The Bath Killer Bees began their 2014/15 season with a long trip down to Brighton Tsunami, who were undefeated in last year’s Southern Conference. The 12 o’clock kick off meant a ridiculously early start, but left the driver with (relative) peace and quiet for the whole journey.
Choosing to defer, Bath kicked the ball deep into Brighton’s half, and the defence kept the Tsunami’s offence pinned in their own half, forcing them to punt. Dougie Glynne-Jones, in his first start as Quarterback led Bath’s offence out onto the field, finding Toby Loxley open for a short pass, moving the chains into a 3rd and short situation. Behind the leisurely pull of Sam Haines, veteran running back Simon Vanstone cut into space and raced off for a 30 yard touchdown.
With several of the Bees’ Defensive-Line unavailable and an injury to rookie End Jon Johnson, 4th year linebacker Tom Solan stepped up to play Defensive Tackle alongside former Running Back Kieran Joseph. The makeshift front 7 were still a force to be reckoned with though and enough pressure was applied to force a high snap, resulting in a safety. From the ensuing kickoff, rookie DJ Cavanagh showed his impressive speed and returned the ball from the 30 virtually untouched for the Bath’s second touchdown of the day. The next few possessions saw Defensive Ends Paul Potter and Hugo Harris containing Brighton’s lateral run game, whilst Rookie Free Safety Tom Murray and the other defensive backs prevented any completions in the air. Persistent heavy rain prevented either side from stringing together a meaningful drive and the score going into half time was 14-0 to Bath.
The wet weather forced Bath to utilize their run game in the second half. DJ had several nice carries before Vanstone bounced out another interior run and stretched for the pylon. The referees agreed that the ball had broken the plane resulting in another touchdown for the Bees. The extra point was kicked by rookie Lawrence Haywood, taking the score to 21-0. Several near picks and pressure on Brighton’s Quarterback caused a string of 3 and outs for the Tsunami, while the Bees took the chance to introduce rookies to their first taste of American Football. Off the back off a large pass interference penalty on Bath the ball was moved into the Bees’ half for the first time. Stringing together several first downs, a Quarterback keeper finally got Brighton onto the scoreboard. However, Bath weren’t finished just yet and 2nd year receiver Adam Simmons caught his first touchdown up the seam to take the score to 27-7.
MVPs for the game were Tom Solan on defence who worked hard out of position and Simon Vanstone on offence. The Bees will now prepare for what will be a tough challenge away at Premiership favourites the Birmingham Lions this Saturday.