In the early hours of Wednesday the Great Britain ladies team took on two time silver medallist Canada in their second game at the IFAF Women’s World Championships suffering a 35-0 defeat.
The Lions defence started off strong with LB Amanda Humphrey forcing a fumble on Canada’s second down that was recovered by Nancy Stone quickly turning the ball over.
Canada’s defence however answered right back with two sacks, completely overwhelming the GB O line to put their offence back on the ball. A few turnovers later, LB Lucy Kirk got her second pick of the tourney giving the GB offence great position. Ruth Matta managed to make a few first downs but eventually the Lions had to punt away.
Canada then came out firing with first down after first down. The defence had managed to keep Canada at bay all of Q1, but just as the second quarter kicked off QB Aimee Kowalski launched a humdinger of a pass to the back corner of the end zone, straight into the arms of Cassey Brick for the first TD of the game. The conversion was no good due to a botched snap making the score 6-0 to Canada.
Oli Davies then made a massive play on the return, she almost ran away with it for a TD until she was taken down at the last possible moment by the Canadian kicker. The Lions started with great field position but a high snap followed by a couple of false starts left GB forced to punt away.
Canada’s offence were back on the ball and receiver Laurence Pontbriand simply outran the coverage for an outstanding 70 yard passing TD advancing their lead to 13-0. Davies made another great return on special teams but GB were unable to convert.
Teams were trading punts until late into the second quarter when Canada launched another deep ball putting them dangerously close to the goal line. Kowalski threw for another TD to Brick and the two point conversion was good taking Canada to 21-0 just before the half.
The GB team, in particular Matta had done a great job up to this point in terms of rushing yards but Canada had forced the Lions to become very one dimensional with zero receiving yards in the first half…
The Lions kicked off the second half with Matta securing another first down but the drive was cut short as Canada’s MVP Emma Goldsney made a great interception. With their offence back on the ball, deep in GB territory, Canada sent running back Julene Friesen for their fourth TD of the game, the score now 28-0.
Davies was back on it for another great return giving the Lions a good starting position. Melissa Leng-Adams made a couple of great runs but a massive sack on Jo Kilby took the Lions 4th and 23 forcing them to punt away.
Canada made a great return and their offence worked their way down the field. They went for a 32 yard field goal attempt but this was blocked keeping the score at 28-0. The teams’ traded punts for the rest of the third quarter.
In the early minutes of the fourth, Canada recovered a punt but were unable to capitalise on it and the GB offence got another chance on the field. Unfortunately for the Lions Rebeckah Heninger picked off the pass and Canada got possession back on the 16 yard line. A QB keep play saw them take the score to 35-0 with about six minutes left in the game.
The Lions pressed on in an attempt to put some points on the board. Matta marched them down the field for a first down. Sydney Green took them for another first down after a cheeky play action that even the camera man bit on and GB were knocking on for a TD. Despite all their efforts the Lions came up short ending the drive 4th and 3 as the clock ran out ending the game 35-0.
Results from Game Day 2:
|Canada||35 – 0||Great Britain|
|USA||48 – 0||Finland|
|Mexico||31 – 10||Australia|
Canada proved to be a challenging team for the rookie Lions but the experience of playing one of the best teams in the world will only help GB improve for future tournaments. To think that this game took place on the three year anniversary of the first ever 11v11 women’s game of football in the UK, it is an amazing achievement Great Britain have made it this far at all in such a short space of time.
Up next for their final game of this year’s tournament the Lions will face Team Mexico in the quest for bronze. Good luck to all those involved. Live stream will be available from host team Canada on Friday 30th June 11:30pm BST!