2016 Fixtures announced!

We are pleased to reveal our fixtures for the coming NFC North II season!
After pre-season scrimmages at home to Humber Warhawks on 13th March and away to the Knottingley Raiders on 27th March, the team will open their campaign by hosting Aberdeen Roughnecks at Ashington Rugby Club on Sunday 10th April 2016.

Amended fixtures

The Roughnecks are the first of 3 back to back home games in the opening month, with the fourth home fixture only broken up by an away trip (..by 20 miles!) down the road to Newcastle Vikings at Druid Park on Sunday 15h May 2016.
The Lightning will then hit the road with 3 visits to Scotland in 5 weeks, before a final home fixture on Sunday 7th August 2016 against the Newcastle Vikings and a final closing regular season game against Carlisle Sentinels on Sunday 14th August 2016.
The full schedule can be seen in the picture above, or by clicking on our events tab on Team App!

 

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2016 Opponents Announced!

NFCIINORTH

Wednesday 23rd December saw BAFA confirm the Division Two structure for the forthcoming 2016 season, which will see the Lightning compete for their second year.

Familiar faces in the form of Dundee Hurricanes, Aberdeen Roughnecks and Glasgow Tigers will mean several trips over the border, with last seasons runners up Newcastle Vikings also remaining for a local clash.

However a Division One restructure means that 2015 Division winners the West Coast Trojans will move up a tier and be replaced by the Carlisle Sentinels, who have moved over from the NFC West II after a 3-7 record in their last campaign.

Both teams have met previously in a game back in late 2014 during the Lightnings Associate process at Gateshead Stadium.

With the announcement came a confirmed season start date of  10th April 2016.  Preparations will begin on January 10th for Northumberland when the regular squad return to training, followed by their first Recruitment Day of 2016 on January 17th.

To read more about the National League structure for 2016 from BAFA, click HERE

 

Match Report – Northumberland Lightning @ Newcastle Vikings 5.7.15

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Last Sunday saw Lightning take the short trip to Druid Park, to take on the high flying Newcastle Vikings, in a re-arranged fixture previously scheduled for the following Sunday.

Following a home victory against Dundee Hurricanes in May, Lightning headed into the game on the back of two defeats away to Glasgow Tigers and most recently away to Aberdeen Roughnecks the previous weekend, making the fixture their third away match in 4 weeks.

The Vikings also came into the game off a defeat, falling to top of the table West Coast Trojans 52-8 a fortnight earlier.  Newcastle however were in considerably better form for the season, looking to secure playoff football and with an overall 6-2 record prior to the game, they were heavy favourites to repeat their victory earlier in the season, which saw them humble the Lightning 79-0 at Ashington.

A heavy run of fixtures and the impact of the rescheduled date meant that Northumberland entered the game with their smallest match day squad of the season so far and it didn’t take long for Newcastle to strike, securing 3 TD’s in the opening Quarter through 2 runs and a 37 yard pass to put the score at 21-0.

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Northumberland struggled to move the ball in response, despite Lightning Safety Jordan Nellis intercepting a Newcastle pass and returning for 73 yards, Northumberland couldn’t capitalize.

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A further 3 TD runs in Q2 saw Newcastle dominate and repeat the score line of Q1, taking the score to 42-0 at the end of the half and shutting Northumberland out.
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The beginning of the second half saw no let up, as Newcastle continued to score, putting 62 on the board in total and securing playoff football before Northumberland finally struck back, with Lightning HB Reece Salkeld ending a positive rushing drive with a 35 yard run to put points on the board and ensure that Northumberland have now scored against every team in the division. The PAT hit the post to keep Northumberland’s contribution at 6.

Newcastle had time to add one final TD, rushing for 8 yards at the end of a powerful run drive and adding a PAT for a 69-6 score line.

Northumberland moved the ball up the field in the final minutes, seeking to add further consolation points but their final passes were incomplete and the clock ran out to give Newcastle the comprehensive win.

Next up for Northumberland is a two week break before the Aberdeen Roughnecks visit Ashington Rugby Club on Sunday 26th July for the Lightnings final home game of the season.

The photographs above were taken by Michael Oakes and his full album of game day pictures are available on Facebook by clicking Here.

Match Report – Newcastle Vikings @ Northumberland Lightning 26.04.15

Vikings chase down the snap. Photo Credit – Steve Graham

Last Sunday saw Northumberland Lightnings second NFC North II game against of the season against the Newcastle Vikings and it proved to be a very difficult day for the Lightning, as they were comprehensively beaten by the Vikings 79-0 in a one sided encounter at Ashington Rugby Club.

Vikings started powerfully, with Anthony Sowerby the main target for their rushing game, scoring 3 times in the first quarter to contribute to an early 20 points on the board.

With the Lightning struggling, the Vikings capitalized in the second quarter to score an emphatic 38 points as their passing game began to pay dividends, in particular a 65 yard TD pass to Chris Middlemass from Nick Whitehead, followed by a 43 yard TD pass to Junior McDonald, also from Whitehead helping the Vikings finish the first half at 58-0.

The disappointment and frustration was obvious from the Lightning, who risked being further humbled in the second half, however the next two quarters failed to live up to the high scoring first half.

Credit to Steve Graham

Middlemass added another TD catch in the third quarter, followed by a Matt Caley rush for 12 yards as the Lightning conceded 14 points, before holding the visitors to one final TD in the fourth quarter, with Whitehead rushing for 35 yards to complete the rout.

Credit to Steve Graham

Credit to Steve Graham

The Vikings have now racked up 125 points and only conceded 8 in their opening two games, setting up a mouth watering clash with the West Coast Trojans in their next fixture.

But it’s two shutouts against the Lightning who have no time to rest and need to bounce back in a difficult away fixture next weekend against the Dundee Hurricanes.

  • Game highlights can be seen on YouTube by clicking HERE (Full credit to zxspectrumgames4 for the footage)