With Highland and Chorley postponing their match until later in the year, the U19 season kicked off with just one game as the Yorkshire Academy Assassins defeated Tamworth Phoenix to start their 2019 campaign with a tightly fought victory.
Yorkshire Academy Assassins vs Tamworth Phoenix
By Otis Newbury
The Yorkshire Academy Assassins cemented their place as a dark horse in the north with a physical victory at Tamworth this past Saturday.
As expected, two strong defences showed up to play with the Assassin’s run game being the decisive factor in a closely fought battle. The game was scoreless heading into the second quarter before Yorkshire QB Zak Thompson scored the first half’s only touchdown as Tamworth looked to move the ball through the air – without success.
With the score 8-0 going into the final quarter the game could have shifted either way, but it was the visiting Assassins who eventually took the game with power-back Harry Peach running in Yorkshire’s second touchdown of the day. The match was close throughout, but Yorkshire’s strong running game and aggressive defence made the difference in a tightly fought win.
LB Lucy Peaty explained how the Yorkshire defence didn’t seem to struggle much against Tamworth’s pass-heavy offense:
“It wasn’t a particularly physical game for me or my defence as Tamworth looked to pass a lot. However, our offense was run-heavy meaning the Phoenix D were forced to play a much tougher and more tiring game.”
Overall Tamworth can look back at their first U19 game with some positives, a strong defensive show kept the opposition to only two touchdowns and they maintained a close score throughout the game.
Meanwhile, Yorkshire can be excited about the efficiency of their new run-heavy offense converting twice against a tough Tamworth defence. They will look to extend their streak on the 12th of May as they play the ever-strong East Kilbride Pirates. This fixture could well be their biggest challenge of the season, with the Pirates and Manchester Titans having controlled the north of U19 football last year.