The BUCS season enters its third week, although some teams have yet to play. 99Yards will post regular highlights throughout the season.
The weather gods were not kind to some BUCS team playing at the weekend. The Swansea Titans travelled to the Portsmouth Destroyers on Saturday to play in torrential rain.
On the day, the Titans proved to be the better team. Both teams struggled in the wet conditions, but with less than a minute remaining in the first half, the Titans took the lead.
Under pressure, Swansea’s quarterback Sam Huxtable launched a bomb that Elliot Bodman (image above) caught on the run before waltzing into the end zone to put his team ahead.
Portsmouth went back on offense, but only to see a Swansea interception returned for a touchdown. Swansea were 12-0 ahead in less than a minute.
The second half produced interceptions by both teams and a safety given up by the Destroyers as the inclement conditions affected ball control. The Titans finished with a 20-0 win to go 2-0 on the season.
In the rest of the Premiership, the Birmingham Lions followed up their nail biting win over Portsmouth with another close 40-34 decision over the UWE Bullets.
Leeds Beckett Carnegie travelled to the University of Nottingham, who were were playing their first game in the top division. After a scoreless first half, Nottingham edged it 9-8.
South coast highlights
Sunday saw the promoted Southampton Stags face their first test in division 1A South West against the Plymouth Blitz who had reached the playoffs last season. Although the rainy conditions from the day before were absent, it was the Stags who flooded the field with an onslaught of touchdowns.
The Stags first possession began on their 11 and ended with a touchdown from Paul Gascoigne. A fumble on Plymouth’s next series set up Southampton’s second score.
The Blitz showed their resilience with a big touchdown pass of 67 yards to produce a score that reduced their deficit to 15-6. Unfortunately for Plymouth, it ignited the powerful Stags offense. Southampton produced three more touchdowns in the half.
The second half mirrored the first with Southampton continuing to control the game. The defense stepped up with an interception returned for a score to add to the three touchdowns from the offense.
Southampton had a comfortable 65-12 victory and next Sunday will host the Cardiff Cobras who shut out Plymouth 41-0 in their season opener. The game might prove to be a sparkling offensive display.
Promoted teams’ highlights
In the 1A South, the Brunel Burners have got off to a good start with two wins, their latest a 40-3 triumph over the promoted Brighton Panthers.
The Newcastle Raiders made a winning start in the 1A North by squeezing past the Glasgow Tigers 22-21.
In the 1A Midlands, the Coventry Jets were edged out 28-26 by the Nottingham Trent Renegades.
The Manchester Tyrants found it difficult to overcome the University of Central Lancaster Rams, losing 44-15 in the 1A Yorkshire & Lancashire. The Rams head the division at 2-0.
Division 2 highlights
In the 2A South the Cambridge Pythons found it tough going and lost 21-6 to the Essex Blades.
The game between the Keele Crusaders and the Chester Legion in 2A Midlands went to overtime. With neither team scoring in regulation time, the Legion squeaked a 3-0 victory.
Season openers next Sunday
Because of the way the scheduling works, some teams have played two games while others have yet to kick a ball. The following teams are playing their first games of the 2018 season.
In the 2A Borders, the Sunderland Spartans host the Edinburgh Predators and the York Saint John Jaguars host the Heriot-Watt University Wolverines.
In the 2A North, the Tarannau Aberystwyth host the Bradford Bears.
In the 2A Midlands, the Staffordshire Stallions host the MMU Eagles and the Lincoln Colonials host the Chester Legion.
In the 2A South, the Chichester Spitfires host the UCL Emperors. After the Royal Holloway Bears first game was postponed last week, they will travel to open their season at the BNU Buccaneers.
In the 2A South East, the University of East London Phoenix travel to the Cambridge Pythons.
Titans first touchdown and Stags second touchdown images by @SteelUK