In their last match before Christmas, the Portsmouth Destroyers beat Oxford Brookes University Panthers to continue their winning streak with their fourth victory out of four matches this year.
Once again, there was a referee shortage, meaning coaches from both teams had to step up. There was an eerie atmosphere at Langstone; the boys were eager to prove that they could improve their game and no more ‘hell Tuesdays’ (brutal training sessions) were needed. As this was a home game, the Destroyers were supported by Portsmouth’s cheerleading squad, who were making sure the boy’s egos remained intact.
The first quarter started well for the Destroyers after a 28yd pass from quarterback Ben Clift was caught by wide receiver Taofeeq Adeyemi for his first touchdown as a Destroyer. A further 2 points were added by running back Tomi Olusanya, leaving the 1st quarter score at 8-0 to the Destroyers.
However, the OBU Panthers soon hit back early in the second quarter with a 33yd field goal, giving them 3 points on the board, which was to be the only score during the second quarter.
After a quick word from the coaches and a swift performance from the cheerleaders, the teams were back on the field for the third quarter, both determined to improve on their first half performance. Once more the Destroyer’s offensive-line were failing at letting their offense get vital yards.
A few fumbles and failed interceptions later, running back Brook Ince made a 5yd touchdown run for a further 6 points for Portsmouth. The 2 point conversion failed, but Portsmouth were still leading by 11 points.
The fourth quarter also included a few failed interceptions from Portsmouth, letting the ball literally slip through their fingers. But the wait soon paid off and Brook Ince made another run, this time for 7yds, for his second touchdown of the game. Once more, the 2 point conversion failed, but with the clock still running, it didn’t look like the Panthers could bring it back.
The match finished 20-3 to the Destroyers.The match finished 20-3 to the Destroyers.
Laurence Pestell won not one but two chicken dinners for his outstanding performance on the field and Anthony ‘Afo’ Black also performed exceptionally making at least 5 vital tackles.
The Destroyers now enter their long Christmas break at 4-0 and joint top of the league table before their training starts again in January. They next face Team Solent Redhawks away on the 5th February – the same day as the NFL Superbowl.