Game 1 vs Teesside:
In bitterly cold conditions Bears D came out with a purpose, the first play was a cracking tackle by DT Megan Delaney and rookie LB Alison Lawrence for a forced fumble recovered by Megan. This was then run in for our first TD by rookie RB Hannah Roberts. XP inches short.
Defence stopped them again with tackles for losses and pass break ups, but our O showed their first game nerves with a few dropped passes.
Teesside then had a break with their RB bringing their first TD, XP good.
Again our O couldn’t convert on the heavy passing plays as the wind really started to pick up! Teesside tried some passing of their own only to be broken up by veteran DB Amanda Staples playing at MLB and then intercepted the second time for a turn over.
Bears Offense showed their depth at RB with some great runs by RB Jo Craze this time and were inches from the goal line but Teesside held firm on 4th down.
The Defence grit and determination got yet another turn over as LB Felicity Cossa forced a fumble with Megan Delaney recovering.
Our Offense capitalised again this time with RB Helena Lasok-Smith running it in. XP no good.
Defensive stops by both teams until Teesside broke out with another rushing TD. XP good.
At the half it was 12-14 to Teesside with them having the PAT’s over us.
Just out of the half Teesside opened up with an interception. But their O were stopped by Bears D holding strong. RB Helena went for a long run but then a near miss dropped pass in the end zone. Bears QB Laura Hughes tried to pass again but no-one open and so went to run it in but stopped just short and was unfortunately injured on the tackle.
It was a very close game until that point, with Bears Defence causing havoc and Offense starting to get into their rhythm.
The stoppage was unfortunately very long and very cold!
After the break the Bears just couldn’t get going at all, Teesside drove up the pitch and on a QB keep got a rushing TD, XP good. The Bears O similarly stuttered out the gates and a snap out the back of the endzone caused a safety.
Teesside sealed the deal with a deep passing TD, XP good. Both defences finished out firm and the game finished 12-34 to Teesside.
Game 2 vs B’ham B:
Unfortunately due to the very long stoppage we were told by the coach drivers as we had already gone way over time they would only wait a certain time longer or they would have to leave without us. We had a choice to forfeit and not play the game at all or play as much as we could and get on the coach with all our gear and fully kitted! So we opted to play as much as we could whether it would be classed as a loss or not as we wanted the opportunity to gain some experience against the B’ham side.
The Bears found their fire again and gave it all they had. B’ham offense were out first and got the initial points on the board by slowly driving up the field, XP good.
The Bears answered straight back as O came out firing with QB2 Rach Broadhurst at the helm now settled in, RB Helena got a good run setting up a long rushing TD by rookie RB Hannah Roberts. XP no good.
Defence made some great tackles for losses but Birmingham broke out on 4th down for a rushing TD, XP no good stopped short by LB Felicity Cossa.
Our offense again answered with staple RB Helena Lasok-Smith running the length of the pitch for a spectacular TD, XP was good for 2 with Broadhurst passing to WR Natalie Kelly.
B’ham tried several times to run it up the middle only to be greeted with DT Megan Delaney with tackles for losses every time.
QB Rach found her legs on the next drive for a good gain and then followed up with a pass to WR Natalie Kelly. Rach again running with the ball but stopped short.
At the half the score was 14-13 to the Bears and spirits were high.
Out the half and Bears Defence dominated with B’ham unable to move the ball on the ground or the air and Bears Offense came close to scoring again with another long run from rookie RB Hannah but B’ham just held on denying the TD.
But with approximately 11 minutes left to go in the second half we had the call that we had to go so the game ended at that point 14-13 and we left it up to the league to make a decision on the result which we had confirmed would be recorded as an automatic win for the Lions side.
It was a roller coaster of emotions for the whole team, but we took so much from the day and it was great experience for our first outing as the Bears and our Rookies. We remained in high spirits throughout and even now; we are all incredibly proud and know despite the results on the table, Div 2 North will be a very close affair and the Bears are ones to watch out for….
Defensive MVP was #8 Amanda Staples! And Offensive MVP was #16 Hannah Roberts! Well done ladies awesome work.