Club Chairman Liam Twigg on Saturdays Britbowl victory

Liam Twigg with Britbowl trophy

As the club Chairman and a senior team player, this year has been great and the level of performance on the field has been what we planned for.

This Victory on Saturday for the Titans was not achieved by the players and the coaches, but by the support team around the club, the team and each player as an individual.

Each players family members and partners who put up with us training, going to the gym, watching game film and generally being unavailable to them regularly from January until September. Without that support, the team and its players would not be National Champions.

The committee members who volunteer their time to make sure the club runs behind the scenes. The physio Rebecca who joined us this season and has spent hours working with players on injuries and taping players up before games. Our club Photographer Mark from ‘All Sports Photography’ who improves every player and coaches social media imagery immensely.

The road to the Victory on Saturday started 3 years ago. We had lost to the Warriors at the semi-final stage 2 years in a row in 2018 and 2019. We looked at them, then at ourselves and started planning on how we could develop a talented squad who had beaten each team in the North including Tamworth in 2019 and improve the squad to the point where we could win the North Premiership and get to a BritBowl.

After the 2020 cancelled season we came back in 2021 with a detailed plan, an improved coaching squad and brought in more Premiership quality players. We focused on the regional 2021 season as a place to refine playbooks, work on developing a team spirit and putting the team in a place where we could hit the 2022 season running. We left the 2021 season undefeated and having been able to play a variety of different teams with varying styles to challenge our players against.

Then 2022 arrived with a bang, the squad hitting the ground running with even more additions to the coaching staff and players roster, with some big additions from other Northern teams bolstering the 2021 squad. The plan from January 2022 for the team was to be playing in the game on Saturday 3rd of September. That was at the forefront of our focus and nothing else was going to be good enough for us.

A 9-1 regular season was in part a disappointment for us, with the loss at Tamworth by less than 1 Touchdown still a sore point. But the 9-1 record meant we hosted our first Premiership home semi-final against Bristol and we pushed to make it the best atmosphere we could with over 400 fans in attendance that day at Belle Vue.

We went out to an early lead but then got clawed back before holding out for the victory and a place in the big game. We also took a lot from that game, looked hard at ourselves about how we let Bristol get back into the game.

We had 2 weeks and 4 Training sessions before the final, plus positional zoom meetings to watch game film of the opposition and talk through possible issues. The amount of game film watched this season by Titans players and coaches must be up there with any club in the UK.

So, we arrived at the New River Stadium with clear ideas on what we thought London would do on the day and how we could attack them on each aspect of the game. Watching the game back, it’s clear that is exactly what we did as a team.

Our defence stopped their run game from getting into top gear and holding London to 7 points all game was a monumental achievement with players putting their bodies on the line all game.

On Offence, we made smart choices, took opportunities to throw deep when they were open but not forcing plays that were not on. We knew they would make some good plays on defence and not every play would go for 5+ yards but we were safe in the knowledge that the play calling of our OC Luke Carlton and execution on the field, led by Sam Bloomfield, would mean we were in the best position to score points and eventually win the game.

Standout Players across the team, starting with our QB Sam Bloomfield in a National Final was not sacked and that gave him the opportunity to pick out open receivers and keep the chains moving.

WR Adam Bamber-2 touchdowns and even more great catches.

WR Maxie Gracie-Ainscowe- didn’t score but deserved to have scored. Made big catches, made players miss and put is in great field positions all game.

RB-Tom Jones, NFL Academy graduate, He showed on the first drive of the game what an athlete he is by hurdling their DB. He kept showing all game that if he gets half a yard he will punish a defence, and his TD was a prime example of that.

The Offensive Line as a unit, played great and stopping a team like London from getting a sack all game is a massive achievement.

Defensively, Safety and captain Sam Fossey led from the front, making great tackles, big hits and keeping the team organised.

Safety Alex Eager, in his first season with he Titans, did not miss an open-field tackle in the game and made sure that when London got through the first line they did not make massive gains.

D-Line players across the board all made great plays and put the London QB under massive pressure all game. That led to him making rushed throws and meant our DBs got 3 interceptions, including the final TD of the game, the pick 6 by George Slade.

The performances we put on in the Britball final was the same one we have been showing nearly all season in the Premiership North.

We know London will come back in 2023 with a new focus and a desire to claim the title back. But we are also coming back with a new focus for the Titans to add the title in 2023 to our recent victory.

We will take a couple of weeks to enjoy this, celebrate and then the work for 2023 starts. We will look to improve again, bring in more talent where we can and look to go 10-0 in the regular season.  When your Champions, everyone wants to come take a shot at you, but we know we can perform in the biggest game of the season.

We have 2 trips North of the Wall in 2023 and EKP showed in the Division 1 final that they will be a challenge for every team in the Premiership North next season.

Liam Twigg, Club Chairman