Before the Division 2 playoffs began, the South Wales Warriors made it through to the semi-finals without even having to kick a ball. Their opponents, the Worcestershire Black Knights, decided they couldn’t compete because of a lack of players due to injury and the Warriors were awarded the win.
In the rest of the South division, the games went the way of the seedings with the (#2) London Blitz B, who must be the most improved team in the South, dominating the Norwich Devils 50-0 while the (#3) Hertfordshire Cheetahs defeated the Ipswich Cardinals 44-14.
In the last game in the conference the Torbay Trojans, who have improved in each of the last four seasons to make the playoffs for the first time since returning to the league, travelled to the (#4) Portsmouth Dreadnoughts.
Although the Dreadnoughts were slow to get their offense into gear, once they found their drive they went comfortably into cruise mode. Punts returned for touchdowns, 2-point afters made, superb touchdown pass completions and fumbles recovered for touchdowns.
The Dreadnoughts repertoire of plays saw them enjoy a fun-filled quarterfinal that should set them up for the hard task ahead at the South Wales Warriors. The Trojans attempted to reply by running the ball against a resilient Dreadnoughts defense that held them to too many three and outs for Torbay to move the chains.
Portsmouth took full advantage of the favourable field positions they were handed and ran out easy 55-0 winners.
In the North, the games also followed the seedings. In the early kickoff, the (#2) Chester Romans knocked out the Lincolnshire Bombers by 47-6 while the (#1) Aberdeen Roughnecks continued their win streak by shutting out the Furness Phantoms 61-0.
The (#3) Birmingham Bulls overcame the Halton Spartans 16-6 and the (#4) Staffordshire Surge beat the Dumfries Hunters 12-7.
Division 2 semi finals
Aberdeen Roughnecks (#1) vs Birmingham Bulls (#3)
Chester Romans (#2) vs Staffordshire Surge (#4)
South Wales Warriors (#1) Portsmouth Dreadnoughts (#4)
London Blitz B (#2) Hertfordshire Cheetahs (#3)
In Division 1 it was the end of the regular season which saw the final playoff berths filled and the NFC 1 North conference champion confirmed. In a ding dong battle, the Northumberland Vikings finished unbeaten with a 51-42 victory over the Lancashire Wolverines. The Vikings now have the number 2 seeding.
The NFC 1 South was settled a few weeks back with the Leicester Falcons earning the number one seeding as champions with a (10-0) record and they will be joined by the Sandwell Steelers in the playoffs.
In the south, the final places in the playoffs were earned by victories from the Sussex Thunder, who overcame the Oxford Saints 35-12 in the SFC 1 Central, and the London Hornets who beat the SFC 1 East champions Kent Exiles 29-14.
Division 1 semi finals
Leicester Falcons (#1) vs Lancashire Wolverines (#4)
Northumberland Vikings (#2) vs Sandwell Steelers (#3)
Solent Thrashers (#1) vs London Hornets (#4)
Kent Exiles (#2) vs Sussex Thunder (#3)
Home teams listed first and all games to be played August 19.
After a pause of two weeks with the Lions playing in Europe, the Premiership North restarted with the Tamworth Phoenix going (8-0) after shutting out the winless East Kilbride Pirates 55-0.
While the rest of the league focuses on the playoffs, the clash of the Titans between the London Blitz and the London Warriors in the Premiership South presents the headline act for next weekend.
Above image of Tom Davis celebrating the Dreadnoughts sixth touchdown courtesy @SteelUK