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SWC Top 10 Defensive Players – Final Hurdles

We are at the final hurdle of the SWC schedule and there are some juicy matchups for the title of SWC’s best defender, let’s look at the Top 5 with the final match ups being played over the month of July;

1. CONNOR MELAY, NORTHANTS TITANS BLUE – 43 POINTS

Remaining Games – Cardiff Hurricanes, Coventry Cougars Mixed & Merthyr Tydfil Thunderducks

Connor Melay finally finds himself at top of the SWC leaderboard for the first time this season after another successful game day which saw him pick up another 5 interceptions, including a 40 yard pick 6 return against the Cougars Ladies to finish the day off strongly. Melay’s remaining fixtures are a tough run in but the Hurricanes & Cougars Mixed, who both combine for a turnover rate of 1.5 interceptions per game so they’ll be looking to avoid throwing towards his side. The Thunderducks will provide Melay with an easier task provided they don’t throw his way as they are currently sitting at nearly 2 turnovers per game for the season.

Connor has grown hugely to become one of the most versatile players in the league since his rookie season last year on offence. Showing inspiration from the days of brother Jordan’s interception laden safety days, Connor’s intelligence and anticipation, coupled with his athleticism and aggression when attacking passes has seen him score picks galore, destroying the morale of opposition offences and giving our offence short field to work with. And if you couldn’t love him enough, he’s one of the most modest players I know” – Nathan Coles, Northants Titans Blue

Current Stats – 4 Defensive TD’s & 19 Interceptions.

Credit – James Brewerton

2. HARRY BRAILEY, NORTHANTS TITANS BLUE – 39 POINTS

Remaining Games – Cardiff Hurricanes, Coventry Cougars Mixed & Merthyr Tydfil Thunderducks

The Titans run of defensive players in the top 3 continues with Blitzer Harry Brailey who is proving to be a nightmare for offences around the SWC. Brailey has the same fixtures as Connor above him so it’ll be a case of Sack vs Interception which will see this battle go down to the wire. Unfortunately for Brailey, he finds himself against one of the most mobile quarterbacks in the league in James Ashmore and Matt Thomas who has only found himself being sacked once per game due to the nature of his quick release. The Thunderducks are no joke either as they have only conceded 0.63 sacks per game this season so Harry Brailey will have his work cut out on the 8th July as he looks to increase his chances at the SWC best defender crown.

Another top of the charts performance from Harry this season. Fully focused and tireless each game with his never give up attitude. It’s just been another excellent season. He will be missed very much next season.” – Ben Roberts, Northants Titans Blue

Current Stats – 1 Defensive TD, 1 Interceptions, 28 Sacks & 2 Safeties.

Credit – James Brewerton

3. STEFAN ROWDEN, NORTHANTS TITANS BLUE – 38 POINTS

Remaining Games – Cardiff Hurricanes, Coventry Cougars Mixed & Merthyr Tydfil Thunderducks

Unfortunately for Stefan he falls out of the top spot in the SWC rankings for the first time all season due to his non-attendance at the last Titans Blue game day over in Coventry. He is also unavailable for the final game day of the season in Northampton which ends his chances of challenging for the top spot, despite an already impressive season which sees him on 38 points from 6 games. Rowden will be greatly missed in the Titans Blue defence for the remainder of the season but will be looking to get him back in the line-up as they progress in 2017.

Stefan reads the games so well and makes great breaks on the ball, he has been a great addition to our defence in 2017″Connor Melay, Northants Titans Blue

Current Stats – 5 Defensive TD’s & 8 Interceptions.

Credit – James Brewerton

4. MAX DRURY, HEREFORD STAMPEDE – 30 POINTS

Remaining Fixtures – Northants Phantoms, Birmingham Lions, Coventry Panthers, Merthyr Tydfil Thunderducks, Plymouth Buccaneers & Cardiff Hurricanes.

Max Drury finds himself back in the top 5 after another successful game day which saw him with a defensive TD after a “Fumble-6” against the Exeter Falcons amongst multiple sacks and a safety which has become synonymous with how Drury plays the game. He is taking your flags no matter what you do, and has been a big part of how successful the Hereford Stampede defence has been this season. Max Drury finds himself with the most games left to play and will be looking to close the gap on the top of the rankings with some favourable match ups against the Panthers & Buccaneers who have conceded a sack per game this season. The toughest match ups for Drury come against the Hurricanes, Phantoms and Lions who boast Quarterbacks who have quick releases so it means Drury’s defensive team-mates will have pick up the necessary coverage to allow him to pick up the sacks and safeties to move up the leaderboard to challenge the trio of Titans defenders.

Max is a wrecking ball that will disrupt what the QB is trying to do. We have had a lot of success on D this year because of his great blitzing” – Steve Hall, Hereford Stampede

Current Stats – 1 Defensive TD, 1 Interception, 13 Sacks, 4 TFL’s & 3 Safeties.

Credit – James Brewerton

5. JOE COTTERILL, CARDIFF HURRICANES – 28 POINTS

Remaining Fixtures – Merthyr Tydfil Thunderducks, Hereford Stampede, Northants Titans Blue, Birmingham Lions & Coventry Cougars Ladies.

Joe Cotterill drops down one place to 5th due to the fact that he has played less games than 3 of the 4 players above him. The Hurricanes star has 5 games to go of the season but is currently facing a fitness test to be reading for his toughest challenge of the season where they face the impressive Birmingham Lions & Northants Titans Blue offences, the latter being the biggest wildcard without star QB Adam Grindrod for the game day. Fortunately for Joe, he also faces off against the Coventry Cougars Ladies team who have given away 25 interceptions on the season which will benefit Joe. He finds himself against the Thunderducks & Stampede who will provide varied challenges to round out the season on the 22nd July with the Stampede who rarely turn the ball over and seem to have the Hurricanes number over the past two seasons and the Thunderducks who have thrown 2 turnovers a game so far. It won’t be a surprise to see Joe Cotterill rise up the Top 5 in the month of July.

Joe has some of the best instincts in Flag Football. He has a knack of being in the right place at the right time and can be relied on for multiple picks in any game”. – Cardiff Hurricanes Social Media Team

Current Stats – 3 Defensive TD’s, 8 Interceptions & 2 Sacks.

Credit – Samuel Price

Here’s how the rest of the top 10 looks so far at the final hurdle of the season!

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