Glasgow Tigers take the spoils but Northumberland Lightning show their worth

The Northumberland Lightning offensive line take a snap against Glasgow Tigers.
The Northumberland Lightning offensive line take a snap against Glasgow Tigers.

Northumberland Lightning lost their opening fixture in the British American Football Association National League on Easter Sunday to a vastly experienced Glasgow Tigers organisation.

In a hard fought physical contest at Ashington Rugby Club, the Tigers won 27-3.

But the Lightning did not disgrace themselves with Northumberland creating four turnovers only to miss the opportunity to put more points on the board.

The visitors won the toss, chose to receive and attacked the Northumberland defence with a strong outside running game which led to a touchdown on their first drive.

The Lightning responded immediately with a drive of their own, with running backs Reece Salkeld and Dale Merritt carrying the workload as they got into field goal range, where Ross Conley converted from 35 yards to make the score 6-3.

The Tigers managed to score twice more before half-time, but the Lightning defence did stop the opposition on a number of occasions.

Free safety Jordan Nellis intercepted a pass in the end zone to deny Glasgow a further a touchdown score.

The score was 21-3 at half-time as Northumberland missed a field goal just before the end of the second quarter.

After the half the Lightning offence got going, with a number of excellent drives put together by quarterback Callum Pattison connecting with tight end Conley multiple times for big gains, including an incredible one hand catch by Conley.

Unfortunately the Lightning could not muster any more points, with another field goal attempt blocked by the Tigers.

The Tigers managed another score in the third quarter as their American quarterback found a receiver in the corner of the end zone despite excellent coverage. The visitors went into the final quarter with a 27-3 lead.

The fourth quarter ended in a stalemate with the Lightning defence dominating, intercepting the opposition twice more, a second for Nellis and one for strong safety Ben Littlewood.

A lot to work on for the Lightning, but they will take encouragement in holding strong opposition to 27 points, and getting their first National League points on the board.

Next up is the local derby as the Lightning host Newcastle Vikings on Sunday, April 26, with kick-off 2.30pm at Ashington Rugby Club.