It looks like this season is going to shape up to be very competitive and wide open. That’s the verdict, after the Sharks suffered a disappointing double loss of the opening weekend of our season.
On a weekend that saw new team Basingstoke Zombie Horde beat recent title contenders, London Rebels and Coventry Jets, the Sharks fell to another new team Woodham Warriors (White), plus to longstanding rivals the Leicester Eagles.
Both games were extremely close and the result could have gone either way, which is encouraging in regards to our prospects this season. One or two plays in each game could have made a difference. Hopefully, as we get a few more players back (travelled with only 7) and get back into game-shape, we can turn this around quickly.
In the first game, the Sharks got behind early and found themselves in a hole, down 3 scores to 1. The speed and conditioning of the young Warriors team was proving the difference maker, as the Sharks repeatedly had to resort to multiple tacklers to corral the opposition.
However, the experience and resolution of the Sharks players shone through as we managed to claw our way back to tie it up right before time expired.
A new one for this season, we then had to play overtime. Which for flag means two drives each from halfway, followed by a further drive if the scores are still tied.
Whilst we matched them drive for drive for the first two, they managed to score on the third. Then our third drive led us to a 4th down on the half yard line but we were unable to complete the final pass, sealing the win for Woodham.
Unfortunately, we were up immediately again to play Leicester. The small squad was suffering, due to the long overtime game and the injuries began to mount up. Neil was playing with a popped thumb, I had cramps and Scott was struggling having been ill all week.
Despite that we managed to hold a 7-6 lead for much of the game. We had a couple of chances to put the game away but the drives stalled in the redzone. It looked like we were going to have to win this one with defense, but it was the Eagles defense that made the play of the game. Leicester’s Charlie made an outstanding interception, scooping the ball up off the tips of the grass before sprinting into the endzone.
With the two teams so evenly matched, we were unable to mount a final winning drive and the Eagles secured the 12-7 victory.
Whilst everyone was disappointed with the results, we should be encouraged by our play. Yes, we made some mistakes, and yes, some of us need a little more conditioning, but we made a lot of good plays and we will be competitive this year.
This coming Sunday, we have games against the Zombie Horde and the London Rebels in Basingstoke. We’re anticipating having more players available this time, so there won’t be such a need to play both ways, which should help.
Please make every effort to be available; we’ll be in touch with details during the week.
Please feel to add any comments about this weekend’s games below. Thanks