The LJMU Fury kicked off their BUCS campaign this weekend with a home game vs the UCLAN Rams, and it proved to be a high scoring thriller, although without the result that the Fury had wanted to start the year.
The Rams got the game underway and were on the board quickly, but missed the XP to take a 6-0 lead. This kicked the Fury into action, and they responded in kind quickly with a TD of their own, a pass caught by Nighthawks U19 Jensen Fairhurst. The XP was blocked and this tied the scores up at 6-6.
The next few possesions saw each team trade punts, and it was the Rams who were to get on the board next. After converting on 3rd and long at about midfield, the Rams offence converted 2 plays later to find paydirt, taking a 12-6 lead. They went for 2, but the conversion failed, leaving the Rams with a slender lead.
The teams looked to be heading to the locker room at half time with a 12-6 scoreline, but the Rams special team had other ideas. After a running-into-the-kicker call cost them 5 yards, the Fury elected to re-kick the punt on 4th and long. This was to prove a disaster of sorts, as the snap went array, and was downed by the LJMU punter on their own 2 yard line. The Rams took over with less than a minute to play, and converted with a TD before the HT whistle, despite being taken back 10 yards for a holding call on their first play. They once again failed to convert the 2-pt try and headed into half time at 18-6.
The Fury got the ball to start the 3rd quarter, but couldn’t move the ball and punted back to the away team. The Rams picked up where they had left off in the first half, with a quick score and a failed XP taking the score to 24-6. This really got the Fury into gear, and a sustained drive down the field, led by Daishawn Honohan and Jacob Diaba’s strong runs, capped off with a lovely fade to the corner from QB Harry Sackman to WR Bradley Tetlow. The Fury went for two, and a replication of the TD pass saw another fade, to the same corner, and the same WR in Tetlow, put an extra 2 on the board for the Fury. The score hit 24-14 and the Fury were back in the game.
The Rams saw the Fury morale lifted with the 8 point swing, and responded in kind. A deep pass down the right hand side saw the WR walk into the end zone virtually untouched and extended the lead again to 30-14. The XP was successful this time, and a 31-14 scoreline heading into the 4th didn’t bode well for the Fury.
However, the 4th quarter started well for the Fury, and, taking advantage of a tiring Rams side, the Fury drove downfield and were able to get into the end zone through RB Honohan. A missed XP saw the score at 31-20 and the Fury spirits raised again. The Rams quickly quashed this, taking the ball downfield and finding paydirt again, capping the drive off with a successful XP. At 38-20, they looked out of sight. LJMU had other ideas.
In order to set up a rousing finale, the Fury needed 3 scores, but ultimately came up just short. A 2nd TD of the game for Brad Tetlow, followed by a failed onside kick, gave the ball back to the Rams. The Fury D were able to stand strong, giving the ball back to Harry Sackman and the Fury offence. A quick drive, capped off by a QB keeper by Sackman brought the scores to 38-32, with both 2-pt conversions failing. The Fury again attempted an onside kick, but the Rams thwarted it again and the Rams O took the field.
That finished the scoring off for the day, and the Rams were able to get out of Skelmersdale with a 38-32 win. The Fury now get a week off before travelling to UCLAN for their first road game of the year.
Photos used with the kind permission of ‘Photos By Furfie’ (https://www.facebook.com/photosbyfurfie/)