Wednesday, 15 May 2013

No Fly Zone Over Yorkshire

by Rick Strout. Picture courtesy of Chris Pullan

The Yorkshire Rams (1-2) secured their first win of the season with a hard fought 7 – 6 victory against a resolute and determined Coventry Jets (1-2) team. The score line was representative of an epic defensive performance on behalf of both teams. The Rams offence sparked at times but suffered through inconsistency in the face of a talented and competitive Jets defence. The Rams defence, in contrast, put on an outstanding team display led by some great individual performances including Adam Cowley who wreaked havoc in the Jets backfield all afternoon. And Randy Pryce who scored the Rams only touchdown.

Premiership North Power Rankings - Week Five

1. East Kilbride Pirates (2-0)
At 27-0 in the first quarter, you can forgive our score updaters for getting a little ahead of themselves with suggestions of 100-plus scorelines, but what isn't in doubt is that the Pirates are sitting comfortably at the top of the table. They have a couple of weeks to prepare for the visit of Doncaster.

2. Tamworth Phoenix (2-0)
No game this weekend for Tamworth means it's tight between them and Doncaster for second spot, with Tamworth holding their position due to the fact two of Doncaster's wins came over #10 ranked Nottingham.

3. Doncaster Mustangs (4-0)
Harsh to keep the Mustangs at #3 really, especially given that Sunday's scoreline was emphatic. The Mustangs' "bend but don't break" policy on defence seems to be working wonders, with opposition offences regularly getting into the redzone but having to make do with field goals at best. They play #1 East Kilbride next.

4. Yorkshire Rams (1-2)
A 7-6 win for the Rams moves them back to #4 in the rankings, and furthers the growing stereotype that football in West Yorkshire is pretty attritional. Regardless of the low scores, you'd imagine that the Rams can make this #4 spot their own this season.

5. Birmingham Bulls (1-1)
Not a great day for the Bulls, who took the lead and threatened to score several times at the Keepmoat before capitulating to yet another Martyn Lee Show – just the five touchdowns for #11 this week . They *should* get back on track against Lancashire in a couple of weeks.

National League Power Rankings - Week Five

1. Chester Romans (3-0)
DC Towers predicted that the Romans would lose this past weekend but they proved us wrong! Taking on last week’s number one Manchester Titans they dispatched their foes 30-14. We did also say that Chester could be dark horses in the division after going to the playoffs with a number of rookies last year but we certainly didn’t see them being atop our Power Rankings at this point in the season. Congratulations Chester Romans!

2. Bedfordshire Blue Raiders (3-0)

Whilst meaning no disrespect to the Essex Spartans or the Maidstone Pumas, the Bedfordshire Blue Raiders have been lower on our Power Rankings due to the quality of opposition faced, until this past weekend. They took on the highflying Watford Cheetahs, away from home too, and beat them 19-16 in a back and forth game. The Blue Raiders have been knocking on the door the past few years, but has their progression this offseason finally pushed them into playoff contention? I’d say so.

Premiership South Power Rankings - Week Five

1. London Blitz (1-0)
This has to be the longest season in a long time, running from April until 5th October, how on earth can we keep up enough material for the power rankings every week! The Blitz have a couple of weeks off to enjoy, before getting back in on the action, however in the meantime their Twitter account has tease us with some rumours of big news, a possible new stadium perhaps?
2. London Warriors (3-0)
Another team with a couple of weeks to enjoy after a 3 game streak are the London Warriors who are sitting pretty at 3-0 having faced (by power ranking) the next two toughest opponents after the Blitz, 25th August is a long way away, but focus has to be maintained.

All DC Team: The Linebackers

Remember how I said the Defensive Line was a tough position to select for? Well, the linebacker position was easily the hardest on either side of the ball. We acknowledge that there are a LOT of very good linebackers in this league. With the nominations and suggestions we had we could easily have named a starting 12 and not given justice to players not selected.

So, without further ado...

First Team All DC

Dom Gould - Hertfordshire Hurricanes
Dom Gould (#21) just loves to hug... c/o Biff Crabbe
This was probably the only player that remained in the top four during the entire conversation for the positions. One of the most dominant linebackers in the league, a true sideline to sideline threat and a constant play maker. Baller.

Ryan Strachan Edinburgh Napier Knights
#55 Ryan Strachan loves a dramatic walk away from a huddle
Way oop North in deepest darkest Edinburgh hides away one of the most talented linebackers in the league. Plying his trade for the East Kilbride Pirates in the senior league and also a representative for GB University Lions, Strachan put up superb numbers for a 7 game season. Solos: 73, Assists: 44, Forced Fumbles: 4, Fumble Recoveries: 4, Sacks: 9, Interceptions: 2, QB Hurry: 5. I repeat, that's off 7 games.

Sam Marshall - Birmingham Lions
No, he didn't play running back.
There was always going to be at least one Birmingham Lion in the first team, there were a number that should probably be in the second team as well, but Sam Marshall represents yet another stand out unit for Birmingham (seriously, they have more linebackers than some teams have on their entire defensive unit).

James Armah - Gloucester Gladiators
A ball in the hand is worth two in the bush...
The second position in a row that a SWAC defensive player finds his way into our first team. As you can see from the picture, Armagh is a huge play maker for Gloucester and was deserving of his call up to the GB University team as well.

Second Team All DC

Kevin Feber - Stirling Clasmen
Jamie Johansson-Otoo - NTU Renegades
Freddy Gough - Leeds Celtics
Todd Marquis - Warwick Wolves

Pirates shut out Trojans 34-0

Pictures courtesy of Stevie Manson

This much-anticipated clash failed to live up to expectation on a day more reminiscent of March than May. West Coast had a squad, depleted by injuries, that was half the number of their visitors and it became clear from early on that this was going to be a one-sided contest.

East Kilbride received the opening kick-off and put together a short drive which took them to the Trojans’ 16-yard line. However, they opted to run a play on 4th Down rather than attempt the Field Goal and Pirates Quarterback Ryan Hunter was tackled for a loss.

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