Weston Supers suffer last-gasp defeat as American football comes to town

PUBLISHED: 17:00 15 August 2018

Weston Supers, Flag Football team playing their first game at Ashcombe Park

Weston Supers, Flag Football team playing their first game at Ashcombe Park

Archant

American football made its debut in Weston on Sunday, as the Weston Supers suffered a narrow 39-37 defeat to Gwent Gators at Ashcombe Park.

Weston Supers, Flag Football team.Weston Supers, Flag Football team.

The Supers, playing their second friendly after a baptism of fire against the Steam of Leighton Buzzard last week, were seconds from a landmark victory, but a walk-off touchdown saw the Welshmen take victory.

The team plays a non-contact, five-a-side version of the sport called flag football, similar to tag rugby, with players tackled by having flags pulled from around their waist, rather than suffering the bruising hits of the NFL.

The Supers made an impressive start to the game, with quarterback Matt Keyse showing poise to drive his team down the field before finding Sam Frost in the endzone for the opening score.

Weston Supers, Flag Football team playing their first game at Ashcombe ParkWeston Supers, Flag Football team playing their first game at Ashcombe Park

The more experienced Gators snapped back swiftly, and enjoyed success with the deep ball throughout the game but lacked the offensive creativity of the Supers who were unlucky to be level at 19-19 at half time.

Jacob Matthews appeared to have won the game in dramatic fashion by returning an interception for a touchdown with three minutes to play, but a dubious call from the referee gave Gwent one more play, with seven seconds on the clock, to win.

And the quarterback unleashed his cannon arm one more time to find his wide receiver in the back corner of the endzone after a busted coverage as time expired.

Weston Supers, Flag Football team playing their first game at Ashcombe ParkWeston Supers, Flag Football team playing their first game at Ashcombe Park

Despite the defeat and some harsh lessons, the Supers will undoubtedly be buoyed by their performance.

Offensive stats: Matt Keyse (five passing TDs, one INT), Sam Matthews (two TDs), Sam Frost (one TD, one XP), Gareth Brock (one TD), Jacob Matthews (one TD).

Weston Supers, Flag Football team playing their first game at Ashcombe ParkWeston Supers, Flag Football team playing their first game at Ashcombe Park

Defensive stats: Dan Frost (one INT), Sam Matthews (one INT), Jacob Matthews (one INT TD).

The Supers, who are hoping to gain affiliated status with the British American Football Association, are seeking more players to test their skills on the gridiron.

Player-manager Sam Matthews said: “As a club, we are open to any person over the age of 16 with no experience necessary.

“One of our core aims is to make flag football as accessible as possible to anyone interested – this includes keeping the cost low for prospective players.

“Training is on Sundays and game days are roughly once every five weeks.

“On a typical game day we will play three other teams at the same location.

“This feature is one of the reasons flag is growing so much, it’s perfect for anyone unable to commit every weekend.”

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/westonsupers/

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