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The Red Rose Division features two Premiership teams, The Manchester Titans and the Merseyside Nighthawks, three Division one teams in the Chester Romans, Lancashire Wolverines and the recently promoted Halton Spartans and one associate team in the Leigh Miners. All teams have eight games except the Miners who have three scheduled and one to be confirmed.

CHESTER ROMANS

Division 1

2019 record – 3-7

Last Game – 60-0 Win v Doncaster Mustangs

3-7 doesn’t really do the Romans justice as in their first foray into Division 1 they were handed an incredibly tough division and in at least one of the two matchups, they competed with every opponent perhaps outside of the Sandwell Steelers. Judging by social media, they have continued to build on an already impressive squad with more Quarterbacks than teams have Linemen. This is another very tough division for the Romans with four of their eight games against Premier division competition.

Ceiling: 4-4

Floor: 4-4

I Expect the Romans to take another step forward this year and despite their close contests with the Spartans in recent years I think the Romans will be too much for them. They also have two games against the associate Leigh Miners, and I don’t really see them posing a challenge. The other four games for them are two against the Nighthawks and two against the Titans. With some games meaning these teams won’t be playing their starters, they will see this as an opportunity to get their starters some quality game time and I feel that will be too much for the Romans.

HALTON SPARTANS

Division 1

2019 Record – 8-0

Last Game – 36-27 Loss to Inverclyde Goliaths NFC2 Final

Halton were very good in 2019 and without the Romans in their way they won their conference and went all the way to the NFC2 final. They came up slightly short but achieved promotion to Division one. This however is a trial by fire. The Spartans don’t get the game against the Miners and instead face four extremely tough opponents.

Ceiling: 2-6

Floor: 0-8

There are a couple of things with this prediction. I feel like I may be slightly generous with the ceiling given the standard of opponents. They are familiar with the Romans and have had some very good games with them and they may look to the Wolverines as a chance to test themselves. The other reason I feel slightly generous here is one purely based on how you read into social media posts. I have recently seen the Spartans put out specific recruitment for Lineman. This could just be to bolster the ranks but it’s also extremely worrying if they are lacking at the most important position in Britball.

LANCASHIRE WOLVERINES

Division 1

2019 record – 6-4

Last Game – 29-24 Loss v Sandwell Steelers

The Wolverines not only look slick on the field, but they also play like it too. They finished 3rd in the NFC1 South last year on Points conceded. They may well have finished second had they managed the Double over the Romans. Like the Spartans and Romans however, there are some extremely tough opponents.

Ceiling: 4-4

Floor: 4-4

I can only see this going one way to be honest. With two games against the Spartans and two games against the Leigh Miners, I see the Wolverines getting four wins on the board. But I can’t see them having enough to overthrow the Titans or the Nighthawks. That’s not an insult to the Wolverines however but a compliment to how tough those two opponents are.

LEIGH MINERS

Associate

2019 record – N/A

Last Game – N/A

Not much is known about the Miners. They were originally going to be a part of the 8GL setup but since decided to pursue becoming a BAFA affiliated team. They will then use the 2021 season to play their associate games with the goal of being accepted into the league in 2022.

Ceiling: 0-4

Floor: 0-4

Even though they won’t face the two premier division opponents, the Miners are slated to play two very strong Division one teams in the Romans and the Wolverines. That is a tough ask for a lot of teams let alone an associate team that have yet to play a snap. I would expect the Romans and Wolverines to get some backup and rookies game time, but I don’t expect the Miners to win.

MANCHESTER TITANS

Premier Division

2019 record – 7-3

Last Game – 63-0 Loss v London Warriors

The Titans are one of, if not the best run organisation in the UK. They are working on a B team as well. They had a very unusual 2019, they made the playoffs and were beaten handily by the London Warriors, however, so does everyone else. That is not the unusual part, they split the series with the Merseyside Nighthawks, they lost to the Edinburgh Wolves and yet they also beat the Tamworth Phoenix 21-0. Depending on where you look for your coverage of British American Football, some may suggest that if there was a team of all the best players in the North, it would be made up of 99% Manchester Titans. If that’s the case I look forward to watching how they build on 2019.

Ceiling: 8-0

Floor: 6-2

The Titans and Nighthawks split their 2019 series so there is every possibility they do that again. However, outside of that, I see the Titans having too much for all their other opponents. The Titans v Nighthawks games will be a massive draw this year and certainly two of the best games to watch this year.

MERSEYSIDE NIGHTHAWKS

Premier Division

2019 record – 6-3-1

Last Game – 22-22 Tie v Sheffield Giants

The Nighthawks absolutely powered through the divisions to earn their rightful place in the Premier Division and have established themselves. Much like the Titans, it was a slightly unusual season in 2019 for the Nighthawks. They were comfortably dispatched by the Phoenix both times, but they also split the series with the Titans. Then with the Playoffs on the line, they tied with the Sheffield Giants who had only two wins to their name.

Ceiling: 8-0

Floor: 6-2

I like what the Nighthawks do, they have an explosive offence and can put points up on anyone. This division will come down to Nighthawks v the Titans. If I was a fence sitter, I would say I expect them to split the series and that may well be the case. I think in this case I’d ever so slightly favour the Titans to do the double rather than the Nighthawks.

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1 Comment

  1. Paul Breen on 9th June 2021 at 9:41 pm

    A very good and detailed look at this division.

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