Welcome in Britball fans. Week 7 is on the horizon and before we get into that, bit of news on the coaching front as Halton Sprtans annoucned a new HC in Hussam Farraj who takes over effective immediately. On taking up the role he said:
“I would like to start by thanking our players, coaches, off the field staff and supporters, now and over the years, for making the Spartans the great organisation it is today.
I would like to also personally thank Coach Neil Mingaud and the LJMU coaching staff for giving me my first coaching opportunity and the continuous guidance along the way.
Having been a player for the Spartans over the past couple of years I cannot express enough how honoured and privileged I am to have this opportunity. I am very excited about this new chapter for the team, and I look forward to us tackling the challenges ahead. While this season ended earlier than we would have liked, it is time to turn our attention to a successful and competitive 2022.
Spartans are here to stay“
Let’s hope the Spartans can reignite the flame that saw them become one of the more promising teams from 2019.
Switching our attention to this week and as has been the case this year with Britball, it seems the step forward of last week has been met with two steps back in week 7. Multiple games cancelled/postponed/scrimmage/who gives a crap etc etc.
19 fixtures were scheduled for this week but that comes down to 16 with 4 games removed plus one game added, which was nice to see.
Kudos to the Nottingham Caesers. Grant and the guys over in Nottingham put out the batman signal, wanted to play a game and the Manchester Titans duly obliged. You can also check out Manchester Titans QB Sam Bloomfield being interviewed by the Gridiron Hub gang – Saturday and 8pm (YouTube Channel – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVADX1dkJIY5Mk5e0IQ22qw). If you want a “Soccer Saturday” style approach to your American Football Sundays, be sure to check the guys out too as they try and gather all the latest fro around the ground and engage with the listeners as they bring you really good coverage live every Sunday afternoon.
I’m not sure if the added fixture counts for the respective team’s divisional record. Who knows or even cares about divisional standings at this point?
For the games we have left on the list, I must admit there are some really tough calls to make and trying to pick winners.
We’ll start again in Scotland and I dont know about you folks but the fixture between the Edinburgh Wolves and the East Kilbride Pirates definitely gets my juices flowing.
To me, it’s the Scottish Derby, the two biggest teams in Scotland battling it out, East Kilbride have dipped in the last 2 seasons but were certainly on the upward trend back in 2019. These two teams, despite not playing each other for a few seasons, will know all about each other and has all the makings for an absolute belter. A good way to kick of the Caledonia division, that’s for sure.
There is another team who will be getting their first taste of gridiron action this week and that is the South East Squadron who host the Sussex Thunderbolts, who have not had an easy ride to date in 2021. That being said, the Thunderbolts, who will be battle-hardened from their exerts this year should see a notch in the win column this week, assuming the heavy defeats to the Spartans, Sabres and Mavericks have not left too much of a mark.
Games that could see wide margin scorelines are the Crewe Railroaders hosting Tamworth. Fair play to Crewe for (at this current time of writing) fulfilling the fixture despite the huge gulf in class. It’s like letting a far sexier, wealthier and funnier person in to your house with your partner home to have a chat and play some games and have intellectual conversation…
You also have to assume that considering the result a few weeks back, the London Warriors will look to put in a similar type of performance and result at home to the Kent Exiles who seemed unable to halt the immovable object in the 49-0 scoreline 2 weeks ago. That being said, the margin was an improvement from 2019’s matchups.
The final fixture that may see a wide margin is that arranged game between the Caesers and the titans but i’d love to see how well Nottingham do and from the sounds of it, certainly aren’t afraid to go up against the big boys, which speaks volumes considering the season we are having.
The Jurassic Coast Raptors will be looking for a repeat result and performance when they face the Torbay Trojans. Their previous meeting ended 34-6 to the Raptors. Have Torbay been able to get anything going in practice in their couple of weeks off? They have only scored 19 points in their 5 games to date. Jurassic Coast themselves coming off a break, skipping their previous game too against the Apache if my memory serves me correctly (Disclaimer: it usually doesnt).
Staying in the West Country but switching to the Severn division, potentially close matchup between the South Wales Warriors and the Birmingham Bulls. Hard to know what the Warriors are this year after their 28-0 victory over Worcestershire which on the form book doesnt seem to mean much at this point. The Bulls have a convincing victory over Hereford and a convincing defeat against the Aztecs in the form book this year. One that could go either way i feel.
Rushmoor got the better of Bournemouth in week 2 by a scoreline of 31-8. You have to feel that the win will be going back up with Rushmoor when all is said and done there. Bournemouth have tasted victory after a narrow victory over the struggling Sussex Thunder.
Another one that could split opinions is the Gateshead Senators travelling to Darlington. I know there is a difference of opinion in the 5 fixture prediction competition. I’ve plumped for Darlington but could be another one that is close. Both teams have similar losses to Northumberland, but it’s not strong form lines to go off.
Mouth to the South East, we have top 1st placed and possibly one of the surprise packages this year in the East Essex Sabres (in my rookie eyes anyway) taking on the East Kent Mavericks. the 3-0 Sabres took the victory last time out in a 25-6 victory on home turf, can they repeat this time travelling to the Mavericks.
Staying East but heading north slightly over to the East Anglia division, the Ipswich Cardinals (2-1), who have probably underwhelmed since their opening fixture victory tackle the Norwich Devils (1-2) who themselves maybe feel like they would have done better this season. Fancy Norwich to take this one but both teams I struggle to predict so expect Ipswich to win. The form book goes out of the window and this derby match will not be for the faint hearted.
Moving into the Thames Valley, probably another close one here between Hertfordshire and London Blitz B. Both teams are just a notch behind the Wembley Stallions this year but the Blitz B did manage to pull out a draw in their last game. Hertfordshire have since beaten the Hornets twice and both teams have slim margin victories over the oxford Saints. Should be a good battle that one, fancy homefield advantage for the Blitz B (if there is such a thing in Britball).
In the White Rose, Humber took at the time a possibly surprising victory against the Leeds Bobcats, but with subsequent fixtures for both sides, perhaps that’s probably a right result. Leeds are 0-2 and slumped to defeat against Doncaster last week whilst Humber beat that same Doncaster team and seemed to acquit themselves well against the Yorkshire Rams. I’d be expecting to see a Humber victory late Sunday evening.
The Scunthorpe Alphas will also be expecting to taste victory this week as they face South Lincs Lightning. Alphas squeezed past Lincolnshire in their 2nd of the 2 meetings in a nip and tuck game, this matchup presents a slightly easier assignment and the Alphas defence will probably be looking for a shutout.
Rounding us out for the preview is another potentially tricky fixture to call with the Sandwell Steelers travelling to Shropshire to face the revolution. I have picked Shropshire to win this one, purely due to the tumult Sandwell are currently going through. Sandwell did take both of these fixtures back in 2019, but a lot of change has happened between now and then. Both teams have victories over the Staffordshire Surge to try and gauge a formline but i expect this one to be low scoring.
That’s it for week 7. Thanks for reading. Please make sure you head over to YouTube and subscribe to the channel. I know I have not put out a weekly preview this week or last week, am working on getting some interviews over the next week or two as I pivot away from the weekly preview shows.
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Week 7 predictions:
- Blitz B to beat Hertforshire
- Jurassic Coast to beat Torbay
- Birmingham to beat South Wales
- Rushmoor to beat Bournemouth
- Tamworth to beat Crewe
- Darlington to beat Gateshead
- East Essex to beat East Kent
- Manchester to beat Nottingham
- Norwich to beat Ipswich
- Humber to beat Leeds
- Edinburgh to beat East Kilbride
- Scunthorpe to beat South Lincs
- Shropshire to beat Sandwell
- Warriors to beat Kent
- Sussex to beat SE Squadron
Running predictions tally: 67/80 – 84% strike rate
5 Fixture competition standings: 1st – Full 10 Yards – 78pts, 2nd – Britballin – 61pts, 3rd – UKAFS -57 points
Week 7 games:
- **Birmingham Bulls v South Wales Warriors **
- **Darlington Steam American Football Club v Gateshead Senators**
- **Ipswich Cardinals v Norwich Devils **
- **London Blitz B v Hertfordshire Cheetahs AFC **
- **Shropshire Revolution v Sandwell Steelers **