Too little too late for the Lancaster Bombers


Lancaster Bombers battle it out against the York Centurions. Photo by Alex Rastall.

Lancaster Bombers 12 – 14 York Centurions

Despite having one of their best offensive games of the season, the Lancaster Bombers left it too late to claim victory over the York Centurions.

Having had to postpone their match a few weeks ago due to a frozen Astro Turf and a 3-0 victory against the Huddersfield Hawks the previous week, the Bombers were certainly geared up for the event .

With a strong presence of supporters, including the Lancaster Roses Cheerleaders, expectations were high.

The first quarter began with Leigh Marshallsay kicking off for the team, giving York possession. After fumbling on the first down York’s offence were able to recover it well and thus gain a number of yards before possession was overturned due to conceding a penalty.

The Bombers’ offence came to the field and thanks to a good run from the full back, Chris Weeks; they made it over the 10 yard mark.

This good attacking start continued for the offence as they drove it down the field further, however, they failed to convert this effort and had a turnover on downs forcing the defence back on.

After failing to get the 10 yards on their first three attempts, York were forced to punt the ball on the fourth down which was caught by Stéphane Desbois.

Coming into the second quarter, and following a good effort from the defence the offense went onto the pitch close to their end zone.

A tactical decision by Tate Chimhanda to throw the ball gave the Bombers another chance to take it over the line. Unfortunately, the home side were unable to capitalise upon the opportunity despite the promising decisions made.

With York back in offensive mode, the Lancaster defence read their attempts well. A good tackle from Matt Bridge forced York to punt the ball and the rest of the defence were able to block it from being caught.

For the remainder of the second quarter, both teams remained fairly equal. Lancaster’s defence looked stronger as they allowed York fewer yards and were able to shut out York’s offence for a large majority of it. Yet nearing half time, an intercepted pass in a dangerous field position for the Bombers’ offence, followed by a momentary lapse of concentration from the resulting defence, meant that York were able to obtain a touchdown which remained unconverted leaving the score 6-0 to the opposition at half time.

The Centurions began the second half kicking the ball into the hands of Marshallsay. But despite the promising start from the Bomber’s Lancaster’s offence, York managed to overturn possession and power through the defence to score their second touchdown. This time they got the two point conversion, with the York Quarter Back faking the hand off and running it in himself.

The final quarter began with a strong start from the Bombers’ defence. Matt Triggs was able to stop a run up the middle forcing York to throw the ball and miss the catch concluding catch.

Offence made their presence felt on this overturn of play with a good catch from Lancaster’s Tight End. The resulting general drive forwards allowed the home side to reach their end zone to get their first touchdown, courtesy of Hector Marchetti. Unfortunately, it was unconverted leaving the score standing at 14-6.

The offence continued to play well for the remainder of the game and despite an injury to Ewan Sandilands, the team were able to obtain another six points with a touchdown from Marshallsay.

Nonetheless, despite the Bombers’ prime opportunity to level up with their opponents; they were unable to do so with only seconds left on the clock.

York ran the time down and the score ended as 14-12 to the Centurions, a bitter loss to the Bombers who are notoriously victorious against them.

However, all was not a disappointment to the Bombers as it was certainly one of their better performances of the season. The Most Valuable Players of the game were awarded to Leigh Marshallsay (Overall), Hector Marchetti (Offence) and Matt Bridge (Defence).

The result means that the Bombers finish ninth in the British Universities American Football Northern Conference League. Although this does not compare to them reaching the play-offs last year, the amount of new players on the squad this time round have certainly gained a lot of experience to build on their performances and create a strong squad for the 2012-2013 season.

The Bombers also have a second chance to prove their worth against the Centurions, when York University come to Lancaster for the coveted Roses tournament. The loss will undoubtedly see their determination to beat their arch rivals higher than ever and will hopefully see the Bombers maintaining their clean victory record against them.

Article with thanks to; Claire Hall, Jack Taylor, Emily Kavanagh and Matt Bridge.

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