The Club had a very busy two days last weekend. This was the first time we had two teams playing in the league. The Colts played in Edinburgh on Saturday against the Midlothian Sabers and Glasgow Killer Bees. On Sunday the Broncos made the trek to Aberdeen to play the host Oilcats and the Clyde Comets.
The Colts Saturday games were their first ever league games. They were playing in the lower tier of the BAFA National Leagues, the Div 1 HNC league. As a product of the Grangemouth Club there was some expectation, but as a development team that had to be muted slightly.
With a first game day bye, the Colts were going to be playing against two teams who’s first day nerves had already been settled.
The first game against the host team, the Midloathian Sabers, was a much more exciting game than the Colts sideline would have liked. With seven changes in the lead, the score see-sawed back and forth throughout the game.
After early stalemate the Sabers were first to score, but the Colts hit back with two quick scores. The first TD from Mark Wallace, Joe McIlwaine getting the XP, then just before the half Joe scored his own TD. The Colts were leading 13 – 7 at the half.
After the interval, the game turned into a shoot-out. First the Sabers took a slender 1 point lead, then the Colts took it back with a second TD from Mark. An interception by Joe McIlwaine could have made the Colts more comfortable, but it wasn’t converted into points. Midlothian then took the lead as we headed for the two minute warning. The Colts were not done yet and re-took the lead with a running TD from Andy Brown. 25 – 20 with under two minutes to play. Had they scored too early and left too much time on the clock? Well, the answer there was yes. The Sabers took the lead and left Grangemouth with too little time to snatch the lead back.
After a shakey start the Colts seemed to find some rhythm, but not consistently. Offence failed on a number of occasions to reach the end-zone and when they did could only convert 1 of 4 XPs. On defence, while they made more than a few stops, they just couldn’t keep the score low enough to help out the offence.
It wasn’t a bad first outing, but the report card will say “Could have done better”.
Immediately after the Sabers, the Colts were straight into a game against the Glasgow Killer Bees (The Glasgow Hornets development team). The Colts start to this game was pretty much a disaster! Three offensive plays, two interceptions, one a pick six and the other resulted in a TD. 12 – 0 down and barely two minutes on the clock.
The Colts players then answered one of the coaches’ questions. Would they have the resolve to come back into a game after going behind? The answer was “Yes!”. Two consecutive touchdowns from Joe McIlwaine, one of which he converted himself, gave them the lead. Unfortunately, just before the break, the Killer Bees struck to give them an 18 – 13 lead at the half.
An interception returned for a TD by Andy Brown seemed to energise the Colts at the start of the second half and a further interception by Mark Wallace meant they could push themselves almost out of reach. After a tense last few minutes the Colts had held out for their first league win.
On Sunday, the Broncos were playing in Aberdeen in the BAFA Premier North league. This, their second league game day, was always going to be tough. With three of the top ten clubs in the one division and only two places at National finals the Broncos must out-perform either the Hornets or the Oilcats.
Having lost to the Hornets on their last outing, the pressure was on to get a result against the Oilcats in Aberdeen. As ever, the contest between the Grangemouth and Aberdeen Clubs was tight. Both offences had good drives snuffed out by the opposing defences. Both offences missed opportunities.
It was the Broncos who broke the deadlock with a pass from Scott McKenzie to Kevin Simpson. With the XP missed, the Broncos led 6 points to nil.
The Oilcats responded almost immediately with a TD from Gary Elliot. On the extra point attempt, Fraser Thomson intercepted the pass and ran the length of the field for a two point return. That kept the Broncos in the lead 8 – 6.
Just before half time the Oilcats broke through again. This time the Broncos couldn’t stop the XP, so Aberdeen led 13 – 8 at the half.
In the second half, the Oilcats increased their lead to 12 points before disaster struck for the Broncos. Quarterback Scott McKenzie went down with a twisted knee that would end his day. Fraser Thomson stepped in at QB and after a few errant throws in the blustery wind, he connected with Luke Morrice to get the Broncos back within touching distance 14 – 20.
Unfortunately, the Oilcats were able to see out the clock to take the honours.
The Broncos then went straight into their second game of the day against the Clyde Comets. The Greenock side can be tough opposition on their day, bit without some of their key players lack the experience to cope with the top teams.
With Fraser Thomson still at QB the Broncos were very efficient on offence, and with a few adjustments on defence, effectively closed down Comet QB Brian McFerrin’s options. By half time the Broncos had a 27 – 0 lead, and the second half followed the same track. A good win for the Broncos 46 – 0.
Against the Comets Callum Woods scored 2 TDs, Luke Morrice – 1 TD, Kevin Woods – 2 TDs and 2 XPs, Kevin Simpson – 1 TD, Jimmy Thomson – 1 TD and 1 XP and Liam Fleming – 1 XP plus 3 Interceptions.