Game Reports – Final vs Kent Exiles
So we were in the final battling it out for 3rd place vs Kent, this may be shorter than previous reports as unfortunately we didn’t have footage for the second half.
Kent may have been the underdogs of the finals tournament, but we weren’t about to take that lightly, their form over the past couple of tourneys had improved dramatically; with a win against close rivals Oxford and having a better game vs Wembley in their last of the regular season. Then holding Teesside to only 14 points on the board in a close game in the Semi’s, they had proved they had what it takes to compete at this level.
Bears offense took to the pitch first, a good run from RB Helena and a short pass to RB/WR Hannah set them up well, but Kent defence powered through with 2 sacks on the next 2 plays and a turn over on downs. Some great tackles from DLine Megan Delaney flying around the pitch but Kent RB drove up the pitch on some short runs that was good enough for 1st down. A short pass took them just outside their endzone and they punched it in for the first touchdown of the game. XP no good.
However, the downfall of so many defences this season RB Helena Lasok-Smith’s speed struck again for a TD the length of the pitch and Helena again good for the 2 XP. Bears defence back on and this time DB Amanda Staples making an appearance after suffering an injury back in Tourney 3 and denying both the Kent RB and then the WR gaining yards in this drive to cause a turn over on downs.
QB Rach Broadhurst spots the open WR and throws a beauty of a pass, open field on the way to the endzone but WR Kelly just couldn’t haul it in! RB Helena however on the next play takes it to the house for the second Bears TD and QB Rach running it in for the 2 XP.
Some great group tackling from the Bears defence and a pass just off the fingertips of LB Felicity Cossa, but Kent were struggling now to move the ball in the air or on the ground. RB/WR Hannah Roberts with some good runs of her own set us up outside the endzone, but Kent defence held the wall firm this time and kept us out. Some great tackling by LB’s Holly & Felicity put our O straight back on the pitch. Almost a carbon copy pass from QB Rach Broadhurst to a wide open WR Natalie Kelly going deep again, this time it was expertly brought in and ran in for the touchdown! XP ran in by QB Rach for 2.
The half ended 22-6 to the Bears.
Out of the half and Bears defence again denying Kent with some more great group tackling. QB Rach then gets a 1st down run and RB Helena duking defenders gets another TD on the board. XP no good. However Kent started to find that fire on offense and fought back getting another TD of their own. RB/WR Hannah Roberts with some good runs for a 1st down, but we couldn’t quite punch it in. Kent came back again with that determination and managed to get another 1 on the board. But Helena wasn’t done (is she ever?!) and ran in another TD the length of the pitch. XP good for 2 by Helena.
The score at this point would have been around 36-18 (As mentioned we didn’t have footage for second half!) And Kent managed to get in another TD with XP for 1 before the end of the half to end the game out 36-25.
Well done to Kent Exiles who came in to the finals with the smallest team by almost half and with girls playing both ways!
But with that your Cheshire Bears take away third place in Sapphire Series 2019 the very first season of the clubs existence! Such amazing hard work by all on and off field, we are all very proud!
MVP’s for the tournament were:
OLine #66 Jodie Stephens taking away her second of the season! With some amazing blocking all tournament long.
LB #22 Felicity Cossa who was making some fantastic tackles and was on fire the whole tournament.
Photo courtesy of Photos by Furfie