The Manchester Titans Mixed Adult Flag Prem Team held it’s home tournament on Saturday 11th June at Belle Vue Stadium, welcoming the Grangemouth Broncos, Aberdeen Oilcats and Dunfermline Kings from the HNC for the 1st round of cross-conference games.
The first game against Grangemouth was a tightly-contested battle which the Broncos finally edged ahead with just 14 seconds remaining, 34-27. Both teams had matched each other score for score but with less than a minute remaining and with the Titans driving, QB Alan Mead’s pass was tipped and intercepted leading to Grangemouth’s game winner. Previously Mead had thrown 4 TDs to Pedro Berto, Danny Hartridge and George Slade (2) who also recorded an interception on defense. Defensively there was an outstanding performance from Joe Kewley-Joy who logged 7 tackles, 3 sacks and 3 tackles for loss.
The Titans didn’t dwell on the loss, taking a 16-0 lead against the Oilcats in the next game, with TDs from Hartridge and Berto, due to interceptions from Slade and James Wilson. Aberdeen fought back to make it an exciting game played in very windy conditions. The Titans eventually outlasted the Oilcats 42-32, thanks to further TDs from Berto, Hartridge, Slade and Marc Balduin.
In the final game of the day, Manchester took on the short-handed Kings in a largely uncompetitive game, which the Titans won 48-13. 7 TD passes from Mead to David Briscall (2), Berto (2), Hartridge, Slade and Wilson. Slade and Wilson (2) also recorded interceptions on Defense and Kewley-Joy & Berto both registered sacks.
Meanwhile the Bee Team headed down to Nottingham to take on the Northants Phantoms, Cowen Cougars and Nottingham Honey Badgers, without starting QB Steve Gatenby.
Warwick Heffer stepped in at QB and led the Bees to a remarkable 42 points in his first start against the Northants Phantoms with TD Passes to George Platt (2), Ben Nuttall (2), Ethan Gregory and Ralph Pedley. Unfortunately the Defense were unable to contain the Phantoms Offense who racked up 53 points in a high scoring shootout. Defensive Captain Will Gleed led the way with 4 tackles and a Sack whilst Pedley was leading tackler with 9.
Next up was a tough game against the Cowen Cougars and 3 interceptions thrown by Heffer made it too difficult for Bees to overcome, going down 31-20. Heffer did throw 3 TDs to Gleed & Gregory (2) who also added 2 extra points. Defensively Gleed also recorded an Interception and Simon Haward logged a sack, meanwhile Reece Donlan (5) and Pedley were the leading tacklers.
In the last game of the day, Manchester’s Defense really stepped up, holding the hosting Honey Badgers to just 7 points. Pedley recorded 2 interceptions including a Pick 6, whilst new signing Bradley McLeary got his first interception for the Titans, while also knocking down 4 passes. Tom Evans made a sack as the Bees dominated. Offensively, Heffer threw 5 TDs to Platt (2), Gregory, Pedley and Donlan. Gleed, Nuttall and Pedley all scored extra points as the Bees won 39-7.
The Bees now head to West Lancs on Sunday 3rd July to take on the Salford Scorpions, Wirral Vikings and West Lancs Serpents, while the Prem Team go to Leeds on Saturday 2nd July to play the Sheffield Vipers, Wigan Bandits and Manchester Crows.