Saints Women Claimed their first victory in round 1 of the Sapphire Series
On Saturday 25th February, the newly formed Oxford Saints Women’s team traveled to Portsmouth for their first encounter with full contact football. .
The Saints played two games, the first being against the Iceni Spears. The Saints made big plays with quarterback Harriet Henshall and running back Josie McInerney, resulted in the Saints taking an 18-14 victory.
With this game being between two of the smaller teams at the tournament, most players on the field played on offense and defense, making it a tricky game for both teams. However, with a well drilled Saints defense and the Iceni receivers not quite getting to where they needed to be, the Saints earned their first win and were rewarded with massive confidence boost.
The Saints stayed focused in the break between games, running routes and getting feedback from their coaches for the performance against the Spears. The Saints were confident going into the second game against the Portsmouth Dreadnoughts, despite their opponent having about 25 more players.
Unfortunately the Dreadnoughts came out with a bang and ended up putting some early points on the scoreboard. Despite their best efforts, the Saints were not able to recover and conceded a 43-0 loss.
A mixed day for the Saints but an invaluable learning experience and a great achievement to get a win in their first contact game. Josie McInerney was named the Offensive MVP for her performance. The Defensive MVP award was giving to the entire defense unit and Team MVP went to Megan Brown.
The Saints have been working hard to develop their skills and prepare for the 2nd round of the tournament, which takes place on Saturday 11th March in Peterborough.
Head coach Adam Baker and Offensive Coordinator Luke Fry have studied the game film from round 1 and helped player pinpoint key areas for improvements. In the build up to round 2, work has been very playbook orientated, whilst ensuring players are capable of taking on roles on both offense and defense.
To help further, the coaches have increased the amount of time at practice given to full contact scrimmage, allowing the players to practice game scenarios. Additional sessions for the offense and lots of tackling drills were also included.
The Saints will go into the next games optimistic and excited to display their hard work.
Set 1: Portsmouth v Iceni + Oxford v Peterborough (13:00 PM)
Set 2: Wembley v Oxford (14:00 PM)
Set 3: Peterborough v Portsmouth + Iceni v Wembley (15:00 PM)