The Bombers moved to 4-3 for the season on Sunday with a home win over the Halton Spartans.
Some big offensive plays backed up by an outstanding day for the defence lifted the Bombers over the visiting Spartans 33-22.
The Bombers got off to a perfect start, Matt Hale taking Andy Bagnall’s pass all the way down the sideline for a score on the first play of the game.
The defence dominated the first quarter for both teams, but some good running from Bagnall and Jack Paddison set up the Bombers for a long field goal, which Bagnall converted to make the score 10-0.
The Spartans best drive in the early stages was stopped in its tracks by a Callum Huckle interception, one of several big plays from the Bombers’ defence. The away side responded with a big defensive play of their own, running a Bombers’ fumble all the way back for a touchdown. Huckle blocked the extra point. The turnovers continued for both teams, as quarterback Bagnall was picked off twice either side of a Spartans fumble recovered by Adam Simeoni. Once again the defence came up big, Joe Pinkstone recovering another Spartans fumble. Jack Paddison punched this one in for a Bombers’ touchdown, putting the score at 16-6. The Spartans kept themselves within touching distance with a good drive to end the half, converting in the red zone on a fourth and goal with a quick slant. The two-point conversion was good, cutting the Bombers’ lead to two points at the half – 16-14. A quick three and out for the Spartans got the offence back on the field immediately to start the second half, and some great running from Ben Harris kept the chains moving for the Bombers. Harris continued his great drive, bouncing to the outside for another Bombers’ touchdown. Morgan Page caught the two-point conversion pass from Bagnall. The visitors’ offence then looked to be picking up speed but excellent coverage from Rob Farr on consecutive plays halted any progress. A huge play from Mathew Benson ended any hopes the Spartans had of a comeback, forcing a fumble with a big hit to the quarterback. The Bombers converted the turnover into six more points; quarterback Bagnall taking it in himself.
The away side could have opened a bakery with all their turnovers, and it was capped off by an excellent pick from Joe Pinkstone, the fifth takeaway of the day for the defence. Bagnall added another field goal to put the Bombers up 33-14, before the Spartans grabbed a consolation touchdown in the closing seconds. The match ended 33-22. The offence won key battles early on - exploding out the gates as the offensive line had a big day opening up lanes for Bagnall, Paddison, Wheatley and Harris to exploit. The defence conceded just two scores, three less than the amount of turnovers they forced, certainly a recipe for success as the season edges closer to playoff time. The Bombers are now 4-3 and move level on wins with the Chester Romans and Staffordshire Surge in second and third spots in the table.