Wednesday, 8 February 2012

BUAFL Game Report: The Upset!



With rivalry weekend being a majority let down for most teams with numerous games being called off due to the snow and frozen pitches, one match stands out as a true representation of a rivalry game. The south coast of England is famed for its sea breeze that keeps the really bad weather at bay when the rest of the country is suffering. Coupled with a brand new 3G facility, one game took place in Southampton this weekend.


The away team, the Portsmouth Destroyers (known to some as The U, in their unashamed imitation of the Miami Hurricanes) are the current reigning BUAFL champions after narrowly beating the Lions last season. With the Destroyers truly the underdogs last year, and with a lot of negative forum bashing (in part due to a certain hype video and lots of UUUUUUUUUUU posts), it’s safe to say that most people were rooting for the Lions (most likely unfairly as Anonymous is omnipresent!). 

This is the first season the Destroyers have to deal with actually having something in their trophy cabinet. While this may not seem like a challenge at first, Championship fever spreads like wildfire through the ranks, especially affecting rookies on the team who get high off the fumes. The Destroyers strike me as a team who need the motivation of wanting to prove people wrong and striving against the rest of the league to win, whereas it is all too easy after winning a championship to have the feeling of having achieved these goals.

A repeat is also difficult when you consider your graduation class. For Portsmouth some big names stand out who left this past year, the solid wall that was James Perranieau and Edson Bras (I believe he did not play that much last year due to a thumb injury), and the centre come TE Ben Peddie.

So, to the home team, The Solent Redhawks. While the single institution ruling affected only a small minority of teams, perhaps the most affected was the Redhawks/Stags camp. Luckily for the Redhawks they managed to secure some significant funding from their university and return the majority of the 08-09 Stags veterans, with a coaching staff to boot. The first two seasons under their new banner showed some distinct promise, however the beginning of this season has proved to be a struggle with the majority of the Hawks 10-11 defence graduating. Starting out losing the first 3 games of the season, the Hawks seemed to be fading into mediocrity; although they showed significant signs of life in the rivalry game vs. old team mates the Southampton Stags.

The very sad and untimely passing of ex-team mate Richard Baker has without doubt had a profound effect on the Hawks. With his jersey being displayed on the side-line of each game, the Hawks have something to fight for, making them dangerous for any opposition who doesn’t take them seriously.
The scene is set.

The Destroyers kick-off to start the match, and to the surprise of the Hawks, they take an on-side kick straight out of the gate that they manage to recover. The Destroyers managed to march the ball down to the Hawks 5yd line, but a goal line stand for the Hawks brought the Destroyers up short on 4th down.
The first Hawks drive stalled and they were forced to punt. The pairing of good defence and a bad shotgun snap left the Destroyers on 4th and 30, forcing the eventual punt back to the Hawks. 

A good punt return gave the Hawks good position to strike, and strike they did with QB Seb Rivas connecting to WR Nick Parker for a 20 yard score. Kicker Matt Greenbank kicked the XP to give the Hawks a 7-0 lead. The Destroyers tried desperately to get points on the board with the clock running towards the half, with some deep down field passing, but to no avail.

7-0 to the Hawks at the half

The second half saw some more defensive work for the Hawks. However, in a punting situation for the Hawks, miscommunication lead to the punter missing the snap, turning the ball over in the Hawks Redzone. With such a close game this mistake could prove crucial. Portsmouth wasted no time in getting numbers on the board with RB Brooke Ince pounding the ball for 17yds and a TD. The Destroyers elected to go for 2, but were stuffed in the attempt. 7-6.

Hoping lightening might strike twice, the Destroyers elected for another onside kick, but this time the Hawks were ready and recovered on the Destroyers 45. With the rest of the game proving to be somewhat of a defensive battle, it was the hard running of Hawks RB Tom Borsay, and a reverse play from WR Nick Parker that saw the Hawks on the Destroyers 4yd line. Elected to pass QB Seb Rivas connected with RB Tom Borsay in the endzone for the Hawks second score and passing TD of the day. The XP was missed. 13-6.

On the ensuing drive, the Hawks brought pressure forcing the Destroyers QB into throwing an interception to Neil Ford. With no timeouts left for the Destroyers and little time left on the clock, the Hawks kneeled to put the game to bed.

The victory saw the breaking of a 15 game regular season winning streak by the Destroyers, with the last loss coming from; you guessed it, the Hawks. 3-0 in the 09-10 season.
The loss could prove potentially devastating for the Destroyers. With their next big rivalry game just down the road in Portsmouth vs the Stags, it’s win and in, lose and out (assuming OBU and Southampton win out the rest of their games).

The Hawks now have something to fight for with a potential Plate playoff spot open to them if results go their way. It may be fair weather down on the South coast, but it does provide some good games!

Report referenced from Solents site

8 comments:

  1. was this taken from our website or something? we wrote it last night lol http://www.pitchero.com/clubs/southamptonsolentredhawks/s/match-report-57923.html?official=0&fixture_id=1017747

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The reference to that article is missing but was intended to be there.

      Delete
  2. Reference added, blogger decided it didn't like adding links to the image at the start of the piece...

    Apologies!

    ReplyDelete
  3. QB Sebastian Sanders-Rivas *
    Not Seb Rivas

    ReplyDelete
  4. sebastian sanders-queer more like

    ReplyDelete

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