Thursday, 29 December 2011

Championship Playoffs Wild Card Weekend


Today we look at how the Championship wildcard matchups would play out and who would end up being a hero or villain for their respective teams based on the standings we produced before Christmas. Playoff predictions: As it stands. Remember it’s just a little fun to warm the cockles in the cold barren Christmas break.

North

Stirling Clansmen #6 @ Hallam Warriors #3

Despite being outplayed for majority of the first quarter, it was the Clansmen who struck first with a TD pass from Luis Stephenson to Dion Feather. Unfortunately this would be the highlight of the first half for Stirling as the high scoring Hallam offence took control of the game with four rushing TD’s of their own, scoring 32 straight points. The Warriors touchdowns came courtesy of Danny Pyle (2), James Musonda and QB Jacob Muncey.

The third quarter turned into a defensive battle with two interceptions for the Hallam defence (Aden Flannagan and Mike Whiston respectively) and a fumbleforced by Stirling MLB Zake Muluzi was recovered by Shaun Leslie for the first Stilring turnover. The only score of the half was a 6 yard passing TD for the Warriors from Muncey to TE Josh Bayley. The PAT was good 39-7 at the end of the third.
Pyle continued his good game with another two rushing touchdowns and the Warriors FB Richard Griffiths piled over for the final score of the game. For the Clansmen their scores came courtesy of a Muluzi fumble recovery in the endzone and a rushing TD. Stirling replied with two more TD’s of their own,but the game ended with the final score 59-20 to Hallam.

With a win Hallam now head off to the number 2 seed Newcastle in the next round of the playoffs.

 Sheffield Sabres #5 @ Birmingham Lions #4

In the second playoff matchup from the Northern side of the league it was the Lions taking on the re-emerging Sheffield Sabres.

Despite a good season in the Northern Conference the Sabres were no matchup for the Lions asan A.J.Crabbe pick six and a Dan Conroy rushing touchdown put the Lions up by 14 at the end of the first quarter.

Fortunately for the Sabres they finally managed to get on the scoreboard with a touchdown pass from Dan Jones to Sam Broughton, which brought the Sabres within 7. The Lions then responded with a passing touchdown of their own from Johnny Glover to Ben Brown leaving the scores 21-7 at half time to the Lions.

Another second defensive score for the Lions started the 3rd quarter. This time aGeorge Prudden 15 yard fumble recovery after a Kyle Burrows sack. The Sabres D finally got a turnover of their own when David Bratt intercepted Lions QB Glover which led to a rushing touchdown for Mark Maguire. This would end up being the high point for the Sabres team as the Lions then took over the game with four straight touchdowns of their own to win the game 56-14.

The final four scores came courtesy of Conroy, Drew Newiss and Eni Osonaike (2). The Lions now head to Loughborough to face conference rivals the Aces.

South

Cardiff Cobras #6 @ UWE Bullets #3

Our first playoff from the southern side of BUAFL sees an all SWAC matchup as the Cardiff Cobras took on the UWE Bullets.

In what can only be described a defensive battle it was the Cobras who managed to get on the scoreboard with the last play of the first quarter when QB Tom Williams managed to find the endzone on a QB sneak. This gave the Cobras a 6-0 lead heading into the 2nd quarter.

Once again the 2nd quarter was dominated by both teams defences, most notably ex-Cobras linebacker John Bateman now staring at UWE and Cardiff LB Ollie Devon. With both defences dictating the game in the second half neither team were able to find the endzone despite the best efforts of Cam Parker of UWE whose interception on the final play of the half was returned to the Cobra’s five yard line.

The momentum swung in the second half though, as the UWE offence lead by rookie QB J.J. Davies came out firing and found the endzone with a 23 yard pass from to Dayne Robinson. Idrissa Fornah forced a fumble on the Cobra’s first play and the UWE offence converted the turnover into points with a Sam Atakorah rushing touchdown. This turned out to be the final score of the 3rd quarter with the Bullets leading by 8.

Down by 8 the Cobra’s offence once again found some consistency as they drove down the field on the UWE defence behind the passing attack of Williams and their running back by committee offence. In the end it was running back Alex Brew who found the endzone to bring Cardiff within two. Cardiff handed the ball off to their FB to convert the 2 point try and the scores were all tied up!

This game seemed to be heading to overtime until a booming punt placed the Cardiff offence at their own 3. A tackle for loss in the endzone by Mark Sanchez (no really) resulted in a safety for UWE and they now led 16-14. The game ended with another Parker interception and the UWE offence kneeled out the game to end this close battle.

UWE now face off against the number 2 seed Southampton Stags.

Kent Falcons #5 @ Portsmouth Destroyers #4

The final playoff game this week saw the reigning champions, the Portsmouth Destroyers,taking on the high flying (pun unintended) Kent Falcons.

Despite their  high scoring offence, the Falcons met their match in the stingy Destroyers defence. Both teams’ defences dominated the first half of the game,as it was still tied 0-0 when the first half concluded. The most notable performances on each teamsdefences were Chris Chesney Percival for the Destroyers and Cornerback Luke Taylor from Kent who ended the first half with 1 sack and 1 interception.

Both teams offences finally managed to find some sort of success in the second half, as the Destroyers running game managed to grind out hard earned yards against the Falcons D, but eventually failed to convert on 4th and 1 on the Falcons 16. Kent’s offence then responded, as they managed to find some sort of rhythm led by WR Aaron Whitworth and Brenden Spangler. Eventually it was the Falcons who managed to score first as kicker Harry Carter converted a 20 yard FG to give the Falcons a 3-0 lead.

Portsmouth ended the 3rd quarter with the ball driving on the Falcons D once again, but the drive came to an end when Simon Blow threw an interception in the endzone. However instead of taking a knee the Falcons DB decided to run the ball out and ended up getting tackled at the 3. A mishandled Centre-QB snap was fumbled and James Perrineau dived on the ball in the endzone to give the Destroyers a three point lead after the PAT was missed.

With neither teams offence able to do anything on their remaining drives the game ended with the Destroyers winning 6-3 in a defensive dominated battle.

Portsmouth now faces the trip to our #1 ranked Hurricanes.


Next week’s games

Hallam @ Newcastle
Birmingham @ Loughborough
UWE @ Southampton
Portsmouth @ Hertfordshire.

Once again make sure you comment on Facebook to let us know what you think of the next round of fixtures!

4 comments:

  1. Very nice work - like the player details except Muncey is the third stringer at Hallam behind Webber and Rudge
    And it's Flanagan-Saul for the record

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  2. *forgot to tag my name on the post below

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  3. Also TE Josh Bayley is now out for the season after injuring his knee against Huddersfield and undergoing surgery.

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  4. Well this seems a great article supprised of how negative the comments are. Well done for how indepth the article is. I hope your gonna do a playoff prediction for who gets the plate!

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