2018 has been a strange year.
We started this campaign immediately after the semi-final defeat last year at London Blitz and, despite some coaching changes including the loss of OC and assistant HC Joe Black, we found ourselves entering 2018 in a strong position. A decent recruitment campaign, some internal coaching promotions and a strong work ethos in the off season from the players ensured that we were primed for the Premier Noth campaign.
But it wasn’t to be. We started off terribly, losing away games at Manchester and Sheffield before a home loss to Tamworth. We were staring down the barrel of 0-4 when Manchester visited JMO Sports Park with 11 seconds on the clock, but then we saw the Miracle on Merseyside.
1-3 then became 1-5, with further defeats to Tamworth and Edinburgh before our guys really got going. We finished the year 5-5, after 4 straight victories to close out the year. 3rd in the Prem North is not to be sniffed at, and we only marginally missed out on play off football.
However, our off season is a long one this year, with the lack of play-off football for the first time in 6 years. The organisation is hurt and our planning for 2019 has already begun.
Before we close out this year though, we want to say a few thank yous to a few people.
Firstly, to our sponsors/partners for 2018. These include EP Sports, O’Neills Liverpool, Fuel10k and Viridor Waste Management. Each of these businesses selflessly supported us throughout the 2018 campaign financially and we will forever be grateful for all their support. Please head on over to their websites/Facebook and give them a look or a like. Without them, our 2018 season wouldn’t have been so easily put together.
Secondly, our opponents for 2018. It was a great pleasure to share the field with you all this year. Congratulations to an ever dominant Tamworth Phoenix team, who swept all before them in heading to the Bowl game again, and the guys at Manchester Titans did a great job in finishing second in the division in their first season in the Prem. Sheffield certainly gave the rest of the division a run for their money and the Giants and the Wolves will be disappointed to finish 4-6 when they both had chances to get to the play offs towards the end of this year. And finally, to East Kilbride Pirates; we know we will see you again very soon. You belong in the Premier Division and we look forward to your return.
To Charlie and the staff at JMO Sports Park. You guys have been impeccable all year and your hard work before and after games allows us to just get on with what we like doing. Balling Out. Here’s to many more years with you guys.
To Mark Carver and Carvers Coaches. Thank you for all of your long distances travelled with our motley crew of players, coaches and others. Your wonderful drivers really do put up with a lot, including some awful renditions of some 80s classics on the way home every trip so kudos to them for putting up with that.
Finally, to our fans. Thanks for everything this year. You were there when we needed you, and only (rightfully!!) deserted us when the thunderstorm arrived in our final game of the year. We look forward to seeing you all again next season at JMO, and hopefully further afield when the time arrives.
Our 2019 season plans are already in place, and we hope to have some exciting news to bring you over the coming months as we build towards our next campaign.
For now, #itsallaboutus