Avenging their loss to Brighton in the final tournament which denied their unbeaten season, an all round solid performance saw the Spitfires return to winning ways against their now familiar foe with a 27-13 win to advance to the Semi Final.
With the Renegades boasting a squad of almost 20 players and some phenomenal athletes, 3 of whom represent the NFL Academy and most of whom were at the upper end of the age range, the task looked tough for the young 7 man Spitfires Squadron. As with their namesake during the Battle of Britain, the Spitfires demonstrated that solid fundamentals, teamwork and determination can overcome even the most dangerous enemy and following two late pick 6’s as the Renegades chased the game, the Spitfires ran out 34-19 winners and moved onto the National Final.
As some of you may have seen with the game being broadcast on YouTube (see the link in the Gallery section to watch), this was absolute nail-biter of a game with the Spitfires trailing by 4 and getting the ball back with just over a minute to go. The Spitfires picked up a quick 1st down but were held out by a resolute Cougars defence before scoring the go-ahead TD on 4th down with 39 seconds left on the clock. Game over ? Absolutely not...as you'd expect in a National Final, the Cougars were not going down without a fight and moved the ball down the field into scoring position but a great goal line stand from our defense saw the 4th down pass fall incomplete and the Spitfires u17’s barrel rolled off the field to celebrate being DOUBLE NATIONAL CHAMPIONS with the u14’s who had won their Final just an hour before hand !
What an amazing day to be a South Coast Spitfire as we end the day winning both the u14 & u17 National Finals !
The Scorpions had been improving since day one of the season and they got their just rewards for their hard work and denied the Spitfires their perfect season. Jumping out to a lead 19-6 lead the Scorpions were just able to hold off a determined 2nd half comeback from the Spitfires who scored right at the death and chose to go for 2 points and the win over 1 point and the draw. Alas the 2 point try was unsuccessful and the Spitfires suffered their first (and ultimately only) loss of the season.
With the RedStorm only able to field 4 players, it was agreed that each team would get one drive to decide the contest, followed by an uncontested scrimmage with the help of some of the Scorpions players very charitably filling in for the RedStorm. The Spitfires scored on their first drive and then held out on defense for the 7-0 win.
With just 5 players, on a scorching hot day and with the Renegades calling up what seemed like half of Berkshire to get their first win over the Spitfires and earn a spot in the National Finals, it looked like a tall order to finish the season off with a win. However, fuelled by their heart-breaking loss to Brighton and after a close first half, the Spitfires came out with guns blazing scoring 20 unanswered points in the 2nd half to leave the Renegades defeated and out of the National Finals.
A tough day with a small squad saw us drop our first game of the season but we finish 11-1 and ranked the #1 u17 team in the country !
Kicking off the day in our home tournament the Spitfires took full use of the home field advantage and played probably their best football of the season so far, knocking off the Scorpions 40-6, although the scoreline doesn't necessarily reflect how tough the Scorpions made it for the Spitfires.
With the Solent RedStorm finally being able to field enough players, this game was the first action between to these two local rivals. With the Spitfires in fine mid-season form and the RedStorm just kicking off their campaign it was a one sided affair with the Spitfires walking away 34-6 winners.
With Berkshire withdrawing from the tournament at the 11th hour, the Spitfires are handed the walkover win to move to an undefeated 9-0 record.
Another very successful home tournament sees the Spitfires u17 remain undefeated and hold the crown of #1 ranked team in the UK.
A surprise package in the South Lower Division, the Brighton & Hove Scorpions are an extremely good team in their first competitive season but the Spitfires have been doing this for while and their experience was the difference in this game.
With Solent once again unable to field a team, the game was awarded to the Spitfires as a walkover.
In yet another epic shootout between the two teams that saw 77 points put on the board, after a late score to take the lead, the Spitfires defence came up strong when it needed to, denying the Renegades on what would have been the game winning score with just seconds left in the game.
On a day that was all offense, ultimately the defense held their nerve to extend the winning streak to 6.
In what was to become a recurring theme throughout the season the Spitfires and Renegades squared off in a tense, end to end battle which went right down to the wire. Holding a narrow 2 point lead and with Berkshire threatening to score what would have been the game winner in the dying seconds, the defense came up with a pick in their own End Zone which was returned to the house for a walk off pick 6 !
In what was Brightons first ever competitive game they put up a strong fight against the more battle hardened Spitfires, but in the end succumbed to a shut out due to some dominant Man to Man defense and efficient, controlled offense.
Unfortunately the RedStorm were unable to field team for the first tournament of the year and the Spitfires get the walkover win.
As with every team this year, the Spitfires went into the season not knowing what the standard was going to be and we found out quickly in Tournament One that the standard was going to be high, with Berkshire Renegades, Solent RedStorm and the newcomer Brighton & Hove Scorpions all proving to be very tough opponents. We came away from tournament one 3-0
After a heavily condensed and intense season it all came to a dramatic close with the u17 White Squadron and u14 Red Squadrons winning their respective National Championships on a tense Finals day.
Read more about the amazing season in the Results Section