Titans maintained their perfect record with another convincing victory away at Doncaster, completing a clean sweep over last year’s Division One Playoff #5 seed with a triumphant 149-26 score line over the three games. A poignant day as it was the Titans first game since the attack in Manchester and was marked with a minutes silence pre game, the Titans captains representing all American Football in Manchester with the Titans #22 James Newnes joined by Sam Bloomfield in a Manchester Crows jersey, James Dean in an MMU Eagles jersey and David McInally in a UOM Tyrants jersey. The Titans players at every level wearing bees on their helmets to raise money for the Manchester fund.
Manchester’s defense started fast, with line-backers Mike Ripley and James Allen recording first quarter interceptions. Presented with great field position, the offense didn’t take long to put up their first two scores, with Sam Bloomfield throwing touchdowns to both U19s graduate James Newnes and Luc Kinder for their first scores of the day.
The Titans’ offense continued to show their teeth with two long touchdown drives in the second quarter. Underneath the shadow of his own end zone, Bloomfield fired deep down the sideline to find Kinder for an 83-yard touchdown. Following big plays from another U19s graduate Jonatan Pan Gago, Bloomfield threw his fourth touchdown of the half to a Newnes to cap a five play, 75-yard drive.
The Titans were disappointed to only be leading 28-6 at the half and felt as though they had left points and turnovers on the field. Following words of encouragement from Head Coach Pete Birds, the Titans came out enthused and smelling blood to kill off the game.
And just as the rain poured down on the Doncaster grass to begin the second half, Bloomfield and the offense dampened any hopes of a Mustangs comeback once and for all.
On the opening drive of the third quarter, Bloomfield hit Kinder to complete the wide receiver’s hat trick on the day, before popping the ball to running back Joe Nicholson to complete the quarterback’s double hat trick of touchdowns on the day.
The defense continued to stay resolute and shut out the Mustangs throughout the second half. As the rolling clock sped through the remaining third and fourth quarter, Ryan Newton picked off a Mustangs downfield heave to cap off another strong all-around defensive performance that consistently shut down an improved Doncaster offense.
The Titans remain atop the NFC1 North division at the halfway point of the season. As the only undefeated team in the North, Manchester also holds the #1 seed for the northern section of the playoffs.
Manchester welcomes local rivals Yorkshire Rams to the National Speedway Stadium in Belle Vue next weekend, who are riding high after a close 24-19 victory over the Newcastle Vikings. With a record of three wins and one loss, the Rams will be looking to stop a Titans side leading Britball with 51.25 points per game average in what should be a fiercest contested game.