With seven weeks since the Tornados juniors had been in action, a full squad of players travelled in convoy to Salford to take on Manchester Titans.
Kick off was scheduled for 12.00 and in the blistering sun, not usually seen in Manchester, the captains – Flynn Griffith, James Macken, Phil Robins and Xavier Sutcliffe, met the refs and the opposition. Burnley won the toss and elected to receive the ball.
The kick receiving team entered the field and Flynn Griffith was able to run the ball back into the oppositions half. This was about all that was done on this drive as Manchester put the pressure on the Tornados and forced a turnover. Anthony Tither returned the pressure by sacking the opposition quarterback twice in succession. The game was very much back and forth for the first quarter, with both teams needing to settle themselves and the quarter ended 0-0.
The second half saw the Tornados miss tackles, drop balls and be shut down on the running plays, allowing Manchester to take the lead with a touchdown and a conversion. An injury to Matty Brammer gave a brief water break for all players but Burnley were still lacking focus and again the Titans scored to be in the lead at half time 0-14. Burnley would need to up their game if they were to have any chance of turning the game around.
Following a good team talk from the coaches and captains, the Tornados rested and rejuvenated were a different team in the second half. A forced fumble from Andy Hawkes gave the Tornados good field position from which they capitalised with a Flynn Griffith run for a touchdown – the first of five! Matt Bates scored the conversion and Burnley were making a come-back! Flynn Griffith and QB, Will Robertshaw, again matched up and between them scored a touchdown and conversion. The game was tied! Tornados defense held the Titans with Anthony Tither, Josh Bonnick and Ben Dyer pressuring them into making mistakes and Andy Hawkes capitalising by sacking their QB for a two point safety. The Tornados were now in the lead but could they hold on to it?
The fourth quarter started with the narrowest of margins between the two teams but the Tornados held fast and Will Robertshaw was able to get the ball into the safe hands of Gino Mann, in the back of the endzone for a touchdown. The Tornados were now fired up and the defense were sacking the Titans QB on nearly every play, and Flynn Griffith was running the ball into the Tornados endzone for a score. The final point of the day went to Dom Ward who twisted and turned into the endzone for the conversion to make the final score Manchester Titans 20, Burnley Tornados 44!!
MVPs for the game went to Anthony Tither, Flynn Griffith and Andy Hawkes, although the coaches did agree that in the second half everyone of the players uped their game and could have been the recipients of the MVP accolade.