Adult Flag Gameday 4

Gameday 4 of the BAFA Adult Mixed Flag Season saw the Manchester Titans Prem Team head to Leeds to take on the Sheffield Vipers, Wigan Bandits and Manchester Crows. The Titans had already beaten all 3 teams earlier in the year but Bandits had been under-strength, the Crows had been shut-out 36-0 and would be looking for revenge whilst the Vipers had made massive improvement since the opening game of the season.

The Vipers were first up and despite the Titans taking a 24-12 lead through TDs from Danny Hartridge, Pedro Berto and George Slade, with 2 point conversions from Jay Pitchford, Berto & David Briscall, the Vipers fought back to make the half-time score 24-18. The Vipers Defence stepped up in the 2nd half, making 3 interceptions and holding Manchester to just one further TD from Hartridge, whilst the Titans Defence had no answer to the Vipers Offense – Luke Bennett scoring 3 TDs and Dan Padley scoring 2. The Vipers recorded a 38-30 victory to continue their 7 game winning streak.

Manchester looked to get back to winning ways against the Bandits and started out strongly with QB Alan Mead hitting Pedro Berto Jay Pitchford for 2 TDs each as the Titans took a 27-13 lead at half-time. Another Pitchford TD extended the lead and further TDs from Briscall & Hartridge gave the Titans a 48-20 victory. Defensively Daniel Lixandru led the way with 5 tackles and an Interception whilst Andrew Yuen marked his return from Canada with an interception. Joe Kewley-Joy added another sack as Wigan’s QB was kept under constant pressure.

In the final game of the day, the Titans took on the Crows and dominated resulting in a 54-26 victory. Mead threw 8 TD passes in one of his best performances of the season while all 26 of the Crows points came from GB Silver Lions WR Liam Harper. Hartridge scored the 1st of his 3 TDs with Pitchford adding the XP, the Pitchford scored with Berto adding the conversion. Yuen scored his first TD of the season and added the extra point. Hartridge and Yuen then added their 2nd TDs with Pitchford and Briscall tacking on the XPs, before Hartridge added his 3rd TD (6th of the day). Berto and Marc Balduin added further touchdowns with the last point of the day going to Titans Head of Flag Richard McEwen who put the icing on the cake for the Titans as they scored 54 against their cross town rivals.

On Sunday, the Titans Bee Team headed to Ormskirk to play the Salford Scorpions, Wirral Vikings and West Lancashire Serpents. Missing several players, the Bees knew they were in for a tough gameday against the division leading Scorpions who had won 65-6 in the previous meeting. The Bees started strongly matching Salford’s early TD with one through Ben Nuttall but then a couple of mistakes before half-time – a dropped pass in the endzone on 4th down and a missed tackle on the last play of the 1st half gave the Scorpions a 28-6 lead. The Bees defense led by leading tacklers Bradley McLeary (7) and Reece Donlan (5) held Salford to just 2 TDs in the 2nd half whilst Ethan Gregory scored for the Titans. The final score was 41-12 in a much closer game than the first encounter.

Next up was the Wirral Vikings and the Bees made a good start through TDs from Nuttall & Gregory with Tina Marcucci adding an extra point but allowed the Vikings to come back to make the half-time score 13-7. Whilst Manchester moved the ball well, the Vikings defense stepped up near the endzone and held the Titans to just one second half score – another TD by Gregory, this time converted by George Platt. However 3 sacks by Marcucci (2) and Gregory (1) plus more solid tackling from McLeary and Donlan kept Wirral from scoring more than once in the 2nd half, leaving the final score 20-13 to the Bees.

The Bees Offense really exploded in the 3rd game with QB Warwick Heffer throwing 9 TD passes as they romped to a 61-12 victory over the Serpents. Platt scored 4 TDs including one either side of half time, Nuttall got a hat-trick, the ever reliable Gregory added another and McLeary scored his first TD for the Titans. The Bees converted 7 of their extra points with Marcucci recording 4 whilst Nuttall, McLeary and Will Gleed all picked up an XP. Defensively Simon Haward was a nuisance to the Serpents, recording 3 Interceptions, 2 Pass Break Ups and 2 Tackles, whilst Gregory chipped in with 2 more sacks.

The Prem Team will head up to Glasgow for their next Gameday against the Hornets, Killer Bees and the Renfrewshire Raptors on July 23rd whilst the Bees will host the Nottingham Bears, Cheltenham Neptunes and Coventry Panthers at Belle Vue on the same date.