The Grangemouth Colts team were in action on Sunday (9th) the Oriam indoor arena at Heriot-Watt University. They were playing in this year’s Winter League.
They were playing against tournament organisers, Carnegie Flag, Glasgow Killerbees, Aberdeen Silvercats and the West Lothian Chargers.
The five teams played a round robin of slightly shorter games (12 min halves and a running clock).
The plans for the Colts roster had been set out in advance of the fixture. As a development tournament, the team would be based around the Colts, but with at least one rookie on the park, plus the occasional Broncos player.
The Colts first game was against the Chargers. While they have not been competing in the league, they do have a core of experienced players with Neil Roy-Warren, Brandon Lynch and Dave Charleston, so unlikely to be the push-over that some people might have thought.
The Colts started the game reasonably well and got the crucial first score. A pass from QB Andy Brown to Kristopher Walker. Brown also passed to rookie player James Duffie for the extra point. A sack from Ciaran Young put the pressure on the Chargers, but they did get back in touch with the Colts with a score, but missed the XP. The shortened game clock became more apparent as the Colts failed to score before the half ended. A slender 7 – 6 lead. After the break, the Colts immediately put the pressure on the Chargers when new player John Heron intercepted a pass. The Colts then extended their lead with a touchdown pass from Brown to Steven Cliffe. Ciaran young got his second sack of the day and with the Chargers having to push to get themselves back into the game, Gordon McSherry intercepted a pass to effectively seal the win 13 – 6.
Next game was against Carnegie. In the 2018 Div 1 league Carnegie were unbeaten and earned promotion to the BAFA Premier league, however, they are having to do it without veteran QB Neil Arnold. Their aim for the day was to give Ross Dawkins as much experience as possible.
The Colts were first on the scoreboard again with a pass from Brown to Kevin Woods, but Carnegie hit back almost immediately with a pass from Dawkins to Brandon Lamb. Both teams missed their XPs so it was 6 – 6 at half time. Carnegie went ahead after the break with a TD from Guthrie and the XP from Lamb, but the Colts were not finished and Brown passed to Duffie for both the TD and the XP to tie the game again. The Colts then got a stop which gave them a chance for the win. As the clock hit zero Brown put the ball into the opposition end-zone, but unfortunately it was a Carnegie player who came down with it. Still a tie, 13 – 13, was a good result.
Straight into the next game against the Killerbees. This game started well for the Colts with new player Calum Young intercepting a pass, but they couldn’t capitalise. In fact it was the Killerbees who went ahead 7 – 0. The Colts second half did not start well with an interception on the first play, but a defensive stand gave the Colts the chance to get back into the game with a TD from Callum Woods. The XP was missed. Try as they might, the Colts just couldn’t get the go ahead score and when the Killerbees scored late the game was over. 13 – 6.
The Colts final game of the day was against the Silvercats, the team that pushed them hard for the second spot in the league.
Veteran receiver David Mooney rolled back the years and was first on the scoresheet with a TD followed by an XP from Heron. The Aberdonians hit back with a TD of their own, but no XP. The Colts first half offense seemed to stall with interceptions thrown by both Heron and Brown, but stout defence kept the Colts ahead at the half, 7 – 6. After half time, the Silvercats seemed to run out of steam. Kevin Woods caught an interception, Louise Donnelly got her second and third sacks and the offence was clicking. A TD pass to new player Craig Huchison, a TD and 2 XPs for veteran McSherry and a TD for Billy Corner all added up to a comfortable 27 – 6 victory.
After the games Coach Thomson said, “Today wasn’t about the results, though a 2-1-1 day is a great result. Getting our new players into the action is what it was about. We managed that, and every one of them performed.”
“We still have some work to do, but the new players have come on really quickly. Really happy with the team’s work.”
The next Winter League games will be on the 30th of December, again at the Oriam.
The Grangemouth Broncos and Colts teams are still looking to recruit new players ahead of the 2019 league which will start in April. Anyone interested in trying Flag Football can get in touch with the club through their Facebook pages. This is a mixed sex sport, so anyone aged 16 and over can get involved.
James Duffie – First points for the club (1 TD and 2 XPs)
Craig Huchison – First points for the Club (1 TD)
John Heron – Firsts… 1 XP, 1 interception caught and lets not mention the interception thrown!
Calum Young – First interception for the club.
Andy Brown – Second place in the Winter League QB standings after 3 games
Steven Cliffe – Voted MVP for the Colts v Chargers game
Gordon McSherry – MVP for the Colts v Silvercats game
And… drum roll please.
Billy Corner – First recorded TD in his 61st game for the Club