Photo by James Brewerton
After 244 days since the last competitive BAFA Flag regular season gameday, Sunday 9th April marks an exciting day in the Manchester Crows calendar. Its Week 1 of the 2017 season!
The Crows won’t run into many surprises in 2017, having faced each of their regular season opponents in last years competition. The realigned BAFA league structure means that The Crows’ new divisional rivals are the Cheshire Cavaliers, Manchester Titans, and Wigan Warhawks. The Sheffield Giants and Mansfield Honey Badgers have been jettisoned back to the wrong side of The Peak District into the newly created MEC Central division, with the Wigan Warhawks moving to join us from the MEC North.
BAFA also announced that after the conclusion of the 2017 season the league will move to a new tiered system for 2018. Though exact details are yet to come, we know that the 2017 playoff teams will qualify for the BAFA 2018 Premier League, and with the top 2 teams from each division qualifying for the 2017 BAFA Playoffs, the stakes for a playoff berth have never been higher.
Week 1 – Divisional Games
Sunday 9th April
The 2017 seasons starts off with a pace setter for the MEC South. 3 wins and The Crows hold the division in their hands, lose 1 or 2 games and they’re instantly on the back foot, chasing the coveted number 1 seed for the rest of the year.
CHESHIRE CAVALIERS 0-0-0
(2016 record: 4-12-0)
The first game of the season is against hosts Cheshire Cavaliers, whom The Crows beat 42-12 and 44-18 in weeks 2 and 3 of 2016, respectively. The 2016 season was The Cavaliers rookie season and after a full preseason of development and friendly games, they are sure to be a tougher team this time round.
MANCHESTER TITANS 0-0-0
(2016 record: 9-7-0)
Next up are city rivals Manchester Titans. Despite having never lost to The Titans – the games last year ending 32-7 and 29-7 – these matchups are arguably the most competitive and fierce of the group with The Crows not wanting to lose the title of “Manchester’s Premier Flag Football Team”. This game will be the one to watch!
WIGAN WARHAWKS 0-0-0
(2016 record: 7-9-0)
The final game comes against MEC South newcomers Wigan Warhawks, whom The Crows beat 46-7 in 2016, earning a few nicknames in a fiery game. The Crows will go into this game full steam ahead and aim to blow the Warhawks out of the water. Toot Toot!
It’ll be three tough, tactically different games on gameday one, but with The Crows a year wiser and eager to unleash their newly acquired weapons on both sides of the ball, they’ll be confident of coming away with a 3-0 record and a division lead!