The Steam headed into what became their second game of the season following the postponement of the away game versus the Gateshead Senators, this time travelling to play Division One outfit, Northumberland Vikings.
The Steam has over 20 players missing, the majority being on defence. The Vikings were also missing some key starters too.
The gulf between both sides was the talk before the game, being from different divisions, experience levels etc but as the game started, the Steam looked to match them in the dogfight.
Opening kick-off was a wake-up call, Vikings laying some big hits early doors so the challenge was there for all to see. The Steam, being the little brother to the Vikings big brother, stood up and wanted the battle. Both sides playing very good defence, looking like a middle of the park game but the home team struck first, a pass to the corner of the end zone. A successful two-pointer got the game off to an 8-0 start to Northumberland.
It didn’t take long for the Steam to respond though and brought the game back to 8-6, a touchdown pass from Josh Adcock to the back of the end zone for the speedy Chris Kilgour to catch his second touchdown in as many games.
The score stayed the same for a very long period, the Steam proving capable of stepping up to the plate and showing their improvement. Good offensive drives, great defensive play keeping the Vikings in reach but the home side struck just before the break, 16-6.
At the half, Head Coach, Darren Mitchell said to the players that Northumberland know they are in for a fight but they will come out and smack us in the mouth, which they did. Some questionable blocks, late hits etc but this is part of the game.
The defence started to tire due to the lack of depth in key areas and the Vikings exploited this with effect.
Derby games are great but they come with their flashpoints, and this was no different. Midway through the fourth quarter, a questionable hit in the back on QB Josh Adcock, led OL Jack Curry to come to the aid of his QB, unfortunately, due to the reaction being fighting between Curry and the Vikings players, he was ejected.
Head Coach, Darren Mitchell after reflecting on the game had this to say, “Overall, what a game. I thought we were excellent, particularly in the first half. We showed we can match anyone, if we play like that in 2022 then who knows what positing end up in? We have a lot of belief in the team and we will take that into the next game.
We came out of the game with a few injuries, and what looks like season-ending ones to two players. I’m gutted about that but I’m focused on 2022, I’d rather them get fully recovered for that season, not a game here and there and the injury to become worse.
As for ejection, no excuse for fighting but I understand what happened, why it happened and the resulting suspension that will follow. I’m fine with it because it was in the defense of a fellow player, isn’t that what teams should do? I’ve spoken to the player, we will go through it, sort through suspension and move forward.
While the game ended 56 – 6 and a loss for the steam, the score does not tell the full story of the game and how well our team played against a highly rated division 1 team.
To see where we have come from in 2019 to what the team is doing now, I am so proud. I am a winner, I despise losing but I know this is part of the journey to becoming a winning team. We are 1-1 on the season with 6 games left…time to go and get another number in the win column.”
A very well done to the debuting players, Jordan Mannion, Jack Curry, Alex Crossley, Ricky Mannion, Thomas Robinson and Luke Holiday.
The MVP post will follow shortly.
Onto the next game which is our first home game of the season, we play at Blackwell Meadows against Gateshead Senators. The last time we played them which was in 2018, we lost 41-12 so we have some improvement to do on that but no pressure on us, let’s look forward to the game of football!
Darren Mitchell (Head Coach)