Sharks show teeth

Sorry for the lateness of this post, it’s been a busy few weeks recently.

Which is a shame because I missed a write-up of one hell of a match. A game for the ages. More of which later.

So, as we near the end of July, how are the Sharks doing in the race for the 3 BAFA Flag South playoff spots? Pretty damn good actually.

As of today, we’re sitting in 2nd place, behind Woodham Warriors (White), who have secured the conference title and qualified for Finals Weekend. We have four games left to play and if we can continue with our form, have a good opportunity to join Woodham in the post-season.

Our four remaining games are against London Rebels, Basingstoke Zombie Horde, Leicester Eagles and Coventry Jets, all of which – bar the Jets – are contending for the two remaining playoff spots (along with South Wales Warriors). So this weekend’s games against the Eagles and Horde are of utmost importance.

Here is the conference table:

BAFA Flag South Conference 2010

TeamPWTLFAPCT
Woodham Warriors (White)1412024792790.857
London Rebels149053612850.643
Chichester Sharks149053873040.643
South Wales Warriors148063522560.571
Basingstoke Zombie Horde148064154170.571
Woodham Warriors (Black)1440103554040.286
Leicester Eagles1440101532890.286
Coventry Jets1420122144820.143

In the BAFA Flag North conference, the Kirkcaldy Bulls have won the division for the third straight year with an unbeaten 10-0 record. This takes their current winning streak to 69 games (BAFA & SFFA). The Carluke Cobras – who knocked out the Sharks in the semi-finals last season – are sitting in 2nd place with a 5-1 record. The 3rd spot is up for grabs whilst no contender has emerged from the pack.

So, the Sharks are in a good position – what happened in the last two games you ask…

Well, to start with Chichester came out rather flat against Coventry. The bottom placed Jets put up a good fight in the first half, keeping the scoreline even. Despite several long ball opportunities, the Sharks didn’t seem to have their hands with them for the first 20 minutes.

All changed after the break as Chichester found their groove, pulling away from a Jets team who could muster no response. Simon Merton showed great soft hands with 2 TDs, but it was Mike Thompson who led the way with the scoring with 2 TD catches and an interception returned for a score. Final score Sharks 32, Jets 13.

So with the rust shaken off, the Sharks moved on to face South Wales – which is just as well, as the Warriors were yet again on fine form. Games against South Wales are always highly competitive and a lot of fun and this was no exception. The teams were evenly matched, both with efficient offenses and challenging defenses. The scores went back and forth until the Warriors started to pull ahead in the 2nd half.

Not ones to drop their heads in the face of defeat, the veteran Sharks  team dug deep and tied the game with 90 seconds to go. The jubilation was short lived however, as the Sharks D could not stop the Warriors from methodically marching down the field for a crushing score.

Faced with 17 seconds left in the game, QB Neil Henderson played the sidelines, hitting two quick passes to stop the clock at 10 seconds. On the next play a long pass downfield was pulled in for a score, but was called back for an ‘interesting’ Offensive Pass Interference penalty. With the penalty knocking us back into our own half and only 4 seconds left to play, Henderson had no choice but to heave a Hail Mary pass down into the endzone. After the game, Henderson commented that he had no idea who caught the ball as he had a Blitzer in his face. Thankfully, the trusty hands and leaping ability of Mike Thompson secured the ball amongst the throng of scrambling players, tying the game for the Sharks.

The extra point was converted and as the Welsh sunk dejected to the floor, the Sharks celebrated the unlikeliest of victories. Final score Sharks 33, Warriors 32.

And did I mention we only played with 5 men?