It was opening day of the British American Football Association National League season on Easter Sunday at Ashington Rugby Club, as the Northumberland Lightning made their Senior League bow against a vastly-experienced Glasgow Tigers organisation.
In a hard-fought physical contest, the Tigers won 27-3, but the Lightning did not disgrace themselves with Northumberland creating four turnovers, but missing the opportunity to put more points on the board.
The visitors won the toss and chose to receive the ball and attacked the Northumberland defence with a strong outside running game which led to a touchdown (TD) on their first drive.
The Lightning responded immediately with a drive of their own, running-backs Reece Salkeld and Dale Merritt carrying the workload as the Lightning got into field-goal range, Ross Conley converting from 35 yards to make the score 6-3.
The Tigers managed to score twice more before the half-time whistle, but the Lightning defence did stop the opposition on a number of occasions, free safety Jordan Nellis intercepting a throw into the endzone to save a TD.
The score remained 21-3 at half-time, Northumberland missing a field goal to lower the deficit just before the end of the second quarter.
After the half, the Lightning offence got going putting a number of excellent drives together, thanks to quarter-back Callum Pattison connecting with tight-end Ross Conley multiple times for big gains, including an incredible one hand catch by Conley.
The Tigers managed another score in the third quarter, their American quarter-back throwing into the corner of the endzone despite excellent coverage, for 27-3 going into the final quarter, which ended in a stalemate.
Next up is the local derby as the Lightning host the Newcastle Vikings on Sunday, April 26, kick-off 2.30pm, at Ashington Rugby Club.