The Sharks fortunes at last weekend’s Ruislip tournament were as about as mixed as the weather. Blazing sunshine one minute, torrential downpour the next.
After a bit of frantic last minute encouragement (harassment in some cases!), we were able to draw together a team of 9 players. The starting O was intact, but due to injuries and other commitments the starting D was a little decimated.
We were lucky enough to welcome back some familiar faces – Jon, Matt, Sam and Jut – and considering they’d not played together for quite a while, they did a good job as our new defense.
We should have known what kind of day it was going to be when we lost a third of our team on the A27 – 5 minutes into our journey. The young whippersnapper carload of Matt, Ben and Sam decided us old guys were driving too slowly and promptly overtook the other 2 cars. That’s all very well – if you know where you’re going. Not if you don’t realise that we were just about to exit onto the A3!
Once we all eventually arrived we discover we have been dealt London Liberty, Barbarians and Bournemouth in our group (i’m beginning to think we’re joined at the hip with those teams).
My summaries of the games are going to be brief because i can never remember what happened or who scored what – so please leave a comment if you can fill out those blanks for each game.
Chichester 33 v 6 Bournemouth
Billed as Team 5 on the day (and now Bournemouth on the official site), this team was made up of 3 Raiders plus 2 guest players who fancied a game. Obviously not as well prepared as Chichester, the Sharks carved through the opposition to a 33 – 6 rout – all the more impressive considering we were playing 10 minute halves.
Everything seemed to work, with the D shutting down all but one drive and Neil managing to spread the ball around to all the receivers. My 3 TDs were a personal highlight (that used to be my yearly total!) though I seemed to get more of a jeer from the sidelines for the dropped PAT! (car quote – “it bounced off my shoulder pads…if i’d had them” – i was tired, I knew what i meant).
In a G-TV first, we have exclusive video footage of this game coming soon! Check back for clips (once Ben manages to delete the ‘test’ bits of his girlfriend…).
Barbarians 20 – 7 Chichester
It was going okay against the ‘enemy’ ;), when the heavens opened. I believe we had one score apiece, when it absolutely poured it down (ice/snow in there too). I can’t say this cost us the game, it didn’t, but it did make it a little harder to catch up once the Babas took the lead. Driving in the rain, with the clock ticking down, meant we had to take a few more risks to get downfield. Unfortunately, under pressure from the blitz, Neil was picked off, giving the Babas a short field, from which they soon after scored the final TD to seal the game.
This was the first time the Barbarians had beaten the Sharks, but on the day they were undoubtably the better team.
London 19 – 13 Chichester
The newly named London Liberty (UA2) have been a bit of an enigma for the Sharks. We’ve played them four or five times now and not won once. They’re a good team, with a lot of experience and ability and we always run them close – usually leading by the half and then just losing it at the end. Same thing happened here – a late pick by the americans swung the game and our record against them stays intact. For now – you know its coming though!
The last two unfortunate results left us in 3rd place in our group and through to the 5th-6th spot in the playoffs. Our opponent the newly formed Brighton Tsumani flag team – Jut’s boys!
Chichester 20 – 0 Brighton
This was a fun game against a good bunch of guys. We pretty much controlled this one throughout. It had stopped raining by then and the sun had come out and no one wanted to go home with a losing record.
Up by 2 scores near the end of the game, Jut came in on Offence just to rub a little salt into his kitted team mates wounds. Considering he has the turning circle of an oil tanker, Jut showed some good moves to break free from his defender in the endzone and pulled in Neil’s pass for the final score.
Overall, not one of our finest days, but a pretty decent effort by all those involved. It was a shame about the weather – and that we lost our ball – but it was good to get back to playing football again.
Next up, the Chichester tournament- 21st May – put it in your diaries everyone – we need you all there!
(send me over any scores, details from the games above and I’ll update the report)