The Manchester Titans Adult Mixed Flag Teams took part in 2 seperate gamedays on Saturday 3rd July, with the Prem Team heading to Oldham Academy for a 10am kickoff against the Owls and the Chorley Buccaneers. Then at 2pm the Bee Team hosted the Manchester Crows and the Wirral Vikings.
In rainy conditions, the Prem team moved the ball efficiently down the field on their first drive with QB Alan Mead finding George Slade in the endzone with Jay Pitchford adding the extra point. The Titans D forced a stop on the Owls first possession, so the Titans repeated their first drive with another TD catch by Slade who added the XP himself for a 14-0 lead.
And so the pattern continued throughout the game with Slade racking up 5 interceptions including a Pick 6 and 3 TD receptions and 2 XPs. Leigh Kerrigan recorded the Titans first rushing TD of the season, while David Briscall scored a TD and 3 XPs. Offensive Co-ordinator Jay Pitchford caught 2 TDs and 2 XPs, and Danny Hartridge added his 4th TD of the season. QB Alan Mead threw 7 TDs passes and 7 XPs and defensively Kerrigan added another interception and Ian Allonby chipped in with 2 more sacks to lead the team. Final Score 61-6.
The Bucs game was a similar affair, with the Titans running away to a 46-6 victory. 7 more TD passes from Mead, including a hat-trick by Briscall. Kerrigan added a receiving TD which he converted, whilst Allonby recorded another sack and his first TD reception since the King Bowl in 2018. Slade scored 2 more TD catches, along with 3 Interceptions and a sack. James Wilson made an interception and scored an XP, while Pitchford and Rick McEwen added the other extra points.
In the other games, the Titans Bee Team took on the Manchester Crows and the Wirral Vikings at the Titans home ground of Belle Vue Stadium. The Bees-Crows game finished 68-56 and both teams traded blows throughout the shootout. Titans QB Jonatan Pan Gago threw 8 TDs and 6 XPs whilst also recording an interception on defense. Centre Ethan Gregory caught 4 TDs and 3 XPs, with Marc Balduin, Warwick Heffer, Ben Nuttall and Ralph Pedley all scoring as well. Defensively, Will Gleed recorded a sack which resulted in a safety.
The second game against Wirral was a much lower scoring affair, with both teams’ defenses stepping up. The Vikings moved the ball well on their first drive, getting all the way down to the Titans No Run Zone. But a sack by Thomas Lloyd on 3rd Down pushed them back and then Sian Perry knocked down the 4th down attempt in the endzone. On the Titans first possession, Gago found Heffer deep downfield and one missed tackle was all he needed to waltz into the endzone. Gregory added the XP for a 7-0 lead.
The Titans D held Wirral without a first down on their next possession, so the Titans offense again drove down the field but on 4th down from inside the Vikings 5, Heffer couldn’t hang onto the pass in the endzone, leaving at 7-0. Wirral took advantage of this, with Jonathan Box catching a pass, and evading 2 would be tacklers to score. Simon Haward broke up the extra point attempt, ensuring the Titans still led 7-6.
Manchester bounced back on their next drive, again moving the ball efficiently down the field before Heffer broke a tackle on a sweep and spun into the endzone for his 2nd TD of the day. Veteran receiver Ian Harrison added the XP to make the score 14-6. The Vikings bounced straight back and a deep pass from QB Buddy Owen, set up a 2nd TD for Box. Ralph Pedley knocked away the XP to maintain the Titans 14-12 lead.
The Titans were unable to pick up a first down on their next drive, but Pedley made his first interception to snuff out the Vikings drive. However the Gago was unable to take advantage as the half expired with the Titans inside the Wirral redzone.
Manchester started the 2nd half with another good drive, culminating in a TD catch by Ben Nuttall with Gregory adding the XP. This made the score 21-12. However, the offense struggled to punch the ball in the endzone throughout the 2nd half. Meanwhile the Vikings added 2 more TDs to take a narrow lead. Inside the last 2 minutes the Bee Team had one more chance to win the game. But the last gasp drive fell short, allowing Wirral to run out the clock as 25-21 winners.
The results leave the Titans Bee Team down in 5th place but with the crucial game against 4th place Wigan coming up on Sunday 1st August. Meanwhile the Titans Prem Team remain top of the table, undefeated, with games against Salford and Wirral to come.