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Monday, 10 April 2017

Morecambe Bay Storm 1st League Game (And Win!)

Sorry needed to get that out - still absolutely buzzing (albeit with sore muscles, joints etc) from a fantastic day yesterday. Travelling up to Northumberland to play the Lightning in our first competitive game. I won't give too much of a game report as I'm sure others will do it better but instead I'll give a tale of my day (be warned this is our longest away day this year).

Previous Night: Got Kit ready

7:30: Up, showered, put bags together, feed kids breakfast.
8:45: At pick up point (the actual pick up point!)
9:05: Impressively coach running on time! Coach journey is talking scheme and trying to relax  - welcome break at service station (coach seats not designed for 6'3" height)

After this I get fuzzy with times

12:30: Arrive? Really starting to hit home now, where we are and how far we've come.
1:00: Kit on, walk up to pitch. Start to warm up throwing balls around - absolutely beautiful day. Personally, I did a few drills using sideline as a ladder to try and get feet moving.
1:30 ish: Team warmup - our usual warm up with claps for timing right on point.
2: Kick Off - we're returning. I'm not starting on Defense (being a utility player is a disadvantage in that regard) but am on kick off return and kick off.

1st Quarter - Team is on fire. Defense starts with 3 successive 3 and outs backed by Chris Aldred with some perfectly timed whilst offense roll and before we know it a 1 yard QB sneak by Chris Mayne converted on a run by Joe Patterson is followed by 2 further passing touchdowns (Dion Feather and John Littlejohn) with another 2 point conversion. 22-0

2nd Quarter - Offence keeps rolling with 2 more scores (sorry concentrating on defense briefings) whilst Lightning get on the board after starting 15 yards off our goal line. Matthew Berrington should have had a pick 6 but called off due to an illegal block in the back (TBC who the culprit was). 34-6

HT comes, carbs loaded up on as well as fluids - its still hot. Stretch off for second half.

3rd Quarter - Games a bit tighter - offense isn't scoring as frequently - still playing well but a bit more conservatively - no need to try anything stupid. Defense being stretched a bit more but not breaking - Rob Bainbridge with some huge hits whilst all 4 of the starting DBs getting picks - (Jim Mawson had 3 on the day but really should have had 4, dropping the easiest chance he had :p). There should have also been a long passing touchdown which was called off due to a completely unnecessary penalty (block in back/roughing?) on the cornerback who was never going to get anywhere near the play.

4th Quarter - Some more aggressive hitting and the steam really is out of this one, the 35 point barrier was broken which means the clock is running and a couple more scores result including an impressive leaping catch by Dion Feather who had 3 TDs. Rick Schuttenbald also chipped in with a fumble recovery returned to the house to cap a great game for the D. Game ended with a bit of an ugly spat but overall the game was played in good spirits. 46-6 for the Storm's first win

Post game handshakes and cheers are much better when you've won.
Team Photo
Personal note: playing 3 positions (Plus 2 special team positions) is hard, especially when most of the time you are out of your comfort zone. For the first probably 3 quarters I was splitting my time between D-End and weakside linebacker, it was only when our Free Safety went off injured I got to go back to my most comfortable position at Strong Safety and made one decent tackle which really popped. Bit hard to argue with not getting in mind when your competition is grabbing 3 interceptions.

It might not last for long but for now can genuinely say we're top of the league!
5:30: Showered, dressed, laughs
6:00: Really good food laid on - chilli in soft tacos with cheese and salad. Along with cheap cider - lovely. Good marks for that Northumberland!
6:30ish: Back on bus. Bus journey full of laughs, new nicknames (here's looking at you Multipack), and a bizarre back road detour.
9:30ish: Home - collapsed on sofa and bed. Yes I'm old.

All in all an awesome day! 2 weeks time we go to Walney Terriers in our only meeting this year for the Battle of the Bay!

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