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19.04.2016
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Article by Alex Underwood The GFL kicked off on Saturday with 2,400 spectators witnessing German bowl finalists, the Schwabisch Hall Unicorns host new boys, the Frankfurt Universe.  In the first quarter Frankfurt started badly making various mistakes on offence including two turnovers. The shaky start allowed the U’s to take a two score lead thanks to passes from Marco Ehrenfried to Tyler Rutenbeck and Patrick Donahue; both extra points were good for the 14-0 lead. The second quarter provided a role reversal with a host of penalty’s by the Unicorns. Meanwhile Frankfurt’s offence began to click and was rewarded with a touchdown pass from Marcus McDade to George Robinson.  Rene Moll’s successful PAT making the score 14-7. Just before the end of the half the Universe were back on the board thanks to another pass from McDade, this time to Nathaniel Robitaille, however the extra point was wide making the halftime score 14-13    In the second half Robitaille scored his second for the Universe, a two point conversion by Moll was successful and put the Universe up 21-14. At this point the U’s offence and defence looked to be breaking until former youth player, 19 year old Henry Ly, playing his first competitive GFL game, recovered a fumble in excellent field position. Shortly afterward Patrick Donahue burst through the line, but with the extra point missed, the quarter ended with Frankfurt having one point lead. In the final period it was Henry Ly’s second time to shine with another recovery. The U’s capitalised with a one yard TD run by Danny Washington. Despite a desperate comeback time was not on the Universe side and with the U’s regaining possession, Frankfurt had to watch the U’s run out the clock for the 26-21 win This weekend sees the opening game in the north with the Hamburg Huskies hosting the New Yorker Braunschweig Lions on Saturday. The action continues Sunday with the Dresden Monarchs hosting the Berlin Rebels in the north, and the Rhein-Necker Bandits traveling to Marburg to face the Mercenaries.
08.04.2016
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Article by Alex Underwood The number 000772541 probably means nothing to virtually anyone, but it does to NFL Properties. The 9 numbers are the Trademark reference for the NFL Europe for which the NFL controls until at least 2018. When the door slammed shut on the league in 2007 in favour of the International Series the intention was for the series to be extended across the globe and into mainland Europe. The problem with this plan is there are simply too many Cities for such few games, and the number of games the league can send has probably reached its limit. For London the games success has cemented its place in the NFL calendar and reducing the number of games in London would be a public relations nightmare in the UK. So how can the NFL pull the rest of the continent into the party? In Germany the Frankfurt Galaxy is back on the football landscape in the GFL thanks to the “generosity” of the NFL. In reality it’s a good way of seeing the brands long term appeal, but other than that is a small statement of little significance unless you are a fan in Frankfurt. The NFL failed in Europe for various reasons but the big problem was poor management, bad image and lost revenue. The league got to a point where it was disliked by the bulk of European football fans, especially in Scotland where a successful team (the Claymores) were axed and shipped to Germany. Even in Germany where top teams flourished there was discontent, Robert Huber of the German governing body AFVD commented “We opened some bottles of champagne, said hooray they are gone, and then we stepped in the gap they left and rebuilt our whole organization”. The NFLE caused massive problems in Germany with a drop in participation, teams and attendance in the domestic leagues. Furthermore the GFL’s Hamburg Blue Devils, had to compete with the NFLE Hamburg Sea Devils and lost. The result left the Devils broken and their time in the German top flight over, probably for good. So if the NFL’s next European adventure is a fresh look at NFL Europe, it would have to be done very differently. The very first mistake to avoid it timing, any new league would have to avoid the existing domestic leagues in Europe. Not adhering to this will instantly cause issues. If the NFLE returned it would either have to avoid Spring altogether, or communicate with European leagues so it would “fit in”. With the EFAF gone that challenge becomes tricky and getting the IFAF and the GFL together to solve timing is a whole new issue. If timing was solved the next issue that would need addressing is image and money! The league would need to start small and relatively cheap (for example small stadiums) and then build the brand so it fits in with demand, as the saying goes “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. The boost in popularity within Europe would gain sponsors and attractive TV deals and providing expenses can be kept small the league would have a chance to break even. If it worked the bad feeling from many fans would eventually solve itself. So where would they target? Without sounding biased the Monarchs could return successfully and the Claymores (with their fantastic fans) would be awesome. When I read American Football’s forgotten Kings: the rise and fall of the London Monarchs by Alex Cassidy it re ignited my belief in the Monarchs brand and the memories that go with it. It’s a book I would recommend to anyone, simply to inforce what we could have in Europe if it was developed correctly. Other targets would of course be Germany, Austria, and possibly France.  I’d like to finish on the finance of the NFL since the NFLE disbanded. The league is run as a “not for profit trade organisation” according to IRS form 990 for which the league must operate. Under this form it must disclose the pay of the most senior executives; however in 2007 they only listed Roger Goodell. In 2008 they did add a further 25 however appealed to congress for exemption from other proposed changes, and in doing so were able to hide its other expenses. Later in 2014 financial analysts at Bloomberg looked closely at the NFL’s finance report and published “The NFL’s secret finances: a $10 Billion dollar mystery”. In short the report found that after the teams and the league had taken their percentage, $10B was unaccounted for and the NFL has no obligation to release any details. You may be asking yourself, who cares? The way I see it the price we all pay to watch football and the revenue they gain in Europe, I want a bigger percentage of that money invested in Europe and not helping Goodell reach his revenue goal of $27B by 2027. Thankfully I’m not alone, back in Germany a number of “new” Galaxy fans are planning to go to Wembley in Galaxy merchandise and voice their opinion. I believe the NFLE can work and can be profitable if it is done correctly. The atmosphere in Europe is ready as is the fan base. As of yet no forecast report on its financial feasibility has been published. Furthermore fans in Europe have not been asked and so for the NFL to just dismiss the idea is foolish. If you have forgotten the WLAF or never experienced what it was like, read Alex’s book!
15.03.2016
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Article by Alex Underwood In Part Two of our German review we will have a quick look into the Northern Division. Historically the North has dominated German football with the bulk of wins coming from Northern teams. In the last ten years only the Unicorns have collected the German Bowl. For some of the following clubs its been relitivly quiet, others have rather alot going on.   Berlin Rebels, EST 1987; Home ground and capacity: Mommsen stadium, 15,005 Despite the Adler’s poor season in 2016 the Rebels are still considered by many to be Berlin’s second team. QB Darius Outlaw (who had a stint with the Adler before returning to the Rebels) will lead the offence gain this year with, American running back Lawrence McCoy alongside him. The Rebels are a team that sticks together, a recent article the club stated that added together, the veterans of the club had been together for 62 years.     Berlin Adler, EST 1979; Home ground and capacity: Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn Sports park, 19,708 This year the Adler will want to put to bed last season’s financial and on field woes. Devon Francois’s arrival from the US to play safety is a major boost. Francois will play alongside 23 year veteran lineman Robert Zwanzig who joined the Adler in 1993. The Adler have put a vast amount of resources in recent months developing their flag team ready for a new national league format being put together for 2016. Meanwhile the fans of the Adler can only hope that 2015 was just a blip and the club can return to the top. Hamburg Huskies, EST 1994; Home ground and capacity: Hammer Park, 9,000 The Days of the Hamburg Blue Devils playing as one of Europe’s elite are well and truly over with that club now playing in the regional leagues. It’s been a while coming but the Huskies are a strong replacement and are a team well worth watching. This year the club signed new quarterback Jordan Perry from Northern Arizona University (NCAA DIV. I). Not to be out done the defence picked up Jonathan Perkins from UC Davis (University of California, Davis - NCAA DIV I). He was signed from Ferrara Aquile of the Italian Football League. This team has made massive out of season moves and has real potential to compete for the German bowl.      Kiel Baltic Hurricanes; EST 1988; Home ground and capacity: K ilia Stadium, 1,400 90 Kilometres north of the Huskies are the Hurricanes, one of Europe’s big boys. Like the Huskies the Hurricanes have also been actively improving the roster with signing former Kentucky Wesleyan College receiver Xavier Mitchell. The big news however is not the signings; it’s the unfolding news of head coach Dan Disch leaving for his native America due to family related reasons. Furthermore he looks unlikely to return, having taken a job at the University of South Miss. This could have major implications on the division opening the door for the Huskies and Monarchs. Meanwhile the team must prepare for their EFL group game with the Amsterdam Crusaders with a make shift coaching unit. New Yorker (Braunschweig) Lions; EST 1987; Home ground and capacity: Eintracht-Stadion, 24,406 Next up are the New Yorker Lions, Europe’s number one club, and with the sponsorship they receive it may not be changing any time soon. The Club has dominated German domestic football for years and has made Europe their own as well. American Grant Enders will line up under center again in 2016 after he seamlessly took over from Casey Therriault in 2015. It’s been a quiet year by the Lions standards although signing German national team WR Jan Hilgenfeldt from Dresden is an eye opener. Dresden Monarchs; EST 1992; Home ground and capacity: Heinz-Steyer-Stadium, 3,000 Losing Jan Hilgenfeldt to the Lions was a sharp blow to the Monarchs, so the Monarchs looked to Finland and brought in two of their internationals, 22-year-old Sebastien Sagne and the 23-year-old Micky Kyei (nothing like a little retail therapy). The Monarchs have a very international feel to it with players from across Europe, America and DB Isaac Summerfield from Australia.    Dusseldorf Panther; EST 1978; Home ground and capacity: VfL Benrath Stadium, 10,000 The panther are part of the old guard of Germany and are one of Europe’s founding teams and the oldest in the GFL. Like the Adler, Dusseldorf has been playing in the top flight for decades and has history with the London Olympians in the form of their 1995 Eurobowl win. In recent years success has been hard to come by with the club generally being found in the bottom half of the table. Now times could be changing with new sponsor Avantum consulting. They are not only providing investment, but also business consultancy with a view to developing the Panther into the most professional, stream lined back office in European football. On the field, Hunter C. Kelley from Missouri is the big signing. He has played at every position on the defensive line as well as linebacker so far in his career and is going to pose problems for offensive lines in the north all year. Hildesheim Invaders; EST 1983; Home ground and capacity: Eintracht Homefield, 9,000 The Invaders are going to find life hard in the GFL, especially when you have to call your derby game a match with the Lions. The Invaders are the underdogs of the GFL and for good reason. The club simply don’t have the big game experience as their opponents. On the plus side for the Invaders they have kept the bulk of their successful GFL2 squad together and still have outstanding American running back Reggie Bullock on the roster.
12.03.2016
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Article by Alex Underwood With domestic European seasons looming we thought it would be a good idea to take a look at the GFL prior to our weekly coverage. In the first in this two part series well take a look at the teams in the GFL South and their chances of glory. Munich Cowboys, EST 1979; Home ground and capacity: Dante stadium, 18.000. The Cowboys won’t be making life easy for anyone in 2016, with new American QB Jake Schaefer and three freshly signed players from the Unicorns. The Cowboys also announced two major sponsors for 2016 in ITG (international freight) and sports goods firm K- Active. All in all the Cowboys have made positive steps for 2016 and it will be interesting to see how they do this year. Frankfurt Galaxy, EST 2007; Home ground and capacity: Frankfurter Volksbank Stadion, 4,470. The Galaxy (formally Universe) finalised a deal to use the logo and name from NFL properties with no long term legal dangers. For the NFL it sends a signal of their loyalty to the German game, while not actively sending a game there, very clever! Prior to the Galaxy only the Frankfurt Löwen have competed for a trophy in both the GFL (previously the Bundesliga) or GFL 2, and that was in 1979 and 1980 when they became German Bowl champions, so the question of if a familiar name change Frankfurt’s fortunes could soon be answered soon. Schwabisch Hall Unicorns, EST 1983; Home ground and capacity: Optima Sports Park, 1,400 + standing. The U’s have been busy, really busy in the off season with 17 changes on the field, most of which are from other GFL clubs. The Unicorns are desperately waiting for their new home, the 1,400 seater Optima sports park to be finished. The project (that also boasts a terrace for standing fans) has been shared with the Sportfreunde Schwäbisch Hall football club is due to be completed in March. Stuttgart Scorpions, EST 1982; Home ground and capacity: Gazi-Stadion auf der Waldau, 11.410. 2016 will see two new American faces line up for the Scorpions, both of whom are former players from the East Carolina University. QB Shane Carden and team mate for both clubs Wide Receiver Rocco Scarfone, are going to cause more than enough entertainment for 2016. Stuttgart boasts a massive number of sponsors including Pepsi and KFC. Allgäu Comets, EST 1982; Home ground and capacity: Illerstadion, 9.000. The Allgau Comets play in the town of Kempten and were known as the Kempten Comets until 1993. This year the club signed Greg Williams Jr at cornerback. In 2014 he participated in the regional combine at the Miami Dolphins and Indianapolis Colts. Saarland Hurricanes, EST 1982; Home ground and capacity: Ludwigs park stadium, 35,303. Saarland Hurricanes have gone a little French this season (not surprising as the region borders France), CB Victor Ferrier, WR Bryan Billy and OL Valandray Bantantou all make the move. Former Buffalo Bill Wesley Miller will also join the club at safety. Marburg Mercenaries, EST 1991; Home ground and capacity; Georg-Gaßmann-Stadium, 12,000. The Mercenaries were battered 70-19 in the Eurobowl final by the Vienna Vikings back in 2007. During this period they were one of the best clubs in Europe with an EFAF cup in ’95 to add to their 5 divisional championships. American Running back Silas Nacita had the honour of appearing in sports illustrated documenting the difficulties of his career, and his opening quote reads "When I said that I'd go anywhere to play football, I meant it that way. This is obviously not the NFL, but it is the opportunity I had in front of me. I always wanted to travel the world, which was not yet granted by football. Now I get this chance just by the football, it's off to Marburg” Rhein-Neckar Bandits, EST 2003, Home ground and capacity; MTG Stadium, 1,500 It was a merger between the Hockenheim Renegades and the Heidelberg Toreros that gave birth to the Bandits. The Bandits have made very few changes in the off season  

Rise of the Monarchs

One week after finally getting a 27-7 win over the equally poor Dusseldorf Panther, the Adler got the chance to build on the momentum. Sadly the Dresden Monarchs are a seriously good team and handed them a 52-7 thumping. To make matters worse the Adler youth team (who have been a real success this year) lost out 66-40 in the semi-finals to the Dortmund Giants. The game of the week had the Braunschweig Lions on the road to face the Kiel Baltic Hurricanes. In the last meeting between the clubs the Lions walked away with a 38-28 win. This time around the Lions walked away winners again, with a one sided score of 42-16.

In the South it’s not every week you get to write the words “Franken Knights win” but they did! The Rhein-Neckar Bandits (who to be fair are not great) took the beating by a score of 30-14. Meanwhile the Unicorns carried on with their winning ways by beating the Saarland Hurricanes 65-35. Their closest rivals, the Stuttgart Scorpions, also picked up a 49-39 win over the Marburg Mercenaries

 

North

GP

W

L

T

1

Braunschweig Lions

8

7

1

0

2

Kiel Baltic Hurricanes

8

6

2

0

3

Dresden Monarchs

7

5

2

0

4

Hamburg Huskies

8

5

3

0

5

Berlin Rebels

8

4

4

0

6

Berlin Adler

9

1

8

0

7

Dusseldorf Panther

10

1

9

0

           
           
 

South

GP

W

L

T

1

Schwabisch Hall Unicorns

10

9

1

0

2

Stuttgart Scorpions

11

9

2

0

3

Allgau Comets

9

7

2

0

4

Saarland Hurricanes

10

7

3

0

5

Munich Cowboys

9

4

5

0

6

Rhein-Neckar Bandits

9

1

8

0

7

Marburg Mercenaries

9

1

8

0

8

Franken Knights

11

1

10

0

 

In the GFL 2 North three mid table clubs were in action with all needing wins. The Cologne Crocodiles got their win after putting the Bonn Gamecocks to bed 30-16. The mid table clash between the Potsdam Royals and the Bielefeld Bulldogs saw the Royals take the win with a convincing score of 36-7. The north is wide open with five out of the eight teams still in the playoff hunt. Incidentally the Cologne Crocodiles are in pole position to win the first silverware this year with the juniors facing the Dortmund Giants this weekend.  

 

In the GFL 2 South the Frankfurt Universe destroyed the Munchen Rangers 65-28. The win leaves the Universe top of the table with no losses, meanwhile the Rangers sit bottom with no wins to their name. Kirchdorf Wildcats improved their playoff chances with a 46-10 win over the Holzgerlingen Twister. The win puts the Wildcats ahead of the Wiesbaden Phantoms with three games in hand. Meanwhile the Phantoms won a tough mid table win over the Darmstadt Diamonds.

IFAF Europe Champions League Final Four Round-up

Last weekend, IFAF’s 2015 European Champions League would be decided with the Final Four in Servia. Could London Blitz hoist another European trophy? Would SBB Vukovi claim victory on home soil? Or would the Carlstad Crusaders or Thonon Black Panthers take the title?

Semi-Final: London Blitz vs SBB Vukovi

London Blitz kicked off the weekend’s action with the first semi-final against Serbian team SBB Vukovi.

Myles Gates opened the scoring for Vukovi with a quarterback scramble. But Blitz were quick to respond. Wide receiver Andrew Copper hauled in Joe Thompson’s touchdown pass to level the score 7-7.

Vukovi retaliated with Mihailo Josovic’s run up the middle for a 14-7 lead. Despite back to back first downs for running back Deji Alli, Blitz couldn’t stay in touch and were forced to punt.

In the second quarter defensive back Dave Jennison recovered a Vukovi fumble to set Blitz up with a short field. Running back Temi Oduyemi broke off a 14 yard run to equalise. But disaster struck as a tipped touchdown pass landed in the hands of Vukovi receiver Tony Washington.

Then defensive back Stefan Gonzalez picked off Gates on the goal line, fighting to Blitz’s 30 before being brought down. Deji Alli picked up the first, but a Vukovi strip fumble in the redzone brought Blitz’s drive to an end.

Blitz’s secondary continued to make big plays. Sam Joseph knocked down two passes, forcing Vukovi to punt. But Joe Thompson’s high looping pass was picked off. Blitz’s defense held, and Vukovi punted with a minute left in the half. But Thompson was intercepted again by Vukovi to end the half.

In the 3rd quarter Sam Joseph broke up a long Vukovi pass. After some poor tackling by Blitz, Vukovi scored twice; ending the 3rd quarter with a 35-14 lead.

Again Sam Joseph turned the tide, making a pick 6 to close the gap to 35-21. Jack Daley recovered his own onside kick and quarterback Josh Adamson scrambled into the endzone, cutting Vukovi’s lead to 7.

After Vukovi’s field goal attempt drifted wide, Blitz took over. But Adamson was picked off and Vukovi knelt out the clock to win 35-28.

Semi-Final: Carlstad Crusaders vs Thonon Black Panthers

In Saturday’s second semi-final, Swedish champions Carlstad Crusaders faced off against French side Thonon Black Panthers.

The Crusaders dominated the game with their high-powered offense, while Thonon struggled to break through Carlstad’s defense.

Carlstad quarterback Anders Hermodsson tossed a 32 yard pass to receiver Jacob Dahre on the first drive of the game. Running back Brett Koepp followed with a 50 yard touchdown to give Carlstad a 14-0 lead after the first quarter.

The Crusaders continued to dictate in the second. Two touchdown passes from Hermodsson to receivers Harry Routledge and Jack Moro sandwiched another scoring run from Koepp. Despite missing an extra point, Carlstad secured a 34-0 lead before half-time.

Koepp increased Carlstad’s lead to 41-0 in the third quarter with a 29 yard touchdown run. Then the Panthers finally put some points on the board. Running back Milton Knox broke through for a 3 yard score. But the Panthers missed the PAT and only recorded six points.

A scoreless fourth quarter brought the rout to an end. Carlstad dominated in a 41-6 drubbing, and would face SBB Vukovi in Sunday’s final after the Serbians beat London Blitz 35-28.

Final: Carlstad Crusaders vs SBB Vukovi

In Sunday’s final in Belgrade, Sweden’s Carlstad Crusaders faced off against home side SBB Vukovi. Last year, Vukovi reached the final before losing to the Helsinki Roosters. Carlstad were gunning for their first European title since winning the EFAF Cup in 2003.

The Crusaders went for it on fourth down, and running back Brett Koepp converted. Quarterback Anders Hermodsson threw a touchdown pass to receiver Harry Routledge. But Vukovi responded as quarterback Myles Gates connected with receiver Tony Washington for the score.

Hermodsson tossed another score to Koepp, then returned Vukovi’s punt 50 yards for a touchdown. Washington kept Vukovi in touch with a 53 yard run as Carlstad ended the first with a 21-14 lead.

In the second, Vukovi finally managed to stop a Crusader’s drive. But Hermodsson and Koepp combined for two touchdown runs to increase Carlstad’s lead. Vukovi kept up as Gates scrambled for a score, then connected with Washington again for another.

But then Carlstad’s high-powered offense hit their stride. Hermodsson and Koepp each broke off scoring runs, then Hermodsson threw his third touchdown pass to receiver Jacob Dahre. The Crusaders held a 55-28 lead as the first half ended.

Vukovi opened the third with Mihailo Josovic’s scoring run to close the gap. But Hermodsson’s scrambling racked up two more scores for Carlstad, with Koepp adding a two-point conversion for a commanding 70-35 lead.

Gates added two more scores on scrambles for Vukovi in the second half, but Carlstad would not be caught. Hermodsson threw his fourth touchdown pass of the game to end the third quarter. Then running back Christen Monclair punched in the final score to secure an 84-49 victory for Carlstad.

Hermodsson was named the game’s MVP and praised his teammates for the victory. “I couldn’t be more proud of the team… It’s just pure happiness.”

And after such a dominant performance throughout the weekend, can anyone stop Carlstad from retaining the title next year?

IFAF Europe Champions League Final Four

The IFAF Europe Champions League comes to a conclusion this weekend in Serbia. The FC Vozdovac Stadium has a capacity of 5,000, and will host the three games to determine this year’s winner. Four teams will make the trip to the small venue – which is located at the top of a shopping mall - in hope of lifting the Champions League trophy. Representatives from France, Great Britain and Sweden will join a team from Serbia.

The British hopes fall on the shoulders of a team familiar to success in Europe in years gone by. The London Blitz won the EFAF Champions Cup as recently as 2011 so adding this title will mean the trophy cabinet will have to be made bigger!

Who are their rivals this weekend? Well they are in the first Semi-Final this Friday afternoon and they will have to overcome the team based in Serbia, Belgrade SBB Vukovi. Following this the second Semi will take place and has Carlstad Crusaders of Sweden clash with the Thonon Black Panthers of France.

The Blitz game kicks off at 4pm local time – 2pm UK time, with the second game scheduled for 8.30pm – (6.30pm). The Champions League Final will take place on Sunday.

A quick look as to how the teams all reached the Final Four.

With four groups of three teams, the format of each team playing a home and away game meant that one team in each group would win both games they played. The results listed below are in date order from the start date of the tournament.

18th April – Copenhagen Towers 9 CARLSTAD CRUSADERS 34

18th April – BELGRADE SBB VUKOVI 26 Ljubljana Silverhawks 24

2nd May – Istanbul Bogazki Sultans 19 BELGRADE SBB VUKOVI 34

2nd May – LONDON BLITZ 27 Aix Argonauts 21

2nd May – THONON BLACK PANTHERS 32 Milan Seaman 23

16th May – Madrid Osos Rivas 0 LONDON BLITZ 55

16TH May – CARLSTAD CRUSADERS 42 Helsinki Roosters 7

16th May – L’Hospitalet Pioners 0 THONON BLACK PANTHERS 41

The Blitz win in Spain against Madrid was the biggest of the tournament so far and they were the highest scorers of the group stages. Hopefully this will be a trend that continues over the coming days as they hope to return to the UK with another title under their belts and confidence to finish the remainder of the domestic season.

 

GFL Catchup

It’s very difficult to balance work and football, hence why I keep appearing and disappearing on ukfirstdown. In any case I finally have time to catch up. The GFL season has been ticking over nicely the last few weeks, so I think it’s time for a look back.

GFL NORTH

The Kiel Baltic Hurricanes sit at the top of the table with six wins and one loss to the Braunschweig Lions. The Cane’s recently beat up the Dusseldorf Panther by a cool 64-10, then in the following encounter beat them again this time by 61-7. The Lions have not had any action over the last few weeks but have a very interesting game against Hamburg this weekend. The story of the north really has to be the rise of the Hamburg Huskies. In their first season in top flight football sitting behind the Hurricanes and Lions at with 5 wins and 2 losses is not bad going. Going down to the Dresden Monarchs by a score of 48-7 shows there is still some way to go, but they are on their way. The Berlin Rebels are now the number one team in the city and 4 wins and 3 losses, are doing ok. Two derby win over the Adler and a win over the Panther should be keeping the fans happy. The Dresden Monarchs sit at number five despite the win over the Lions. The big problem in Dresden is they can’t get consistency, recently losing a close game against the Cain’s 21-17, and then following it up with a big 48-7 win over the Huskies. Both these results are alongside their win over the lions mentioned earlier. All that can be said about the Dusseldorf Panther and the Berlin Adler is the Adler still don’t have a win and the Panthers only win was over the Adler.

GFL SOUTH       

In the south the Stuttgart Scorpions eight and two record puts them in top spot; however the Schwabisch Hall Unicorns do have two games in hand. As far as results go both the Marburg Mercenaries and Munich Cowboys were unable to put points on the board losing 38-0 and 43-0 respectively. It was the Saarland Hurricanes who through the spanner in the Scorpions works, handing them a 20-19 defeat. The Unicorns second place is thanks to a surprising loss to the Allgau Comets by 34-28. The Franken Knights did not do as well, being beaten 54-0. The Cowboys also lost out 68-22. In third place are the Saarland Hurricanes. Prior to beating the Scorpions they put up 51 points against the Mercenaries while conceding just 17. The Allgau Comets are still hunting and have proved they are credible playoff contenders. Beating the Franken Knights was no real shock; the big win over the U’s was a surprise. If they can do it once, they can do it again. Munich prop up the top 4 clubs with a 3 and 5 record, their last two games have already been mentioned but I think it is safe to say that they will remain at fifth for the remainder of the season. At the bottom the Marburg Mercenaries and Rhein-Neckar Bandits sit with a 1-6 and 1-7 respectively. The Mercenaries win came at the expense of the Franken Knights by a score of 49-14. The Franken Knights meanwhile are dead in the water and are unlikely to grab a win this season.          

And that is the catch up of the GFL, unfortunately this coming week I am away (again). However I will be back the following week, with fresh up dates of the Europe’s big league.

New Big Cats in Town

The French season drew to a close on 20th June 2015 following the Diamond Helmet matchup between the Cougars and the Black Panthers to decide who would be considered the champions of France.

The Black Panthers were of course the defending champions who won the title last year, having gone undefeated and despite some hiccups this year have managed to get themselves back to the Championship game.  They say of course that winning the Championship is one thing, but to retain the Championship is quite another challenge indeed.

The Cougars started this season slowly struggling to a 14-14 draw on Game Day One, but have improved week on week and have yet to taste defeat this season, and came into this game therefore looking to repeat the feat of last year’s Black Panthers team.

The regular season matchups between the two had both gone the way of the Cougars and therefore there was the old football idiom in play, that it’s difficult to beat the same team three times in one season.  However, you could also argue that if you are just better than the other team, why not beat three times or any number of times required for that matter.

As it turned out the latter of these two statements was probably the truer, as the Cougars were never seriously troubled in this one and took the spoils of victory by a score of 28-07.  The Diamond Helmet itself will therefore head to Saint Ouen l’Aumone.

I suppose in France you could say that the Kings are dead, long live the Kings!  The Cougars will now be the team that the rest of the league are gunning for, and as the Black Panthers will tell you it is very difficult to repeat.  Expect this season’s losing semi-finalists, the Flash and Aix en Provence Argonautes to be mounting a strong challenge next year as well.

For now though there is a new Big Cat in charge of the French football jungle and protect your young because that Cat is a Cougar!

Unicorns succumb to the Lions in Eurobowl XXIX

The Braunschweig Lions defeated the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns 24-14 to claim their first Eurobowl since 2003.

After winning the toss Unicorns WR Patrick Donahue returned the ball to their own 38 yard line. From there the U’s could not get the drive going and were forced to punt the ball away. The Lions offence then got straight to work with star QB Casey Therriault and running back David McCants leading the attack. However the dominant drive stalled at the 17 and the Lions were forced to settle for a 35 yard Tom Van Duijn field goal.

The U’s next drive was put to an abrupt halt thanks to an interception by Jacob Schridde. This was capped off with a 24 yard touchdown reception from WR Niklas Romans.

The Unicorns next series began with the Lions defence again dominating play, however this time the U’s were able to show the crowed why they were at the final. QB Marco Ehrenfried launched a 71 yard touchdown pass to his wide open wide receiver Patrick Donahue. With the extra point good the U’s were back in the game 10-7.

Five minutes into the second quarter a strong drive from the Lions culminated in a 9 yard touchdown run by Therriault. The extra point from Tom Van Duijn was good for the 17-7 lead.

After an exchange of failed drives which included a failed field goal from the U’s, the Lions increased their lead with a 19 yard touchdown to Evan Landi for the 24-7 lead going into the half.

The second half was all about defence with no team able to gain any advantage, and despite a late fourth quarter touchdown by Donahue of the Unicorns, the work had been done by the Lions, and the trophy secured. Casey Therriault was named game MVP.

In Italy the Palma Panthers defeated the Bolzano Giants 14-7 in their semi-final. Meanwhile in the other game the Milano Seamen squeezed past their cross town rivals, the Rhinos, 25-20. The Panthers and Seamen will now face off for the Italian Super bowl. 

Semi-Finals set in Italy

Saturday saw the first playoff game of the Italian football league. The Roma Grizzlies found themselves completely out classed by the Milan Seamen, the final score of 48-12 was more than comfortable.

The following day provided a couple of eye opening results. First up the Ancona Dolphins, who were one of the title favourites at the start of the season, crashed out by a score of 18-6 to the Bolzano Giants. However the big surprise was the Lazio Marines flopping by a score of 40-20 to Milan Rhinos. It was the Parma Panthers who restored a sense of normality to the playoffs defeating the Bologna Warriors by 43-14.  

The Bolzano Giants next step is a tough trip to the Parma Panthers, the Rhinos and Seamen will face off in a semi-final Milan derby and judging by the Rhinos latest performance it may not be wise to discount them just yet.

In the GFL north the Hamburg Huskies continued their epic rise up the table with a 44-19 win over the hapless Berlin Adler. It’s got so bad in Berlin they are now focusing on publicising the success of their youth team, who incidentally went one better than the adults and won 58-0 over the cross town Rebels. Meanwhile the adult Berlin Rebels produced a credible 24-3 win over the Dusseldorf Panther. The Kiel Baltic Hurricanes won 21-17 in their mid-table clash with the Dresden Monarchs.

In the south the Franken Knights scored a touchdown, but off set this by conceding 68 to the Allgau Comets. The Saarland Hurricanes defeated the Rhein-Neckar Bandits by 22-0 and in doing so kept pace with the top two who were both in action. Top club Schwabisch Hall Unicorns took apart the Munich Cowboys 68-22. Their nearest rival, the Stuttgart Scorpions, defeated the Marburg Mercenaries by a comfortable 38-0

 

North

GP

W

L

T

1

Braunschweig Lions

6

5

1

0

2

Hamburg Huskies

6

5

1

0

3

Kiel Baltic Hurricanes

5

4

1

0

4

Dresden Monarchs

4

2

2

0

5

Berlin Rebels

5

2

3

0

6

Dusseldorf Panther

7

1

6

0

7

Berlin Adler

5

0

5

0

           
           

1

South

GP

W

L

T

2

Schwabisch Hall Unicorns

6

6

0

0

3

Stuttgart Scorpions

7

6

1

0

4

Saarland Hurricanes

6

5

1

0

5

Allgau Comets

6

4

2

0

6

Munich Cowboys

7

3

4

0

7

Rhein-Neckar Bandits

8

1

7

0

8

Marburg Mercenaries

5

0

5

0

9

Franken Knights

5

0

5

0

In Austria the Swarco Raiders Tirol defeated the Prague Black Panthers 33-27. The Vienna Vikings survived a bit of a scare but eventually overcame the Graz Giants 26-21.

 

France - Semi Finals review

Last weekend in the French Championship, we moved on to the Playoffs and the Semi-Final weekend as the two teams that will compete for the Diamond Helmet in Diamond Bowl XXI were discovered.

 

Very often in sport the semi final matchup provide a better spectacle to behold than the actual championship match, if this holds to be true come 20th June is yet to be known of course, but I can tell you that the final will need to throw up a thriller to provide better entertainment than this last weekend provided us.

 

The top seeded and so far unbeaten Cougars took on fourth seed Flash who scraped in to the playoffs on the back of a disappointing defeat in their season finale game.  The Cougars proceeded to get up early in this one, and to all and sundry this looked over early in line with the formbook, but the Flash were not done. 

 

A spirited comeback from the team with the Lightning Bolt on their helmet saw the Flash come roaring back, but in the end the much vaulted Cougars defence were able to step up and do just enough to preserve the victory in this one.  The Flash made a mockery of some of their games they were beaten in earlier this year, but came up just short this season as the Cougars moved on win a 37 -26 victory.

 

The second semi final was 2nd seeded Argonauts taking on 3rd seeded and defending champions Black Panthers.  The two match ups in the regular season between these two produced some cracking games, and the thought going into this one was that another good game was likely but the high powered offence of the Argonauts would be just enough to take it. 

 

It is one thing in sport to win a championship it is quite another to be able to defend it, the Black Panthers found this out this season, but it was a very determined Black Panthers team that took the field in this one.  Early scores gave them a large lead.  As in the other game though this was not destined to be a procession to the final, and the Argonauts finally clicked and came roaring back as their offence made inroads to the Black Panthers lead.

 

However you win don’t win championships by accident, and the Black Panthers despite the heat and emotion of the moment were able to do just enough and moved on victorious 31 – 28.  No Golden Fleece for the Argonauts this year at least.

 

So there we have it, this years unbeaten and last years unbeatables will do battle for the Diamond Helmet next weekend.  A betting man would suggest that you put your money on the Cougars, but you never can tell on "Any Given Saturday", let just hope for a game of equal excitement and a fitting climax to the season, and if so to the victor will go the spoils.

Italy ready for Playoffs

ITALY READY FOR PLAYOFFS

First things first I want to send a big congratulations to the London Blitz for making it into the final four of the Champions League. The Blitz are now looking for help in funding there trip to Serbia so go to www.londonblitz.com to lend a hand if you can, we can’t have them bringing the trophy back in a van!   

The Italian football league saw the Bergamo Lions pick up their third win of the season with a respectable 37-18 win over the Milan Rhinos. For Bergamo it really is too little, too late and the club now have substantial rebuilding to do in the off season. In Saturdays other game the Bologna Warriors squeaked past table topping Ancona Dolphins 15-14.

With the final games of the regular season done and dusted attention now turns to the quarter finals. The Bologna Warriors make the trip to Parma to face the Panthers. Meanwhile the Milan Seamen will be looking to build on their already fruitful season when the Roma Grizzlies come to town. The Lazio Marines are also at home against the Milan Rhinos, who will need to put the disappointment of this week’s result to bed. The final playoff will see the Bolzano Giants take the long road trip to Ancona to face the Dolphins.  

In Germany it was sweet revenge for the Braunschweig Lions as they dispatched the Dresden Monarchs 47-17. The Monarchs were responsible for beating the Lions at home earlier on in the season. The Berlin Adler travelled to Kiel and was slapped with a 44-9 beating at the hands of the Hurricanes. Meanwhile back in Berlin the cross town Rebels had a much better day, beating the Düsseldorf Panther 55-13. The loss puts the current Eurobowl champions at the bottom of the table!    

In the south the Munich Cowboys put the Marburg Mercenaries down 39-14. Alongside the Mercenaries in the basement are the Franken Knights who continued their epic lack of form with a 60-14 thumping at the Saarland Hurricanes. 32 of the Hurricanes points came in the second quarter, although on the plus side the Knights did manage a TD in the second as well.

In Stuttgart the Scorpions had a close call, but came out 17-14 winners over the Allgau Comets. The Comets will face the Kiel Baltic Hurricanes in the EFL bowl final on the 27th of this month following wins over the Amsterdam Crusaders and Badalona Drags. Kiel defeated the Alphen Eagles and Marburg on route to the final. 

Finally the Schwabisch Hall Unicorns continued to prove they are the team to beat in the south with a 49-7 win over the Rhein-Neckar Bandits

 

North

GP

W

L

T

1

Braunschweig Lions

6

5

1

0

2

Hamburg Huskies

5

4

1

0

3

Kiel Baltic Hurricanes

4

3

1

0

4

Dresden Monarchs

3

2

1

0

5

Berlin Rebels

4

1

3

0

6

Dusseldorf Panther

6

1

5

0

7

Berlin Adler

4

0

4

0

           
           

1

South

GP

W

L

T

2

Schwabisch Hall Unicorns

5

5

0

0

3

Stuttgart Scorpions

6

5

1

0

4

Saarland hurricanes

5

4

1

0

5

Allgau Comets

5

3

2

0

6

Munich Cowboys

6

3

3

0

7

Rhein-Neckar Bandits

7

1

6

0

8

Marburg Mercenaries

4

0

4

0

9

Franken Knights

4

0

4

0

 

Finally a shout out to the Lisbon Navigators on their 32-13 LPFA title win over Crusaders Football club (also from Lisbon).

GFL continues to excite!

After a bit of a writing break I’m back following more than enough changes. However what has not changed is the GFL’s fantastic brand of football.

So to the past weekend and fresh from their Eurobowl march the Schwabisch Hall Unicorns got the bus to Franken, and promptly left again with a very nice 62-14 win. The Unicorns seem to have figured out how to pick up wins on the road, just ask the Vikings of Vienna following their 45-23 Eurobowl qualifying disaster. The Knights have the opposite problem and look awful everywhere.

The Saarland Hurricanes kept pace with the leaders thanks to a hard fought 27-24, mid table win against the tough Munich Cowboys. In the final game in the south second place Stuttgart Scorpions defeat the Rhein-Neckar Bandits 45-21.  

A year ago the Adler hosting the Lions was the game to watch, not anymore. The Adler are (for the time being) dead in the water, and this latest 33-7 victory was no surprise.

In the 1990’s and early 2000’s the Hamburg Blue Devils were a force in European football having won 4 German bowls and three out of five Eurobowl’s. Today the HBD ply their trade in the fifth tier of German football (Verbandsliga Nord), however there is a new kid on the block representing Hamburg. The Hamburg Huskies 34-28 win over the Berlin Rebels solidifies their second place position behind the Braunschweig Lions, who themselves had a fierce and celebrated rivalry with the HBD. Could this be the beginning of a new rivalry between the two famous football cities?     

 

NORTH

       
 

TEAM

GP

W

L

T

1

Braunschweig Lions

5

4

1

0

2

Hamburg Huskies

5

4

1

0

3

Dresden Monarchs

2

2

0

0

4

Kiel Baltic Hurricanes

3

2

1

0

5

Dusseldorf Panther

5

1

4

0

6

Berlin Rebels

3

0

3

0

7

Berlin Adler

3

0

3

0

           
 

TEAM

       

1

South

GP

W

L

T

2

Schwabisch Hall Unicorns

4

4

0

0

3

Stuttgart Scorpions

5

4

1

0

4

Allgau Comets

4

3

1

0

5

Saarland hurricanes

4

3

1

0

6

Munich Cowboys

5

2

3

0

7

Rhein-Neckar Bandits

6

1

5

0

8

Marburg Mercenaries

3

0

0

3

9

Franken Knights

3

0

0

3

In Austria the season is drawing to a close with just two weeks and three games to go. Vienna Vikings, Swarco Raiders Tirol and the Prague Black Panthers have all secured playoff places while the Danube Dragons are in the driving seat for the final position. The previous weekend saw wins for the Panthers over the Giants by a score of 29-24. Meanwhile in the Vienna derby the Vikings took down the dragons by a score of 34-10

 

TEAM

GP

W

L

T

1

Vienna Vikings*

6

5

1

0

2

Swarco Tirol Raiders*

7

5

2

0

3

Prague Black Panthers*

6

4

2

0

4

Danube Dragons

7

2

5

0

5

Graz Giants

6

0

6

0

 

Like Austria, Italy’s season is drawing to a close. The Parma Panthers and Milan Seamen have both secured playoff spots in the north. While In the south the Lazio Marines top the group and are joined in the playoffs by the Ancona Dolphins.

 

IFL NORTH

       
 

TEAM

GP

W

L

T

1

Parma Panthers*

10

8

2

0

2

Milan Seamen*

10

7

3

0

3

Bolzano Giants

10

6

4

0

4

Milan Rhinos

9

5

4

0

5

Bergamo Lions

9

2

7

0

6

Torino Jaguars

10

1

9

0

           
 

IFL SOUTH

       
 

TEAM

GP

W

L

T

1

Lazio Marines*

10

9

1

0

2

Ancona Dolphins*

9

8

1

0

3

Roma Grizzlies

9

4

5

0

4

Bologna Warriors

9

4

5

0

5

Aquile Ferrara

10

3

7

0

6

Napoli Bandits

9

0

9

0

 

In Spin the semi-finals are ready to kick off. The first game sees a Valencia derby with the table topping Firebats hosting the Giants. The other game will see the Badalona Dracs at home to the Rivas OsFinal standings:

 

LNFA SERIA A

       
 

TEAM

GP

W

L

T

1

Valencia Firebats

10

9

1

0

2

Rivas OSOS Madrid

10

7

4

0

3

Badalona Dracs

10

7

3

0

4

Valencia Giants

10

6

4

0

5

L'Hospitalet Pioners

10

2

8

0

6

Mallorca Voltors

10

0

10

0

France ready for the Playoffs

French Regular Season Finale

This weekend saw Game 10 and the final week of the regular season in the French Championship as the playoff positions for the Diamond Helmet competition were confirmed.  It feels kind of early for the regular season to be concluded, especially so for the 4 teams who are on the outside looking in following this weekends games.

Results

Black Panthers      34           Centurions            21

Mastiffs                  33           Flash                       20

Cougars                  44           Templars                06

Argonauts              35           Dolphins                28

There was a strange stat line in the Black Panthers game, QB Brett Greene only completed 5 of 9 passes (2 were for touchdowns) but the Centurions simply had no answer for the Black Panthers Running game, Milton Knox went 15 for 154 (2 touchdowns) and Stephen Yepmo went 9 for 96 (1 touchdown).

In contrast to Greene, Mastiffs QB Evan Gehlert threw 5 touchdowns as he went 21 of 37 for 313 yards, as the Mastiffs put up the surprise result of the weekend.  The leading runners for the Mastiffs both went for 14 yards each, but the Flash just couldn’t stop the pass and as a result the Flash have fallen through the trap door into the playoffs and are the only team to go in on the back of a loss.  How that will affect their psyche we shall see.

The no.1 seed Cougars were able to give the second choice QB Mickael Greenhouse some snaps in relief of Tan Price and Greenhouse managed to go 5 for 5 in that time.  The Templars could not stop the run either and Desire Gbenouga finished with 19 for 127 yards and 2 touchdowns in what turned into an embarrassing defeat for the Templars.

Perhaps the most balanced attack of the weekend went to the Argonauts QB Jimmie Russell went 15 of 30 for 235 yards and 2 touchdowns, 5 of those passes to Jesse Kirkstatter for 119 yards.  Meanwhile on the ground Flavian Ruda racked up 117 yards on 18 carries.  The Dolphins kept it close in a game that may have seen them qualify for the playoffs if they could have picked up the victory, but very few teams have managed to slow the Argonauts offensive output this season.

Final Standings

No

Team

Record

1

Cougars

9-1-0

2

Argonauts

8-0-2

3

Black Panthers

6-0-4

4

Flash

5-0-5

5

Dolphins

4-0-6

6

Templars

3-1-6

7

Mastiffs

3-0-7

8

Centurions

1-0-9

 

Playoff Matches

Cougars v Flash (1 v 4)

Argonauts v Black Panthers (2 v 3)

 

Difficult to see on the back of the most recent performance how the Flash will compete with the Cougars, obviously any given Sunday but Cougars are huge favourites in this one.  The other game should be a quality match up, the Black Panthers will feel that they if anyone can slow the Argonauts down and I expect the Running backs to play a huge role in a ball control slow the game down game plan a bit like the New York Giants in Super Bowl 25 v Buffalo Bills.  My gut tells me though that the Argonauts will find just enough to make the final.

 

Week 9 France review

Week 9 is now in the books and the penultimate game of the season has managed to confirm a few things in the race for the Diamond Helmet, but there is going to be some excitement left for the final week of the regular season as there are two playoff spots available and three teams who can still claim them.

 

What we do know following Week 9 is who the top two seeds are going to be, and which teams will be bidding adieu and looking to rebuild next year in the second division.

 

Results

 

Flash 30 Centurions 0

Black Panthers 21 Mastiffs 14

Templars 7 Argonauts 31

Cougars 44 Dolphins 20

 

Recap

 

Starting at the top of the table, the Cougars were fairly comfortable in retaining their unbeaten record this season and in the process were able to confirm the number one spot in the standings.  An early safety gave all the momentum to the Cougars in this one early, and despite some big plays from the Dolphins particularly from Serge Bly, one of which went for an impressive TD, the Cougars were never in any real trouble and racked up the highest points total of the weekend.

 

The Black Panthers ground game was just too much for the Mastiffs, and after riding the ground game of Milton Knox Jnr and Stefen Yempo, who both found the end zone, the Black Panthers were able to outlast the Mastiffs to win by one score and consign the Mastiffs to Division Two.

 

Joining the Mastiffs in Division Two next year will be the Centurions who now seem likely to finish the regular season at the foot of the table, in their latest outing against the Flash, the Centurions were only able to put up a fabled goose egg whereas in reply the Flash capitalised on an impressive showing from Marcus Shaw who put up another two TD performance and after a sticky mid season run the Flash are right in the hunt still for the season ending playoffs.

 

The number two spot belongs to the Argonauts who recovered well from the loss to London Blitz to beat up on the Templars 31-7. QB Jimmie Russell was in sparkling form showing great escapability from the pocket and deep ball accuracy, a double threat that the Templars could not contain.

 

Week 8 France review

Week 8 in France

 

After a week off for the benefit of European competition the chase for the 2015 Diamond Helmet continued this past weekend to see Game Day Eight, and it was a great weekend for the Flash.

 

After their run of three successive domestic defeats and a rather disappointing European game against Innsbruck last week, the Flash were in need of a change of fortune, and just maybe their Fairy Godmother was watching.  Marcus Shaw put in another MVP type performance as the Flash put up a convincing 37-06 win over the Templars to jump right back into playoff contention on a weekend where just about every other result came down in their favour.

 

Don’t say it too loud, but the Centurions finally found it within themselves to produce their first win of the season.  Their offence which has struggled all year finally came to life as they took down the Dolphins by 42-2, significantly ending a good recent run of form for the Dolphins who had risen up to third in the standings going in to this matchup.

 

The Centurions may have won their first game but the league leading Cougars are still undefeated, as they continued to show a very strict defence.  Credit to the Mastiffs is due as they certainly did not disgrace themselves in the Cougars 27-14 victory which does confirm the Cougars participation in the End of Season playoff competition.

 

The last game of the weekend and perhaps the biggest matchup was a fantastic fare produced by the Argonauts and Black Panthers.  The game was pretty much a drive for drive affair which in the end was won 37-34 by the Argonauts who were just about able to outlast the defending champions.  Argonauts had a 3 touchdown performance from Geoffrey Lewis to thank for clinching the win.

 

 

 

 

1

Cougars

7-1-0

2

Argonauts

5-0-2

3

Flash

4-4-0

4

Dolphins

4-4-0

5

Black Panthers

4-4-0

6

Templars

3-1-4

7

Mastiffs

2-0-6

8

Centurions

1-0-6

 

Next Games

 

Flash v Centurions

Black Panthers v Mastiffs

Templars v Argonauts

Cougars v Dolphins

Flash can't shake domestic woes in Euro Bowl pursuit

With no games in the domestic season last weekend in France (Week 8 resumed this week) all eyes turned to the start of the Euro Bowl campaign, and France will be represented in this competition by the Paris based Flash team.

 

In recent weeks the Flash have not had things go their own way, and after three straight domestic defeats (the latest a heartbreaking late defeat to the Black Panthers, after the Flash had dominated for most of the game) the chance to play in European competition gave the Flash the chance to wipe the slate clean and get away from their domestic struggles where they are currently outside the end of season playoff places.

 

In their first game in the Big 6 stage the Flash were at home to the Innsbruck Raiders, if you search You Tube you can find extended highlights of this game, if you wish to do so you will see that the Flash started very brightly and spent the majority of the first quarter methodically moving the ball down the field and were able to punch that in for the opening touchdown and the early lead.

 

The Raiders when they has their first offensive series were able to reply in kind, and were able to even the scores up and both teams were able to add second scores as well to see the score line heading to halftime being tied up at 14-14.  In the second half though the rug was pulled from under the feet of the Flash, and after the Raiders were able to convert their opening series of the second half to their third touchdown of the day, the Flash just couldn’t move the ball at all.  Even worse than that was that in their struggles to get back in the game, the Flash started to turn the ball over which then costs them further scores.

 

This was the pattern for the entire second half and although the final score of 47-14 to the Raiders was a little flattering, the Raiders were deserved winners of the game.  The Flash need to lick their wounds and pull themselves together quickly as they still have a chance to rescue their season, but the chances of the Euro Bowl coming back to Paris this year may not be that high.  Domestically with 3 league games to go, if the Flash can break their losing streak and finish with 3 wins then there is still a chance that the Flash can force their way into the Diamond Helmet tournament.

 

This particular game was not an ideal time for the Flash, and hopefully the Black Panthers and the

Argonauts will fare better in their respective European competitions coming up, to fans of the other teams who are now writing off the Flash though, I warn you to rein it back in a little.  The Flash are in need of a win, any win at the moment, but should they scrape that next time out, don’t be surprised to see them finish well.  If the Flash can sneak in to the playoffs, nobody will want to play them.

 

The Big Guns are back in action, and I'll eat my hat!

Was it an upset? Or are the Berlin Adler no longer an elite European club? The Schwabish Hall Unicorns did not just beat the Adler in the first game of the Big Six Eurobowl competition; they totally dismantled them, 57-15. It’s no secret the Adler have problems within the back room organisation, but I’ll be the first to admit I did not see it coming, I also think I’m not alone. Among the scorers was American running back Christian Rycraw, the former Green Bay Packer trainee claimed three touchdowns. German wide receiver Moritz Bohringer also had an outstanding game with two touchdowns, both from passes over 40 yards in length, delivered from QB Marco Ehrenfried. Up next for the Unicorns is their GFL opener at the Stuttgart Scorpions next weekend and trip to the Vienna Vikings for their next Big Six game on the 17th May. Meanwhile the Adler are on the road again next weekend against the Dusseldorf Panther. They host the Vikings in Berlin on the 3rd May. 

Europe’s big league, the GFL, kicked off on Saturday with the Stuttgart Scorpions visiting the Munich Cowboys. After a scoreless first quarter, it was the Scorpions who took the advantage with 19 unanswered points before half time. The third was the same as the first with no score from ether team. Despite scoring two touchdowns in the final quarter it was not to be for the Cowboys, with the Scorpions scoring again and claiming the first GFL victory of 2015 by a score of 26-14.

The evening game saw a highly anticipated encounter between the Braunschweig Lions and Kiel Baltic Hurricanes, and it did not disappoint. The Lions opened up a 24-7 halftime lead over the Canes, and while Kiel was unable to recover, they were able to bring themselves to within 10 points of the champions in Braunschweig. The final score of 38-28 will give the Hurricanes massive confidence ahead of their trip down the autobahn 7 to play the Hamburg Huskies in two weeks.

In the Austrian Football League former Oakland Raider and Prague Black Panther veteran QB Kyle Newhall-Cabellero was involved in a thrilling shootout with the Graz Giants, with the Panthers taking the win 34-28. The following day saw the Vienna derby between the Vienna Vikings, from south of the river and the Danube Dragons, from the opposite bank. The game proved too much for the improving Dragons with Austria’s premier team taking the win, 47-10.

 

TEAM

GP

W

L

T

1

Vienna Vikings

3

3

0

0

2

Danube Dragons

2

1

1

0

3

Swar Tirol Raiders

3

1

2

0

4

Prague Black Panthers

2

1

1

0

5

Graz Giants

2

0

2

0

 

The Italian league saw the Milan Seamen welcome Spain’s, L’Hospitalet Pioners for their inaugural IFAF Champions league match. A strong 37-14 puts the Seamen at the top of the Central division, however they still have to travel to France to face the Thonon-les-Bains Black Panthers.

In the IFL the Parma Panthers only just saw off the Milan Rhinos by a score of 23-22, it was a little easier for the Ancona dolphins who dispatched the Napoli Briganti 70-0, OWCH! Torino saw off the Bergamo Lions 20-0 while the Lazio Marines remained unbeaten with a 24-14 win over the Bologna Warriors

 

IFL NORTH

       
 

TEAM

GP

W

L

T

1

Parma Panthers

5

4

1

0

2

Bolzano Giants

5

4

1

0

3

Milan Seamen

5

4

1

0

4

Milan Rhinos

5

2

3

0

5

Torino Jaguars

5

1

4

0

6

Bergamo Lions

5

0

5

0

           
 

IFL SOUTH

       
 

TEAM

GP

W

L

T

1

Lazio Marines

5

5

0

0

2

Ancona Dolphins

5

4

1

0

3

Bologna Warriors

5

3

2

0

4

Roma Grizzlies

5

2

3

0

5

Aquile Ferrara

5

1

4

0

6

Napoli Bandits

5

0

5

0

 

Milan Strike Back!

First things first I would like to apologise for the very quick round up this week, I’m in the middle of both a new job and house hunting so a touch stretched for time at the mo, think we have found the one now!

The Milan Seamen put themselves firmly at the top of the Northern conference thanks to a 30-14 win over the previously unbeaten Bolzano Giants. The win makes the north one of the widest open division in European football with three clubs fighting it out for top spot. In the only other game of the weekend, the Roma Grizzlies pulled out a 13-10 win over the hapless Aquile Ferrara.

Next week the IFL will see the North’s battle of the basement, with the Bergamo Lions facing off against the Torino Jaguars in Bergamo. Meanwhile in the south the Napoli Bandits will rely on a win over Ancona Dolphins to save their season, which is unlikely. The pick of the games will see the only unbeaten team, the Lazio Marines, take on the Bologna Warriors. A loss for the Warriors will see them cut lose from the top two (assuming the Dolphins win of course).   

 

 

IFL NORTH

           
 

TEAM

GP

W

L

T

PF

PA

1

Milan Seamen

5

4

1

0

152

76

2

Bolzano Giants

5

4

1

0

148

97

3

Parma Panthers

4

3

1

0

96

66

4

Milan Rhinos

4

2

2

0

83

104

5

Torino Jaguars

4

0

4

0

44

125

6

Bergamo Lions

4

0

4

0

55

110

               
 

IFL SOUTH

           
 

TEAM

GP

W

L

T

PF

PA

1

Lazio Marines

4

4

0

0

172

67

2

Ancona Dolphins

4

3

1

0

122

79

3

Bologna Warriors

4

3

1

0

69

53

4

Roma Grizzlies

5

2

3

0

79

98

5

Aquile Ferrara

5

1

4

0

87

128

6

Napoli Bandits

4

0

4

0

29

133

 

In Spain the Rivas OSOS kept the pressure on the Valencia Firebats with a 27-14 win over the Valencia Giants. The Firebats meanwhile squeaked past the Badalona Drags 7-3, and finally the struggling L’Hospitalet Pioners finally had something to smile about with a 41-8 win over the Mallorca Voltors.

 

LNFA SERIA A

       
 

TEAM

GP

W

L

T

1

Valencia Firebats

7

6

1

0

2

Rivas OSOS Madrid

7

5

2

0

3

Badalona Drags

7

4

3

0

4

Valencia Giants

7

4

3

0

5

L'Hospitalet Pioners

7

2

5

0

6

Mallorca Voltors

7

0

7

0

 

This week will see the Rivas OSOS take on the Pioneers, while the table topping Firebats should have an easy time over the Voltors. On Sunday the Giants take on the Drags in the mid table clash.

Austria’s AFL had by far the best game of the week with the Vienna Vikings stunning 31-30 win over the Prague Black Panthers. The game once again highlights the argument for the Black Panthers induction to the Big Six. The Graz Giants had a very poor weekend, going down 51-14 to the Swarco Tirol Raiders. The Raiders now have the weekend off to prepare for their week 5 game with Vienna, who play the Danube Dragons this weekend. The other game may be tricky for the Graz Giants; they are up against the Prague Black Panthers!

 

TEAM

GP

W

L

T

1

Vienna Vikings

2

2

0

0

2

Danube Dragons

1

1

0

0

3

Swarco Tirol Raiders

3

1

2

0

4

Prague Black Panthers

1

0

1

0

5

Graz Giants

1

0

1

0

 

Black Panthers claw back for vital win

Going into Game 7 of the French Championship, there was a lot on the line for a few teams. Would it be a case of when the going gets tough the tough get going, or rather if at first you don’t succeed then give up and find something else to do?

If this was true of any game then without doubt it was the Black Panthers and Flash match up.  Both teams struggling to remain in the end of season playoff race in a season when the defending champions Black Panthers would have expected much better, regardless though it was the Flash who looked the more composed of the two and at the end of the third quarter had built up a reasonably comfortable 19-6 lead.  However, beware the cornered animal and the Black Panthers came roaring back, on the back mainly of one of their American imports, Milton Knox Jnr who ended up with 3 TD’s on the day to help seal a stunning comeback win by 20-19.  The Flash need to regroup quickly from this which is easier said than done, whereas this may just give the Black Panthers the impetus to defend the Diamond Helmet, and just in time for their forthcoming European games.

The Dolphins was coming off 3 straight wins, having manoeuvred themselves into playoff contention, off the back of a stringent defence, found out just what happens when they came up against a just a stringent outfit in the Templars.  The Dolphins had no answers on the day at all, and the final 25-2 score line although unusual does just about keep the Templars hopes alive for a bit longer.

It is difficult not to feel sorry for the Centurions.  Every dog has its day and at half time this looked like it might just be the Centurions, leading 20-7 at the interval over the team directly above them in the table, this was their chance to salvage some pride and possibly avoid the wooden spoon.  The second half was plain and simple a nightmare of Elm Street proportions as the Mastiffs scored 27 unanswered points to take a 34-20 victory and just about now condemn the Centurions to relegation possibilities.

The last game of the weekend was the top of the table clash of the Argonauts and Cougars.  This game took place on Masters Sunday and to put it in golfing terms the Cougars got off to a flier like Jordan Speith and established a big lead, in this example the Argonauts like Rory McIlroy went for and mounted a furious late comeback bid, when they finally got their offence to click.  Like McIlroy it wasn’t quite enough and the Cougars remain unbeaten after a titanic 41-36 victory.

Standings

Pos

Team

Record

1

Cougars

6-0-1

2

Argonauts

4-2-0

3

Dolphins

4-3-0

4

Black Panthers

4-3-0

5

Templars

3-3-1

6

Flash

3-4-0

7

Mastiffs

2-5-0

8

Centurions

0-6-0

 

Forthcoming Games

Dolphins v Centurions

Templars v Flash

Cougars v Mastiffs

Argonauts v Black Panthers

Lions woes continue, still winless

Lions continue to slide

Only one game in the Italian top league this week saw the Bergamo Lions slide continue. Despite a solid performance by the Lions, the ever improving Milan Rhinos, with superb quarterback TJ Prior back in action, took the win 35-28. The win cuts Bergamo and Torino two games adrift of the top spots.

The game was the first of three scheduled bye weeks. In Italy a bye week will see limited league action and although the games do count towards standings, they interrupt normal league “week numbers”.

The second bye week will see table topping Bolzano Giants host playoff chasing Milan Seamen, in a key matchup in the North. The South will see Aquile Ferrara take on the Roma Grizzlies for fourth place. 

 

IFL NORTH

           
 

TEAM

GP

W

L

T

PF

PA

1

Bolzano Giants

4

4

0

0

134

67

2

Parma Panthers

4

3

1

0

96

66

3

Milan Seamen

4

3

1

0

122

62

4

Milan Rhinos

4

2

2

0

83

104

5

Bergamo Lions

4

0

4

0

55

110

6

Torino Jaguars

4

0

4

0

44

125

               
 

IFL SOUTH

           
 

TEAM

GP

W

L

T

PF

PA

1

Lazio Marines

4

4

0

0

172

67

2

Ancona Dolphins

4

3

1

0

122

79

3

Bologna Warriors

4

3

1

0

69

53

4

Roma Grizzlies

4

1

3

0

66

88

5

Aquile Ferrara

4

1

3

0

77

115

6

Napoli Bandits

4

0

4

0

29

133

 

In the race for promotion into the Italian topflight there are a few names you may recognise.

 

Group A has the Catania Elephants at the top, and last week they extended their lead with a 34-6 win over the Cagliari Crusaders. Group B has the Florence Guelfi at the top; however the Pesaro Angels are not far behind.

 

Group C should bring back some memories for our older readers (sorry). If you were at the 1988 Eurobowl finals, you may remember the Legnano Frogs. You will be sad to here they prop up this group, with the Blacks Rivoli sitting proudly at the top.

 

Group D is led by the Venezia Islanders, and another club that may ring a few bells, the Hogs Reggio Emilia, lead the final Group E.

 

 

Quick look at Austria

Week One saw the Swarco Raiders Tirol travel to Vienna to take on the Vikings. As you would expect the game was very close, with the Vikings coming out on top 26-21. The Raiders picked up the pace in the second half but it was too little, too late.

This weekend life got worse for the Raiders with another defeat, but this one was far worse. It could be argued that a 42-23 loss to the Danube Dragons is an upset. While the score does raise eyebrows the young Dragons are vastly improved.

As mentioned in a previous article on ukfirstdown, the Dragons have new QB Alex Good. Alex’s game stats include 38 attempts for 18 completions and 0 interceptions. His stats for the game almost mirror Raiders QB Kyle Callahan (39/19/0); however with three touchdown passes in the game alongside better rushing its clear Alex had the better day at the office.

Up this weekend for the Raiders are the Graz Giants, a team who like the Dragons have made key moves that should see them more competitive this year. The Prague Black Panthers are also in action against the Vienna Vikings.

Champions struggling to make playoffs

The second half of the regular season got under way over the weekend, and surprisingly only one home team emerged victorious.  That was not the only surprise over the weekend, the defending champions, Black Panthers now find themselves outside of the playoff spots looking up.  If they were to miss out on the end of season race for the Diamond Helmet this really would be quite a shock.

The Flash, also lost at home and next week’s match up when they travel to the Black Panthers could now be crucial as the loser of that one as the table below shows, is going to struggle to make it into the end of season tournament.  The Flash lost to the Cougars who remain undefeated this year and still retain the driving seat and could go a long way to cementing that next week as the Cougars are on the road to the high powered Argonauts offence, with first place on the line.

The defence of the Dolphins is beginning to settle down and look good as the Dolphins completed a season sweep over the Black Panthers, and in doing so the Dolphins have moved themselves up to third in the standings and are looking reasonably comfortable for their place in the playoff race.

At the bottom end of the table the Templers nicked a last minute win over the Mastiffs and in the process put a couple of game cushion between themselves and the bottom placed Centurions who were the latest team to struggle to contain the Argonauts.  In the forthcoming European competition, the London Blitz will need to figure out a way to slow this free scoring team down.

Results

Flash                                      13           Cougars                21

Black Panthers                  09           Dolphins              21

Centurions                          27           Argonauts           48

Templers                             12           Mastiffs               08

 

Standings

Pos

Team

Record

1

Cougars

5-0-1

2

Argonauts

4-1-0

3

Dolphins

4-2-0

4

Flash

3-3-0

5

Black Panthers

3-3-0

6

Templars

2-3-1

7

Mastiffs

1-5-0

8

Centurions

0-5-0

 

Week 7 Fixtures

Black Panthers                  v              Flash

Dolphins                              v              Templars

Mastiffs                               v              Centurions

Argonauts                           v              Cougars

Bolzano and Lazio still unbeaten

Week Four of the Italian football league began with the Milan derby between the Rhinos and the cross town Seamen. Despite steady improvements over the past few weeks it was the Seamen who would come away with the win, 34-0.

In Parma it was all about defence, with just a field goal separating the Parma Panthers and Bergamo Lions. Losing 10-7 to the Panthers is no disgrace and it appears the Lions are turning the corner. In contrast it could be argued that the Panthers are running out of steam.

In the battle of the southern basement it was Aquile Ferrara, who walked away with the 33-16 win over the Napoli Bandits. Unlike previous games Napoli did show signs of life, but it was not to be as the Aquile defence performed far better than in previous weeks. Up next for Aquile are the Grizzlies.

The Roma Grizzlies came so close to win number two, but lost out to the Bologna Warriors 17-14. Warrior’s kicker Arturo Morara brilliantly described his game winning field goal as, "Difficult? Very! Important? Very much!

Lazio Mariners proved they are a class above the rest in the south with a convincing 58-34 win over the Ancona Dolphins, who in fairness did not play badly. It’s becoming hard to see how the Marines can be stopped in the south, and with a little break to tweak the machine, chances are they will only get stronger.

The Bolzano Giants continued to dominate the north, beating the Giaguari Torino (Torino Jaguars) 35-0. The loss for Torino puts them firmly at the bottom of the table.

 

IFL NORTH

           
 

TEAM

GP

W

L

T

PF

PA

1

Bolzano Giants

4

4

0

0

134

67

2

Parma Panthers

4

3

1

0

96

66

3

Milan Seamen

4

3

1

0

122

62

4

Milan Rhinos

3

1

2

0

48

76

5

Bergamo Lions

3

0

3

0

27

75

6

Torino Jaguars

4

0

4

0

44

125

               
 

IFL SOUTH

           
 

TEAM

GP

W

L

T

PF

PA

1

Lazio Marines

4

4

0

0

172

67

2

Ancona Dolphins

4

3

1

0

122

79

3

Bologna Warriors

4

3

1

0

69

53

4

Roma Grizzlies

4

1

3

0

66

88

5

Aquile Ferrara

4

1

3

0

77

115

6

Napoli Bandits

4

0

4

0

29

133

 

This weekend’s only game is between the Bergamo Lions and Milan Rhinos 

 

LNFA SERIA A (Spain) 28/3

L’Hospitalet Pioners        0-48       Badalona Dracs

Valencia Giants                 26-20     Valencia Firebats

Mallorca Voltors               6-30       Rivas Osos Madrid

 

 

LNFA SERIA A

       
 

TEAM

GP

W

L

T

1

Valencia Firebats

6

5

1

0

2

OSOS Rivas Madrid

6

4

2

0

3

Valencia Giants

6

4

2

0

4

Badalona Dracs

6

4

2

0

5

L'Hospitalet Pioners

6

1

5

0

6

Mallorca Voltors

6

0

6

0

French League - Half Way review

Although many leagues around Europe including the British League are just getting started the season in France is already halfway through, and the Championnat Elite is taking shape between those in the running for the Diamond Helmet and those who might be looking over their shoulder at the teams sitting on top of the 2nd division.

It is curious that France have chosen to start the season as early as they have, it may be that this will give the national team a better chance in their matches in the IFAF World Championship in July against Brazil and Australia, matches that according to the seeding’s at least, France should do well in.  It is curious when most leagues are against the practice of playing two games in one week that the World Championship will see teams play possibly 3 times in the space of just 9 days, but it should 9 days of fun football at least.

It may be as the IFAF launch their Champions League that the early start to the season will mean that the French representatives, Black Panthers and Argonautes will be firing on all cylinders when the group stages get underway around 18th April.  The Black Panthers will be favoured to come out of the central grouping, whilst on their form so far the Argonautes will be confident in the Western group, which will see them take on Madrid and our own London Blitz.

So as the Championnat takes a bye week what is the story of the season so far?  What are the big stories?

Perhaps the biggest surprise so far is that the Black Panthers have been beaten, twice! After tearing it up last season as they claimed the Diamond Helmet following an unbeaten campaign, the Black Panthers have not had it their own way this time around and currently sit just in the playoff positions at 4th in the table.  Although the two most exciting games of the season have featured the Black Panthers, a 42-39 win over the Templars in Week 3 and last week’s 45-37 defeat to the Cougars, with every high there is a low however and the 3-0 defeat to the Dolphins was certainly the most surprising result of the season so far, regardless of how bad weather conditions were at the time,

Off the back of their win over the Black Panthers last week the Cougars retained their unbeaten record and sit proudly in the pole position for the Diamond Helmet at the halfway mark, backed up by some very impressive defensive showings in their games so far.  The Cougars are just ahead of the Argonautes who set scoreboards alight in their first few games before fizzling out against the Black Panthers but returned to form last week to see off the Flash in week 5.

The Flash themselves are in third, and the Paris based outfit maybe the most media savvy team in France with their you tube series and live feeds and designated photographers etc… on the field the team that look like a cross between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the San Diego Chargers, are a bit like a McDonalds Apple pie, they are either very hot or just cold and uninteresting.  The Flash are right in the mix for the playoff hunt with the Black Panthers and the Dolphins who are sitting just outside the playoff positions on point differential at the moment.  If results go their way they could still force their way in, but the smart money would be on the Dolphins being the team that just misses out at this point.

The race to avoid the wooden spoon is three way at the moment with the honour of propping the rest of the league up falling to the Centurions currently by half a game from the Mastiffs who in turn are half a game behind the Templars.  The Templars saw off the Centurions last time out and will face the Mastiffs next week and therefore have the chance to establish some daylight between themselves and the bottom two, while the Centurions chances of breaking their duck seem a long shot as they take on the Argonautes next. The Flash hope to return to form as they have their shot at the unbeaten Cougars, whilst the Black Panthers will be out to avenge their goose egg showing earlier in the year, against the Dolphins.

It looks like the Diamond Helmet is now between 5 teams but to pick a likely winner at this stage would be foolhardy, I guess that’s why they play the games, anything can still happen.

Three remain unbeaten in Italy

IFL WEEK THREE ROUND UP

The big game of week three saw top of the table Parma Panthers take on fellow table toppers, the Bolzano Giants. At half time the Panthers lead 20-18; however the Giants were to score two unanswered touchdowns to take the victory 32-20. The loss gifted the Seamen second place in the North.

The Turin Jaguars failed to get their first win of the season with a 41-24 defeat to the Milan Seamen. The Seamen have put their disappointing first game to bed, although it remains to be seen how well they will fair against the Giants on April 12. The Bergamo Lions and Milan Rhinos both enjoyed a bye week, for the Lions it could not come at a better time and gives them a chance to steady the ship.

In the South the Ancona Dolphins won a very dull game against the Bologna Warriors, with the only points coming in the second half. Both clubs made critical mistakes that could easily have cost them the game, in the end the score of 10-0 was enough for the Dolphins.      

Joining the Dolphins at the top are the Lazio Mariners, who were a bit more convincing with their 30-14 win over the hapless Aquile Ferrara.

Joining Ferrara in the basement are the Napoli Bandits, who continued their impressive collection of conceded points with this 26-0 loss to the Roma Grizzlies. The Bandits did show signs of life, holding Roma 7-0 at half time. Yet after the restart they continued with their normal service, conceding 19 points with no reply.

 

 

IFL NORTH

           
 

TEAM

GP

W

L

T

PF

PA

1

Bolzano Giants

3

3

0

0

99

67

2

Milan Seamen

3

2

1

0

88

62

3

Parma Panthers

3

2

1

0

86

59

4

Milan Rhinos

2

1

1

0

48

42

5

Torino Jaguars

3

0

3

0

44

90

6

Bergamo Lions

2

0

2

0

20

65

               
 

 

IFL SOUTH

           
 

TEAM

GP

W

L

T

PF

PA

1

Lazio Marines

3

3

0

0

114

33

2

Ancona Dolphins

3

3

0

0

88

21

3

Bologna Warriors

3

2

1

0

52

39

4

Roma Grizzlies

3

1

2

0

52

71

5

Aquile Ferrara

3

0

3

0

44

99

6

Napoli Bandits

3

0

3

0

13

100

 

WEEK 4 SCHEDULE

Bergamo Lions @ Parma Panthers

Milan Seamen @ Milan Rhinos

Bolzano Giants @ Turin Jaguars

Aquila Ferrara @ Napoli Bandits

Ancona Dolphins @ Lazio Mariners

Bologna Warriors @ Roma Grizzlies

 

 

 

QUICK LOOK WEST AT THE LATEST RESULTS AND TABLES

 

 

LNFA Spain SERIA A

       
 

TEAM

GP

W

L

T

1

Valencia Firebats

5

5

0

0

2

Osos Rivas Madrid

5

3

2

0

3

Valencia Giants

5

3

2

0

4

Badalona Dracs

5

3

2

0

5

L'Hospitalet Pioners

5

1

4

0

6

Mallorca Voltors

5

0

5

0

 

Rivas Osos Madrid           (17-14)                  Badalona Dracs

Valencia Firebats              (44-28)                 L’Hospitalet Pioners

Valencia Giants                 (47-0)                    Mallorca Voltors

 

*At ukfirstdown myself, Robert Newell and Gary Jordan endeavour to cover as much as possible in Europe, however we cannot cover every league in detail. If you feel you can help with our coverage contact us at info@ukfirstdown and we’ll talk you through what would be expected.

 

Cougars lead at halfway stage in France

FFFA Week 5 Round Up

This weekend the Elite Championship in France reached the half way stage of the regular season, and as you might expect the standings are beginning to sort themselves out and we are starting to see who might be in relegation trouble, and who might be positioning themselves to make a run at the Diamond Helmet game.

The big game of the day, saw the defending champion Black Panthers taking on the league leading and unbeaten so far Cougars.  Most expectations going in to this was that this might be the week the Cougars were tamed but this turned into a high scoring shoot out that ended up in the Cougars favour by a score line of 45 – 37, and in the process handing the Black Panthers their second defeat of the season.

The Black Panthers defeat gave a great opportunity to both Argonauts (in the first season in the top division) and the Flash (France’s Euro Bowl contenders) to cement themselves in the playoff positions, and conveniently the two teams happened to be squaring off this weekend.  But after losing to the Black Panthers last week, it was the Argonauts who rebounded and took the spoils 26 – 15.

The Dolphins improved their record to draw level in the standings with both the Flash and the Black Panthers, although it would be a surprise should the Dolphins manage to overtake either of those teams.  The Mastiffs (Molosses) were the team that managed to fall just short of the Dolphins this weekend; the Dolphins came out on top 18 – 15.  Just a thought as you look at leagues around the world, I am slowly becoming more convinced that Dolphins is the most popular team name, but popularity does not necessarily breed success, and although the Dolphins are in the playoff mix I am unsure that the Dolphins will be taking part in the semi-final round in a few weeks  time.

The last game was a bottom of the table match up featuring the Centurions and the Templars (Templiers), which of these teams would grab the opportunity to move up and away from the relegation places.  Given it was a game between two so far winless teams, you shouldn’t be surprised to learn that this was a close one, but congratulations go to the Templars who managed a 22 – 20 win.    

Standings

 

TEAM

RECORD

1

Cougars

4-0-1

2

Argonauts

3-1-0

3

Flash

3-2-0

4

Black Panthers

3-2-0

5

Dolphins

3-2-0

6

Templars

1-3-1

7

Mastiffs

1-4-0

8

Centurions

0-4-0

 

 

Week 6 Fixtures

Flash v Cougars

Black Panthers v Dolphins

Centurions v Argonauts

Templars v Mastiffs

French League Week Four review

Championnat Elite – Week 4

After a break in the season to allow for the national team to have a training get together, the Championnat Elite recommenced this past weekend, with the fourth game of the season.

The Flash who were perhaps buoyed by their draw in this year’s EuroBowl (see Alex Underwood’s article on this website) jumped out to a 12-0 lead early on over the Templiers who managed to close the gap to 12-7 before the class of the Flash shone through and in the end they won this game going away by 26-7, mostly on the back of some very impressive QB play from Paul Durrand who tossed 3 TD passes and recorded a Quarterback rating of just over 150.

The game of the day though saw early season pacesetter Argonautes taking on the defending Diamond Helmet holders Black Panthers, but the new boys could not continue their early season form in this one and the Black Panthers were comfortable 41-13 winners, their 41 points including 3 touchdowns from Stephen Yepmo.  Despite the impressive showing from Black Panthers they have not yet hit the top of the table as there is still an unbeaten team in the league.

That team is the Cougars who after starting the season with a tie against the Templiers have rode an impressive looking defence who again showed their quality this weekend as the Cougars beat the Molosses 38-14 and now sit proud at the head of the table.

The remaining game resulted in an unusual 13-2 score in favour of the Dolphins over the Centurions, who season woes continue and the Centurions now sit at the foot of the table, with a 100% losing record so far.

Results

Flash                     26           Templiers           07

Black Panthers  41           Argonautes        13

Molosses            14           Cougars                38

Centurions         02           Dolphins              13

Standings

Rank

Team

Record

1

Cougars

3-0-1

2

Flash

3-1-0

3

Black Panthers

3-1-0

4

Argonautes

2-1-0

5

Dolphins

2-2-0

6

Molosses

1-3-0

7

Templiers

0-3-1

8

Centurions

0-3-0

 

Game 5 Fixtures

Centurions         v              Templiers

Dolphins              v              Molosses

Cougars                v              Black Panthers

Argonautes        v              Flash

 

IFL Week 2 Review

Milan Seamen put there week one loss to the confident Panthers behind them, to deal the Bergamo Lions their second loss of the season by a score of 34-0. The Lions defence could not keep the powerful Milan offence under control, with Milan QB Johnathon Daily moving with ease behind the offensive line. In contrast the Lions simply could not move against the Seamen. The loss puts the Lions at the foot of the Northern division

Joining the Lions at the bottom are the Torino Jaguars, despite home field advantage they could not stop the Parma Panthers from claiming top spot. However the Jaguars did keep the score close, a very credible 28-14. Up next for the Panthers is a top of the table clash with the Giants.

The Bolzano Giants continue their very good start to the season with a high scoring 36-27 win over the Milan Rhinos, who were blighted by false starts for the entire game. With the exception of the first quarter the Rhinos matched the Giants score for score and were by no means out classed. I expect to see the Rhinos continue to develop further as the season progresses.

Above: the Giants and Rhinos fight it out in Bolzano.

In the Southern division the Bologna Warriors made it two wins from two with a 24-6 win over the Napoli Bandits. In two games the Bandits have let in a whopping 74 points, in comparison to just 13 scored, so I think it’s safe to say they have a few issues to fix. Their biggest problem is American Quarterback Zack Hoffman has not been given any targets to work with; things could get very frustrating for the Bandits.

The Ancona Dolphins continued their high scoring start to the season with a convincing 41-7 victory over the Aquile Ferrara. The dolphins off season signings seem to be doing the trick, and helped christen the new stadium in front of a near capacity crowd of 1000. President Leonardo Lombardi commented “we were full of satisfaction after our appeal to fill the grandstand, despite the promise of rain, was fulfilled. We were lucky the weather held up”.

Finally the Roma Grizzlies lost out 34-12 to the Lazio Mariners. The win puts the Mariners joint top of the table, but it remains to be seen who will pull ahead in the south.

 

IFL NORTH

         
 

TEAM

GP

W

L

PF

PA

1

Parma Panthers

2

2

0

66

27

2

Bolzano Giants

2

2

0

67

47

3

Milan Seamen

2

1

1

47

38

4

Milan Rhinos

2

1

1

48

42

5

Torino Jaguars

2

0

2

20

49

6

Bergamo Lions

2

0

2

20

65

             
 

IFL SOUTH

         
 

TEAM

GP

W

L

PF

PA

1

Lazio Marines

2

2

0

84

19

2

Ancona Dolphins

2

2

0

78

21

3

Bologna Warriors

2

2

0

52

29

4

Aquile Ferrara

2

0

2

30

69

5

Roma Grizzlies

2

0

2

26

71

6

Napoli Bandits

2

0

2

13

74

 

WEEK 3 schedules

Torino Jaguars @ Milano Seamen

Ancona Dolphins @ Bologna Warriors

Napoli Bandits @ Roma Grizzlies

Lazio Marines @ Aquile Ferrara

Parma Panthers @ Bolzano Giants

 

Pick of the week three games must be the top of the table clash between Parma and Bolzano, the winner will take control of the north, my money would go on Parma. The Seamen will look to keep pace with the top, with a clash with the visiting Jaguars.

 

The South will look a little clearer when top of the table Ancona visit the Warriors, meanwhile the Marines will look to stay at the top with a trip to Ferrara. Finally in the South either the Bandits of Grizzlies will move off the bottom spot.