As the National League approaches the final weeks of the season, playoff spots and conference championships are falling into place.
As expected, in the Premiership North the Tamworth Phoenix were the latest team to be crowned conference winners with their 45-0 shutout of the Edinburgh Wolves while the Manchester Titans sealed the second spot in the playoffs sinking the East Kilbride Pirates 46-13.
In the Premiership South, the London Warriors registered a comfortable 48-0 win over the Bristol Aztec while the London Blitz overcame the London Olympians 63-25. Both the Warriors and the Blitz are assured of playoff spots.
In the top of the table clash in the NFC 1 South between the Sandwell Steelers and the Leicester Falcons, defenses dominated initially before the offenses eventually took over. The Falcons led 14-7 at halftime before taking the 35-22 win. Leicester’s ground game controlled the sixty minutes, but it was the accurate touchdown passes from Joe Brammer that gave Leicester both victory and the conference title.
The Northumberland Vikings game at the Leeds Bobcats that could have seen the Vikings take the NFC 1 North title was postponed due to lack of officials.
The Solent Thrashers were this season’s first team to settle their conference title and they confirmed their dominance of the SFC 1 Central by defeating the Bristol Apache 55-0. The Sussex Thunder will be aiming to join the Thrashers in the playoffs if they can overcome the Oxford Saints on August 12.
The log jam at the top of the SFC 1 East was not made any clearer as the Kent Exiles saw off the Colchester Gladiators 35-0 while the London Hornets stung the Wembley Stallions 28-22. The Cambridgeshire Cats were trailing 17-21 at the East Kent Mavericks, but admirably fought back to take a 33-21 win that means they can still make the playoffs, but they will need help from the final two conference clashes between the Exiles and Hornets.
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The South Wales Warriors shut out the Torbay Trojans 42-0 to post a second win over the Trojans in two weeks and confirm the SFC 2 West title goes to the Warriors while both teams made the playoffs.
The Dumfries Hunters made the playoffs with a 28-0 shut out of the Clyde Valley Blackhawks joining the already crowned NFC 2 North champions the Aberdeen Roughnecks.
In the NFC 2 South, the Birmingham Bulls 16-0 win over the Humber Warhawks extended their win streak to seven to set up the final game of the season next week as the conference decider with the visit of the (6-1) Staffordshire Surge. In week 12, the Bulls edged the Surge 15-11 to hand Staffordshire their only defeat.
For the next two weeks, the games in the Premiership conferences are on hold while the IFAF European Championships are played in Finland. The Great Britain Lions play Finland on July 29 and France on July 31 before the finals day on August 4.
Next Sunday will see the return clash of the two teams that monopolise the SFC 2 South when the Portsmouth Dreadnoughts travel north to the Hertfordshire Cheetahs.
In the SFC 2 East, the game between the (5-1) Norwich Devils and the (4-2) Ipswich Cardinals should decide who joins the (6-0) London Blitz B in the playoffs.