The first round of this years British University Football playoffs were played this past Sunday and they had their fair share of drama as well as some blowouts for the favoured teams.
In the Championship playoffs, top seed the Stirling Clansmen had no trouble dispatching the Hallam Warriors, pitching a shutout, 38-0. Also keeping the opposition scoreless were the number three and four seeds Brighton and Birmingham, as they knocked out Sunderland and Cambridge respectively.
Second seed the Hertfordshire Hurricanes fought back from a 14-7 half time deficit to overcome UWE Bullets, 17-14. Perhaps the best comeback of the day though was reserved for the Imperial Immortals who fell behind quickly 12-0 against the Derby Braves, to finally edge out their visitors 14-12.
Other winners, and through to the last eight were Durham, Bath and Sheffield.
CHAMPIONSHIP PLAYOFFS RESULTS
Hallam Warriors 0 Stirling Clansmen 38
UWE Bullets 14 Hertfordshire Hurricanes 17
Cambridge Pythons 0 Birmingham Lions 55
Loughborough Students 12 Durham Saints 18
Derby Braves 12 Imperial Immortals 14
Kingston Cougars 14 Bath Killer Bees 34
Southampton Stags 6 Sheffield Sabres 14
In contrast to the Championship set of games, where all top eight seeds went through, it wasn’t so plain sailing for the second set of teams that are contesting the Challenge Trophy.
True to season form the Swansea Titans won their game quite handily, but only after an early scare by the Newcastle Raiders. It was the Portsmouth Destroyers who were the highest seed to fall in the Trophy, after holding an early 8-0 lead, they relinquished 26 unanswered points to the UCLan Rams.
In the game of the day that went down to the very end Exeter beat their higher seed opponents, NTU, by a score of 29-28. The two teams that played out a complete defensive slugfest were Surrey and Kent. Scoreless at the end of regulation they went into overtime, and finally it was the Falcons managing a score to win 6-0.
Also through to the quarter finals are Carnegie, RHUL Bears, Glasgow and UH Sharks.
CHALLENGE TROPHY RESULTS
Newcastle Raiders 34 Swansea Titans 55
UCLan Rams 26 Portsmouth Destroyers 8
University of Nottingham 6 Carnegie 30
Exeter Demons 29 NTU Renegades 28
UEA Pirates 14 RHUL Bears 23
Surrey Stingers 0 Kent Falcons 6 OT
Brunel Burners 19 Glasgow Tigers 42
LJM Fury 12 UH Sharks 16