Shark Attack off Plymouth Coast

So after the Sharks managed to get dry after the opening games in Cardiff, the next set of fixtures for the 2012 BAFA Flag Season were quickly upon us, the destination Plymouth.

The Sharks set off at an ungodly hour with 9 players, 4 of which were rookies. The fixtures ahead were going to be tough.

The opening game was to be the Chichester Sharks taking on the new Plymouth Pirates team. Chichester won the toss and started the day on offense, with Neil Henderson leading the Sharks to a very quick start against the rookie Plymouth defense with multiple touchdown throws to Mike Thompson.

The Sharks defense were to close to locking down the fledgling offense of Plymouth and Justin Handley made the Pirates QB’s life hell as he intercepted 4 passes, 2 of which he ran back for TDs. The Pirates did finally manage to get into the endzone after putting together some very good drives and improved solidly throughout the day.

Final Score : Chichester 63 – 6 Plymouth

The Sharks next game was against the undefeated Basingstoke Zombie Horde. This was set to be a tough matchup, as Horde and the Sharks are very evenly matched on both sides of the ball.

The game started off at a reasonably slow pace with possession going back and forth in the first few drives, until the Horde managed to find an opening and scored a couple of quick touchdowns back to back.

The Sharks defense was being pushing back again toward their own endzone and were looking likely to go 3 scores down, but luckily the Horde QB made an error and underthrew a pass which was intercepted by rookie Ed Acton. This looked likely to go all the way back for a TD, but there was a heavy collision between Acton and the Horde QB. The Sharks finished the half with no points on the board and were upset with the way they had played.

The Sharks started slow again in the 2nd half and went two quick scores down, this fired the team up and they put two quick scores up themselves and had the Horde defense on the back foot. Unfortunately the clock was against the Sharks and time ran down – a painful loss, but a strong finish to establish the right mindset for the next difficult game.

Final Score : Chichester 14 – 34 Basingstoke

In the last game of the day for the Sharks they would go up against the very good South Wales Warriors.

The game started evenly and there were quick scores for each team, but Sharks player Tomas ‘Beast’ Geciauskas made his presence felt on the O and the D and the Sharks soon took a good lead.

In the 2nd half Sharks defense came out swinging with Toby ‘Primetime’ Chopra getting a pick which helped put the game away. The final whistle went and a long day of games had finally come to an end.

Final Score : Chichester 48 – 18 South Wales

There was only one more obstacle to overcome, that was finding Maccy D’s on the way home – and in the spirit of the day, after a few wrong turns, we eventually were victorious.

– Ed Acton

Notes:

  • Sharks now move to 4-2 on the season
  • Mike Thompson scored 10 touchdowns on the day – 5 times each in 2 games – new Sharks records.
  • Justin Handley had 4 interceptions, 2 for scores

Photo by Kymie Walker. More on our facebook page

2012 Season Opener: In A Wet And Windy Wales

Fish don’t get this wet.

The start of the 2012 BAFA Flag Football season was held on a day that few would associate with a SUMMER football league. Despite heavy rain and a waterlogged pitch, the Chichester Sharks, Basingstoke Zombie Horde and South Wales Warriors did battle in Cardiff last Sunday.

The Sharks travelled with 7 players, 3 of which were rookies, to match up with two teams who are perennially playoff contenders.

The Sharks kicked off the day with a game against Basingstoke, followed by a match up with South Wales. The Horde and Warriors rounded out the fixture list.

From the get go it quickly became apparent that there would be no ariel passing masterclasses this day. The strong wind and wet ball reduced the offensive attack of all teams down to short passes and yes, believe it or not in a flag league, the running game. Tackling played a crucial role, as the rain reduced any grip on the wet vinyl flags.

The Sharks vs Horde game was exceptionally close, with Chichester holding the lead inside the final two minutes. Basingstoke had just too much time and managed to punch the ball into the endzone to snatch away the victory. It was a painful loss for the Sharks as too many opportunities were missed, but a valuable learning experience for the rookies playing their first competitive game.

Final Score: Chichester 25 – 26 Basingstoke

Despite the loss, the Sharks thankfully came out strong against the Warriors. Chichester’s games against South Wales are always highly competitive and the scoreline close. This game was no different. The Sharks took the early lead, ahead by 2 scores at the half, but lost focus early in the 2nd half letting the Warriors get back into the game on the back of a strong running game.

The teams battled back and forth but it wasn’t until Pete Steel picked up a 1st down on a 4th down pass from Neil Henderson inside the final minute that the victory was assured (it’s debatable what was more dramatic – getting the catch in that scenario or Pete’s 20 foot slide through the mud with a trailing spray of water?).

Final Score: Chichester 32 – 30 South Wales

In the last game of the series Basingstoke beat South Wales 18 – 0.

It’s hard to get a gauge on what this means for the season, as the weather completely changed each team’s usual gameplan. The results could be completely different when we meet up again next month. But what we could see is that all 3 teams are in the hunt again this year.

Game Stats

Passing

Neil Henderson: 8 x TD, 3 x 1pt XP,  2 x INT

Receiving

Gary Robinson: 3 x TD
Phil Morris: 2 x TD, 1 x 1pt XP
Pete Steel: 1 x TD, 1 x 1pt XP
Tomas Geciauskas: 1 x TD rec, 1 x 1pt XP rec
Pete Busson: 1 x TD

Defense

Neil Henderson: 2 x INT
Phil Morris: 1 x INT (for a TD)
Toby Chopra: 2 x sack