The Manchester Titans made the short journey to Leeds for their second tournament in the inaugural BAFA Premier North Conference on Saturday 5th May – this time taking on the Sheffield Vipers and Newcastle Blackhawks.
The Sheffield Vipers were the first opponents on the day and the Titans would have to take them on without QB Alan Mead who was travelling to the tournament from Venice. GB International David McInally would step up to take the mantle of QB. It was a cagey start from the Titans with the lack of chemistry showing between receivers and QB. This led to an early interception by the Vipers, putting them in the red zone and they capitalised for the score. The Titans offence clicked into gear and started scoring with four consecutive drives with touchdowns from Jay Pitchford, Richard McEwen, Danny Hartridge (his first touchdown for the season) and Pitchford again. They gained two extra points both into the hands of Ben Nuttall.
The second half would be a much more defensive affair with neither team adding to the scoring. There were two interceptions by David McInally and one by Ian Allonby, finding his catching gloves this weekend, and Marko Mirceta getting a crucial TFL on 4th down. The final score was Manchester Titans 26 – 6 Sheffield Vipers. The Titans moved to 4-0 for the year with the task of taking on the Newcastle Blackhawks next.
With the challenge of the Blackhawks and the arrival of QB Alan Mead the Titans would go into the next game with confidence from the strong start to the season. The Titans opened the scoring with a touchdown to Richard McEwen converted by Jay Pitchford, followed by a strike to Ben Nuttall, again converted by McEwen. The Titans defence have made a strong showing this season and their form continued in this game allowing only one converted touchdown to the Blackhawks in the first half with a score of 14-7 to the Titans.
The defence were able to assist the offence with two interceptions from Ian Allonby and one by David McInally. With the elusive running of Richard McEwen opening up the Blackhawks defence the offence continued to put points on the board with touchdowns from McInally, Dante Harris, Jay Pitchford and Ben Nuttall plus a further three extra points, two by Pitchford and one for Danny Hartridge. This made the final score Manchester Titans 41 – 7 Newcastle Blackhawks.
The defence has been a real strength of the Titans this year with an average points against of 15.2 and the offence has kept the scoreboard turning with an average points scored of 36.2. At this point in the season the Titans hold the #1 seed in the BAFA Premier North on a points difference tiebreaker. The Titans also know that nothing is decided yet with lots of hard work still keep their championship playoff hopes alive.
The next tournament will be a journey north to Newcastle on Sunday 27th May to take on the HNC Premier teams Grangemouth Broncos, Inverclyde Comets and Aberdeen Oilcats. Keep your eyes peeled for the next exciting instalment of the Adult Flag’s Premier season!