Saturday, 18 February 2012

BUAFL Week 10 Predictions: Northern & Borders

Northern Predictions, plus the Borders predictions tacked on at the end (still no writers)!

Sheffield Sabres @ Leeds Carnegie
The Sabres are top of the Northern Conference for the first time this season, after last week’s narrow victory over the Manchester Tyrants (18-2). But with forty seconds remaining in the game and the score 6-2, I would be surprised if Head Coach Tim Mullinar has any fingernails left for this week’s match up away at Carnegie.
A lot has been made of Carnegie’s defence in recent weeks; they have conceded only 13 points in five games this year and they are unlucky not to be 4-0-1 after losing to the Sharks by only 5 points.

Both sides need to get their offence firing and I can see this game being a close, low scoring affair and it may come down to whichever side makes the least mistakes on the day.
Sabres by 6 points

Leeds Celtics @ Huddersfield Hawks
On paper this looks like a no brainer. The Celtics stand at 3-2, whereas the Hawks have yet to score a single point so far this season and are only kept off bottom spot due to the fact that they have played on less game than both Manchester sides – pretty damming evidence.

But, the Hawks have faced some of the league’s toughest defenses in the Bears, Sharks, Sabres and Warriors. It is encouraging to note that the Hawks are beginning to reduce the amount of scores they are conceding – in fact against the Sharks they only let up 6 points.

The Celtics, in contrast to their crosstown rivals, are also not prolific point scorers and against the MMU Eagles only managed to sneak the win by a single point (13-12). The Hawks have been waiting to play a team outside of the top six, so this could be the week where the Hawks break their scoring duck?
Celtics by 10 points

Lancaster Bombers @ Bradford Bears
At first glance at the league table, Bradford look the better team. However on paper, Lancaster have had a much tougher schedule and managed to keep Hull to only 6 points whilst the Bears haemorrhaged 36.

However the Bears have on advantage with Chris Peel acting as the linchpin to their offence and defence (seriously, how is this guy still at uni?) and the decider can often be these key players.
Bears by 14

Bangor Muddogs @ LJM Fury
LJM must be frustrated after seeing both of their New Year fixtures postponed due to the weather in recent weeks, but hopefully the time off will mean the team is well prepared for a Bangor side, which is looking to get back to winning ways after losing their last two consecutive games.

The Bangor offence struggled to move the ball last week against a formidable Carnegie defence, but did manage to hold the home side to only 22 points. It was the same result when LJM met Carnegie, so this weekend’s match up may be decided by the defence.

But it is the Fury’s offence that is the real concern, this season Bangor have shown the ability to score points, scoring 46 against the Tyrants and 18 against the Eagles. In contrast the Fury has only crossed the whitewash twice all season.
Bangor by 12 points

Sheffield Hallam @ Manchester Tyrants
Hallam slipped to second in the conference for the first time this season after last week’s game again fell foul of the weather. But they do have a game in hand over their crosstown rivals – the Sabres and will be looking to reassert themselves after almost two months without a competitive game.

They face a Tyrants side struggling for numbers, but not without fight. Last week they held the Sabres to just 6 points, until late in the fourth quarter when the Black and Gold scored on a pick 6 and all this with a squad a third the size of their opponents.

I suspect with superior numbers and the offensive playmakers on show, that Hallam will have their way with the Tyrants, but what is for sure, is that the visitors will not underestimate their opponents after the previous weeks plucky performance.
Hallam by 30+ points

UH Sharks @ MMU Eagles
Following an eventful week in Lancashire, which culminated in the departure of Head Coach Jim Blinkhorn, the Eagles can turn their attention to dealing with matters on the field, as they welcome the 4-1 UH Sharks.
The Sharks last outing was back in December, when they suffered their only loss of the season so far to the 4-0 Hallam Warriors (52-13). Aside from this Hull have had a strong start to their season holding Carnegie, Bradford and Lancaster to only 10 points in total.

The Eagles are still winless this season, but came closest in their last game against the Celtics, falling short by just a single point. Linebacker Lewis Potts will be hoping for another strong defensive showing this week, but MMU may have their work cut out trying to prevent Sharks QB Seb Gogerly linking up with playmaker Tom Kharchi.
Sharks by 14 points

Derby Braves @ York Centurions 
Derby currently occupy fourth spot in the Midlands Athletic Conference and have the third highest scoring offence in their division (144 total points) just behind Birmingham and Loughborough.  The Braves are certainly capable of hanging half a hundred on any below par teams and in their last game, were able to hold Loughborough to just 35 points – no mean feat!

York’s offence by contrast, is very one dimensional and relies heavily on one scheme – the inside run. They struggle to move the ball through the air and their QB isn’t the most accurate passer beyond 20 yards.
With the exception of their game against the Sabres, York’s defence has yet to be tested by a top team so far this season. They have been involved in some very low scoring games and to their credit have managed to sneak the win on three occasions, often by a single score.
But this may be a game too far, even for the Centurions!
Derby by 20 points

Borders Predictions

Stirling Clansmen @ Edinburgh Predators
Stirling by 2 scores

EN Knights @ Glasgow Tigers
Glasgow by 2 scores

Teesside Cougars @ Northumbria Mustangs
Northumbria by 4 scores


  1. You seem to have accidentally replaced Lancaster with Huddersfield in the bombers vs bears prediction.

  2. Not(ts) an Outlaw18 February 2012 at 21:53

    Derby hold Loughborough to 35 points - "no mean feat"
    Notts hold Loughborough to 35 points - "Outlaws are rubbish, 35 points?!"

    Does Phil DeMonte write these predictions, he's had Outlaws losing every game this season!

    1. Two different writers write the MAC predictions.

    2. Not(ts) an Outlaw18 February 2012 at 23:38

      I was being churlish about DeMonte, although he clearly has issues with the Outlaws from his Leicester days. I know one writer is an Outlaws coach, is the other connected to Derby in some way...oh wait, it's their quarterback!

      Just kidding, bound to be differences in opinion between teams - makea de world go rounda - but keep up the good work!

  3. The Bombers @ Bears prediction was obviously done in such a haste... No insight or analysis.

    1. Looking at positions in the table of each team: Analysis

      Mentioning a key player in the game: Insight

      Yes, it was done in haste as it was late and we have had quite a bit to do, so apologies for hurrying to provide with these predictions and not meeting your demands. We will endeavor to do better in the future.

  4. I appreciate all that, but you've still got your facts wrong, the bombers lost by 30 to hull

  5. Great predictions as usual guys,
    Unfortunate so many games were cancelled or called off
    I would have loved to see the Bangor Vs Liverpool game but It was called off due to heavy rain.

    1. Heavy rain? What a crock of s**t reason to cancel a gam3!

    2. Apologies, that's meant to say "game", I wasn't going all l33t.


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