Saturday, 25 May 2013

National League Predictions

National Central
Staffordshire Surge vs. Leicester Falcons
This could well be an intriguing match-up. Leicester have proved that they are not the Leicester of old with most of their Premiership staff having moved on whilst Staffordshire seem much improved on the disaster that was last season.
Both teams are 1-2 with Leicester having beat Crewe on the opening game of the season but having lost to both Chester and Manchester without scoring a point.
Staffordshire on the other hand beat Crewe in one game but lost to them in another whilst also losing to Shropshire. Home advantage for them could be a big thing but the Falcons might still have too much for the Surge at this point.
Leicester Falcons to win by one score
Lincolnshire Bombers vs Merseyside Nighthawks
The Bombers can consider themselves a little unlucky. They are 0-3 but have faced up against Shropshire, Manchester and Chester in their opening three fixtures. And it doesn’t get much easier against the Nighthawks who opened their season with a 39-7 whupping of the Revolution.
The Bombers rapid improvement last year has earned them a tough ride in a competitive division but the experience could prove good for them in the long run.
Meanwhile the Nighthawks will be flying high after their win. Many of their first year returners learnt valuable lessons in the 1-9 season in Division One last year and with one of the most experienced and talented wide receiver corps in the country along with a quarterback who spent time at the San Antonio Longhorns, they have the ability to put points on anybody.
Merseyside Nighthawks to win by three scores

National North
D C Presidents vs Dundee Hurricanes
The Presidents overcame the Edinburgh Wolves in their last and only game so far this season and will be looking to continue on their long term plan of taking this team to the top of British football both on and off the field.
The Hurricanes have struggled though, currently sitting bottom of the division on an 0-3 record but they have potential, having scored points on all three of their opponents so far.
With home-field advantage at the “White House” it is hard to look past DC for this game.
DC Presidents to win by two scores
National League South Central
Maidstone Pumas vs. Bedfordshire Blue Raiders
To say it’s been a poor season for the Pumas would be an understatement. Three losses out of three and a points conceded average that’s just under 62 points per game is a record that’s so bad, it makes the Worcester Royals look like world beaters. But credit where it’s due, the Pumas are still turning up to games each and every week regardless of their margin of defeat.
Following an impressive 3-0 start to the season, the Blue Raiders find themselves atop of the National League South Central conference and sitting in the number two spot in our weekly power rankings. Given all of the previous information and the fact the Blue Raiders defeated the Pumas 52-0 earlier on in the season; expect Bedfordshire to extend their winning streak this weekend.
Bedfordshire by a lot. Probably around the 40 margin.
Milton Keynes Pathfinders vs. Watford Cheetahs
Before the season began, we wonder how many people would’ve said that when this game came around, the Cheetahs would be the team with the winning record and they’d already hold a 1-0 lead in this season’s head to head against the Pathfinders.
Normally, two early season losses against teams who you’re battling with for playoff positions would all but confirm you’ll be spending the post season prepping for next season, but fortunately for MKP, it’s looking like the South Central is shaping up to be a conference full of upsets and will most likely go down to the wire meaning they’re still in the playoff hunt. However, another loss to the Cheetahs and their season will be all but over.
Despite having the second highest scoring offence in their conference, the Cheetahs were unable to overcome the high flying Bedfordshire Blue Raiders and suffered their first loss of the season. But with confidence high due to a winning record, and the confidence they should have from their earlier victory over the Pathfinders, the Cheetahs should be feeling confident that they can get their season back on track this weekend.
We’re seeing the Pathfinders gaining some vengeance in this one and winning by a score.
National League South
Bristol Apache vs. Cornish Sharks
Following an impressive 2-0 start to the season, the Apache found themselves coming back down to earth when they fell to the Gloucester Centurions 30-18. Should the Apache lose this weekend; their hopes for post season football will be all but over.
Following a narrow one point victory over the Farnham Knights, the Sharks find themselves in a tie for the number two spot in the south conference. Having never lost to the Apache, the Sharks should be confident heading into this weekend’s game and if last year is anything to go by (41-6 and 40-0 victories), the Sharks will walk this one.
Sharks by two scores
Gloucester Centurions vs. Solent Thrashers
The Centurions got off to the perfect start when they defeated the Bristol Apache 30-18 in their first game of the season, showing that both teams (BUAFL and BAFANL) in Gloucester are on the up. However, with the early favourites for the conference heading to town this weekend, the Centurions may find themselves with a ‘1’ in the losing column when all is said and done.
Two games, two wins for the Thrashers following their impressive victories over the Farnham Knights and Oxford Saints, and thanks to those two wins, the Thrashers are sitting pretty atop of a conference that is shaping up to be one of the most competitive in the country. With a defence that’s only conceded six points in two games, the Thrashers should be the favourites to remain undefeated.
Solent by two scores
Oxford Saints vs. Bournemouth Bobcats
After their 13-0 loss against the Thrashers, the Saints will be hoping to get their season back on track this weekend when they play host to the Bournemouth Bobcats. Having already played and defeated the Bobcats this season, the Saints should be confident that they can get their pursuit for the playoffs back on course.
In a conference as competitive as the south, the Bobcats 0-3 start may be enough for the team to miss the post season for another season. If that is the case, Bournemouth now have the opportunity to play the spoiler role and ruin a number of teams playoff pursuits. With that in mind, we can see this being a trap game for the Saints!
Tough one. Oxford to edge it by a score.
Farnham Knights vs. Swindon Storm
We’ll keep this prediction short and sweet after our last Knights prediction seemed to upset a few people from within the ranks, even though we did correctly predict them to lose.
Hand on heart, how many people said that the Storm would have a better record than the Knights when they finally squared off? Not many people, that’s for sure, but that may be down to the fact that now many people had the Knights pencilled in to go 0-2 at the start of the season. Should they lose to the new boys in the league, the Knights hopes of making a return to the top division will be put off for the foreseeable future.
With it being four weeks since the Swindon Storm last played a game, they should be fairly prepared and refreshed for this one. Should the Storm be able to come away with a victory at the weekend, it would be a huge victory for a team who are in their rookie season.
Can’t see the Knights going 0-3. Farnham to win by a score

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