The Titans overcame the London Olympians on Sunday 27th August in the Britbowl 31 Division 1 National Final 46-23 in a one sided victory. Hosted at the John Charles Stadium in Leeds, the Titans clinched the national title in the perfect finish to what has been a momentous season.
Manchester Titans secured their first ever silverware in a 46-23 rout over the Division One South champion London Olympians at John Charles Stadium on Sunday. The Titans enforced the first every “mercy rule” rolling clock in a national final as the Manchester outfit raced out to an early and convincing lead.
As the fourth and final game in an enthralling #Britball31 weekend, the Titans faced an Olympians side who had scored 96 points in their two playoff games up to the final, thumping the Solent Thrashers and Kent Exiles on route to Leeds.
But it was the Titans who kicked off the scoring. After the defense forced the Olympians to punt, Manchester’s offense drove down the field, with quarterback Sam Bloomfield finding George Slade for the first score of the game.
The Titans defense held the Olympians again, giving Manchester the ball back that was looking to build a lead in style. running back and Spanish international Jonatan Pan Gago took a direct snap, who lateralled the ball to James Newnes, who added a passing touchdown to his leading scorer resume by finding a wide open Luc Kinder in the end zone.
Following an Olympians missed field goal, the Titans turned the screw even more. Following strong running from Ryan Newton, Bloomfield found a wide open Adam “Fresh” Bamber for a 70-yard touchdown, giving the Titans a 20-0 only 17 minutes into the game.
But the Olympians weren’t ready to throw in the towel just yet, responding with a touchdown of their own and a strong fourth down stop to halt a driving Titans offense. With the score at 20-7, the Olympians were able to drive down to the Titans goal-line, but Alfred “Shark” Mzengereza and James Allen forced the Olympians back to fumble, with safety Dave Barnett pouncing on the ball for the turnover.
Within three plays, Manchester made the Olympians turnover a costly one. Bloomfield rolled out only to shovel pass the ball underneath to Ryan Newton, who raced away for a huge 93-yard momentum swinging touchdown.
Sitting at 26-7, the Titans defense were determined to not be outdone by the offense. Interceptions from cornerback and GB Flag International David McInally and captain Lee Horrocks kept the Olympians at bay for the remainder of the second half.
With Seven seconds left in the half and the ball at the Titans 35, Bloomfield fired downfield to find Bamber once again, who broke a tackle on his way to a 65-yard touchdown as time expired in the first half. As Manchester took a comfortable 33-7 lead into the half, Manchester still recognised the importance of starting the half off strongly.
Upon receiving the opening kickoff, the Titans drove down the field to put the proverbial nail in the coffin before the Olympians could even start a comeback. Sam Bloomfield followed the huge blocks of his offensive line and Jonatan Pan Gago to sprint free for a 30-yard touchdown, pushing the score to 40-7.
The Titans carried the 40-7 lead into the fourth quarter until David McInally picked off an overthrown pass and returned it 59-yard to the house for a 46-7 lead. The Titans took their foot off the pedal but still managed another defensive turnover, with Dave Barnett picking off the Olympians one last time. London did manage to fight back at the end to leave the score line a respectable 46-23.
With 432 yards through the air, over 200 of which went to Bamber, and an additional 30 yards on the ground, Sam Bloomfield’s five-touchdown performance earned him the Game MVP. The victory meant the Titans are crowned Division One Champions, will join fellow Kings of The North Tamworth Phoenix among others in the Premiership North next year.