the huddle seemed to work, as they came out in the second half like a house on fire and scored on almost every drive to close the game out. Game ball goes to QB Steve Hall who bounced back from a quiet first half to rally the troops and put some scoring drives together to bring them within one game of the division lead.
Titans Blue 56, Titans White 6
This was a light hearted affair which started with an argument on who would wear what kit! The game got underway eventually, and the Titans Blue came off a bad performance in their previous bout to silence the Titans White team by dropping a 50-burger. This included a Nathan Coles 45 yard TD run and an outstanding one handed pick 6 from Stefan Rowden.
The game ball goes to Nathan Coles who was playing on an injury which would rule most out, but Coles performed to an insane standard with the previously mentioned full length TD and a number of clutch receptions to finish the day strong.
Visit our SWC hub to see how the tables look after this game day!