A typically frosty Sunday morning saw a battle of two 1-1 teams striving to improve their playoff credentials in the Bombers first away fixture of the season.
The first quarter saw an impressive showing from both defenses. Each was effective in shutting down the other with high intensity and good line play. Special teams really set the tone of the afternoon with some massive hits, leaving players floored for several seconds after the whistle. Both offences showed potential, but “D” seemed to be the way of the game early on.
The second quarter saw both coaches trying inventive offensive packages featuring unbalanced lines and the chess match was in motion. After a long drive, the first score of the day went the Outlaws way with a 2 yard touchdown pass. The resulting extra point was good. The Bombers ensuing possession was hopeful but soon stalled, giving the ball back to the in tune Nottingham offence. After another steady possession, the Outlaws drove to the 1 yard line and proceeded to punch it in the endzone with a missed extra point. The score stood at 13-0. A turnover from Lancaster gifted good field position to the Outlaws, which they wasted no time in converting into a lofted 20 yard touchdown pass, with the resulting kick again missing wide right.
At half time the score was 19-0, with the Bombers looking to build on their first quarter performance to start the second half.
However the Bombers lacked the necessary intensity to bring the game back in the second half. The Outlaws continued their efficient rushing attack and capitalized on the performance with two further rushing touchdowns. Nottingham also converted a two point conversion, but missed an extra point, making the score 33-0 at the end of three. Running backs Tim Barton and Dave Barnett broke some promising runs, but the front eight of the Outlaws penetrated hard to shut down the Lancaster ground attack.
The fourth quarter saw the chess match transfer to the defensive side of the ball, with the Bombers changing to a 5-3 front. The change resulted in two turnovers from the Lancaster “D”: an interception from linebacker Michael McFadden, and a fumble recovery caused by linebacker George Bedford. Nottingham capped an impressive performance with a 32 yard touchdown run to take the final score to 39-0.
The small squad meant many players played multiple positions, which caused fatigue and in turn injuries to some of the squad. Inexperience was evident, and could not overcome an Outlaw squad which had made the playoffs the previous year.
Club President Tom White had this to say of the defeat:
“The size of the squad today made conditions even harder along with the grass pitch we played on. At the end of the day, Nottingham deserved the win, they played hard.”
The Bombers look to rebound against the 2-1 Loughborough Aces next week in their final home fixture before the Christmas break.