SWC Central Game Day Review – Coventry
Coventry Cougars Ladies hosted their division foes in the final divisional round match ups for the SWC Central. The day would provide some good entertainment and atmosphere, with the SWC North also participating at the same venue. Here’s how the action unfolded over in Coventry!
The first game of the day saw the Northants Phantoms face off against the struggling Eagles who would be looking to improve on their previous game days. It would look that way as the Eagles would produce a strong showing on the defensive side of the ball to stifle the Phantoms offence. The Phantoms were holding a narrow 13-7 lead with minimal time left on the clock in the first half when Ben Stapleford jumped a pass and picked off Jez Smith and took it to the house. The XP would fail which tied the game at 13-13 going into the half. An extremely quiet second period saw both defences make stop after stop until late on in the game. Jez Smith would uncork a long ball to the covered Stuart Tarry when the defender stopped running after losing the flight of the ball. He tried to recover but it was too late as Tarry made the grab to give the Phantoms the lead and the game with a 19-13 victory.
The game ball goes to Stuart Tarry who after an underrated day during the last game day which saw him pick up countless first downs but didn’t find himself on the score sheet like he had in previous game days. He changed that in this contest and would be looking to add to his tally as the game day went on.
Northants Titans Blue were able to implement their game plan early and dominate on both sides of the ball against the struggling Eagles, with Nathan Coles who returned to the line-up after his 3rd place finish with the Allerod Armadillos at Big Bowl the weekend prior. He finished with 5 TD’s and 2 XP’s in an impressive performance, showing he is back to being fully fit after dealing with a hamstring injury since the season begun. Jamie Willars and Arron Timson added 3 TD’s and 4 XP’s on the offensive side of the ball to add the Leicester Eagles. The Northants Titans defence also worked their magic with defensive stars Connor Melay & Ben Roberts snagging multiple interceptions, the latter returning one for a touchdown just before half time whilst tip-toeing down the side-line.
Game ball in this one goes to Nathan Coles for his monster return from injury with the contribution of over 50% of his team’s points in this contest, showing why he up there with most dangerous receivers in the whole of the U.K.
The Phantoms would come into this one buoyed after a victory against the Eagles and would come up with a Cougars side that were coming off 2 wins in the Summer Series the day before. However, this would be the Northants Phantoms who would pick up where they left off, with Jez Smith finding Stuart Tarry for a hat-trick of touchdowns and 2 XP’s. Stuart Gray would grab a brace in a superb effort for his offence and Luke Wayne would also grab another score. The Coventry Cougars Ladies would pull one score back with the Millie Barrett–Grace Conway connection to finish the game 41-6.
Game ball in this one goes to Jez Smith with his 6 TD & 5 XP performance where he showed great pocket presence to find three different receivers to pick up the Phantoms 2nd win of the day and a momentum going into their final match-up of the day against rivals Northants Titans Blue.
The Coventry Cougars Ladies would come into this game confident after their previous showing against the Eagles in Game week 1, where they ran the Eagles close. However, the deck would be stacked against the Cougars after a busy week of flag football in which saw them total 13 games in 7 days. It started off with a Leicester Eagles touchdown followed by an XP conversion to Ben Stapleford but from that point on, the Cougars would respond almost immediately to the ever-impressive Grace Conway after some elusive manoeuvring by Millie Barrett to avoid the oncoming blitz of Vinay Gogana for the touchdown. The XP would fall incomplete to see the game at 7-6 in favour of the Leicester Eagles. The rest of the game was a defensive battle until Millie Barrett found Grace Conway for another touchdown to take the 12-7 lead and held that lead for the historic victory.
The game ball goes to Grace Conway who has proved on a number of occasions this season that she is one of the most underrated receivers in the conference and performs to a high standard every game she plays.
The Northants Derby is always an entertaining affair and this was no different with the division title most likely to be decided by this game. The Northants Titans Blue started off strong after Adam Grindrod found Jordan Melay multiple times for big gains as they marched up the field. The same connection would finish off a successful drive with a touchdown to take the lead. The Titans Blue defence stepped up on the following drive to stop the Phantoms Offence from gaining any traction. The Titans Blue offence took the field again, where Adam Grindrod would find Nathan Coles for the score, which was followed up by an excellent low grab on the extra point by Jordan Melay. Jez Smith of the Phantoms would get his team moving on the following drive and hit Stuart Tarry in the end zone but a big stop of the extra point by the Titans Blue defence would knock the confidence out of the Phantoms offence. Adam Grindrod would find his big target Nathan Coles for the score to take a 2 score advantage heading into half time, 20-6. The second half would have a different feel to it with the Phantoms offence starting to find their rhythm and they came out of the gate with a score to Jean-Pierre Lamy, who also converted the XP in extremely tight coverage. It was back and forth from this point on, with Titans Blue finding Arron Timson twice for a touchdown and an extra point. The Phantoms would respond with scores to Stuart Tarry (who also converted an extra point), Luke Wayne would also grabbed a score as Luke Hoskin hauled in the XP to bring the game to 32-27. However, the turning point would be an injury to Luke Hoskin on the aforementioned XP play. With time running down, Adam Grindrod would utilise Jordan Melay more, as he continuously caused the defence problems. The Phantoms defenders crashed down on Melay, who evaded the two swiping Phantoms defenders and exploded out of the other side with both flags and found himself storming into the end zone for the game-sealing touchdown. The Phantoms had no time to try and stage a comeback, and the game ended 39-27.
Game ball in this one goes to Jordan Melay for his numerous receptions 2 TD’s and 1 XP in a vital performance for the Titans Blue in this important divisional match up.
Coventry Cougars Ladies came into this contest on a high after their impressive showing against the Leicester Eagles in which they came away with their first mixed senior league win. Unfortunately, it was not to be for the Cougars Ladies side who were unable to stop the Northants Titans Blue as the returning Adam Grindrod was methodical in dissecting the Cougars defence on his way to 10 TD’s & 8 XP’s, with Arron Timson, Jamie Willars & Jordan Melay grabbing a brace each. Elsewhere, Nathan Coles carried on his dominant day by grabbing 4 TD’s. The defence for Titans Blue shone again picking up a number of interceptions, the highlight being an interception by Connor Melay who weaved his way through the Cougars defence to finish off by tightrope walking down the side-line into the end zone to complete a successful day at the office overall for the Titans Blue side. The Cougars Ladies once again proved they can score on any defence with another Millie Barrett to Grace Conway touchdown.
Adam Grindrod earns the game ball in this one for his surgical performance in spreading the ball around to his receivers to pick up the victory and finish with 3 wins on the day.
Visit our SWC Hub for all the latest SWC standings after another huge gameday!