BAFA National League update after week 9

In very windy conditions, the London Warriors put on a powerful performance against Farnham showcasing the huge gap of talent that can be found between teams, although the Knights passing on some fourth downs into the wind contributed to their demise.

The Warriors were forced to punt only once as they racked up fourteen touchdowns. They had two scores from interceptions called back, but London retained possession and put the ball into the end zone anyway.

Farnham’s drives in the first quarter started from their own 16, 11, 20, 22, 20, 20 and 20 and they were unable to move the chains as London’s defensive front four relentlessly harried their quarterback.

The worst field position for the start of London’s drives in the same period was on the 40 of their opponents. Their first two series saw two touchdowns run in on first down from the 10 and the 18.

The statutory running clock in the second half saw the scoring rate reduced as the Warriors turned a 77-0 halftime lead into a 98-0 result.

The London Blitz kept one game ahead of their capital rivals in the Premiership South with their 22-6 win over the Bristol Aztecs.

In the Premiership North, two unbeaten teams enjoyed a bye week and will face each other Sunday when the East Kilbride Pirates travel to the Tamworth Phoenix.  The Sheffield Giants enjoyed their first success of the season with a surprise 20-13 triumph over the Edinburgh Wolves.

The Manchester Titans enhanced their grip on the NFC 1 North with a 21-6 win over second place Yorkshire Rams while the Doncaster Mustangs were unable to play their game at the West Coast Trojans because of transport challenges.

Other teams to extend their unbeaten streak were the Nottingham Caesars in the NFC 1 South with a win over the Sandwell Steelers. Sandwell lost their starting quarterback Callum Davidson to injury in the first half and despite 3 interceptions from Pete Roden, a last gasp Caesars touchdown gave Nottingham the 33-29 win.

In the NFC 2 Central, the Gateshead Senators’ 68-0 crushing of the Carlisle Sentinels kept them in touch with the also unbeaten Leeds Bobcats who gained a 44-20 success over the Morecambe Bay Storm.

THE KICKING GAME

BritBall surprises me with how poor some teams are at attempting a field goal and even a point-after. In the land that gave birth to soccer and rugby, I would have thought we had an abundance of good kickers, but I don’t see many playing our football.

There are obviously some good ones in the game and London proved the point with 14 of 14 succesful PATs in their recent win over Farnham.

The only points scored in the Ouse Valley Eagles defeat of the South Wales Warriors came with a successful field goal so that confirms how important it is to have a good kicker.

The game between the London Hornets and the Cambridgeshire Cats was also decided on a field goal. After the game was tied 3-3 in the fourth quarter, the Hornets ran back a missed field goal to turn a Cats potential win into defeat.

Gordon Dedman

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