Pulling The Flag

Pre-Season Power Rankings: Division One Top 10

Obviously, this is a bit more of a stab in the dark, given that we have a combination of well
established teams and some very green rookie teams entering the league at the new second tier
Division 1. But we have done our due diligence and kept an eye on development teams, pre-season
friendlies and veteran ballers on the move around the league.

1. Warrington Revolution

They’ve not been backward in coming forwards when they first hit the scene around 12 months ago.
A full on promotional campaign, backed up by some fine performances in their own V-Day, runners-
up at the Turkey and Pirate Bowls and winning the Outlaw Flag League plate, says they are ready to
take the league by storm.
Lewis Jaundrell, Jake Shaw, Matt Meir and Richard Keates may all be household names come
September. This maybe unwelcome pressure, but they are a preseason favourite of ours.

 

2. London Smoke

The Smoke have been laying down beatings in the Mammoth League over the last 12 months, taking
the championship title in 2017 undefeated.
They’ve gradually been venturing further afield to take on Bafa league teams with some success.
Decent performances at the Pirate Bowl and finished second in the final of the Iron Man tournament
they will be venturing off to the King Bowl at the end of April as well.
We expect them to take that form into the National League and have success.
With Andrew Dockerill on the field anything is possible.

3. Northants Titans White

We don’t know what they’re feeding them down in Northants, but the Titans have now broken the
mould and entered three teams into the league, Blue, White and Black.
The White have been steadily progressing over the past two years. Losing some familiar faces to
surrounding teams, it has seen many of the successful youth program now move up into a well-
rounded outfit. Sam Tibbles and Alex Towler, names you should be familiar with by now!
They were on the cusp of taking the Cougars last year and joining their Blue team in the Prem this.
Their division throws up a nice little wrinkle in the Rugby Racoons, many of which used to play for
the Titans. (Inside knowledge? Maybe).

4. Nottingham Honey Badgers

Quite possibly the most unfortunate to miss the Prem this year are the much-maligned Honey
Badgers. They’ve been a bit of an enigma since joining the league, failing to live up to their talent.
The now re-branded Nottingham outfit should have a decent season and be right up their for the Div
1 crown and promotion.
With many a regular moved on, such as Charlie Paterson and Simon Denning, they have a strong
squad of fresh faces, but they seem to have the bit between their teeth once more. The likes of Tom

Snee and Sam Andrews are still there rocking the swag for now, but their main protagonist to keep
tabs on this year is sure armed American import Caleb Cockrill who will replace Denning at QB.

 

Image courtesy of James Brewerton

5. Carnegie Flag Football

A team with undoubted steady progress over the past couple of years and now in a position of
strength since reconciling the “Carnegie” name all under one roof.
Their division is an interesting one, given that the strength has all moved into the Prem, but many of
those clubs now seemingly having second teams, such as the Aberdeen Oilcats, Glasgow Killer Bees
and Grangemouth Colts.
Given there are still some well-established teams knocking about, but we fancy Carnegie to take the
division come the end of the season and then give the playoffs a good go. If Stuart Anderson, Fraser
Reid and Ross Dawkins can make pink Tartan look pretty sweet, they can go on and take that next
level step too. We aren’t even mentioning Kirkcaldy Bulls QB, Neil Arnold…

6. Oldman Owls

A tough division for the Oldham Owls with Warrington being in there, but also the embattled
Cheshire Cavaliers, rejuvenated Wigan outfit the Bandits and a handy Chorley Buccaneers.
However, they have recruited some talent from nearby in Jenson Fairhurst and Rob Welti, to
supplement one of the most elusive players in the league their founder, Danny Caballero.
If they get into a groove, they could be one of the more exciting teams to watch.

7. Reading Knights

We’ve mentioned this in the past, but the Knights have the potential to be a very good side.
With connections to their kitted counterparts they have a depth of talent should they wish to utilise
it. Will Rock, Andy Hollands and Dan Woods to name a few are very fine ballers.
They seemed to get off to a flyer last year and then fell foul to the Reading Lions resurgence, but
with the two-tiering system this year, we like the look of this under the radar team.

8. Plymouth Buccaneers

Plymouth found themselves in the topsy-turvy battle of the SWC west last year and, they are
possibly on par with the Exeter Falcons going into this season. They beat them a couple of times
recently in preseason friendlies, but we aren’t looking into this too much at this point.
Given there are so many rookie teams in their South West division in Swindon Storm, Swansea
Hammerheads, Cynon Celts, Tydfil Trojans and the now redundant Cornish Sharks, it’s a great
opportunity for them to flex their muscles.
Look out for Sam Smith and Iain Sawczyszak tearing it up down south.

9. Glasgow Killer Bees

The Hornets second team could very well be a team to keep an eye on this year. With plenty of
talent across the board, they’ve split the squad and given club members more game time by creating
the Bees. Along with Aberdeen Oilcats and Grangemouth Colts, these three second string squads could all be fighting the Carnegie team and the West Lothan Chargers in a bit of a ding dong.

10. Exeter Falcons

Most of the Falcons success must attributed to Lewis David Philips. In only their first year they held
their own and could well have taken the offer of playing in the premier division, due to the Hereford
Stampede making way via the kitted scene.
Expect them to be in the mix for the South West title.

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