It’s almost time for Winter League 2019/2020 and boy are we excited. There are more teams, more fields and even commentary on the live stream! The fixture list is almost ready to be added to the website and sent out to all the teams. In the meantime we thought it would be fun to look ahead to some of the key match-ups of week 1. Although there is a lot we don’t know about some of the teams that’s what will make it more interesting. We also asked our league pundits to take a shot at guessing who would come out on top and even predicting the correct score to add even more spice.
Rexy’s Midnight Runners Vs Top Guns (Field 3 Game 2)
This first game between two potential powerhouses of Carnegie Winter League promises fireworks. We expect this to be a tough matchup for both clubs based upon their history and expected personnel but it is also a matchup of 2 new teams to enter the league this season. Both teams were hotly tipped in the way to early edition power rankings back in August and with both teams having played in tournaments since then how do we see this one going.
It really depends on who turns up for both the teams as Rexy’s Midnight Runners boasting the best kit in the country will have a vast amount of talent from all round the HNC and including the core unit mainly from the HNC Premier League Powerhouse Aberdeen Oilcats. The shorter format may hurt Rexy as a few bad drives while they gel together against teams that can score in bunches could prove challenging especially on week 1 so it will be key for Scott McDonald to get the ball moving early and have guys like Greg Sim, Aaron Drummond and Andy Keith in scoring positions.
Then on the other hand we have the TopGuns and they are still a mystery to many. We did get to see them recently and although not having the best of performances at the Aberdeen Quaich in September it can be excused. In what can only simply be described as the most dreadful conditions for flag football with horizontal rain and mud infested fields we still think they may show up with a few more national level talented players like back in the first edition of Winter League. This could be a wild horse of a team also as are most teams with players who just turn up when they can so in one week we can see them potentially dominating teams and holding their opposition scoreless and then maybe dropping couple unexpected games when they maybe don’t have the talent available.
We still think this could be one of the best games of the day and be the top 2 ranked teams come March however we can only guess for now. We did ask the question to our Winter League Pundits and this is how they voted the outcome.
Glasgow Killerbees vs Renfrewshire Raptors ( Field 1 Game 2) Live Stream from 10:46
It was really easy to pick this game as a key match-up of week 1.The Raptors were one of the last teams to beat the Glasgow Killerbees in Division One 2019. Although the Killerbees earned automatic promotion the Raptors might be disappointed not to have joined them in the Premiership in 2020. The Raptors are definitely a team on the rise and should be considered as front runners for the Division One Crown in 2020. When it comes to Winter League this could be a very good game and if both teams come to play it be a close one too. Its been a long road from the days of the Paisley Spartans but they have shown potential to compete with some of the bigger clubs and Winter League could really show how far the team have come and a convincing win over the Power Rankings Number 2 Team Killerbees could really put the cat among the pigeons!!. We do really like the Killerbees chances in 2020 being well coached, full of talent and with plenty of experience on and off the field could they possibly take it one step further and win Winter League to match the HNC Division One Crown and show any doubters that the Killerbees belong in the Premier League.
This could be a tight game though and our pundits had 1 point being the difference between these two sides. Do you agree or is this pretty one sided?
Edinburgh Outlaws vs Midlothian Sabers ( Field One Game 3) Live Stream from 11:17
We do like a rivalry, and although many will say this isnt the biggest rivalry in the HNC we think after the Sabers knocked the Outlaws into Division One in BAFA there could be some interesting football to be played. We picked this as one of our key match-ups of Winter League for a number of reasons, starting with the Outlaws as they are a proven Premier League side with wins over the Manchester Titans, Comets and Honey Badgers in 2019. They they have played arguably better opposition in 2019 and should come in strong and with renewed motivation for the 2020 season which could start with winter league. If they come along with Great Britain’s Jamie Archibald leading the team with some of the key players including Veteran QB Liam Clutterbuck, Ali Morello, David Hogg and recent Chieftains addition Casper Volker then your looking at playing a very experienced squad.
We can’t be sure who saw the Midlothian Sabers getting to the HNC Premier League in 2020 other than the Midlothian Sabers but boy they can score points in bunches. We do think the fast format will benefit the Sabers in Winter League and it was no surprise to see them ranked 5th in our way too early edition rankings. The Sabers are new to Winter League so it may take them some time to adjust to the format unlike the Outlaws who have played at Big Bowl and Flagging New Year which run the same format so in Week 1 we could maybe see the Sabers get caught out. With a recent loss of James Grubb to Carnegie Flag this could hurt them offensively where they were so strong. However look for Jared and Caleb Armour to lead the way along with “Wiley” veteran Patrick Mckernan at centre to keep the offense going.
Do the Outlaws seek revenge for the Sabers downing them at Playoffs, or can the Sabers keep on developing and prove it wasnt a fluke? Here is how our pundits think the game will go.
Grangemouth Colts vs West Lothian Chargers (Field 1 Game 5) Live Stream from 12:19
Looking back to the 2018/2019 season the West Lothian Chargers were just getting the band back together and were entering back into the HNC Division One. They used Winter League to help drive development and recruitment and now 12 months later are going from strength to strength. Although winless in the first season there was glimmers of what is possible and with hearing news of potential new players coming to play for them this is step in the right direction for the team from West Lothian. In Winter League 2 the Grangemouth Colts were the team who gave up 2 draws to the West Lothian Chargers and arguably could be seen as the team to maybe drop a game against the Chargers, could it happen as early as week 1? The Colts have a good bunch of players who have been together for couple seasons now and with experienced coaches have been unfortunate to not make the playoffs and battle for a chance to play in the Premier League since losing out to the Comets in 2018. Looking at Division One they should be pushing for the a promotion spot in 2019. Time will tell if they lose any players to the HNC Champion Broncos in 2020 but for now, this is a team to watch. Winter League for both sides will be fun to watch them grow and show what they have on offer for the future and this is why we picked this game as a key match-up as victory here for either side will be a real confidence boost and with both team respectively picked to finish 8th and 10th in the Power Rankings every win will be vital and this could be that game.
Can the Chargers pick up their first Winter League Win or will the Colts be pushing for the playoffs? this is the game which we think could help us see what happens in the following weeks. Here is what our pundits think.
Look out for more exciting content over the next few weeks with the final Power Rankings before the League Starts and a fun new feature for 2019/2020 with announcement coming soon.
Visit our website for all the news, standings, results and more for this years winter League.
Thanks to our supporters of this years Winter League
Visit Nuola for all your custom and bespoke sports kit we have used them for years and would highly recommend them for anything from jerseys, shorts, sleeves and more.
Visit our friends at MyFlagFootball for Flag Belts, Poppers, Flags and Custom Flags. We use them for our club and for award winners for last seasons Winter Flag. Good quality and quick shipping.
On the day of each event we have our photographer going around each field bringing the action closer to our fans and with some video content coming out in 2019/2020 we are glad to have Steve around. He can do Events, Weddings, Sports and more contact him for more information.
And finally thanks to Standsure Technology who help with our Live Stream, Video Content and other Techy Stuff. They do specialize in the delivery of Microsoft Office 365 Services including Training and Consultancy.