Birmingham Lions @ Swansea Titans
On Sunday the 5th of November, the Birmingham Lions made to long journey to Wales to kick off their season against the Swansea Titans. Despite a strong start, the Lions eventually succumbed to a strong Titans side 48-22.
Birmingham offence came out of the gates hot, racing into the lead early. Quarterback Rohan Sandhu, who has developed his trade with the Lions’ junior programme, capitalised on a Titans muffed punt with a swing pass to Darius Price, scoring the Lions’ first touchdown of the season. Sandhu continued with his strong start, rushing for a further touchdown in the first quarter. However, the team struggled with scoring from this point forwards, managing only one further touchdown for the rest of the match. The Lions are bound to feel hard done by with this, due to racking up 355 total yards (more, even, than the Titans accrued), with both Joe Hamilton and Elliot Walters tallying over 90 yards. However, despite this they simply struggled to finish off drives with points.
The defence, meanwhile, showed flashes of excellence, but struggled with consistency. Defensive captains Will Stone and Chris Moreau, as always, showed their class, but whilst they were able to largely nullify Swansea’s running backs and short passing game, Titans QB and Great Britain receiver Sam Huxtable proved a distinct handful. Huxtable found a distinct rapport with receiver David Asamoah, connecting extremely successfully with the athletic wideout to take the top off the Lions defence, as well as rushing effectively himself.
One area in which the Lions can certainly take heart is there special teams, getting help from both rookies and returners. Along with the aforementioned forced fumble on punt by Darwud Newing, the special teams unit set up the defence for a safety with Harry Spicer downing a punt on the 1 yard line. Joe Hamilton, not content with his work on offence, also gave the Lions a further chance to score by kicking a perfect onside kick, which was recovered by Chris Moreau.
However, despite these areas of positivity, it was not enough for the Lions. The strong Titans team won the day, moving to 1-0 on the season and the top of the Premier South division. The Lions will look to rectify this loss and get to a 1-1 record on the year when they face the Portsmouth Destroyers at their marquee event, xpLosION, on Saturday 11th November.
To watch highlights from the game, or to check out the rest of the photos from Bec Edwards Photography, click the links below: