The Tamworth Phoenix played their final game in the Northern European Football League Saturday and faced an Oslo Vikings team that self-destructed in the first quarter. Whether the trip across the North Sea had taken the wind out of their sails, the Vikings turned the ball over on their first three possessions resulting in Tamworth scoring 21 points.
When the Vikings quarterback fumbled his first snap, the Phoenix recovered to set up Adam Hope’s touchdown run and give Tamworth a lead they never looked like losing. Two interceptions later, the Phoenix had advanced to 21-0 with the game still in the first quarter.
Tamworth extended their advantage at the beginning of the second quarter. The Vikings eventually began to move the chains and put together a drive of 88 yards just before the half to score with a 32-yard touchdown catch from Eric Ford. Tamworth shrugged off the blow and hit back with a touchdown pass to James Hossack of 50 yards.
The Vikings continued their momentum into the second half scoring on their first drive, but this Phoenix team were not going to be denied as they exchanged touchdowns with quarterback Patrick Daley capping his outstanding performance by weaving his way through the Oslo defense to score on the first play of the final period. Ford scored the final consolation touchdown for Oslo.
Having lost their two previous games in Europe, it was good to see BAFA’s representatives finish with a 47-20 win and they can learn from the international experience and now look forward to the rest of their National league schedule.
The National League week 8 roundup
In a high scoring game in the Premiership North, the winless Merseyside Hawks handed the Manchester Titans a surprise 44-41 defeat ensuring the Phoenix, who were playing in the NEFL, stay ahead in the division despite having only played three games.
In the Premiership South, the two London teams dominated their games with the Warriors shutting out the Olympians 55-0 and the Blitz knocking off the Bristol Aztecs 59-13. With both teams on 5-0, D-day is not June 6 but June 24 when the Blitz host the Warriors in round one of their two game encounter.
The Sandwell Steelers overwhelmed the Nottingham Caesars in the NFC 1 South. After both teams went three and out on their first series, the Steelers took over and dominated the final 50 minutes of football before conceding a field goal on the last play of the game, giving the Steelers a 50-3 victory. The Steelers will be reflecting on their 12-25 loss to the (5-0) Leicester Falcons in week one and aiming their season towards their final game when they travel to Leicester seeking revenge.
The Yorkshire Rams lost their unbeaten record when they were overcome 29-20 by the Lancashire Wolverines leaving the NFC 1 North wide open with next weekend’s visit of the Rams to the unbeaten (3-0) Northumberland Vikings providing a lot of interest.
In the SFC 1 Central, the Solent Thrashers fought a field goal battle in the first half of their game against the Sussex Thunder before the Thrashers scored two touchdowns to win 20-9 and go 5-0.
The Kent Exiles saw off the Wembley Stallions 28-7 in the SFC 1 East to stay in touch of the (3-1) Cambridgeshire Cats, who have not played since the loss of their player, Charles Mack.
The NFC 2 North saw the Aberdeen Roughnecks beat the Clyde Valley Blackhawks 31-16 to cement their place at the top of the division while in the NFC 2 Central the Chester Romans shutout the Morecambe Bay Storm 77-0 to enhance their playoff prospects.
The Birmingham Bulls edged the winless Lincolnshire Bombers 42-39, after being behind at the half, to get within one game of the (5-0) Staffordshire Surge in the NFC 2 South. The Bulls and Surge meet in their final two games which could decide the division title.
The Portsmouth Dreadnoughts beat the Swindon Storm 23-2 to stay in control of their destination in the SFC 2 South while in the SFC 2 West the Jurassic Coast Raptors forfeited their game against the Torbay Trojans due to low player numbers and the Trojans now head the division at (4-0).
The above image of the Thrashers 2017 field goal unit copyright @SteelUK and a thank you to Onside Productions for streaming the Phoenix and Steelers games for football fans to enjoy.