Wednesday, 8 May 2013

All DC Team: The Running Backs

A position of contention last year, with the absence of Adam Hope from the top table. This year with the lack of nominations we have been able to be a little more flexible with the awarding of first and second team nominations, but have tried to stick to production as a general yard stick.

Some very good running backs miss out for a variety of reasons, be it injury (in the case of Orion Modebe, who rushed for 400+ yards and 7 TDs in 3 games) or playing in a committee (for instance Deji Ali at Bath or Prosper Agu at Herts). All are very good backs and would have a place on this list if it was not for running backs such as...

First Team All DC

Dan Conroy - Birmingham Lions

c/o Biff Crabbe
Probably the easiest nomination to give. The National Championship and league MVP's performances have been stellar to say the least. Consider these stats 86 carries for 973 yards at an 11.31 yard average and 9 touchdowns even while being benched for entire halves of games. Conroy is a certified beast.

Danny Wallace - BNU Buccaneers

WAIT! They PASS!?!?!?!? c/o Andy Coleman
No doubt the Double Wing naysayers will pipe up, but Wallace is more than deserving of a nomination. His play on the offensive side of the ball as one of the lead ball carries for BNU's explosive offence led to a stat line of 120 attempts for 1259 yards and 17 TDs and eight straight 100 yard games!

Steven Szoidberg - Bradford Bears

Looking for a running back? Why not Szoidberg? As always there is a little bit of a left field selection to round out our first team. Playing in a generally considered "weaker" division you have to have a monster stat line to get first team honors and this gangbusting Bear rocks it with 230 Attempts, 1625 Yards for an average of 7.06 yards per carry and 15TD. Beast mode.

As an extra note, all three first team running backs played defence at some point during the season as well.

Second Team All DC

Zake Muluzi - Stirling
Ben Johnson - Herts
Bobby Nightingale - Bath


All DC Team: The Wide Receivers

Wide receiver can be an interesting position to try and grade at the University level. There aren't that many tights ends, so usually these get lumped in with the wide outs and then there are wide outs that make the cut that are more like running backs in the jet sweep offence.

We've tried to mix it up a little with what we think represents some of the best talent at Wide receiver in the country at the pass catching positions:

First Team All DC

Tom Singleton-Wells - Derby Braves

An unfortunate ending to the season for this product of the Redditch Arrows youth team (blast from the past there) after a drubbing from Birmingham, but the leading receiver for Derby snagged an impressive 12 touchdowns from the arm of 2nd team QB Joe Brammer and also ran in three more on the ground as a running back for good measure. The Big North West will be glad he graduated!

Stefan Rowden - Birmingham Lions

Yet another player from the national champions (well, they are national champions for a reason).One of the many of Tristan Varneys targets the dynamic slot receiver racked up an impressive 18 catches for 296 yards at a 16.44 yards per catch average and 10 touchdowns.

Nich Bagnall - Hertfordshire Hurricanes

#11 Nich Bagnall with fellow receiver Dom Husbands
Although Dom Husbands stole a lot of the positive headlines from the national championship game, word on the grape vine is that his opposite number, Nich Bagnall, had the better season. Alright, it's like deciding between an Aston Martin or a Ferrari, but in this case this Aston edges it, just. We wish Nich a rapid recovery after his injury in the finals.

Grant Isdale - Stirling Clansmen

Often seen with a trail of would be tacklers left in his wake, Isdale is one of those "Jet Sweep Receivers" with more touchdowns on the ground than through the air. Cause Birmingham no end of trouble in their quarter final match up and wracked up an impressive 938 all purpose yards for 13 touchdowns.

Second Team All DC 

Will Hussey - Birmingham Lions
Rob Cartwright - NTU Renegades
Dom Husbands Hertfordshire Hurricanes
Henry Everett - Southampton Stags

Premiership South Power Rankings

1. London Blitz (1-0)
Not wanting to be outdone, the Blitz dominated the Bristol Aztecs who have had a torrid couple of weeks.Questions might have been raised about the Blitz’ offensive production in their two legs with the Towers, but they have blown off those cobwebs and shown that they can outscore the Warriors. The Blitz now take near a month off before being in action again against the Cats 02/06.

Premiership North Power Rankings

1. East Kilbride Pirates (1-0)
Emphatic. A 38-0 road win against Coventry showed the rest of the division just what they've got to look forward to in 2013, can Tamworth or Doncaster stop a Pirates cakewalk?

2. Tamworth Phoenix (2-0)
Another shut-out win for Tamworth, who by their own admission weren't firing on all cylinders despite a 28-0 win over Yorkshire. Zero points conceded after two games looks handsome regardless of the opposition.

3. Doncaster Mustangs (3-0)
No game this weekend for Doncaster, who play Birmingham on Sunday looking to win and stay in the race for the division's top spot.

4. Birmingham Bulls (1-0)
Dem Bulls move up one spot despite not playing a game this weekend - nice work if you can get it. Donny on Sunday for them.

5. Yorkshire Rams (0-2)
Yorkshire can comfort themselves that they conceded less than Lancashire in their match with Tamworth, but a second straight low-scoring loss sees them drop down the table and the Power Rankings like a stone.

6. Coventry Jets (1-1)
A heavy defeat against East Kilbride, but some good things to take away from the weekend for Coventry, namely the fact that they created turnovers against the Northern Premier League's best(?) offence. They play Yorkshire on Sunday.

7. Sheffield Predators (1-0)
Yes Sheffield! I told you not to count them out against West Coast, and they did me proud with a high scoring and entertaining win. This team have ballers on both sides of the ball, whether they have strength in depth is yet to be seen.

8. West Coast Trojans (0-2)
That season of consolidation is looking more and more likely after a second defeat of the season, this time to the aforementioned Predators. A big Old Scottish Derby awaits this weekend, so it doesn't look like getting any easier in a hurry

9. Lancashire Wolverines (0-1)
Still a couple of weeks for the Wolverines to stew over their opening day loss to Tamworth - they take on Birmingham on May 26th.

10. Nottingham Caesars (0-3)
Crazy scheduling for the Caesars means that they don't play at all in May, so expect them to take root at the foot of the table.

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