Match Report: Loughborough Students American Football Club vs. Durham University

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The Loughborough Students played tremendously well in their Homecoming match, but got unlucky in their clash against the Durham Saints who won 30 – 18.

Amidst the rainy, windy conditions the American riddled Durham team kicked to start. Loughborough found themselves with an early three and out but a great tackle from Luca Fiume slowed down the Durham opposition. Sean Galloway played a massive sack and a good defensive tackle by Lewis Freeman saw Loughborough very much in control at the start of the first quarter. Seamlessly, quarter-back Aaron Butler passed to George Cox who did well to secure the Students’ first touchdown and put valuable early points on the board. The PAT was no good but LSAFC still led 0-6.

Rattled, Durham responded with a touchdown of their own, and instinctively went for 2. The conversion was good and the Saints stepped ahead 8-6. Loughborough had little time to recover and could only respond with a punt before the Saints were back, adding to their tally. Another touchdown and second good conversion took the score to 16-6. Birkan Palar put in some good work but the score stood thus come half time.

The start of the second half saw Loughborough take to the field with force as they tried to regain their tempo from the early first half. Team spirit carried them into the endzone and secured them their second touchdown. Despite the conversion being no good, the home side were closing the gap, 18-12. Loughborough’s momentum continued and an amazing run from Dan Holmes brought with it another touchdown. Unfortunately the PAT was no good and in spite of great tackles from the LSAFC defence (leaving Durham lingering in the red zone) it was to be the last points Loughborough would score. Durham stepped ahead and stayed ahead, and despite the Students’ attempts to grasp back the game, it quickly fell out of reach. FT score 30-18.

Unfortunately Loughborough couldn’t take the win but the clash against the Durham Saints was charged and exciting to spectate. This more energised, higher paced game of football from the Students saw the flare that was somewhat lacking from a few games mid-season.  Head Coach Paul Sherratt shared his thoughts on the team’s performance:

“I thought we played really, really well. I think we got unlucky, we had a few unlucky breaks but they had a good team and made some good plays when they needed to. They put a bit of space between us and we couldn’t recover.

“I think there were loads of positives; the team spirit was great. We’ve got a bit of time to get ready for [the next fixture], so same again next week!”

The Students’ next game gives them another shot against The Saints to right this weekend’s wrongs and try and clinch the win. Follow LSAFC’s next clash with Durham on Sunday 14th February, KO 4pm.

Amber Thiara

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