Morecambe Bay Storm’s season ended at the weekend with a 60-8 play-off defeat to the Shropshire Revolution in what was the club’s first ever post-season game.
Rookie outfit the Storm reached the play-offs by finishing the regular season with a five wins, four losses, and one tie record, and earned the right to challenge the Telford club for a place in the semi-finals of the National League Division 2 Northern Conference.
Speaking about his team’s debut season, coach Scud Fairhurst said: “It’s been one hell of a blast. To have a winning season in our first year is a truly remarkable achievement.
“Ninety per cent of the guys on the team had never played in a game 12 months ago. Our first goal for the season was to score and then to possibly win a game.
“Well, we did that in our first game, winning that 46 to six away at Northumberland Lightning. There’s a solid core of ballers in the team who will only get better as they gain experience.
“We know what we need to do to be able to compete at the next level, it’s just a matter of application and recruitment.”
Against the Revolution, despite the indomitable spirit of the Storm it was a tough ask against a veteran team having 10 years experience with a large and physical squad of players.
The Storm defence found it difficult to hold a rampaging Revolution offence, and with numerous starters missing, the Storm offence couldn’t move the chains due to the blitzing pressure being applied by the front seven of the Shropshire club.
Going in at the half trailing 47-0, a radical shift in strategy was required.
Changing key personnel to free-up wide out Dion Feather from back-up quarterback responsibilities gave the Storm a passing threat and took some pressure off the offensive line.
Utilising offensive lineman Ben France as the main running back and nose tackle Tom Smith as a triggerman provided size and power in the backfield which paid off in the fourth quarter.
France was handed the ball from Smith for a 20 yard scamper on a power right rushing Touchdown, converted for the additional two points on the same play.