Birmingham Lions @ Hertfordshire Hurricanes
On Sunday 25th February, the Birmingham Lions took on the Hertfordshire Hurricanes to determine who would walk away with the crown of the Southern Premiership. In what ended up being an instant classic, this young Lions team showed it’s true character: as a never-say-die, championship winning side. The Birmingham outfit came out 34-27 winners to seal the title and down their rivals.
Offence broke their trend of a season, though perhaps not in the way they would’ve wanted. Far from their conventional ‘start strong and taper off’, the Lions were somewhat lethargic in the beginning. With only six points going into the 4th, courtesy of Rohan Sandhu’s legs, it looked like the Lions O would be unable to get going. This all changed in the final quarter of football. A combination of fitness and force led to a dominant close to the game. Two touchdowns from Elliot Walters, a rushing score from Darius Price and a simply sublime end zone catch from Louis Haines put the Lions on top in what was a frenetic and fantastic finale.
It was not only the Offence who had an exceptional end to the game, however. In a borderline unbelievable turn of events, the defence forced three turnovers in the final 12 minutes. Michael Priest dominated the final period, forcing one fumble, recovering another and even picking off a ball tipped by Will Stone. A ludicrous stat line by all accounts, this is made even more impressive by the fact that Priest did all of this for the Defensive line – a position that’s impact is usually more under the radar. Far from just the performance of an individual, however, the overall defensive performance was strong, especially in the second half.
With this win, the Birmingham Lions seal their division once again, extending their historically illustrious record. They will move on to the post-season as number one seed, and as such will face the Derby Braves.
Check out a few images courtesy of Bec Edwards, and the highlight video from this great game below.