Wow what a weekend of wheelchair rugby at the Morningside Arena Leicester for Super Series 3, certainly not for the faint hearted. The main aim of the weekend was to win at least two out of the five to qualify for the nationals.
First up were the Gloucester Titans, whom the Crushers comfortably beaten last time round. That said the Titans are a fast, capable team and would give our guys a run for their money but the Crushers were upbeat and confident. The Titans certainly gave account of themselves but after the first quarter the Crusher started to pull ahead before winning an impressive 52 – 31. On a real high after their victory the Crushers would next face off with the maulers, who would turn out to be rather more challenging than the Titians. The whole game turned out to be a tight and tense encounter. Although the Crushers maintained a slim lead thought the game, they were made to work hard for every point, eventually securing a 38 – 35 win. With that result the Crushers accomplished their main aim of the weekend, which was to qualify for the Nationals and as a bonus they would be in the semi-final on day two.
The final game on the first day they would be against the Bulls who they lost to by just five points last outing, only this time their numbers were bolstered by a division 1 talent loan with the addition of Faye West from the Hawks. It would be a tough game and there didn’t seemed to be the belief that they could win the game. That lack of confidence was born out, sadly, in an eleven-point win for the Bulls 44-35.
The Crusher were to face a top-drawer Osprey team in the semi-final. This game was no less nail-biting, close and tense as many of the rest of the games over the weekend. Much like the game against the Maulers it was an incredibly close, even though the Crushers maintained a small lead throughout the game it was impossible to relax till the final whistle went, finishing 46-43 to the Crushers.
That result would see the Crushers through to their first ever final, what an achievement. They would meet up again with the Bulls, only this time there would not be any lack of self-belief. The Crushers had played some excellent rugby, against some excellent opposition and they deserved heir place in the final. The game started off at a blistering pace and didn’t relent throughout. The Crushers came flying out the blocks, leading by two points by the end of the 1st quarter. The Bulls certainly weren’t going to make it easy for them as the drew level by the end of the 2nd quarter. As the game went on it could be seen that some of the Crushers were suffering from a bit of mental fatigue as the Bull’s went ahead by two points. When the whistle went at the end of the game the score was 42-39 to the Bulls and the Crushers suffered their first defeat in a final.
Even though the Crushers lost their first ever final everyone were pleased with how the weekend went, not only had they qualified for the Nationals, they had improved immensely since the last Super Series and finished third in the final end of year standings. What a great weekend all-round.