Round Five

Greetings sports fans! With the Northern Wastes reaching its fifth round of fixtures we find ourselves at the half way point of the regular season and entering the business end of proceedings. And who better to do business in the opening fixture of the round than the battle scarred Sons of Roland, still looking for their first win, and the resurgent Tomb Titans, chasing down the Lightnin’ and the Greenskins for top spot in the table.

The match began with the Sons receiving the kick off and quickly launching an attack through their Thrower Darkclaw. Easily the most battered of the original Sons line up still alive, Darkclaw took possession of the ball and picked out Gutter Runner Cheesethief who was able to evade the lumbering Tomb Guardians and race in for the opening score of the match.

Redtooth kicks off following the Sons’ early score

Following the early score the Tomb Titans gathered the resulting kick off and began to move up the pitch in ominous fashion. Determined to break through, however, the Sons launched a series of assaults against the Titan’s cage. Sons’ regulars Mangefur and Redtooth soon found themselves being carried off the pitch but Journeyrat Ratbert made a solid case for a permanent contract by briefly dislodging the ball through a suicidal blitz. It would all be for nought, however, as Titans’ Annointed Thrower Verte-Bray reached the end zone only to hold short whilst the rest of the Titans continued to pummel the remaining Sons. In the resulting violence the Sons lost their Gutter Runner Napad’chiy Myshi, a new signing from the snowy steppes of Kislev, and, as the halftime hooter sounded, Verte-Bray stepped into the Sons’ end zone to take the score to 1-1 at halftime.

Skothed shuffles clear of the Titans’ cage to score the winning touchdown

The second half began with a touch back putting the ball safely into the arms of Annointed Thrower Tom-Ee-Coo-Pah who in turn safely ensconced himself inside the Titans’ cage. And as the cage began once again to rumble up the pitch, the depleted Sons became depleted even further. A brief respite was found when Skeleton Ahm-Pet was sent off for fouling, and was subsequently sacked from the Titans’ roster, but the Sons’ casualties continued to mount as Journeyrat Rizzo was taken to the sloppy end of the dugout. Worse was to come though as the Sons’ leading touch down scorer, and team talisman, Cheesethief was boxed in and pushed off the pitch and into the away fans. The stadium staff returned his crumpled form to the Sons’ dug out wrapped in his iconic cheese emblazoned cloak but, with the team apothecary otherwise engaged, Cheesethief’s Blood Bowl days came to an end and he slipped away to meet the Great Horned Rat in the sky.

Back on the pitch the Titans’ cage approached the end zone and Skeleton Skothed scored the winning touchdown that would take all three points for the Titans. With their next match against the Ironbeards, the Titans will be looking to build upon the momentum they have built in recent weeks as they stake their claim for a place in the playoffs. For the Sons, head coach Hugh ‘Dr Safety’ Foster will be earning his gold pieces as he looks to build a team now composed largely of journey rats and with his remaining Blitzer and Gutter Runner both missing the game through injury.

The second match up of the round featured the aforementioned Ironbeards travelling to Lamprey to play the league leading Lightnin’ side. With the Lightnin’ on a strong run of form, and the Ironbeards having lost their previous two matches, all onlookers were keen to see what this match up would bring. And what it brought was, in a word, carnage.

Rumours had abounded all week that the Ironbeards had been undertaking extra training sessions to arrest their decline in form and that they had been on a team building session hunting Orcs in the World’s Edge Mountains, but no one was ready for the performance they put in against the Lightnin’.

With the match barely underway, brutal Dwarf blocking had reduced the Lightnin’ to six players on the pitch and the casualties included the deaths of Ogre Arnie Dumpkopff, league leading touchdown scorer Catcher Olaf Panzermann, and fellow Catcher Rik Rickenbacker. Despite this, the Lightnin’ mustered a spirited defence and by half time, the Ironbeards had been restricted to one touchdown scored by Runner Barrun Bluntheart.

The Lightnin’ medical staff dealing with a level of casualties not seen since the founding of the Empire at the Battle of Blackfire Pass

As the second half began, the Ironbeards continued exactly where they left off and promptly forced Lineman Oliver Weaselbaum off the pitch through injury before Runner Runbar Broadgrip scored the second Dwarf touchdown of the game. As the Lightnin’ lined up to receive the resulting kick off, despite the efforts of their over worked medical team, they were only able to muster six warm bodies but the decision was made to continue in the face of overwhelming odds.

Grimman Metalbuster - Captain of the Ironbeards

In the stands though, tempers amongst the Human and Dwarf fans reached boiling point and a riot spilled out onto the pitch. Once the stadium staff had returned an element of decorum to proceedings, the match resumed with Blunheart scoring his second touchdown of the match and the game eventually concluding with only three Lightnin’ left on the pitch. The Ironbeards had well and truly returned to form with a devastating 3-0 win that will give them huge momentum going into their round six fixture against the Tomb Titans. For the Lightnin’, having incurred eight casualties including the loss of their Ogre and two star catchers, they took stock of their situation. Still second in the league, and with a stack of inducements coming their way in their next fixture against the league leading Iron Rock Greenskins, the Lightnin’ will be looking to regroup, rebuild, and go again in the second half of the season.

The final game of the round saw the Iron Rock Greenskins hosting the Broekwater Buccaneers. With a win still eluding the Buccaneers they were keen to kick start their season and make a late push for a play off place. For the Greenskins they were looking to build on their strong start and keep alive their hopes of a place in the playoffs and a shot at the inaugural Northern Wastes title.

The match began with the Buccaneers receiving the ball and launching an attack through star Cather Hagen Schaumer who sprinted through a gap in the Greenskin defence following strong work by the Buccaneers’ Blitzers. Caught out in the open, however, the ball was eventually turned over by a scrambling Orc defence and half time was reached with the scoreline at 0-0.

By fair deed or foul - The Buccaneers engage magical assistance in the form of an out of work Bright wizard

With the Greenskins receiving the ball behind a solid wall of Black Orc Blockers, Thrower Morgrim Bolgrot found Blitzer Urgar Mangleclaw who had broken through the Buccaneers’ line with support from fellow Blitzer Gorguth the ‘Orrible and Goblin Skarsnik the Foul. As the end zone and the opening score beckoned, however, a streak of heat and smoke erupted from the Buccaneers’ dugout and a fireball exploded amongst the Orc ball carrying formation. As the smoke cleared Skarsnik the Foul lay sizzling on the floor but Mangleclaw stayed upright and continued towards the Buccaneers’ end zone.

Hagen Schaumer caught out in the open for the final time

Mindful of the attacking threat posed by the Buccaneers, the Greenskins held short of scoring and looked to maintain possession whilst running the clock down. As the Buccaneers fought to regain possession, running battles erupted across the pitch and casualties mounted on both sides. The most significant of which was the death of the Buccaneers’ leading scorer Schaumer who crumpled under a challenge from Blitzer Ogluk Irongob.

The Iron Rock Greenskins sitting precariously at the top of the Northern Wastes League

With the death of Schaumer, Mangleclaw scored the only touchdown of the game and secured all three points for the Greenskins, sending them to the top of the league and ending a tumultuous round. The league now enters the second half of the regular season and all teams are turning their attention towards the playoffs and the fortune and glory that lie therein.