IT WAS bitterly cold but, despite this, a healthy crowd attended Paignton Academy recently to watch the Torbay Trojans sweep aside the Bournemouth Bobcats.
It was a breath-taking performance that ended with the Trojans defeating the Bobcats 34-0 in a pre season friendly played on the artificial pitch at Paignton.
Bournemouth play at the same level as the Trojans but in the South Division Two Conference whilst Torbay ply their trade in the West.
Both teams were hoping to test the water to see how far their newly-enlisted rookie players had come during the last few months, both physically and mentally, as many of the them had never played a competitive American Football match.
It was a very even first-quarter with both teams trying to adapt to the unfamiliar feel of playing on artificial turf and, more importantly, trying to be mindful not to step over the line too far and suffer any reckless plays or obtain silly injuries that would jeopardise their season ambitions.
A strong, resilient display from the Trojans’ defence was the highlight of a tight quarter that ended with Torbay holding a 7-0 lead thanks to Mike Boraston.
A six-minute play saw the Trojans add to their scoreline thanks to James Lunt and Ben Jenkins, chalking up a 20-0 lead. The nerves from the Trojans extinguished and confidence was flowing through the side.
The Bobcats never really got into any rhythm and were constantly frustrated by the powerful Torbay defensive duo of Doug Mobbs and Joe Rabone, who didn’t miss a thing and will be a very forceful combination for the Trojans as they prepare for the new season.
It wasn’t all positive news for the Trojans, however, as Rabone picked up an injury to his ankle that may keep him out of training for the next month but be will be back in time for when the regular season starts on Sunday, April 15.
The second-half went quickly with both sides desperately trying to keep the game flowing to avoid the very cold weather conditions.
Another 14 points for the Trojans in the second-half gave coaches Guy Richardson, Ian Woodson and Jon Neal plenty to smile about and they also deserve plenty of credit for bringing on a lot of fresh players who really gelled well for this very encouraging victory.
Both sides will take positives and negatives from this pre-season get together and it bodes well for the Trojans who will be delighted on many fronts.
There are a much improved amount of players committed to Torbay’s defence, offence and special teams, who are all looking well organised, along with a growing fan base that are following the Trojans.