By Twm Owen
American Football BAFA Southern Conference Division Two West
South Wales Warriors 10 – Torbay Trojans 6
The South Wales Warriors claimed their second successive divisional title after surviving their toughest examination of the season by a Torbay Trojans team containing a Welsh international athlete.
The Warriors had taken the advantage in the British American Football Association Division Two South West title race with a convincing 48-14 victory over Torbay a fortnight ago. But the side which travelled to Llanharan, including Welsh hammer thrower Jonathan Edwards, were determined to restore some pride and not allow the Warriors to take the title without a fight.
All the scoring was completed in the first half and the Warriors defence all but secured the victory when they denied the Trojans from scoring when they were within four yards of the home end zone with just over two minutes to play.
“Exhausted,” said Warriors head coach Geraint Roberts when asked how he felt at the final whistle.
“The Trojans played well. I’m hoping that’s our bad performance out of the way before the playoffs and we’ve still got Cornwall to play.
“We were tested today but I’m not happy with the performance but we’ve still won the division so we’ll celebrate but it will be just a bit of a muted celebration.”
Receiver CJ Caparas picked up 32 yards when he ran across the backfield to collect the ball from quarterback Dean Jackson and head inside the Trojans 20-yard line for what would prove to be one of few productive trips inside the red zone.
After failing to score from three attempts the Warriors were unusually conservative and called on Mick Duncan whose 25-yard field goal sailed just inside the left upright for a 3-0 lead.
The Trojans run-dominated offence struggled to make any headway early on and visiting quarterback Hugo Wigginton was sacked three times in his team’s first two possessions.
After Warriors punt returner Warren Coombes ran through a Trojan tackler to set up another red zone possession QB Jackson, on third and long, threw a 25-yard bomb to the far right corner of the end zone to hit receiver Michael Hiles in stride to touchdown. Duncan added the conversion.
But the Warriors would fail to score again despite repeated red zone possessions and a penalty for running into the kicker would prove costly in the second quarter.
But the five-yard penalty for running into the punter was enough to keep the drive alive. Wigginton kept the Trojans moving with passes to Jack Farr and James Driscoll while running back Guy Richardson took his team to the Warriors one-yard line.
Though Torbay failed to take advantage of a disorganised Warriors defence on second down Wigginton scrambled around on third down and stretched his arms out to hold the ball over the goal line.
The Warriors defence thought they had not only held up the QB but pushed him back and forced a fumble. However, the sideline official was satisfied Wigginton’s stretch was enough to break the plane of the goal line and awarded the touchdown.
Torbay failed to add the extra point and the Warriors lead was cut to four points… Learn more about the hard-fought second half, as well as some great insights into dual-sport international athlete, Jonathon Edwards, over at dai-sport.com!