Merseyside Nighthawks vs. Crewe Railroaders
Merseyside are enjoying a fine start to their National Division campaign, going 2-0 with a 39-7 win over Shropshire and an impressive 65-0 rout of Lincolnshire. Their 1-9 season last year is far behind them and the rookies from that season have gained much needed experience and clicked as a team unit.
Crewe meanwhile are sitting at 1-2 with defeats to Leicester and Staffordshire being propped up by a win against the Surge the week after. They’re going to struggle against Merseyside’s option offence and the match up with the Nighthawks’ quick receivers is going to be a nightmare for them.
Merseyside Nighthawks to win by 5 scores or more
Leicester Falcons vs. Lincolnshire Bombers
Lincolnshire’s struggle with injuries this year, including their starting quarterback, have seen them somewhat regress from the impressive season they had last year. But with the increased competition in the division this year it will be tough for the Bombers to bounce back from their 0-4 record.
Leicester meanwhile have struggled to match up with the division’s powerhouses themselves, with their only wins coming against Crewe and Staffordshire, with losses to Manchester (60-0) and Chester (37-0). If they want to turn their season around they must learn to score on the top end teams in the League. They should have enough to take down a beaten up Bombers side though.
Leicester Falcons to win by 2 scores
DC Presidents vs. Gateshead Senators
One of the games to watch in the National Division this year. DC are flying high on 2-0 at the top of the North this year whilst Gateshead aren’t far behind, the tie game against Glasgow holding them back on 2-0-1.
This is the first time these two North East teams have met but the game will no doubt be played like an old rivalry, with place in the division, our power rankings and pride at stake!
It’s made more interesting with the transfer of coach Jon Rooney heading to DC this past offseason from Gateshead. Rooney paired up with long time coaching partner Ben Johnson and have transformed the Presidents from mediocre last season to a genuine contender for playoffs this year. Home field advantage could be the difference here but never count out that strong Gateshead defence.
DC Presidents to win by one score
National South Central
Watford Cheetahs vs. Colchester Gladiators
Following an impressive 2-0 start to the season, the Cheetahs have dropped down to a 2-2 record following losses to Bedfordshire Blue Raiders and Milton Keynes Pathfinders, and with the 2-0 Colchester Gladiators heading into town, it looks like the Cheetahs may drop below 0.500 for the first time this season.
When the Gladiators travelled to Watford last season, the Cheetahs won 10-6 to drop Colchester to a 0-2 record. This season, the Gladiators will be looking for revenge when they try to extend their winning streak to three games. In what will most likely be a close game, the Gladiators will be relying on their high scoring offence to carry them over the finishing line.
Gladiators to steal this one and win by two scores.
Kent Exiles vs. Essex Spartans
When these two foes squared off at the start of the season, it was the Kent Exiles who came away with the victory and the inaugural ‘Battle for the Bridge’ crown.
It’s been a while since the Exiles last played so there may be some signs of rust when they take on the Spartans this weekend. However, if they can find a repeat performance of their last game (87-0 win over Maidstone), the Exiles will comfortably win this one.
When the Spartans were demoted from last season’s Division One South, some people may have thought that the Spartans have a chance of winning the National South Central title. Instead, the Spartans have dropped to a 0-3 record and have been shutout twice this season. It’s not been a good year for the Spartans so far.
Exiles to edge this one again. Kent by a score.
Solent Thrashers vs. Farnham Knights
The Thrashers extended their unbeaten run last weekend with a victory over the Gloucester Centurions and are now the only team in the National South with a 0 in their L column. No doubt the Thrashers will be hoping that stat continues for another week following this weekend’s game vs. the Farnham Knights.
After a sluggish start to the season (losses to Solent and Cornish), the Knights finally got their first win since the 2011 season (Farnham didn’t compete in the 2012 season), when they defeated the Swindon Storm 41-0. The Knights will now be hoping to get their record back up to 0.500 for the season.
Tough one. Going to go with Solent by a score.
Bournemouth Bobcats vs. Bristol Apache
Following another defeat last weekend, the Bobcats have dropped to 0-4 and are now playing for pride. It’s not like the Bobcats are playing terrible this season either. Three games have been decided by a score or less, and no team have posted 30 points on the Bobcats. It makes you wonder if there’s a division between the teams O and D.
The surprise team of this season are definitely the Bristol Apache who are now 3-1 following their blowout victory against the Cornish Sharks. It’ll be interesting to see how Bristol matchup against Solent or Oxford, but so far it’s so good from a team who used to be a basement team.
Apache to move to 4-1 with a two score victory.