Lanarkshire Longhorns Junior American football team took one step closer to the National Final when they travelled to Lancashire Wolverines recently.
The Blackburn team have been a thorn in the side of the Longhorns at this stage in the competition in recent years, but this time the tables were turned as the Longhorns came away with a convincing 46–8 victory to clinch a place in the semi-finals.
Lanarkshire got the game of to a flying start, Grant Winter running for a touchdown on the first drive for what is becoming a regular feature of his game. The Longhorns Offence continued to build the score on the back of some committed and disciplined performances by the Defence, Stephen Cranston combining with Cameron King and Jamie Blades to bring the scoreline to 19 – 0 by half-time.
The Wolverines started strongly in the third quarter, causing some concern on the Longhorns sideline after last year’s quarter final where they gave up a 21-3 halftime lead to lose out 24 – 26 to the Lancashire side.
Coach Clee’s team talk at the interval had clearly registered with the Longhorns as they kept their focus and continued to add to the score. Interceptions by Ewan Sinton and Kevin McCafferty plus a defensive touch-down from Nathan Carr completed what was a fantastic team performance on the day. Only in the closing minutes of the 4th quarter were Lancashire able to get the ball in the endzone which at 46-0 behind was too little, too late.
The Longhorns now face the prospect of travelling to Farnham in Surrey to take on the Farnham Knights in the semi-final play-off for a place at the Britbowl National Final in Doncaster. This will be a challenge for the Junior team not only on the field but off. A squad of 35 players and coaches will need to make the 900 mile round trip in their quest to become the first Scottish team in over a decade to appear in the National Final.