Yorkshire Stall to Defeat Versus Bulls
The Yorkshire Rams fell to 2-1 today at the hands of the Birmingham Bulls today in a 15-10 decision, in spite of a late comeback attempt from the home team. In a game that took place under glorious sunshine in South Leeds, the previously winless Bulls were able to stifle the Rams offence whilst getting themselves into the endzone twice in the first half to force the result.
The game started with the Bulls receiving the opening kickoff, and after a quick 3 and out found themselves with the ball around the halfway line. After QB Jacob Hardy hooked up with Matthew Ward-Stead early, Yorkshire found themselves in the opposition’s endzone. Birmingham stood firm however, and forced the Rams into 4th down. Up stepped Kicker Johnny Dudley to slot through the field goal attempt for an early 3-0 lead.
After both teams traded fumbles on consequetive plays, the Rams eventually found themselves on 4th down in their own territory. After a short punt, Birmingham had the ball in great position for the first time. They did not let the opportunity pass, as they found their way into the endzone on a misdirection run to force a suprise 7-3 lead. Things went from bad to worse as the Rams again coughed the ball up on the next drive, and Birmingham took advantage to extend their lead to 13-3 at the end of the 1st quarter.
In the 2nd quarter, an errant long snap on a punt confounded Yorkshire’s woes as the punter was tackled in the endzone to extend Birmingham’s lead to 15-3 on a safety. Needing to get a hold back on the game, the Rams were able to mount a drive into the redzone in the dying minutes of the 1st half following a long completion down the middle of the field by QB Hardy. Sadly for the home team, time ran out with the Rams still banging on the opposition’s door, to go into half time 15-3 down.
The Rams started the second half with the ball, and managed to move it well through the air. This drive stopped however, as the Bulls were able to pick off a pass in the endzone for a touchback. On the next drive it appeared that Yorkshire had got themselves a touchdown as DB Martin Steele picked off an errant pass and returned it to the house. This joy was short-lived however, as the score was called back on a block in the back penalty. The resulting Yorkshire offensive drive was eventually cut short on an incomplete pass in the red zone on 4th down.
With more mistakes creeping in, Yorkshire muffed a punt to give away the ball deep in their territory, and it looked as though they may fall further behind on the day. However Safety Chris Lawton picked off a pass to dig Yorkshire out of a hole. With Hardy hooking up with WR James Sharrock to get the offence up to midfield. The drive stalled however, and again the Bulls ended up with the ball. Lawton again popped up with an interception, his 7th in 3 games, but the Rams coughed the ball up yet again.
With time running out, the Rams got one more chance with their offence and with about 2 minutes to go, the Rams were finally able to get into the endzone as a deflected pass fell into the willing hands of RB Eliott Jackson for the touchdown. The PAT took the score to 15-10 with just under 2 minutes to go. Needing the ball back, the Rams attempted an onside kick, and although it was recovered, it had not traveled the neccessary 10 yards, so Birmingham took over the ball. After a gutsy call to pass on 3rd and long, Birmingham got the 1st down that they needed to eat the clock, and kneeled it out to win the game.
The result sees the Rams fall to 2-1 overall and they drop to 4th in the table. There isn’t much time for them to lick their wounds however as they have a tough fixture against the Coventry Jets up next Sunday. Kickoff is at 2:30pm at Leeds Corinthians Rugby Club, with free entry to the ground.