The Titans’ Flag team traveled to Leeds on Saturday 6th May to play in the second tournament of this season. After winning all 3 games at the first tournament confidence was high amongst the squad going into the second round of games.
An early 48-18 victory against hosts Leeds Samurai was followed up with a nail biting 34-33 victory against the Sheffield Vipers. The day ended with a 53-22 loss to the Newcastle Blackhawks but leaves the team with a 5-1 record for the season.
The Titans opened up against the Samurai with a quick TD pass from QB Alan Mead to WR David McInally, with the pair also adding the XP.
Manchester added further touchdowns by Dec Boydell, Jake Ashcroft and an amazing off the shoulder catch & run by Ben Nuttall to take a convincing 28-6 half-time lead. The Titans Defense performed superbly, allow Leeds very little time on the ball with good pressure from the Titans blitzers resulting in a sack by Rick McEwen and a tackle for loss by Marko Mirčeta.
Further TDs by McInally, Barnett & McEwen allowed the Titans to cost to a 48-18 victory.
Manchester then came up against the Vipers, a team that the Titans had never lost to, but always had tight games. After Jay Pitchford gave the Titans an early lead, Sheffield went ahead 14-7. With less than a minute left in the half the Vipers were driving to add to their score when McEwen intercepted a pass and weaved the length of the field to score. Pitchford’s XP tied the score at half-time and switched the momentum back to Manchester.
TDs from Ashcroft, Pitchford & McInally plus key conversions from McInally & Nuttall gave Manchester a 34-27 lead inside the final 2 minutes. The Vipers managed to score but pressure from Nick Weston and coverage from Leigh Kerrigan prevented the tying extra point, sealing the Titans win, 34-33.
The Titans then faced the Blackhawks, in a battle of two unbeaten teams. Again the Titans scored on their first drive through McInally with Titans Womens Team WR Jessica Elliott adding the extra point. But despite 3 sacks from Weston, 1 from McEwen and an interception from Barnett, the Titans defense struggled to contain the Newcastle offense. McInally would add 2 further TDs but that was all the offense Manchester could muster as they went down 53-20.
Despite a disappointing performance in the final game the Titans have much to be happy about – a record of 5-1 keeps them top of the MEC Central; they have a good squad of players (16 attended this tournament) and the new game shirts from RSD Sports looked great.