Welcome in to your weekly preview piece. Hope you are getting out there and supporting your local team.
Before we get in to it, it would be remiss of me to not put our 2021 NFL Season guide in front of your noses. It’s our may fundraiser to help put back into the game by helping you out there wanting to be come officials, or sponsoring teams. If you are a fan of the NFl, please support us and buy this guide. £3.99 (use code YARDS” at checkout) for a digital copy, but if like me, you like something physical to read/keep, the physical copies are limited in numbers and there’s only a handful left. They come with a free digital version whilst you wait for the post to deliver the goods. If you know someone that would enjoy it, please spread the word! Appreciate the support already so far.
Right, let’s draw a line under that and get into the thick of week 9. Just the one postponement I am aware of at time of writing coming via BAFA’s website. Warriors and Blitz in the London division will not be played this week.
*UPDATE: Hereford vs South Wales also off*
Talking of BAFA’s website, I have also been reliably informed there is an added fixture between the Northumberland Vikings and the Darlington Steam, which doesn’t appear on there (maybe something for the new prospective Operations Manager to help sort out as well as the million other things in that job spec).
There is some live stream action (hopefully) from Onside Productions. They’ll be covering the Leicester @ Sandwell Game, you can find the link here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5CebQix8fI .
Let’s start north and work our way down. Just the one fixture in Scotland and it comes in the form of the Caledonia division as the 0-1 Wolves take on the 0-0 Glasgow Tigers. Could be a very interesting fixture this one and if there was a stream, I’d be certainly watching. I think this is a result that could go either way, despite Edinburgh being a division or two above Glasgow.
Another new logo you’ll see in the above picture is that of Leigh Miners, who host the Chester Romans. Chester coming off two valiant efforts in defeat to the Merseyside Nighthawks, I would assume Chester would be able to flex their muscles in this one with Leigh being thrown in at the deep end here. Similar comments apply to Knottingley, whilst less new to the sport, but the challenge is just as vast as they travel to Humber to face the Warhawks. The Raiders are without a win in 3 attempts and Humber are 3-1 with a loss to the Yorkshire rams their only defeat in 2021.
Staying in the division, Doncaster and Leeds reacquaint themselves and Leeds will look to try and get some retribution for their 42-13 defeat 3 weeks ago. I can’t see Leeds being able to turn it around but this is Britball. Leeds are also without a win thus far in 2021 whilst Doncaster are 2-3 with their two defeats coming against the powerhouses of Yorkshire and Sheffield.
Moving a bit further south, as previously mentioned, you’ll get to see a bit of action between the Falcons and the Steelers. Probably fair to expect a Leicester win in this one with the tumult over at Sandwell this year. It’ll be a “slog” as Steelers OC Butler put it on social media earlier in the week and I think this season is perfect for them to right the ship ahead of a prem visit in 2022. It will be a fierce game between the two, but Leicester likely to come out on top there.
Cracking game in prospect in the Central East division as the Nottingham Caesers travel to Scunthorpe to face the Alphas. Nottingham really do have a decent head of steam and some momentum built this year and will be interesting to see if the usually stout Alphas defence can continue to be Alphas and shut down the high flying Caesers offensive attack. Nottingham unbeaten at 3-0 thus far this year with the Alphas just having that shock shutout loss a few weeks back. A win for Scunthorpe in this one and that division is wide open.
Staying in the division, the Lincolnshire Bombers travel to Northants to face the Knights. Should be another decent game this one, but I expect more woe for the Bombers social media guy, go follow them and weep together. They do say misery loves company. Both teams have competitive losses against the Caesers in the form books so indications are that this shouldn’t be a wide margin victory.
Heading south but staying in the east, a couple of fixtures in the East Anglia division, which sees the cambridgeshire Cats travel to Norwich to face the Devils along with my favourite team (not) to predict, the Ipswich Cardinals hosting the Colchester Gladiators. Both Ipswich and Colchester have wins over Ouse Valley and Norwich, so yet again I am at a loss to try and predict an Ipswich game correctly, I’ll plump for Colchester (winces). Should be a bit more straight forward in predicting that Cambridgeshire, currently unbeaten at 4-0, should be taking the win here. They have a one score victory (28-20) in the last meeting over a month ago and look to double down on that and improve to 5-0. Norwich have tasted defeat in their last 3 fixtures after winning their opening fixture against Ouse Valley.
Let’s head over to the west coast now and the Severn division. South Wales, a bit more convincing last week than their scoreline of 12-0 suggests against Swindon Storm look to take care of business against Hereford Stampede, who are winless in 3 matches in 2021. They will look to improve to 3-1 and keep winning to be best of the rest in the division alongside the Birmingham Bulls who again, should get the business taken care of against a struggling Worcestershire Black Knights team, also winless in 2021 in their 4 matches to date and only 7 points scored.
In the South West division, we have the Cornwall Monarchs returning to the field to travel to the Jurassic Coast Raptors. Cornwall won their previous meeting this year 38-12 and the raptors are coming off a couple of wins against Torbay and a narrow loss to the Somerset Wyverns. Have to expect a Monarchs victory in this one, who lost to the Apache last time out.
From South West to South East (yes, I realise I’ve not gone totally geographically correct from North to South, leave me alone) and a couple of fixtures here also. The more straight forward one will be the East Kent Mavericks who’ll look to heap the same misery on the Thunderbolts like as they did back at the end of July and their 55-0 win. The other fixture and potentially one of the best ones this weekend sees the rematch between East Essex Sabres and Essex Spartans. The Sabres took the spoils by a point 4 weeks ago and the Sabres will be fighting tooth and nail to maintain their undefeated season. A win would surely give them the division, barring anything miraculous. Promises to be another close, low scoring affair with both teams giving up just 25 points between them in the combined games they have played in the division this year.
Moving more centrally, despite the postponed fixture in the London division, the other 2 teams face off as the Olympians and Exiles meet up. Olympians coming off their loss in a cross divisional game against the Thrashers whilst the Exiles, have not perhaps seen the results their performances have warranted in some of their defeats against the Blitz and more recently, the Warriors. No wins for either side so, barring a tie, one of the teams will hopefully be feeling a bit better about themselves in the team zoom call on Monday.
In the Thames Valley, just the one fixture as the Hertfordshire Cheetahs host the London Blitz B. Somehow the teams have not faced of yet this year despite both teams playing a decent number of fixtures. I’ll take the 3-1 Cheetahs to take victory against the 2-1-1 Blitz B, as i get ridiculed for selecting the Cheetahs opponents this season (wink wink). Both teams need the victory to keep pace with the Wembley Stallions. Hertfordshire, don’t turn into the Ipswich Cardinals and do the opposite of what i predict each week please :).
Finally in the deep south, we have a couple of fixtures to inform you of (slight tangent here, but is it still known as the Wessex division as BAFA have labelled it? Could’ve sworn it was just known as South Central, or Central South, or whatever it was possibly changed to, answers to @F10YBritball on twitter please!), with the cancelled fixture last week between Sussex and Rushmoor, they hopefully are able to step on to the field this week as Rushmoor travel south. Not sure why the it was cancelled last week, assuming it’s Covid and not the fact it’s a tedious journey. Rushmoor were awarded the walkover victory from last week. I’d expect Rushmoor to win in the more traditional style this week and thats by the points on the scoreboard.
The other fixture has the hallmarks of a potential decent matchup. Bournemouth. Solent have that aforementioned win over the Olympians and have multiple wins over Sussex, but it’ll be interesting to see how that form stands up as Bournemouth possibly around the levels of Olympians as things currently sit in the Britball landscape (my rookie opinion, of course). Still expect the impressive Solent to win the game, but upset of the week could come in this one. Solent currently 4-0 looking to maintain their undefeated year thus far.
There you have it, a fair amount of fixtures glossed over for you. I hope to be back on the podcast next week and have an interview or two lined up, for those that have read the blog for a number of weeks will know there should be one to come from the Warriors, still working on a date for that one. So if you are reading Warriors Instagram team, reply to my message! The other podcast lined up is with the South Lincs Lightning, giving a bit of airtime to one of the lesser known teams in the Britball world.
If you would do me the honour of subscribing to said YouTube channel, that would be fab and if you are a team that wants to come on and shout out, maybe Solent? Or Cambridgeshire? Or Notthingham? Please give me a nudge, would love to have any team on.
Predictions wise, the running totals are 87/110 on the season. I’m still in front in the 5 fixture competition too.
I’ll also be selecting another Photographer of the week so those behind the lens, I’m watching you too!
Thanks for reading, I’ll see you all next week. Psst – buy the NFL Season guide!!!
Week 9 Predictions
- East Kent to Beat Sussex B
- Cornwall to beat Jurassic Coast
- Essex to beat East Essex
- Solent to beat Bournemouth
- Rushmoor to beat Sussex
- Glasgow to beat Edinburgh
- South Wales to beat Hereford
- Humber to beat Knottignley
- Birmingham to beat Worcestershire
- Chester to beat Leigh
- Hertfordshire to beat London
- Doncaster to beat Leeds
- Nottingham to beat Scunthorpe
- Cambridgeshire to beat Norwich
- Northants to beat Lincolnshire
- Leicester to beat Sandwell
- Colchester to beat Ipswich (still wincing)
- Kent to beat the O’s