Thursday, 1 March 2012

BUAFL Match Report: Hurricanes sink Mariners

After a pre-game pep talk with Head Coach, Jim Messenger, the Hertfordshire Hurricanes marched out to the field with one goal in their minds; securing their next victory. If they could overcome the Greenwich Mariners, they would be crowned champions of the SEC and earn themselves a guaranteed play-off spot.


The game started off in an unusual fashion with second row defender, Micah Ricketts, returning the ball for just a short gain after the Mariners botched the opening kick. Ricketts was able to advance about five yards up field before being taken down in a gang tackle.

Undeterred by the Hurricanes’ recent success, the Mariners came out with fighting spirit, but could not stop the offense racking up 18 yards on the first two plays. Temi Oduyemi of the ‘canes saw his power-house running go to waste as Joe Thompson threw his first pick of the day on the very next play to Felix Kasmanu

Temi Oduyemi makes breaks tackles and makes yards.
The Mariners looked to capitalise on their gain of possession, but after an incompletion from Greenwich QB Markos Kornaros and two defensive stops, found themselves on fourth down. The call came in; they were going for it. The running back took the hand-off and headed straight up the gut, but the ‘canes defence swarmed him and brought him down two yards short of the first.

The Mariners struggle to cope with Hertfordshire’s relentless defense.
The Hurricanes picked up where the Mariners left off and opened the drive with an 11 yard run. However, Oduyemi saw his running going to waste again when the play was called back. To make up for the lost yardage, Thompson attempted to find Andy Harrison in the flats, but the over-thrown ball resulted in his second pick of the day. Dominic Husbands brought down the ball carrier on the spot, denying him extra yardage.
Dominic Husbands brings down Yazid Garba. 
The Mariners began the drive moving in the wrong direction after incurring a penalty and were unable to put any points on the board on this drive. A four-man gang tackle and two tackles-for-loss from Dominic Gould and George Gower, put the Mariners deep in their own territory. After their previous attempt failed, the Mariners decided to punt. The ball went short and high. The now-infamous Gareth Davies attempted to field the kick but the ball came loose. He managed to recover the ball before being swamped by the defenders.
George Gower tackles Yazid Garba for a loss
After a side line sermon from Matt Meyer, Hertfordshire’s offense took to the field knowing they needed to step up their game, which is exactly what they did. The Offensive Line – Ryan King, Stuart Holland, Gareth Bateman, Jon Binks and Martynas Juras – created a solid wall of blocks behind which Oduyemi ran with ease and after just two plays he found himself in the back of the end zone, putting up the first points of the game. Stefan Rivera successfully converted the PAT.

Temi Oduyemi doesn’t go down without a fight.
The Mariners weren’t able to advance the kick-off much before being brought down. Their offense attempted to even the score, but after a series incomplete passes they were unable to move the chains and were forced to punt the ball away. Dominic Husbands brought the ball back up the field on a lengthy return made possible by a devastating block from Dave Jennison. Hertfordshire’s “Big O” took to the field once more and the drive culminated in 7 points after more hard running from Oduyemi and a textbook reception from Husbands, which he was able to jog in from the five yard line. The PAT was good.

Dominic Husbands makes it look effortless.
The Mariners saw a glimmer of hope when their returner dodged incoming tackles as he neared the side line, but all hopes of taking it to the house were dashed when the defenders brought him down before he could cut up field. Due to a number of missed tackles and some determined running, the Mariners had some success in moving the chains on this drive. This, however, was short lived. The defence upped their game and held the Mariners at the 50. The ball was punted away once more. Davies returned the kick 30-or-so yards before being forced out of bounds.

Hertfordshire brought out their offense and James Howell had relative ease in moving the ball along the ground, but the play was called back due to another flag. Thompson then completed a 16-yard pass to Nich Bagnall which he ran in for a touchdown. The PAT was good.

Nich Bagnall heads for the end zone. 
The Mariners had some success in running the ball on this drive, but failed to put points on the board as a pass from their quarter back was plucked out of the air by Gower. Hertfordshire’s offense took over once more and after more hard running from Howell and Oduyemi, Thompson connected with Bagnall once more for his second touchdown of the game. The PAT was good.

The Mariners fought hard on their next kick return and chalked up some hefty yardage, but the returner was unable to run in for the score as he was taken off his feet with a devastating hit from Godfred Schultz. Again, the Mariners had some success moving the ball across the field but just couldn’t get into the end zone and had to turn over the ball on downs.

Louis Hill makes a tackles Greenwich RB Junior Davis
just short of the first.
After receiving the ball and having mere seconds left in the quarter, the referees declared the half over.
The Hurricanes kicked off the second half with a deep kick which the Mariners returned to around the 30 yard line. After some confusion amidst their offence, the Mariners broke off a 20 yard run before being forced out of bounds. However, after two tackles-for-loss and a sack, the Mariners punted the ball away. Davies returned the ball 40 yards before being forced out. The “Green Machine” swept across the field after Oduyemi fought hard for a 15 yard gain. Thompson then connected with Peter Faulkner which put the offense on the 6 yard line. Schultz attempted to punch the ball in but was tackled at the line. Thompson then found Husbands at the back of the end zone and credited the Hurricanes with another touchdown. Rivera converted another PAT.

The Mariners’ returner was sent into the ground after a colossal hit from Thorbjorn Bengtson took him off his feet. What initially looked to be a promising drive for the Mariners ended in disappointment as their running game seemed to lose potency, resulting in the ball being punted away once more. Davies returned the kick and displayed a true feat of athleticism; running around players, juking out of tackles and making cuts left, right and centre before deservedly carrying the ball into the end zone for a touchdown. The celebrations were short-lived as the play was called back due to a block in the back. The ‘canes offense took over and attempted to put those 6 points back on the board, but seemed to be having some difficulty in moving the ball on this drive, due to piecemeal running plays and penalty flags being thrown against them. However, the Mariners’ confidence took another hit when Thompson connected with Daniel Gyimah for another touchdown. Husbands converted the PAT.

Husbands, replacing Rivera as kicker, let rip a scorching kick that bounced out of the back of the end zone for a touchback. The Mariners next drive was more of the same; incompletions, fumbled hand-offs and sacks. Another three-and-out followed by a punt. Husbands returned the ball 15 yards before being brought down by a pile of Mariners. After more remarkable blocking from the offensive line and long runs from Oduyemi and Thompson himself, the offense found themselves at the 5 yard line. Edward Enearu looked set to carry the ball across the goal line but was brought down at the 1. Bateman cleared a path for Thompson to the breach the end zone and cross the line for the score. Husbands converted another PAT.

Bateman helps Thompson find the end zone.
The Mariners had another stab at putting points on the board but were met with the same issues they had been facing all day; struggling to move the chains, incomplete passes and a very dominant defense. This drive ended with a fumbled caused by Gould that was recovered by Ricketts. Enearu fought hard on this drive and slowly but surely carried the ball along the ground and kept moving the chains towards the end zone. After a cheeky run from Thompson and a casual reception from Harrison, the offense found themselves in reach of yet another touchdown. The offensive line created a huge hole through which Daniel Anandie waltzed into the end zone for his first career touchdown on his first career carry. The PAT was no good.

Daniel Anandie makes his first career touchdown
This would be the Mariners last drive and last attempt at saving face, they needed to put points on the board and come away with something, but would they be able to do it? A promising kick return set their offense up on their own 40. They needed to score, but it was not to be. Incompletions and tackles-for-loss filled this drive, resulting in a turnover on downs. The ‘canes took a knee to end the game.

The Mariners Junior Davis run out of room to run.
Final Score Hertfordshire Hurricanes 55 – 0 Greenwich Mariners.

All photographs come courtesy of Garry Neesam –


  1. Easily the best match report ever

  2. Hasnt got any game footage.


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