With the season winding down, we have some teams that have played their last fixture this weekend and we have a division or two which has crowned their champion. Cant quite decide if the state of Britball is/was to be expected taking in to account the state of some divisions and teams, I guess it was inevitable to get the state of play that we have.
If you would like to see our podcast this week with the Bournemouth Bobcats, arguable one of the teams of the season (I’ll do an awards post at some point, perhaps), you can find it here:
A debacle in East Kent it seems as an officiating issue caused their game with the Essex Spartans to be cancelled.
The other fixture was able to go ahead and that saw the East Essex Sabres return to winning ways as they get the job done against the Sussex Thunderbolts. Sabres indicated on their Facebook post they were low on numbers so hats off to those potentially going ironman for that game. They are now 5-2 as they head into their last game in week 14 against Essex.
In the Wessex division, Bournemouth finish their positive season at 5-3 and will sit 2nd when the dust settles in the division due to their Head to Head record over Rushmoor…and the fact Rushmoor wont play the same number of games. For Solent, their quest for the unbeaten season travels up the M3 to Farnham to play Rushmoor in week 14. Congratulations to Solent for clinching the division with a game to spare.
Further congratulations go to the Hertfordshire Cheetahs as they defeated the Wembley Stallions in a back and forth game to determine the Thames Valley division champions. Extracting revenge for week 1’s opening defeat sees Wembley suffer their first and only defeat of the season in heartbreaking fashion. 69% (nice) of you voted correctly in our twitter poll so well done to you too, though you have to think it’s perhaps Coach Barnes and all his burner accounts :). From what I gather, they’ll return to SFC 1 Central (assuming divisions revert back to 2019) and they’ll look to push on for a Prem South place in 2022. Wembley did hold a 20-14 lead in this one but just couldn’t see it out.
Staying near the nation’s capital, we saw all teams in action in the London division. The London Warriors eeked out a close victory against the London Blitz. Have no idea of numbers or game flow because….well you know why. What i do know is Blitz held a 12-0 lead in the early goings in that one. The other fixture saw the Kent Exiles finally get over the line and win their first game of the season and battered the London O’s deserved victory considering the toughness Kent have played by and shown this year. Exiles were in the lead early and in cruise control throughout. they were 21-0 up within the first 5 minutes after TDs from their defence on a muffed punt, a James Cook TD and a TD from short field after recovering a fumble. Olympians not able to recover from some key injuries throughout and everything fell right for Kent for once this year.
In East Anglia, Congratulations to the Cambridgeshire Cats who secured their undefeated season and the division Crown as they beat the Ipswich Cardinals in comprehensive fashion. Cats opened up with two rushing scores before QB Mark Rivett grabbed the spotlight with (count them!) at least 6 TD passes, a couple hauled in by Ryan Smith in the 2nd half. A Rivett-ing performance. I bet that isn’t the first time Mark has heard that.
Cambridgeshire seemingly getting stronger as the weeks went on increasing their average points scored in the last few weeks. Worth noting as well that only on one occasion did a team post more than 12 points on the Cats’ defence and had 5 out of 8 games where they either posted a shutout or single digits points given up. On the Ipswich side, I’m glad I could end their season on a correct, albeit comfortable prediction.
The other fixture in the division saw the Colchester Gladiators show no mercy to the Ouse Valley Eagles, who will probably be happy to see the end of the 2021 season. Last few weeks in the lead up saw the Eaagles score some points, but not to be as the curtain draws on a goose egg. Let’s hope they can regroup and go again in 2022.
Business as usual in the Central East as wins for Northants Knights and Nottingham Caesers over the Lincs Lightning and Scunthorpe Alphas respectively. The two best teams in an intriguing division coming on strong for the majority of these season and the Caesers will look to achieve perfection in their final game against Northant. Congrats to Coach Lawless and the guys in Nottingham who caught the eye this year and will be looking forward to seeing them do battle again in 2022 with some strong opposition potentially in the NFC 1 South. For the two defeated teams, there are definitely some positives to take away from 2021 and they’ll be fully fledged outfits come the divisional alignment next year and likely facing off against one another next year.
Moving up to the Hadrians division, and the Yorkshire Rams put up 69 (nice!) on offence and their defence put up an even better number posting a shutout against a fiesty Doncaster team this season. Tyler Broad with a kick return back to the house as well as a score on offence in a good day for him. Same comments apply to Connor Moran who also had a couple of scores through the air. The signs were great out of the gate with Rio Irvine going the distance on the Rams’ first play from scrimmage, 75 yards.
Darlington Steam put up just under half the points of the Rams in their game against DC Presidents and also posting the shutout. It’s been a difficult season for the Presidents but fair paly to them, they’ve kept going. They’ve finished with just the 6 points scored in their 5 games as they sign off 2021. Steam’s offensive MVP had to revert to Center after an ejection and by the looks of it did a pretty good job. Steam had a couple of defensive scores on fumble recoveries (Rob Dowson and Alex Coatsworth) and a kick return TD too from Mikey Healey.
In the Mercia, a close game was anticipated between the Shropshire Revolution and the Sandwell Steelers, but Shropshire have fared pretty well outside of their games with Tamworth and that continued to be the case here. Sandwell. The Steelers finish at 2-5 and Coach Andrew, Coach Butler and co will be putting in the work this offseason as they now prepare for the heavyweights of Britball in the Prem North for 2022 as they try and redirect the train in the same direction it was heading in back in 2019 after a fair amount of tumult in 2021. Shropshire should find themselves in the NFC 1 South along with some other decent teams and certainly looks to be an intriguing division should that division return in 2022 in the way it’s supposed to.
In the cross divisional fixture involving a Mercia team, the Birmingham Bulls nearly put the cats amongst the Falcons (see what I did there) as they threatened to score an upset victory. They took a 13-0 lead in this one and were only 2 points behind going into the 4th before the Leicester Falcons pulled away. Kudos to the Bulls there against stronger opposition on short notice. Matt Dutton scoring a few TDs for the Bulls in a good day personally for him and shout out to the Bulls Twitter as they were playing a game of Chinese whispers whilst they were working. A shout out too for Falcons player Aland Kasraw who recently found out he’ll be going to the NFL Academy.
To the Rose divisions now, where there was only 1 fixture between them. In the Red version, the Lancashire Wolverines did what was expected against the Leigh Miners. This one was 44-0 at the half and that’s all I could find. The few games Leigh have played, I have seen the other teams give them a round of applause of sorts on how they went about their business so we’ll see what Leigh give us in 2022 when they tackle teams at their level. Two games against the Chester Romans and a game against the Wolverines wouldn’t have been easy for most teams and whilst the scorelines had wide margins, hopefully the Miners wont find themselves in that much of a hole next year, though considering their name, that’s what they’d be accustomed to.
The final fixture in England for week 13 saw the Aztecs hammer the Swindon storm in the Severn division, with the other 2 fixtures cancelled due to the withdrawals of Hereford and Worcestershire. Coach Pwles and the Aztecs giving no let up as they have a week or two wait now before they finish off with a game against the South Wales Warriors as they look certain to go the year unbeaten.
It was the turn of the Caledonia division in Scotland and a repeat of the fixtures saw a repeat of the winning teams as East Kilbride travelled to the Tigetrs and beat Glasgow 35-0, though they were made to work hard by Glasgow as this was only 7-0 at the half. The Pirates post their 3rd shutout in their 4 games. Pirates are back guys, if you didnt know. Some TD scorers for the Pirates were Dougie Meechan, Fraser McDonald, David Fallon and Ssarien Liddell, who got his first taste of the endzone with a receiving touchdown.
The other fixture confirmed Edinburgh’s dominance over the Inverclyde Goliaths. 57-12 scoreline continues Edinburghs good form after their week 1 defeat. Not able to give much more than that I am afraid.
Predictions time and I went 16/17 on the predictions, with only only the Olympians denying me for a full house! 156/192 on the season.
Photographer of the week: Tony Small
Well, we didnt get a live stream but i guess the next best thing in terms of visuals is photographs, right? Here is some snaps of the crunch game in the Thames Valley division from Tony Small. Some great action pictures here. For the deficiency in Live streaming that we have in Britball it’s been nice to see it’s been made up in bundles by the photography this year.
Bonus Snap – Spot the Ball Competition.
Saw a great photo in one of the groups I am in, Shout out to Duncan Gray. So here you go, spot the ball. Follow us on Twitter for the answer!