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The Lancaster Bombers American Football team are undoubtedly going to be one of the university’s teams in the spotlight over the coming weeks as they gear themselves up for the epic battle that will ensue against York at Roses.
Alongside the Men’s Hockey Thirds, the Bombers are the only other team to remain unbeaten in the tournament’s history.
The first match between the two rivals was during their first Roses clash away in 2009 where the Bombers won 28-12. In Roses 2010, they won on their home ground 22-6. And, finally, in Roses 2011, they continued to dominate, winning 18-6.
In fact, they have only lost to the York Centurions once in a regular season, 3-2 in 2010-11, highlighting just how impressive their track record against them is.
The Bombers were set to play the Centurions at home at the start of February but a frozen pitch meant that the game had to be delayed to a later date.
With regard to the rest of their season this year, however, the Bombers have struggled to replicate their winning capabilities in the Northern League.
The teams in the league have to play eight games, and then those lying top of the table make the play-offs which involves playing other teams around the country in a knockout format. Last season, the Bombers made it to this stage and finished 12th in the country.
Currently, sitting ninth in the table, four places below York, the team have only beaten the Leicester Longhorns and have lost to the UH Sharks, Leeds Carnegie, Sheffield Hallam Warriors and Sheffield Sabres. Therefore, as it stands, the only chance the Bombers have to make the play-offs this year is to win every one of their remaining games against York, Bradford and Huddersfield, which is a difficult but still a perfectly doable task.
One of the reasons given for this is primarily due to the fact that having had a number of their senior players leaving last year; the squad is having to rebuild itself entirely.
Unlike most other sports, American Football is often a new endeavour for those who come to university and thus involves learning everything from scratch making the redevelopment of a team a harder challenge than it would otherwise be.
President of the club, Dan Katri, commented: “We had a tough start to the season, playing some of the better games in our conference. The next three games will not be easy but they are certainly games that we can win. The rookies are getting better and better week by week and we feel confident that we can have a big finish to the season. It is not going to be as impressive as our season last year; this year is much more developmental.”
Katri finished by stating: “We have our sights set on Roses, with the return of Marc Handley and it being on our home ground this year, the game is going to be extra special.”
With optimism for the latter part of the season and a ruthless determination to remain unbeaten in the prestigious Roses tournament, it will certainly be exciting to see how this year concludes for the Bombers.