This month we hear from the head coach of the Senior Flag Team, John Harvey, fresh from the Burnley Tornados games against the Mansfield Honey Badgers and Sheffield Predators.
Affectionately known as Grandad, here’s coach Harvey’s thoughts on his flag team and his beloved St. Louis Rams for his first coach’s corner.
To kick-off this new section I’ll be reporting on the Seniors Flag team’s participation at the weekend of BAFA’s Flag league. The Seniors are grouped in the MEC North, the Mid-England Conference which is divided into two Divisions North and South.
So this weekend the seniors travelled to Mansfield to take on the Mansfield Honey badgers and Sheffield Predators. The day started early, with the team arriving in good spirits and the weather looking hopeful. Discussions moved to whether the Tornados could blow their way through the Conferences top two teams? The first game would see us pit our wits against the home team, the Mansfield Honey Badgers! Both teams carried out their respective warm ups in the dry but unfortunately that would be the last time we felt the sun on our faces as it rained through out our back to back games.
Honey Badgers Vs Burnley Tornados
The rain was making it very tricky to grip throw and catch the ball. The Honey Badgers and their organised defence harried and pressured the Tornado offence and at times the offence struggled to reach the H-B’s territory. The defence made some really good tackles and broke up plays regularly but unfortunately the Badgers’s were able to breach our defence and soon raced into a commanding lead by half time.
The second half followed a similar pattern to the first however the Tornados offence made a couple of tactical changes and began to find some form. Gaining in confidence the offence made regular forays into the Mansfield half but with regular penalty calls for false starts, yardage gains turned into losses. Eventually the Tornado offence managed to breach the Badger’s defence by #13 Peter Ashworth and that was followed up with a PAT by #04 Cameron Stewart. The game ebbed backwards and forwards but in the end the Honey badgers were the victors by a score of 46-7.
Burnley Tornados Vs Sheffield Predators
The Predators started the day as the Conference top side and and in their previous games had amassed some very big scores with a very miserly defence, something we were hoping to end!! However, due to a highly disciplined offence and defence this proved a hard task. The Preds defence capitalised on some Tornado errent passes and gained 5 interceptions three were returned for pick 6’s and these were converted for 2 point PAT’s. With the Tornado offence having some decent possession and again finding Preds territory regularly the much sought after touchdowns were elusive. The Tornado defence was buoyed by some great tackles from #92 Harv Mayor #54 David Nutter who made two interceptions and stop the Preds from scoring. More important tackles were made by #66 Horatiu Cojocaru and #23 Chris Law to keep the Predators from completely overrunning the Tornados, Alas the game ended with the Predators victorious by a score of 76-0.
It was a pleasure to coach this group of guys who showed the true Burnley Tornados spirit and determination during these two games as they kept their heads and tried different options to try and improve the outcomes. I congratulate the Honey Badgers and Predators on their victories, they’re both certainly in the top 10 ranked sides in the UK for a reason!
We now move on to the next games at Leeds on 19th July where we take on the home team Leeds Samurai and Sheffield Vipers where we look to get our playoff challenge back on track!
As for my beloved Rams?
A very successful Draft has given the Rams faithful optimism for the 2014 season, to the extend that the term ‘FEARSOME FOURSOME!!!’ is being bounded round for our defensive backs, also ‘SACK CITY,’ is being used.
This is the year that so much needs to happen, above all having a winning season and making the playoffs. This alone will make 2014 a successful one but, being in the NFL’s most competitive Division, with last years Superbowl winners Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers and the Arizona Cardinals, its not going to be easy.
Personally I can’t wait for September 7th opening game against the Minnesota Vikings!