Leeds had already started their season against the heavily fancied Sheffield Hallam Warriors, and came away with a loss, so it was the perfect opportunity for them to get back on the board against a Fury team who had not yet started their season.
It showed fairly early on that Leeds were already the hardened of the two teams as they raced ahead to a 14-0 lead fairly on in the first half, while the Fury offence, led by QB Harry Sackman struggled to get moving, and the Fury Offensive Line initially struggling with the aggressiveness and Speed of the Leeds D Line.
A couple of big plays and turnovers from the Fury Defence, led by third years, Liam Hulse, Mike Bassey and Freddy Sadeghi, put the Fury offence in good field position, which they were able to capitalize on with a quick Touch Down to reduce the gap. The offence then drove the ball down field again, but the goal line defence from Leeds was outstanding, as it was all game, and the Fury came away with just a FG for all their efforts.
The Fury Defence really started to rally, with a couple of goal line stops of their own, and good running by the Fury RB Trio of Daishawn Honohan, Jacob Diaba and Noah-Xavier Lebacq got the Fury back into the Redzone and was eventually punched in for the go-ahead score leading into the Halftime break.
With the Second half starting and the score at 16-14, both teams started to create turnovers through mistakes, and both scored TD’s cancelling each other out. The Fury then went ahead 29-21 with 7 minutes left on the clock going into the 4th quarter, as the Fury run game started to pay off, and the clock started to run out.
Leeds Gryphons found a way through the Fury defence to bring the score to 29-27 knowing that a 2 point attempt would bring the tie level with 3 minutes remaining on the clock. They converted on a pass, and gave the Fury offence 2:56 with 2 time outs to get the ball within field goal range for the winning score. The Fury Offensive Line, continued to create gaps for the Running Backs, and a pass and long run from Daishawn, tackled on the 2 yard line, left 0:03 seconds left on the clock, against a Gryphons Defence that had stopped the Fury 3 times previously crossing the line, to stop one final play, for the win.
A massive effort from all the Fury Offence, saw Honohan break the line of the Leeds Gryphons goal, and after what felt like an eternity, the Line Judges and Head Ref both signaled a touchdown and the end of the game.
Heartbreak for the Leeds Gryphons, but the LJMU Fury will come away from the game knowing that there were plenty of things to put right if they didn’t want to be in that situation again.
The Fury now face the Sheffield Sabres (1-0) at JMO Sports Park on the 19th November looking to extend their record against one of the powerhouses of Northern University Football.