A huge congratulations to Gemma for winning young coach of the year for her work coaching the Dundee Dragons. More than a worthy winner, it comes as no surprise to those of us who know her best.
Celebrating international women’s day, Jen, Gemma and Coral took part in the Women’s exhibition match at the Quad Nations 2019. They are great rugby players and wonderful role models and the rest of the Crushers are very proud of them.
The final super series of the year would be held a Fenton Manor again. The Crushers would be in pool B, along side Burn, Ospreys and the Titans. Our first game of the weekend would be against Ospreys, which turned out to be one of the closest, exciting game of the competition, with Ospreys leading by one point at 24 – 23 at the end of the first half. The Crushers fought hard to claw back the single point deficit but ultimately, the Ospreys took a 45 – 44 victory. The Crushers had to pick themselves up after the disappointment of losing by one point as they took on Gloucester in their second game. Another terrific game, which although Gloucester won by 41 – 39, were forced to forfeit the game as players they had fielded were unclassifiable. The final game of day one would prove to be just as close as the days previous game, which finished 44 – 40 to Burn.
The Crushers felt strong and confident going into day two as they took on the Bulls. They’re confidence was not misplaced as they took an early lead which was comfortably extend as the game went on, the eventually ran out an impressive 57 – 27 victory. The final game of the weekend would be the most challenging of them all as they took on a formidable and functional team in the Ulster Barbarians. Much like what the Crushers did to Bull, the Barbarians did to the Crushers, taking the lead and holding it for a 52 – 46 victory.
With such a successful weekend the Crushers cemented third in the final league standings and their place in the Nationals.
Super series two kicked off at Fenton Manor this weekend and up first against the Crushers were the Bulls. The Crushers started out strong taking an early lead of four points by the end of the first quarter, managing to keep the Bulls at arm’s length finally taking the win 39 – 31. Up next were the Titans, who could not cope with the difference in pace and strength and lost 51 – 27 to the Crushers, who proved to be the better team. In the final game of the first day the Crushers were up against a fast, functional and experienced RGC, sadly after the their comprehensive victory the crushers were to be humbled in a 54 – 25 defeat.
Day two would be a repeat of day two of super series one, the Crushers would face burn and the hawks again. Unfortunately there would be no victories in day two as the Crushers lost 40 – 35 to Burn and 49 – 42 to the Hawks, though they did have have some conciliation with Michael winning MPV.
Congratulations to our very own Gemma Lumsdaine on becoming a finalist in the UK Coaching Awards 2018. The team are extreamly proud of everything you manage to achieve. Gemma is one of three people up for the Heather Crouch Young Coach of the Year award.
It was the start of a new season and the Crushers were ready for the challenges of super series 1. Playing with them again would be Coral Batey and not just for super series 1 but for the whole of the year as fully fledged member of the Crushers.
What a first day for the Crushers, game one was a close win against the Ospreys 49 – 43 before a comfortable victory against Titans 52 – 18. Unfortunately though the Crushers couldn’t top the day off with a hat-trick of wins, going down to Burn by six points with the final score 38 – 32.
Day two and the Crushers would be up against tough opposition in the Hawks and a rematch with Burn. The game against Hawks would be a close run thing, going right to the wire with the Hawks taking the victory by four points. In the final game of the weekend the Crushers were out to exact revenge on Burn, after the result the previous day, and sure enough they did with a five point win 42 – 37.
It was a very successful super series 1, winning three out if their five games and finishing in third place in the second division table.
For this Tuesday’s training session we were hosting Digby Brown, SIS and some of the phisios from the spinal unit. Even though we did put our visitors through their paces we kept the session light and held back somewhat in the big hits. Everyone involved had a great time and no doubt there were some aching arms and shoulders the next morning.
We at the Crushers would like to thank everyone who came along and joined in so enthusiastically. Special thanks to Digby Brown, who renewed their ongoing commitment to our club by presenting us with a cheque for £2,500.
This year’s National Championship would take place in Medway Kent, the Crushers were keen to take part but not so keen on 430 mile journey. Unlike previous year there would be only four teams taking part in the shield, as opposed to the normal six. It was pointed out that we had a one in four chance of winning the shield but judging the opposition I’m not so sure the bookies would agree.
Helping out team Crusher would be, ex-Gloucester and GB player/coach, Darren ‘Daz’ Ransome. First up on the Saturday would be Burn, playing with only one substitute the we felt confided that we could secure the victory. By the end of the first quarter, both teams came in at nine all with some nice rugby been played by the Crushers. After such a good start the wheels fell off a bit with Burn taking a ten point lead, though Michael was confident that they were still there for the taking. With renewed vigour the Crushers forced turn over after turn over, closing the ten point deficit and at one stage went three ahead. It was nip and tuck till the end of the game with Burn eventually running out the winner by only two points.
The second game against a full strength, quick and functional Yorkshire would be a much tougher test. Their pace and pinpoint passing was just too much for the Crusher resulting in a 62 – 37 victory to Yorkshire.
The final game of the day would be against the Hawks, again the Crushers felt confident they could snatch a win, since the Hawks only beat Burn by a couple of points. The Hawks, not as strong Yorkshire, still had a very good squad, two of whom would go on to win best in class. By the end of the 2nd quarter we were only six points behind, not insurmountable by any manor of means, but then the Hawks class and fitness levels showed and eventually beat us by thirteen points.
On the final day we would up against Burn again for the 3rd/4th playoff spot and the Crushers were keen to exact a bit of revenge for their two point loss the day before. Whether it was the exertion of the previous day, the Crusher just were not clicking as they had done before the previous games, with the result we went into the 2nd quarter three points down. The rest of the game went on in the same fashion with Burn extending their lead to six points at half time, by the end of the game Burn were the worthy winners 47 – 35. A bit of a disappointing to our first Nationals in a few year but they were reasons to cheer, some of the Crushers play was outstanding, especially in the first game against Burn, our very own Gemma took best in class and Michael took MPV. All that’s left is to congratulate Crash for winning the cup and Yorkshire for winning the shield and a huge thanks to Daz for pitching in to help us out.
With the start of The Quad Nations wheelchair rugby competition our captain, Michael, will be speaking with Alex Horsburgh on Rock Sport Radio about the game and all wheelchair ruby related issues. For everyone who would like to tune in to listen what Michael has to say about the game can do so on Monday morning 10:30 on Rock Sport Radio.
Today is the start of the Wheelchair Rugby Quad Nations competition and this year ius being held in the Leicester Arena. The four teams taking part GB, USA, Japan and Australia, some oif the top seeded teams in the world, promising to be an action pact and exciting tournament. Kicking off with GB versus USA, all the action can be followed live on the BBC Sports website.