With a 3rd place finish in the Premiership South set in stone with a 2-5-1 record. After what had been an unsettling season the boys looked forward to the playoffs where we hoped to pull an upset against powerhouse, 6-2 Stirling Clansmen. This could surely be the turnaround that Swansea needs. Despite the 10 hour bus journey away the Titans had high hopes.
The game took an explosive start, after having received the kick the offense took to the field. With the first play a beautifully executed QB draw left Elliot Bodman with a gaping hole down the left hand side of the field. Stirling’s secondary were left bewildered as Elliot took off for a 40 yard gain. Quick footwork in the pocket relieved pressure on the QB and allowed for yet another 1st down by Will Luck. And once again followed by Elliot scrambling outside the pocket for a nifty 20 yards setting up the titans in the red-zone. Elusive running from speedster rookie RB Rhys Sweet set up the Titans with 1st and goal. However we were unable to capitalise and Clansmen took over on downs on their own 10 yard line.
The defense took to the field and only within a short amount of time we had allowed several successive rushes to push Stirling offense down to 1st and goal. To top it off Stirling floated the ball into the RB’s hand for a TD, and after the successful PAT Stirling were 7-0 up in the 1st quarter. However, the defense were quick to bounce back and made progress slow for Stirling as we were able to force them to 3 point attempts and punts. A big benefactor on the Titans defense coming from DE Will Luck, using explosive speed and strength to hold Stirlings RB to short gains, whilst strong secondary left their QB helpless.
Coming out of halftime 17-0 down the Titans were still in with a shot, with the defense taking field. And soon enough, after several takeaway close calls, stat-leader rookie Hal Townsend took one pick. Then another. And another… And in a matter of drives Sterling's QB had been picked off 3 times. Before long #3 had thrown more picks than completions. And with the big moral boost the offense followed. A prolonged drive combining safe hands and crisp route running from WRs Alex Wilson and Sam Ngombe and the lethal running of Bodman the Titans found themselves once again at 1st and goal, and this time we capitalised. A draw to the right saw Elliot run in for a 7 yard TD, quickly followed by a 2pt conversion putting the score at 17-8 in the 3rd quarter and Titans back within striking distance.
However, very soon Stirling struck back with explosive running resulting in yet another Clansmen touchdown, and Hal’s 4th pick on the day was not enough to bring the Titans back into the game. And with one final rushing TD within the 2 minute warning was enough to seal off the game allowing Stirling to progress into the semi-finals. Final and deserved score 24-8 to Stirling.
After a long and weary season the Titans can look back and reflect, and we can start looking forward to what we want to achieve in the coming season. Despite the disappointing season we had remained in the Premiership and come away from powerhouse Stirling with a respectable score. With this we have witnessed some incredible talent on display from all positions that only excites the team leading into next season.