The 2016 season opening fixtures had a familiar feel about them and sadly the results went the same way as last year.
Chichester Sharks v Reading Lions
The Reading Lions, a 2015 playoff team, opened the season against the Sharks in Chichester and proved to be as difficult an opponent as expected. Like in their 39-32 loss last year, Chichester were competitive throughout the game. However, a flurry of late Lions scores inside the final two minutes gave the Sharks a less than complimentary-looking 48-27 loss. Failure to convert twice on 4th down inside the Lions’ 10 yard line and three turnovers meant the offense were unable to keep pace with the impressive Reading attack.
A highlight for the Sharks was the 3 TD / 1 INT game for Corey Bedford.
Interesting fact #1: This fixture marked the first league game where the Sharks have fielded a mixed team – with Kate Bruinvels a welcome addition to the team. (It’s about time!)
Interesting fact #2: the last time Bergamaschi, Merton, Henderson, Robinson and Steel lined up for the Sharks was 2009! Welcome back Bruno!
Chichester Sharks v London Barracuda
Due to some late fixture juggling following Westcliff Storm withdrawing from the league, our second game of the day was against London Barracuda. Last season, the Sharks convincingly beat the Barracuda 57-13. This time however, it was a much tighter affair.
Struggling to gain momentum, and suffering from a drive stalling at the half-hair line, the Sharks had to settle for a 12-12 scoreline at halftime. A more efficient performance in the second half saw the Sharks take a two touchdown lead off the back of scores by Bedford and Pete Steel. A late score by London brought the game close but there wasn’t time to mount a final drive and the Sharks ran out 26-20 winners.
1 – 1 on the season and plenty to work on.
Player stats are now available.