Thunderducks 19, Falcons 13
As the score suggests, this game was a close affair that saw Exeter looking flustered and making some key errors. They were looking at two score deficit almost straight away. The Thunderducks safeties took full advantage of some errant passes, grabbing a few picks which in turn sprung their offense into life. The Falcons outfit did manage to make some stops on defence as the game progressed, however they continued to misfire on offence. The game provided a lot of 50/50 balls and tipped passes that Merthyr Tydfil came out winning.
It wasn’t until the second half that the Falcons finally got going and drew blood despite the Thunderducks blitzer terrorising their QB. The Thunderducks resolve finally broke, as they were not able to stop two consecutive deep-ball touchdowns, setting up an interesting end to this contest. Unfortunately there was a short break due to a collision between the Thunderducks blitzer and Falcons Slot Receiver, Ben Douglas. Ben required treatment for a bleeding nose and suspected concussion.
The Merthyr Tydfil defence, lead by Richard Harris, regained their composure, and broke the game wide open with few minutes remaining. Thunderduck Phil James seized an interception and returned it to the endzone for the game winning score. Exter were unable to tie the game up, and almost saw themselves on the end of a more lop sided loss, had it not been for some penalties cancelling out two Thunderduck TD passes. The game ball for this contest goes to Thunderducks blitzer and RB Andrew Giboney who consistently disrupted the Falcons offence.
Thunderducks 22, Stampede 21
In a game that on paper favoured the Stampede, it would be the Thunderducks coming through with the unexpected win. A Hereford pick 6 on the very first play set them up well in the first half, and at the intermission they led 19-13 after both offenses exchanged a pair of well driven touchdowns. Hereford had the ball late in the first half with an opportunity to extend their lead, however this was an opportunity they squandered, as the Thunderducks defence again showed their ability to rally.
Going into the 2nd half, Andrew Giboney continued his excellent form and managed a sack in the end-zone for a safety to bring the score to 19-15. However the Thunderducks ill discipline on the ensuing drive resulted in false starts cost them more than just a drive, as they too gave up a safety to restore the Stampede’s 6 point lead. The Thunderducks defence gave their team a chance, managing to turn the ball over on downs again. Thunderducks QB Dale Davies then drove well down the field and managed to get the game tying TD to Craig Warren. With the vital XP attempt, Dale found Craig again to give the Thunderducks their first lead of the game. The Stampede again struggled to move the ball, and gave the ball straight back to Merthyr Tydfil, who threw conventional wisdom out the window. Instead of running the ball out, they launched a deep bomb to Craig Warren, who pulled the ball down just short of the end-zone to seal the game for the Thunderducks. A few sacks later, and the time expired on the Stampede. This was a thoroughly entertaining game, and our game ball goes to the heroic performance of Craig Warren.
Stampede 27, Falcons 2
The Falcons came out flat in their second game of the day, while the Stampede responded well to their disappointing loss to the Thunderducks. The Stampede defence kept the Falcons in 4th and long situations the majority of the game, where Falcons QB Lewis Phillips struggled. The only highlight of the game for the Falcons was a late game safety from Ethan Lewis. Jay Jay Spencer grabs our game ball for this contest, as he put in a dominant offensive display.
Hurricanes 53, Thunderducks 0
After going 2-0, Merthyr’s tired squad looked sluggish, while the Cardiff Hurricanes looked eager to get the game underway, having waited at least two hours. QB Matt Thomas threw five TD passes in the first five possessions to end the game before half-time. He found rookie Andrew Jones and Joe Cotterill with consistency, while Joe also grabbed a couple of interceptions to go with his offensive output.
The Thunderducks very much used this game as a learning experience, as they fielded a number of rookies to give them valuable game time. Our game ball for this contest goes to Joe Cotterill, who was potent on both offence and defence.
Stampede 26, Hurricanes 24
In the much anticipated final game of the day between the two playoff representatives from the SWC last season, it was Cardiff who seized the initiative. Cardiff raced into a 6-0 lead. A slightly less clinical performance from Matt Thomas may have something to do with an unfortunate collision with the Stampede blitzer in the first half. Hereford seized their chance and found holes in Cardiff’s zone coverage and responded with two scores. Jay Jay Spencer made an unbelievable leaping grab to give the Stampede the lead. The Hurricanes replied immediately through Josh Cranton replied with a TD on the stroke of half-time to tie the game at 12-12.
Hereford had found the secret to unlocking the Hurricanes defence in this game, and they hit Jay Jay Spencer for two more scores, where they importantly added their extra points. Cardiff made defensive adjustments to counter the Stampede, but it was too little too late. The Hurricanes made the game tight through Kostas Karras and Chris Jones, but their inefficiency on XPs cost them dearly. The Hurricanes were seven yards away from an incredible victory, but they failed to convert as the Stampede defence held firm. Our game ball goes to Jay Jay Spencer, who provided the catalyst for an unlikely win. Hereford will be ruing their missed opportunity against the Thunderducks, but they’ve set us up for an explosive SWC Divison race.