THE Mayor and Mayoress of Burnley were guests of honour as Burnley Tornados hosted their own American Football tournament.
And the team helped recreate the razamatazz of the NFL, along with cheerleaders from Sanderson’s Dance Studio.
The Mayor, Coun. David Neil Heginbotham and the Mayoress Joan Edith Heginbotham were introduced to the Tornados coaches by chairman Ivan Jackson, and head coach Paul Brammer introduced the referees and Tornados team captains Cameron Stewart and Matty Brammer.
The team then welcomed their guests, as well as visiting opponents Woodham Warriors, Chorley Buccaneers and Balby Carr Mustangs.
The cheerleaders put on a short display for the players and made a tunnel for players and guests to walk through.
After the coin toss, with the Mayor’s own silver dollar, Burnley’s first game was against Chorley, with both vying for a spot in the play-offs.
Burnley were out for revenge following a recent defeat to Chorley, but the Buccs scored the first touchdown.
They went for a one point conversion, however, Lewis Freeman caught the ball and ran it back the length of the field for a point to Burnley.
This fired the Tornados up and they went on to score a further 21 points, with Xavier Sutcliffe claiming his first touchdown, taking the half-time score to 22-6.
The second half seemed to catch Burnley on the hop as Chorley scored 13 points before Burnley were able to make their first touchdown, with Stewart passing to Brammer, the first of many pairings on the day.
The final whistle came, giving the Tornados their first win of the day.
The Tornados’ second game was against Balby Carr, a team they had not played against this year.
Burnley were able to match the Mustangs play for play in the first half, with the Mustangs having a short lead of two points at half-time.
After a talk from Tony “Tank” Edwards and Paul Brammer, the players rallied, and took the game to the Mustangs.
Matty Brammer scored two touchdowns and Kris Moore ran through to score a third.
The whole team got behind the defence to stop the Mustangs making any progress, and the final score was Tornados 36, Mustangs 28.
Burnley’s final game of the day was against league leaders Woodham Warriors, who hadn’t lost a game all season.
Many of the Tornados were injured, and they were working with a small squad, but they did the coaching staff proud by matching the Warriors point for point for the first four drives.
Anthony Tither, only just eligible for the game due to his age, went on the field and caught a superb catch and laid on a good block for the quarterback.
The heat, however, took its toll, as did injuries.
Nevertheless, Burnley put on a strong show, but were unable to keep up the pressure on the very well-disciplined Warriors. The final score went in favour of the Warriors, 44-12.
Matty Brammer and Stewart linked up for an impressive seven touchdown receptions and nine touchdown throws respectively.
Phil Robins showed how impressive his catching skills are with some super one-handed catches, and Ben McCallion played on both the offense and defense with passion.
Head coach Brammer said: “The team set a new standard this week in ability, team spirit and determination, they did the Tornados proud and took us to second in the league.
“The next tournament will be even tougher for the Tornados as we have a much-reduced squad, but we are working hard to get the plays to combat this.
“If we stay focused and take the fight to the other teams, we’ll be successful.”