WORLD LEAGUE – In Week 4’s Premier World Match, the marquee game of the week in the World League, two old rivals, perhaps the biggest in the league, faced off in what’s come to be known as the Battle of Britain, and it was the Patriots that emerged victorious 97-84 as London fell down. It was the 7th meeting in league history for the Old England Patriots and London Falling, with a lot on the line even this early in the season with both clubs 2-1-0, tied for 2nd in the standings in the Eastern Conference. The Patriots took the lead first, and controlled the pace throughout the day, starting with the Saints-Dolphins game in London where each team had a player starting. England’s Michael Thomas roughly doubled the points posted by London’s Mark Ingram in that one, and the Patriots played from a dominant position from there on out, with double digit performances from 5 of 7 skill position starters, and a ‘just good enough’ performance from their QB. Conversely, the Falling fell apart at the receiver and running back positions. Besides their flex back Abdullah, who scored 16, no London receiver or ball carrier topped 6 points on the day, even their Hall of Famer Julio Jones turning in just a measely 2 points.
The win was number 45 all-time for England who’s chasing the 50 wins milestone, and their third consecutive victory over London, now leading the series 4 games to 3. They now go up 3-1-0, but remain in 2nd place in the Eastern Conference behind the undefeated Scandinavian Stars who put up an even hundred points in their victory over Dublin Bay. The Patriots and Stars will meet next week in what’s likely to be a high scoring shootout. London won’t fall far in the standings remaining in 3rd place at 2-2-0, ahead of the now 1-3-0 Dublin, and the 0-4-0 expansion Wild Boars of Milan who are still hunting for their first ever WFL win after being beaten 81-63 by the Jerusalem Cheeseheads. The Cheeseheads enter Week 5 with a 2-2-0 record as well, but trail London by 20 points. The two will face each other in Week 5 in head to head action in what could be all-important as a standings tiebreaker down the line.
Across the water in the Western Conference, the Mexico Aztecs destroyed City of Champions with a 103 point performance to advance to 3-1-0, maintaining their position as the Conference #2, and with an almost identical 103 point day, 2017 expansion club Cali Rox picked up their first win of the season, beating the New Orleans Acadians who have now lost 2 in a row. The most exciting match in the West this week, though, was between the 3-0-0 Buenos Aires Blue Dogs and the defending 2016 Champion, Dacusville Devils.
The Devils have run into some bad luck to start the season and came into the game with a 1-2-0 record. The match was a dog fight that went down to the end of Monday Night Football. Going into the final game of the week, the Devils had just a 1.20 point lead over the Blue Dogs, 90.41 – 89.21 with a couple of studs left to play. The Blue Dogs had the electrifying rookie Kareem Hunt ready to go, while the Devils were starting stud tight end, Travis Kelce, along with the Chiefs’ defense. Dacusville actually traded for Kelce in the offseason, acquiring him from Buenos Aires in a bidding war that saw the price rise all the way to a second round pick. Kelce was unstoppable against his former team, racking up 111 receiving yards and a touchdown on the Blue Dogs, good for 16.70 points. Buenos Aires’ rookie failed to score a touchdown for the first time in his 4 week career, although he still managed to reel off over a hundred yards, but his 14.43 points just weren’t enough for the Dogs to overcome the damage Kelce had done to them. The final score of 120 – 103 appears far more lopsided than this nail biter was thanks to the meaningless fumble recovery for a touchdown Dacusville’s Chiefs defense scored on the last play of the game. The Devils even their record at 2-2 and move up into third place in the Conference while Buenos Aires retains just the slightest lead over Mexico City, both teams at 3-1-0 and scheduled to face one another next week.