Faced with a make or break scenario, the Chichester Sharks did not disappoint.
Needing two wins against two table-topping foes, the Sharks went toe-to-toe with one and romped over the other. With two wins under their belt, Chichester are now back in the playoff hunt.
Having collapsed in last month’s match-ups against Coventry Jets and London Rebels, it was imperative the Sharks rebounded to keep their hopes of a third successive playoff spot alive.
Chichester Sharks vs Woodham Warriors
With a full squad for the first time this season – bolstered by the return of former player/coach Dayle Kirby and receiver Simon Merton – the Sharks were finally able to break their duck against the Woodham Warriors.
Having been on the wrong end of 5 consecutive close losses against Woodham (including a 40-38 loss earlier this season), Chichester returned the favour with a 25-20 victory over the Warriors.
The win can be attributed in no small part to the stunning defensive performance of the Sharks. With great pressure upfront, and incredible play in the secondary, the D were able to halve the points total of Woodham from the first game. Crucially, they were able to force a 4 and out on the final drive to preserve the victory.
Chichester Sharks vs Coventry Jets
Having been uncharacteristically trounced by the resurgent Jets in June (behind the awesome play of Shad McCook), the Sharks were eager to make amends. It didn’t take long, as the Sharks O scored early and often, whilst the D picked off Jets passes to set up the short field. The game was effectively over by half time – the Sharks were on form, whilst the Jets sorely missed McCook. Chichester ran out 46-12 victors.
The two wins moves the Sharks (4-4-1) into 4th place ahead of the Jets (4-4). Chichester still trail London (6-2-1), Woodham (5-3) and Basingstoke (5-3).
The Sharks remaining fixtures are against Leicester (0-5), Basingstoke and South Wales Warriors (2-3) in Chichester on August 28th.
Player stats are now available. Luke Nash (105) has passed the 100 points on the season mark. He needs just 12 points to break the Sharks BAFA/BAFL Receiving/Rushing record of 116 set by Simon Merton in 2010. Justin Handley has set a new Sharks Interception record with 10 on the season (including 2 for TDs), beating the previous best of 6 set by Mike Thompson in 2009.