Chichester Sharks Defender, Ed Acton, gives his account of the final weekend of games in the 2013 season.
So the Sharks home games had arrived and it was also the last day of the regular season, with 3 teams’ playoff hopes resting on the days results. The Sharks needed to win all 3 games to get the last playoff spot, Cardiff Hurricanes also needed to win all 3 and Steel City Knights sat at home praying both teams lost at least 2.
Game 1 Chichester Sharks v Cardiff Hurricanes
Well this game would pretty much decide who would make the trip to Scotland for the playoffs. Both QBs started off slowly as they concentrated on not making any silly mistakes and settled for high % passing with both teams trading scores early on. The second half saw Cardiff’s QB Joe Cotterill throw some nicely placed balls to his top WR Clovis Kamaha – who was a force on defense too, intercepting a ball he batted down off his own blitz and taking it in for a score. This gave the Hurricanes a 2 touchdown lead with around 6 minutes left in the game.
The next 4 minutes saw some great work on Sharks’ D to stop the Hurricanes scoring and 2 amazing TD passes from QB Neil Henderson to WR Phillip Morris to make the game a tie. The Hurricanes had 2 minutes and the ball they drove down the field and took the lead, they missed the XP after some really great D. Sharks had the ball 6 points down with around 30 seconds left. Neil Henderson set to work driving up field and got the O into great position with around 18 seconds left.
There is something about games between these two teams – they’re always close and typically the Sharks have stolen the win right at the whistle. Again, it looked to come down to this last play. Neil Henderson looped a perfectly placed TD pass to WR Ben Lucas to tie the game. The sideline went nuts and the O grabbed the extra point to secure the lead.
The should have been the ball game and a step towards Finals Day for the Sharks. Unfortunately there were 3 seconds left on the clock. Subbing in a player with a big arm at QB, the Hurricanes slung a Hail Mary pass up high and the length of the field. Clovis Kamaha went up above everyone to bring it down and secure the win for the Hurricanes.
Both teams played really well and deserved to be in the playoffs, but this would be the end of the road for the Sharks.
Final Score Sharks 33 Hurricanes 38
Game 2 Chichester Sharks v Basingstoke Zombie Horde
This game in theory did not mean anything in respect to the playoff race, but it was still one Sharks wanted to win. Sharks started off strong putting up points and making stops on the D. With Henderson connecting with MVP WR Mike Thompson several times and Jut Handley getting 2 pick 6s. Horde did put together a couple of nice drives that ended in scores, but it was a convincing if disheartened win.
Final Score Sharks 66 Horde 27
Game 3 Chichester Sharks v Hackney Cougars
The last game of the season and Sharks wanted to finish the season strong. The difference between the two teams was evident early on, with the Sharks racking up points quickly with 6 TDs in the first half and the starting D kept the Cougars in their own half and off the board.
The 2nd half saw the D play O and the O play D, the scores kept coming and the D remained strong. Sharks ran out easy winners, enjoying the last game of the season and watching Mike Thompson break the single season scoring record.
Final Score Sharks 77 Cougars 0
So that’s another season in the books and another winning record for the club. It’s just a shame we didn’t make the Finals.
Speaking of which, the London Rebels were crowned British Champions, following a close final against the Woodham Warriors. Congrats to the Rebels, they can have this one, we’ll see them again next year!
The club would also like to wish good luck to Tomele ‘Beast’ Geciauskas and Ben Lucas, as they move onto pastures new and to welcome John Venables and Richard Spandley to the team. Bring on next season!