Storm 0 – 21 Walney Terriers

23rd October @ Operations Sports Complex, GlaxoSmith Kline

The Morecambe Bay Storm travelled to South Cumbria to play the Walney Terriers in a match which was the return of the Battle of the Bay for the local team. This is the last of three friendly games the Storm must play as part of the entry requirements for league membership in April 2017. The fixture was played at GlaxoSmith Kline sports club in Ulverston on a bright but cold and breezy day in South Lakeland.
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Electing to receive the kick-off the Storm made little impact on the defense of the Terriers in the first drive being forced to punt the ball away. Some strong tackling by Safety James Rawsthorne and Defensive End Rian Eaton combined to stop the outside run of Walney as they attempted to get a go ahead score but were themsleves forecd to punt the balla way. With the Storm now settling in, their offense started to click and move the ball with some big catching gains by Receiver Mark Baldwin from the arm of Quarterback Chris Mayne. The drive ran out of steam within the Terrier Red Zone with a failed 4th down 5 yards to go.
A long rush from the Cumbrian runningback set up a 26yd touchdown pass from Quarterback Phil Gillgrass to Joe Allington with the one point conversion by kicker Ben Richardson leading to a first half 7-0 lead to the home side.
The second half was much the same, with both sides trading punts due to aggressive and penetrating defensive plays however it was the Terriers who managed to break the stranglehold a with a long downfield bomb from Gilgrass which was followed up with a 5 yard rushing touchdown from runningback Mark Turner with the score again converted by Richardson for a 14-0 lead.img_5753
Despite the Storm defensive players Adam Newton and Scott Metcalfe forcing and recovering a fumble Walney continued to pound away and eventually the tactic paid off with another rushing touchdown by Turner giving him a brace and the conversion from Richardson making it 21-0.
Despite an interception and return of 40 yards by Safety Bryan Clarkson, it was too little too late as time expired with the Storm camped on the Walney 3 yardline.
Storm quarterback Chris Mayne ended with 10 completions on the day with Baldwin and recent signee receiver Dion Feather making significant contributions.

img_5995Coach Fairhurst summarised the game “Unfortunately the result was a rerun of the first meeting between the two sides in September though the scoreline was more respectable and a demonstration of the team’s development over a relatively short time. It’s a steep learning curve getting to the level required to compete in the national league but the team are showing they are capable.”
The Storm do not have any more fixtures arranged but will continue training and welcoming new players who want to try out.