The LJMU Fury made the short trip to Preston this past weekend to face off against first game conquerors, the UCLAN Rams, in what proved to be a defeat of the most heartbreaking kind.
The Rams got off to a fast start, in what would set the tone for the rest of the game, with a TD on their first possession. The Fury specials team held them to 6 though, by blocking the XP. 6-0 Rams.
The travelling team would not be down for long. RB Daishawn Honohan spent most of the day wrecking the UCLAN D and racked up 3 quick TDs on the ground. The first XP was missed, with the second and third made, and the Fury leapt out to a quick 20-6 lead. The Rams would not be denied though, and added a second TD of their own. They went for a 2pt conversion, but failed and the score was 20-12.
Into the 2nd quarter, and the Fury, having ran all over the Rams defence, started to use the passing game and to great effect. A couple of short completions was followed up with a big gain through the air for a 4th TD of the day. This time QB Harry Sackman launched the ball 55 yards and WR Matt Spoors came down with it. The 2 pt conversion failed and the score sat at 26-12 to the Fury.
The first half ended with another flurry of scores, with UCLAN getting on the board first (and failing the 2pt conversion) before the Fury responded right before half time, with a 4th TD on the day for Honohan. Again the 2pt conversion failed, and the Fury headed into half time with a commanding 32-18 lead.
The Rams came out of half time determined to stuff the Fury run game, but utimately failed on the first play from scrimmage. Honohan took the ball nearly the length of the field for his record-setting FIFTH touchdown of the day. The Fury continued to try the 2pt conversion and succeeded, with WR Pedro Botelho came down with the ball to secure a 40-18 lead for the Fury.
UCLAN had become increasingly desperate for points, and went for it with a fake punt on 4th down on their next possession. This proved to be a huge momentum swinger, and the Rams score shortly thereafter. Their 2pt conversion was good and it was suddenly a 2 score game again. The Fury came back out with the ball and drove downfield, odly for the drive to stall close to the Rams redzone. Matt Spoors nailed the Field Goal for 3 and the Fury looked home and hosed with 7 minute to play and a 43-26 lead.
The Rams had other ideas. They scored two quick back to back TDs, stopping the previously prolific Fury Offence in between. The first TD saw them fail to convert the 2pts, whilst they managed the second conversion to bring the game back to 43-40 to the Fury. The Fury offence took the field knowing that a sustained drive would allow them to run the clock out, but the Rams defence stood strong, giving the Rams one last chance to convert. With just 40 seconds on the clock, UCLAN scored a further touchdown to take their second lead of the day, the first since the first quarter. They missed the XP, which meant that at 46-43, the Fury would only need a FG to tie.
That was to prove too much for the tiring Fury offence, and the Rams took the victory by stopping the away team short of the red zone. The Fury now sit on 0-2, but can definitely be counted as unfortunate to be sitting there. They have scored 75 points against UCLAN in their opening two games, and can certainly say that they have progressed year on year. They cannot wallow too much though, as they face a yough away trip to Sheffield Sabres this weekend, looking to turn the high scoring offence into a win for the first time this year.