Sapphire Division 2 South 2019/2020
Tournament 2 @Kent Exiles 18/01/2020
For a nervous couple of days I was concerned whether this tournament would go ahead at all. With less than a week to go our home ground was declared unusable due to being flooded. But with a committee stacked with many level headed members, cancelling the tournament was never going to happen. A flurry of telephone calls and discussions with numerous alternatives locations secured a perfect replacement venue with only one day to go.
It was on a dry but cold morning and in front of an unprecedented crowd of over 100 spectators that the Exiles took to the field for their home tournament against our old rivals the Peterborough Royals.
Starting with our Defence on the field we were to continue in the style that we had finished the previous tournament with hard tackling and the constant disruption in the backfield. Just four plays in and the Royals were forced to turn the ball over on downs. Determined to open up our playbook our offence came out to show what they were capable of. Off tackle runs, sweeps, and an RPO (run, pass, option) concluded with the first of our 3 touchdown passes, this one being extra special as it was to our rookie Sophie Cook. An unsuccessful two point PAT put us ahead early 6-0.
With the Royals back on offence the continuous pressure by our ‘D’ was already starting to take its toll and a fourth down snap sailed high over the head of their QB to be knocked out of the end zone for a safety. Again our offence took the field and drove downfield. Las variables de riesgo relacionadas con enfermedades cardiovasculares, como hipertensión, diabetes, colesterol elevado, ausencia de actividad, resistencia y tabaquismo son las mismas que las identificadas con esterilidad. El precio genérico de Cialis puede variar según la farmacia de Internet. Las contraindicaciones incorporan tratamiento simultáneo con nitratos o alfabloqueantes. Se deben exhortar las medidas de precaución en pacientes con complicaciones cardiovasculares o tensión circulatoria baja. A costly pass interference penalty on the Royals put us close enough to their goal line for Sarah’ Millsy’ Miller to run her way in for the TD. This time the PAT was good and we were up 16-0.
Another ‘four and out’ for the Royals (helped by a joint sack courtesy of Kirsty McIntyre and Clare Lewis) was to hand us the ball back. Uncharacteristically our offence were unable to gain a first down but for the Royals getting the ball back only meant our ‘D’ had another opportunity to get back to work and on the first play Kirsty and rookie Aimee Mulcahy chased their QB out of the end zone for another safety and another 2 points.
Our offence were determined to make up for the drive before and a 29 yard second down pass across the middle to Suzy Millard gave Vicki Lucas her second TD pass on the day. Peterborough had one more chance left in the half but time was to expire after only two plays.
It was only a short break for half time but being up 24-0 did not mean we would let up as we knew we still had work to do to put this game away.
The second half started with our offence driving downfield again but an unfortunate mistake handed the Royals an interception and possession of the ball. However, with a defence that refused to give Peterborough any time to develop a play we yet again forced another safety.
Settling back down our ‘O’ constructed a methodical drive downfield leaving us with a fourth and goal on their 18. Expecting the obvious pass attempt the Royals covered every player tight, every player that is except one and on a designed QB run Vicki faked the pass, tucked the ball away and ran in for the TD! The PAT no good but we were now ahead 32-0.
Behind a defence that refused to neither bend nor break the Royals offence tried once again only to have a wayward pass (one caused by the constant pressure in the backfield) picked off by Sophie George and ran in for a ‘pick six’. With another failed PAT the score was 38-0.
The Royals offence took the field but only had the ball for one play as rookie Aimee broke through and forced a fumble by ripping the ball from the RB’s hands and causing it to bounce out the back of the end zone for another safety. Two huge runs by Millsy on our next offensive possession claimed yet another TD and with another unsuccessful PAT the score was set at 46-0.
Peterborough were to have one more possession but yet again our defence would not allow them to gain a first down so it was down to our ‘O’ for one last drive. Determined to get our new player Jo Lucas (sister of QB Vicki) on the field we ran some plays to get her the ball, unfortunately we couldn’t get the pass into her hands but with a fourth down and time running out Vicki threw a pass to Charlie Thynne at the back of the Royals end zone who thought it would have more of a flourish to catch it on top of her head.
We finished the game 52-0 but with the high of winning also came the low as we were to find out that our next game against the Eastern Eagles was cancelled due to their low numbers.
Although we must almost immediately turn our thoughts to our next tournament in two weeks I still want the team to enjoy their win today. We had a stifling defence who sought out to cause absolute mayhem to our opponents forcing them into making mistakes, causing their QB to throw the ball away multiple times and not only did they prevent the Royals from gaining a first down but were also so stingy that they held them to a net -22 yards for the game. And on the offensive side of the ball we are continuing to roll out our playbook utilising our arsenal of plays and players such as Vicki who showed her continuing confidence and her ability to be able to get the ball to our receivers downfield, Millsy who relentlessly racked up just under 200 yards and Charlie Thynne and Lisa Edwards whose blocks were so hard you could hear them sideline to sideline. They are but a few of the many outstanding players that are making plays on both sides of the ball on every down.
We also award our coveted helmet stickers for outstanding plays. This tournament they went to WR Sophie Cook for her great opening TD catch and OL Alice Swanton for playing in pain but continuing for the good of the team.
MVP on the day went to Sophie George who finished the day with 5 tackles, a ‘Pick six’, a QB hurry and a pass defended.