The Hastings Conquerors’ inaugural season in the National League came to its conclusion in Portsmouth on Sunday.
With just one win under their belt, they travelled to face the Portsmouth Dreadnoughts, who were also on one win, it was a battle to avoid the last place in the conference.
The game was extra special for the Dreadnoughts as it was a charity game to raise money for Back Up, a charity that helps those with spinal cord injuries, a cause close to their hearts after one of their players was left paralysed in a skiing accident.
The last time these teams faced off, it was a battle of the defences, with the only score coming from a safety, giving the Conquerors a 2-0 victory.
This game it was time for the offences to shine with both teams using their strong running games. Despite both teams managing to gain impressive yards and making their way downfield, the defences held them off, and the first quarter ended scoreless.
The second quarter started with Portsmouth swapping their run for a strong pass into the endzone and a successful two point conversion meant they were up 8-0.
Despite some strong runs from Conquerors’ running backs Aaron Woods, David Philpott and Sam Vernon (as well as quarterback Ben Rogers scrambling for yards), the Portsmouth defence were unrelenting, not allowing Hastings to get into the endzone.
The second half started with the Conquerors making their way downfield but forced to punt once more. Portsmouth took advantage of this and made their way into the endzone, adding another two points to make the score 16-0.
Despite the Conquerors’ defence stopping the Dreadnoughts time again, the momentum was behind Portsmouth as they added another score to seal their victory. A pick-six on the closing Conquerors drive, left the score at 28-0 to the Dreadnoughts.
Despite finishing the season 1-9, the Conquerors were all smiles as they managed to complete all of their games in the first season in the league, with many ‘firsts’ to add to the history books.
Conquerors Chairman Chris Chillingworth said: “This season has been a massive learning curve, we have lots to work on for next year. A massive thank you goes to the committee and coaches this season, without them this season wouldn’t have been possible, it really has been a fun year!”
The Macron Store Hastings MVPs were Tyrell Berry for offence, Jon Rigby for defence, Josh Perry for special teams and Samuel Oldfield as overall MVP.