American Football: Honours even as Storm are held by Raiders

Morecambe Bay Storm wide receiver Aidan Banks.
Morecambe Bay Storm wide receiver Aidan Banks.

In their last regular season fixture of the 2017 season, American football side the Morecambe Bay Storm crossed the Pennines to play West Yorkshire outfit the Knottingley Raiders, coming away with a 26-26 draw.

Having beaten the Raiders 46-22 in their first meeting back in June the Storm were favourites going into the game.

But unable to put together a meaningful drive, it wasn’t until late in the first quarter when slotback Mark Baldwin opened the scoring for the Storm off quarterback Dion Feather’s 75 yard touchdown reception down the right sideline.

Baldwin subsequently converted the extra points on a three yard running score.

The second and third quarters belonged to the home side with touchdowns of 10 and 25 yards coming from a run and a pass respectively.

With the Storm behind going in to the fourth quarter the offence started to gel and drive the ball against a tough Raider defence.

Going in to the final quarter with the score standing at 12 points to 14 in favour of the Storm, the away side’s offence finally started to click.

Scores from halfback Joe Patterson on a power run left and another aerial touchdown from Baldwin, this time 12 yards, took the Storm’s scoring to 26 points on the day.

However, the Raiders weren’t finished and scores from 15 and 10 yards out and a crucial two point after touchdown conversion left the game tied 26 points all at the final whistle.

With a regular season record of five wins, four losses and one tie the Storm should progress through to the play-offs with an away game against the Gateshead Senators, Leeds Bobcats or Shropshire Revolution lying ahead in the first round knockouts on August 20.

Coach Don ‘Scud’ Fairhurst said: “As the eighth placed seed we will play the top seeded team which will prove to be challenging however it’s a challenge we shall look forward to and relish.

“Many first year teams enter the league and struggle to win one game, we’ve deservedly won a place in the play-offs and this is a remarkable achievement for the guys.

“Whomever we meet and whatever the outcome it will be a learning experience that will allow us to build upon this season’s successes.”