Sapphire Division 2 South 2019/2020
Tourrnament 3@Peterborough 01/02/2020
On paper and considering our previous wins against our upcoming opponents it looked like two more comfortable wins for the Exiles women’s team. In reality it turned out far from easy!
Facing what looked like a depleted Peterborough squad perhaps we subconsciously entered the game a little more lacklustre than we would normally. However, it did not take long to realise that the Royals were not going to hand us a win on a plate and that they were prepared to fight it out tooth and nail.
The game was to start erratically for the Royals and repeated false start penalties put them in an awkward field positon and vulnerable to the almost inevitable Safety by a swarm of tacklers. This early score was followed up by a touchdown drive that included a broken play which flushed our QB out of the pocket, but this only allowed her to display her natural running talents by darting 25 yards downfield to set up the TD for Sarah ‘Millsy’ Miller. With our PAT game starting to take shape Millsy was able to add another 2 points for us to take an early 10-0 lead.
There then followed a back and forth exchange of possessions that contained far too many penalties and even though we managed to tack on another 2 sacks (care of Kirsty McIntyre, Aimee Mulcahy (shared sack) and Dora ‘Dory’ Bogdan) the score did not change and for the first time this season our defence were to concede a first down. With hindsight this should have been an early warning sign that the Royals were in it for the duration. My colleague asked me where to buy Sildenafil online and I answered that the best place is an indian pharmacies where you can buy generics. Or you can apply to your doctor who will make prescription for Sildenafil medications for you. Patient should have the gadget supplanted with another. The fluid can likewise spill from the penile embed. Mischief for wellbeing is rejected on the grounds that this is only a saline arrangement.
With the first half quickly coming to an end we were to get one more drive, one just long enough to get Millsy another TD and a 2pt PAT to add to her total. Being up 18 to 0 at the half should have felt as though we ‘had it in the bag’ but I had a feeling that Peterborough still had lots of fight left in them.
Coming out for the second half the offence went to work and did what they have done all season by driving steadily downfield and getting the ball into the endzone. With the 2pt PAT we now had a 26 point lead and this may have led to us being a little too relaxed as it only took one lapse by our entire defence that was to catch us off guard. On a second down and with a brilliantly executed option play, the Royals #82 sprinted straight down the sideline for a touchdown. The PAT was fumbled but for the first time this season we had been scored on. Now would be the test as to who we were as a team, how we would handle this? Would we and panic or would we hold our cool?
Some back and forth possessions would do nothing to prove this either way but with the game coming to the end QB Vicki Lucas delivered the ball into the hands of Suzy Millard who was open across the middle of the field where she then displayed a clean pair of heels and ran untouched for 30 yards and a touchdown. With Vicki running in the PAT we had put ourselves up 34-6 and with time running out we thought that would be the end of it.
Unfortunately nobody had informed the Royals of this as on their next drive and with their QB being brought to the ground she managed to somehow get the ball into the arms of #82 who again ran the length of our sideline and was only prevented from scoring by stepping out-of-bounds. Our defence were adamant to prevent them scoring again but on a 4th and goal on our 1 yard line with time expiring a QB sneak by the Royals got them once again into our endzone for the final score of 34-12 to us.
Peterborough had given us a punch on the nose but how would we deal with that? With very little time to diagnose our mistakes we had to rapidly focus our attention to battle the Portsmouth Dreadnoughts in game 2.
If we were in any doubt as to whether we had coached our players well enough as to not let a hiccup distract us from our goals then our first drive would allay those fears. With some solid running from Millsy it took four plays for us to punch into the Dreadnoughts endzone and to go ahead early 6-0.
A couple of ‘four and outs’ on both sides was broken by Sophie George adding a 3rd ‘pick 6’ to her season tally and with the PAT good we went ahead 14-0. With Portsmouth unable to gain a first down our offence took to the field again. A long drive downfield then ensued, but even after false start penalty put us back on our own side of the field our offence didn’t skip a beat and on a planned QB keep Vicki ran for 20 yards and a touchdown to put us up 20-0.
But the Dreadnoughts were not about to give up and on their next drive started to move the ball against us with only a timely interception by Sophie G (bringing her season total to 5) stopping them short. With our defence putting us in great field position and after a fake handoff to Charlie Thynne (who even fooled some of her own sideline) it was only a couple of plays later that Millsy punched in the TD and with Charlie running in the PAT the score was now 28-0.
Possibly we were starting to get fatigued or the score had made us a little complacent but whatever it was Portsmouth grabbed the opportunity with both hands and on the first play of their next drive a perfectly implemented option left our defence chasing at the heels of the Dreadnoughts running back as she ran in untouched for a touchdown. Although they were unable to get the PAT they had broken their scoring drought against us.
With the half nearly over our offence were able to regain the lost momentum and behind the dual threat of Charlie and Millsy we scored once more. The Dreadnoughts were to get the ball back for one more play but were unable to move the ball before the half expired with us now ahead 34-6.
The second half was to belong to both defences with both offences being held in check. Our defence performed brilliantly and the dearth of scoring was ended by Clare Lewis bursting through from the Linebacker position and sacking their QB in the endzone for a safety. But as well as our defence performed so did theirs and both offenses continued to struggled to score. With it being over mid-way through the second half we made the decision to work on our player rotation and ensure that everybody got some reps as well as using the time left to try out a few more plays from our playbook. It may have been this exact change up that inspired us to score again, as behind the running of Charlie and Vicki we were able to get Vicki into the endzone to go ahead 42-6.
Our Defence retook the field once more and again Clare got into their backfield tackling their running back for another Safety. But any thoughts of Portsmouth lying down and giving up were far from their minds as they themselves returned the favour the very next play and caught us in our own endzone for a Safety and two points.
Although there was to be no more scoring in the game there were still a couple more highlights left for us, another impressive interception by defensive Captain Nai Moore and the first rushing yardage for Jo Lucas the twin sister of Vicki. The final score of the game 44-8.
Giving up our first points of the season was a humbling experience for both players and coaches alike, things had gone our way far too easily in previous tournaments and the scoring against us has taught us more about ourselves than the previous wins before had. We have seen the chinks in our armour and we now know what we need to work on to repair them. Today was proof that no matter the score or any other previous scores none of the teams in this league will quit or give up, they will play to the final whistle and who could ask any more of their players than that?
Today’s helmet stickers for outstanding plays/effort went to Suzy Millard in game 1 for her dazzling touchdown reception and in game 2 to Sophie George for her ‘pick 6’.
MVP on the day went to QB Vicki Lucas for her excellent runs, her leadership and poise.