Last Sunday saw Northumberland Lightning take on Aberdeen Roughnecks in the Lightnings final home league fixture of the season at Ashington Rugby Club.
The two teams had met up at Hazlehead Park at the end of June, with the Roughnecks winning 44-20 in a game of two halves for Northumberland.
The game got off to a competitive start this time round, with both teams being forced to punt early on in Q1 despite moving the ball well on the ground, however it was Aberdeen who struck first with Dave Obatolu running the ball in from 1 yard to open the scoring. The Roughnecks then hit the XP to take leave the score at 7-0 moving into Q2.
With Northumberland moving the ball well but failing to convert, the Roughnecks finally made a breakthrough when Ollie Schaffmann broke the tackles to score after a 68 yard TD run and again,the XP was good.
Lightning attempted an immediate fight back, pushing the ball up field and taking a chance with a field goal, only for the ball to go agonizingly wide.
Aberdeen capitalized and after a competitive opening exchange, hit two scores in succession, with both John Strang and Grant Travis running in from under 10 yards, leaving the half time score at 28-0 at Aberdeen looking dangerous.
In the previous fixture, with the score at 24-0 at the break, Lightning began a comeback, hitting their own 20 points in Q3 & Q4, however as the rain began to pour again, Northumberland struggled to make the most of their chances as Aberdeen hit a 6 yard touchdown catch when Chris Breen found Ash Sarcevic in Q3, followed by a successful field goal from Scott McDonald from 25 yards.
Q4, typically the Lightnings strongest quarter in their previous games, saw Northumberland’s heads uncharacteristically go down and Aberdeen remain solid to score through a 15 yard Ollie Schaffmann run (2pt no good) and pressure the Lightning into conceding a safety through the good work of Grant McGeoghie and Ben Filmer.
The last score of the game came when Chris Breen again found his mark from 6 yards to pick out Rhys Elmslie, leaving the final score at Northumberland Lightning 0-53 Aberdeen Roughnecks.
Another frustrating day for Northumberland, who came into the game feeling they had the potential to give the Roughnecks a hard game, but struggled offensively – with Aberdeen recording Northumberland’s second shut-out of the year in a disappointing performance for the Lightning.
The deserved victory will now see Aberdeen push towards the play-offs, as Northumberland have one final game on Sunday 9th August 2015 against table toppers West Coast Trojans up in Greenock.
To see more photos from the game (courtesy of Katy Young) click Game day photos to see our Facebook album!