Author: Richard Choksey
Leeds Celtics 6-12 Hull Sharks
The Leeds Celtics hosted the Hull Sharks on Sunday in a fierce battle to claim supremacy of the North East. Hull’s explosive passing attack posed the most dangerous threat the Celtic defence has faced this year, while the Celtic offence looked to build on the successes of week two.
During the first half Hull’s offence gave a strong performance. A number of passes were completed for decent yardage and the running game threatened to break out for a big game on numerous occasions. Long offensive gains are demoralizing for any defence but the Celtics kept their composure. The duel hung in the balance for a few series but Hull recognised weaknesses in Leeds’ pass coverage. The quarterback fired a pass down the middle of the field to an uncovered receiver who was able to evade the safeties and dive over the goalline for the game’s first score. The conversion attempt was intercepted, leaving the score 6-0.
Leeds responded to this offensive threat in kind. The offence was able to deliver some fine passing completions, while the rushing attack maintained pressure on the defences’ front line. Following some play calling adjustments, the defence was able to hold the offence in check, which provided a basis for the offence to build momentum. Not long into the second half the Celtics’ resilience paid off as Adam Smith thrust into the endzone in the wake of a powerful push by the offensive line.
The field goal attempt flew wide of the goal post and the scores were level at 6-6. A comeback from Leeds was on the cards as the game progressed. Drew Weston took possession from Hull by intercepting a pass and Leeds continued to make yards on offence. The Celtics’ passing attack seemed on the verge of a big gain as deep passes were delivered away from defenders, but they were unable to convert these opportunities into points.
As the two minute warning was announced Hull was in possession. It has been noted that throughout sports, a disproportionate number of scores occur as time runs out. Desire galvanizes teams and it is then that they can deliver their most spectacular plays. The Sharks harnessed this powerful effect and were able to drive down the field for a touchdown. Again, the defence managed to stop the conversion attempt so the game was still in reach for the Celtics as the teams were only separated by one score.
The Celtics’ offence took to the field with the desire to win, but without the luxury of time. The offence hurried to the line of scrimmage and made a valiant effort to equalize, but to no avail. Adam Smith connected with Caspian Paget on a deep pass to the sideline, but as the next play ended time ran out. A solid performance against a worthy adversary had given the Celtics reason to believe in themselves but the final score reflected the bitter reality of their loss. It finished Leeds Celtics 6, Hull Sharks 12.