Phoenix in championship hopes
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TEAM GAME: The talented young stars of local American Football squad Inverclyde Phoenix take a minute to pose for a group photograph.
INVERCLYDE Phoenix are on the verge of qualifying for the British Championships in Sheffield - after winning two of the three games at their home tournament at Notre Dame High School on Saturday.
With one tournament to go, the Phoenix have a record of seven wins and two losses, and lie in second place. The Edinburgh Wolves, in third place, need to win all three games and the Phoenix lose all three for this to change.
This does look unlikely however, as the Phoenix are unbeaten against the other teams in the League. But chickens must not be counted!
The home tournament got off to an eventful start as the Phoenix took on their rivals the Highland Wildcats.
The action swung back and forth with two scoring plays from the reliable combination - Cleary to Fisher (Fisher finished with four catches 83 yards and two touchdowns while Cleary had nine completions for 153 yards and three touchdowns) and one scoring pass from Cleary to Nicolson - but it wasn't enough to stop the running attack of the Wildcats.
This included an unfortunate piece of luck, which saw a Highland pass bounce off a Phoenix defensive back into the hands of a Wildcat receiver in the endzone.
The game finished 26-19 to the Wildcats and meant that the Wildcats were Scottish Champions.
Upset by what could have been - the Phoenix took on the Pirates looking to exorcise the ghosts of the previous game - and boy did they do just that - racking up 49 points and conceding just 6.
The star performer was Connor "The Flying Finan" who scored four touchdowns but there were equally dominant performances from the other Connors - Fowler and Nicolson - and the hit of the day by Scott Galbraith.
Fisher once again claimed two touchdowns - one receiving and one rushing while Jordan Harvey ran for his first down. The defence contributed greatly with interception returns by Connor Fowler and Ruiraidh McKillop. All in all a great team performance.
The Phoenix now wait for the games against the Wolves, Pirates and Falcons in Edinburgh on the 21 July before confirming their presence in the finals at Sheffield on the 25 August.
They will, however, have to do this without the presence of star player Connor Nicolson who is heading off to Virginia, USA, next month to take part in the Top Gun football camp run by the Football University. A well deserved recognition of his talent.
Everyone at the Phoenix wishes him the very best and look forward to Connor joining us again at Sheffield. Go Phoenix!
The Phoenix also said goodbye to our good friend Cory Johnson who is moving to London. We'll miss you!
The Phoenix Team:
Alex Cleary, David Fisher, Connor Nicolson, Connor Fowler, Connor Finan, Ruairidh McKillop, Gary Mullan, Jacqueline Nordmann, Jordan Harvey, Shaun Wilson and Scott Galbraith.
We would like to thank parents and friends for supporting us and providing refreshments.
We would also like to thank Awards For All for our recent grant award.
We are always looking for new players. If you want to help us win the final get in touch.
Can you help us get to Sheffield and represent Inverclyde? We are looking for sponsorship to allay some of this expense. Please do get in touch for more details at www.inverclydephoenix.com
This article appeared in Greenock Telegraph 29 Jun 12