In the penultimate game of their rookie season, the Morecambe Bay Storm made the journey to Monkton Stadium in Jarrow to play the Gateshead Senators at the weekend.
With the weather conditions favouring both an aerial and ground attack, the Storm won the opening coin toss and elected to receive the ball.
Having lost starting quarterback, Chris Mayne, for the rest of the season with a separated shoulder, ‘QB2’ and stand-out wide receiver Dion Feather was under centre.
However, it was the home team that opened the scoring with Gav Barr rushing the ball 30 yards on a power run right.
A combination of the Storm defence and a series of penalties restricted the senators to this single score in the first quarter.
The second quarter wasn’t a repeat of the first with the North East outfit finding their form in their ground attack and posting 22 points to the Storm’s six.
The score came from slotback Mark Baldwin who took the ball to the end zone on a 25 yard scamper over right tackle on a counter run play, as the half ended with the home side leading comfortably 28-6.
The second stanza saw the Storm defence step up and restricted the Senators to just two more touchdowns, both coming from runningback Ryan Fletcher, his scoring by a three yard rushing touchdown from Storm halfback Danny Mclennan and a conversion from wideout Paul Smith.
These scores rounded-off the scoring to leave the final result at 42 points to Gateshead and 14 to Morecambe Bay.
The Storm took a squad depleted by injuries and work commitments and with many playing both ways on offence and defence, there were many MVPs on the day. There were notable performances from Greg Callejon, Jim Mawson and James Head on defence, Adam Horrobin and Mark Baldwin on offence, and James Head again on special teams.
Rick Schuttenbeld also impressed, playing nearly every down at defensive end and offensive centre.