After failing to make an impression against France in the European Championships with a 42-9 defeat, the Great Britain Lions knocked off Team Denmark 33-16 to earn the fifth spot.
The Lions never looked in danger against Denmark after Tamworth’s Patrick Daley gave his team a 14-0 advantage with touchdown passes of 4 and 67 yards to Dan Conroy. The play of the game came from Josh Amis who returned a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown after Denmark had put their first points on the board.
While the East Kilbride Pirates senior team have been relegated from the Premiership North after failing to win a game with just one remaining, the future of football in the area is still looking good. The Pirates’ made the under-seventeens playoffs ranked #8 seeds as the best runners up with a 9-2-1 record.
The Pirates made the U17s’ Britbowl final for the third straight year and took the victory with a 51-22 win over the #2 seeds Chorley Buccaneers.
National League Weekend Highlights
The regular season is nearing its end and most playoff spots have been decided, but there are still some important games left to decide the seedings and championships.
The Leicester Falcons finished the season by extending their win streak to ten in the NFC 1 South with their defeat of the Doncaster Mustangs, but they had to survive an early scare when the Mustangs scored on their opening possession.
The Falcons rose to the challenge and scored twice in the second quarter to hold a 14-7 halftime lead before they blew the Mustangs away in the second half to register a 43-6 success.
The Falcons await the result of next week’s Northumberland Vikings’ game to establish which of the two teams will take the #1 seed in the North Conference 1 playoffs.
In the NFC 1 North the Lancashire Wolverines celebrated 30 years of football by rolling over the Yorkshire Rams 42-7 to confirm the Wolverines celebrations can be enjoyed with post regular season football as they join the Vikings in the playoffs.
The SFC 1 East teams were all on a bye week preparing for next Sunday when the conference championship will be decided. The fireworks are due to go off when the (7-2) Kent Exiles travel to the (6-3) London Hornets and the (6-3) Cambridgeshire Cats will host the (4-5) Colchester Gladiators.
Next week in the SFC 1 Central will also see who joins the champions (9-1) Solent Thrashers in the playoffs with the (6-3) Sussex Thunder travelling to the (4-4-1) Oxford Saints while the (6-3-1) Berkshire Renegades will be hoping the result goes their way.
The NFC 2 Central champions Chester Romans signed off their unbeaten regular season by calming the Morecambe Bay Storm 32-12 and securing the #2 seed in the North Conference 2.
The South Wales Warriors 36-0 shutout of the Cornish Sharks saw them finish the regular season (8-0) in the SFC 2 West to earn the #1 seed in the South Conference 2 playoffs. From the same conference, the Torbay Trojans will join the Warriors from the number two spot and by my calculations the Worcestershire Black Knights 40-24 triumph over the Jurassic Coast Raptors gives them the final #8 spot in the South 2 playoffs.
They will be joined in the playoffs by the SFC 2 South champions Hertfordshire Cheetahs and the Portsmouth Dreadnoughts who cruised to a 72-0 romp over the Hasting Conquerors.
Confirmed as the SFC 2 East champions last week when the London Blitz B overwhelmed the Essex Spartans 50-0 with a rearranged game, the Blitz finished their regular season undefeated with a 64-14 win over the Norwich Devils.
With the two top teams in each conference entering the playoffs being joined by the two teams with the next best records, the SFC 2 East will have the London Blitz B, the Devils and the Ipswich Cardinals who edged the Essex Spartans 10-7 playing post season football.
The Devils returned to the National League this season after a couple of years absence and will be enjoying playoff football on August 12 to continue their journey.
The Bournemouth Bobcats game at the Swindon Storm was called off due to a severe injury. NinetyNineYards thoughts are with the player and hope for a full recovery.
National League Conference 2 playoffs scheduled for August 12
Aberdeen Roughnecks (#1) vs Furness Phantoms (#8)
Chester Romans (#2) vs Lincolnshire Bombers (#7)
Staffordshire Surge (#3) vs Dumfries Hunters (#6)
Birmingham Bulls (#4) vs Halton Spartans (#5)
South Wales Warriors (#1) vs Worcestershire Black Knights (#8)
London Blitz B (#2) vs Norwich Devils (#7)
Hertfordshire Cheetahs (#3) vs Ipswich Cardinals (#6)
Portsmouth Dreadnoughts (#4) vs Torbay Trojans (#5)
Home team first with seedings in brackets.
As the National League’s playoff picture begins to develop, I thought it time to go into my archive and find the above programme cover that reminds us of just how long football has been played in this country.