Super Series 2

Super Series 2 would see the Crushers back at Fenton Manor, Stoke-on-Trent. The main goal of the weekend would be to defeat the Ospreys, in order to give us the best possible chance of qualifying for the Nationals in the summer.

Straight out the traps, the Crusher would be up against the Ospreys, a game that was never going to be easy especially with a team whos captain was the machine that is Dave Anthony. Paul, our coach, set up with the same line up that was so successful at the Bull’s friendly which was Chris W, Gemma, Coral & Michael. Chris and Gemma had the unenviable task of marking Dave Anthony, while Michael and Coral would put the press on the three remaining players. Chris and Gemma did an awesome job of locking up Dave Anthony, taking him right out of the game, while Michael and Coral exacted a withering press. The Crushers took a small lead which was slowly extended throughout the game, by the end of the game the main aim of the weekend was successfully accomplished, winning by eight points 46 – 38.

The success and the euphoria of the first game, sadly did not spill over into the next game against Burn. The game started off well, with only a point in it, for the first quarter or so before Burn got too hot to handle. Turnover followed turnover as Burn just racked up the points, it was as difficult to watch as it was for those playing. The game finally ended 55 – 25, it was a harsh lesson to learn about keeping your composure when the pressure is on.

The Crushers wouldn’t have long to pick themselves up as they were to face the Sharks in the final game of the Day. Their previous meeting in Super Series 1 saw the Crushers comfortably defeat the Sharks but this time their ranks were bolstered by the addition of Paddy Asher-Relf and George Rodgers both young, quick and functional players. This time Michael and Gemma would double up on Paddy while Chris would mark George, while Coral would put the press on the two remaining low pointers. A tense, nail-biting game to watch with nothing between the two teams till the last quarter when eventually the Sharks resolve broke, going down to the Crushers 38 – 44.

There was a late tip-off for the Crushers on day two as they were to take on the Bulls at 10:45am. The Bulls line up contained seasoned campaigners like Jonny and Gareth, which would undoubtedly be a stern test for the Crushers. It was another very close game with the Bulls holding a slight lead throughout the match, with their experience of game management coming to the fore, as they would run the clock down where possible, essentially taking away the time for the Crushers to make up the deficit and eventually winning 38 – 33. This was a game that the Crushers could have, or maybe should have won, playing the opposition like they were, they were punished by even the smallest mistakes. Definitely one that got away.

The final game of the day would have the Crushers pitted against the Gloucester Titans. The head to head record between the two team was pretty even, though the Crushers felt confident. This time Paul would change the line-up, he would go with Raymond, Jason, Michael and Coral. With some confident inbounding from Raymond and some inspired picking from Jason the Crushers secured a healthy lead, so much so Paul was able to give his unused subs, Donald and Davie a run out. The game eventually ended with an impressive 58 – 30 victory for the Crushers.

As with any sports there were big highs and lows over the weekend but ultimately, it was a very successful weekend with three good wins out of five and finishing third in the table, pretty much cementing their place in the Nationals.