Saturday, 16 March 2013

Challenge Trophy Predictions

Glasgow Tigers vs NTU Renegades

It would be stereotypical of me to add a video of the Proclaimers, but really this is one hell of a trek for NTU to under take. Danny Miller and Co make the journey north with the hope of a first finals appearance in the teams history. They've been highly rated all season by the DC writers and we fancied them to be pushing for the title. However the not so insignificant barrier of Glasgow stand in their way.

Putting aside the slightly shifty film habits (or lack of sharing film habits) Glasgow have shown and some questionable refereeing at times against BNU, credit has to be given to the Tigers. Only one team had held BNU to under 20 points this seasons and they largely shut down running back Danny Wallace.

This week they will have to shut down Danny Miller, dual threat phenom that scores with his feet and has been known to throw the ball every now and then. Rumors are that the NTU offence may be a little dinged up though, so that could really throw things into the mixer!

Almost an NTU clean sweep, but again it's another game that could be closer than people think.

Southampton Stags vs Leeds Celtics

A team that many (including us) had down as TVC champions and national title contenders, the Stags confidently dispatched Manchester in last weeks game. They will be expecting nothing less than a finals appearance and with a strong defence giving their offence plenty of good field position we can expect Leeds may struggle.

Southampton are healthy on offence once more and QB Dana Neale will  be looking to maintain the current run to add some silverware to the stags trophy cabinet.

No game for Leeds last week despite the best efforts of everyone involved to get the game played midweek instead. You have to wonder if the shortened week will effect either team, as neither of them knew who was playing who until Leed's were officially declared winners on Wednesday.

As a team with national Championship caliber, we expect Southampton to win this one comfortably.

National Championship Predictions

It's getting closer now!

With only one weekends worth of fixtures left before the final there are some very interesting games set up. Some may think that calling them is easy, however if anything this post season has shown us that nothing is guaranteed!

Scoring so far is fairly even, with Simon Love streaking ahead into the lead with 15 correct predictions and three upsets picks as well. His only incorrect pick so far has been BNU over Glasgow. Pikachu brings up the tail with a woeful 9 points.

Derby Braves vs Birmingham Lions

Last year this would have been a forgone conclusion in the MAC. Derby struggled to compete in a division with NTU, Loughborough and Birmingham and were often the bridesmaids, but never the brides. What a difference a trip up north makes! This game gives Derby an opportunity to dispell the myth that that northern football just isn't up to it. 

Irish American Football Association News

We have a week’s break from Irish fixtures this week with no games in both the Shamrock Bowl Conference and IAFL-1. Time to reflect on the Leagues so far and bring you a spot of news then!

Firstly IAFA announced that they have given formative membership to a new team in the hope that they can field a team in 2014. The Dundalk Mavericks are still looking for players, coaches and off-field personnel but the skeleton of a squad is there, and with youth and potential in bags.

Shamrock Bowl Conference

What has surprised us most in the Shamrock Bowl Conference this year? Firstly the main talking point has to be the UL Vikings’ drop in form. They’ve headed to the last seven Shamrock Bowls and, although they’ve lost the last three, they were favourites to make it again this year.

The season opener was a nervy one, with the Vikings taking a narrow 11-0 win against UCD, but then came the 20-0 shocking defeat against Trinity. The Vikings have had to deal with a few retirements including captain Liam Ryan and Head Coach Ciaran O’Sullivan, as well as injuries to starting quarterback Marc Ashworth but they still have bucket-loads of talent on the team.

The UL Vikings will want to bounce back against UCD - photo by Nathan James Sharrocks

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