BURNLEY Tornados flag team travelled across the border into Yorkshire, to Halifax, to play the Calderdale Knights, an established team of three years.
Both current flag teams have only been up and running since June, but the Knights had a much older team base than the Tornados.
The teams warmed up on the sidelines, then the captains Ethan Hollas and Max Gregson met with the Knights captains and took the coin toss with the referee for the day, Cameron Stewart.
The Tornados won the toss and elected to go on defense first.
The stronger, taller Knights ran the ball for a touchdown and got the two point conversion within the first two plays of the game.
The Tornados tried hard, with Rebecca Robins making some good snaps to the qquarterback Max Gregson, who handed off the ball to Jamie Higgins, who spun and turned but failed to make the distance giving the ball back to the Knights.
The defense came out again, and Shannon Wilson was just unable to stop the run, but Niall Doherty did stop the extra point.
The Tornados offense were back out, and this time Gregson did connect with Ethan Hollas in the endzone to give the Tornados their first-ever points.
But the Knights again scored and went into half-time with a lead at 20-6.
Following a quick team talk from head coach Stewart and defensive coach for the day Jeroen Higgins, the teams were back out to try to put more points on the board.
The Tornados had the ball and made a switch at quarterback to Kyle Gent, who handed the ball to Gregson for the first play and then Higgins for the second.
Unfortunately the Tornados could not make the required 15 yards in their four drives and the ball was turned over to the Knights.
Burnley’s defense held strong with Doherty stopping the Knights drive to regain the ball for the Tornados.
However, intercepted the ball on a couple of occasions and scored, taking the score to 34-6.
The following Tornados offensive drive however saw Gregson run the length of the field only to be stopped at the two yard line, but due to dropped balls, the Tornados could not capitalise on the play.
The Knights once again scored on the final play of the game and finished 40-6 winners.
The scoreline does not truly reflect the way the Tornados played and the coaching staff were pleased and proud of everyone’s performance.
They now know what they have to work on and look forward to returning to the Knights in the New Year for a rematch.
Boys and girls, aged 11-14, are invited to join the Tornados flag team, and for more information e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org