Yorkshire Rams 0 – 13 Coventry Jets
Written by Tom White
An improved defensive performance could not prevent another frustrating afternoon for the Yorkshire Rams as the Coventry Jets eased clear in the fight for NFC Premier survival.
The game was played out against the colourful backdrop of host rugby club Leeds Corinthians’ family fun day, but on the field it was serious business with both sides well aware of the importance of victory.
Following a pre-match minute silence, impeccably observed by hosts and visitors alike, to honour a very important member of the Rams family that we sadly recently lost, former Treasurer Jean Cooling, the Yorkshire defence came up with a good stop on the visitors’ first drive – but on the next, a long catch-and-run from the Jets’ running back on their trusty swing pass opened the scoring. The PAT was pulled well wide though, leaving the score at 6-0.
There were early signs the Rams could move the ball on their opponents, first through the air as a wide open Jake Caines hauled in a long pass but was chased down, and then on the ground as backs Daunte Wint-Angus and Elliot Jackson began to find some holes.
The defence were also stepping up, first-half highlights being a sack for Alex Saunders and a heroic goal-line stand as the interval approached, and with only a solitary score in it the Rams were well in contention as the second half began.
Sadly, though, another big play from their bruising back took the Jets almost to the line and though Chris Lawton made the last-ditch stop, this time there was no way to prevent Coventry punching the ball in to go up 13-0. The Rams’ offence kept going but had no response as time and again promising drives faltered.
Lysander Code took defensive MVP honours while two of his colleagues on that side of the ball, Tom Wilkinson and Adam Cowley, were respectively named rookie of the day and Ram of the day. Tom Dunford made a host of tackles and big Jack Marshall again flashed his QB pursuit skills in a strong defensive showing throughout.
On offense, Wint-Angus played bravely through the pain having dislocated his shoulder at the previous Wednesday’s training session, while quarterback Dan Berry connected with four different receivers – Caines recording his first catches as a Ram and rookie Tom White snaring the first of his career.
Jonathan Maude also cracked the box score but it was the ageless Spencer Whybrow who earned the offensive MVP nod with three grabs including a pair of long gains down the sideline – meaning, as the man himself noted in between haranguing the officials, the wideout now has more catches than tackles on the season for the first time in his Rams career!
But with the Jets holding the head-to-head tie-breaker over the Rams, the only hope of survival is now for the season to finish as it started with a win over the Sheffield Predators and to hope the South Yorkshire side also lose to the Jets and the East Kilbride Pirates.