Wheelchair Rugby - Match Reports

HAMMERS4

Super series 1

Going into the first super series of the season. Team Solent Sharks - Hammerheads with only 5/6 players in the line-up knew it was going to be a tough season.

Vince, Lee, Dan, Pete Wells, Richard, Chris.

The first match of the day was against the very experienced Stoke Mandeville Maulers.

Hammerheads came out fighting and managed to keep it to the close battle for the first quarter of the game but unfortunately the experience of Maulers by the second half started to draw out a lead and won 44-21.

The second game was against Brighton Buccaneers.
Hammerheads came out determined to put on a good show. Right from the start they managed to get turnover after turnover, just as they thought they had the game under control, it would appear was not.

The worry of Lee’s dodgy wrist, which was in a splint up until the morning was not the biggest issue, it was the big man Vince. His chair broke, which meant they had to continue with only three players on the court. Buccaneers started to pull back a few points until Vince was able to jump into a spare attack chair and win 23-17.

After being relegated last season, the Hammerheads were keen to prove themselves in Division 3. This year, the division was split into separate Northern and Southern regional competitions, so the Hammerheads would play against Woodbridge Wheeled Warriors and new team Stoke Mandeville Maulers. The first competition was at Stoke Mandeville stadium, the birthplace of the Paralympics.

The first match saw the Hammerheads take on the Maulers, a mix of both experienced and brand new players. The Hammers came out strong, and the combination of Diana Man from Brighton with Lee Barclay, Vince Barton and Pete Hull from Solent game the Maulers a bit of trouble for the first quarter. However, the Maulers drew on their experience and pushed out the Hammerheads to a 41 – 19 loss. However, the match provided valuable experience Phil Porter, Grace McGowan and Charlie Williams from the Dorset Destroyers.

cheltenham1

 

Team Solent Sharks topped their group in the Gloucester WRC invitational tournament before beating the winners of the other group. First up were Canterbury, newly promoted into Division 2 and featuring their coach, former GB captain, Steve Brown. It was a hard fought match with the Sharks winning 32-23.

The venue for the GBWR National Championships this year was the Copper Box on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, a stunning venue for the Sharks and Hammerheads to compete in. Sharks would compete in the Cup tournament against 15 other teams, while the Hammerheads fought for the Shield against 3 tough opponents. The team would play a round robin to gain an initial position, then play a placing game to determine their final ranking.

Team Solent Sharks finally clinched promotion into division one last weekend at the third and final Super Series. The Sharks who welcomed back Aaron Phipps, blew away the opposition with some great attacking rugby which saw Richard Cartwright (0.5) and Aaron Phipps (3.5) win best in class awards.

Travelling to Stoke on Trent for the final BT Super Series of this season, the Hammerheads had it all to do. With Donna Stenner been transferred to the Sharks squad to help them in their fight for promotion, and new players still waiting to be classified, the Hammerheads faced their most important and crucial game against the Caledonian Crushers with only 4 players, able to field 4.5 points out of a possible 8. The outcome of this game would be simple; win, and have a chance to stay in Division 2 by playing a play off at the Nationals, or lose, and face relegation to Division 3.

The Bernd Best Tournament is the largest club tournament for wheelchair rugby in the world. This year, forty-three teams from fourteen countries competed in four different leagues over three days of hard competition. This was the setting for the Hammerheads’ first international tournament, entering the Basic League alongside another fifteen teams. After travelling to Cologne on Thursday by coach, they were tired, yet extremely excited about their first game, which would be against the Ulster Barbarians from Northern Ireland.

BT Super Series 2 14/15 January 2015

Solent Sharks failed to maintain their impressive start to the season as they lost out to both Ospreys and North East Bulls in the second BT Super Series of division two. Bulls were Solent’s first opponents and after a goal for goal first quarter, Solent soon fell behind.  Solent’s lack of experience showed and Bulls ran out eventual winners 55-23. 

BT Super Series 2 14/15 January 2015

Travelling back up to Stoke on Trent for the second Super Series of the season, the Hammerheads knew exactly what they had to do. Maintain their position of fifth in the league by beating their rivals from Scotland, the Caledonian Crushers. This was to take place in their opening game, so the pressure was high.

Coloplast Super Series 1 22/23/November 2014

Solent Sharks Wheelchair Rugby bit first as they start the new season unbeaten. Five wins out of five saw the South Coast club jump to the top of division two. Impressive performances over Cardiff Pirates and North East Bulls were the highlight of the weekend whilst young Patrick Asher-Relf won best 2.5.