After winning our 8 matches in the League we were promoted to the Premier League and played 4 teams that we’d never played before in the final matches to see who would win the very first Wheelchair Rugby 5’s Premier League.
We started off against West Country Hawks, our good friends from Plymouth. It was a very tight match with the Hawks coming out as the eventual winners by 1 point. Final Score was 18 – 19.
Our next match was soon and we didn’t have much time to recover from
A – Our first match and B – Our first defeat! But we knew what we were going to have to do to try and keep going.
We played Stoke Mandeville Maulers, and it quickly turned into a tough point to point match, but Sue Coombs (Head Coach and Club Secretary) and Rob Emery changed the players around and by the end of the second half we’d not only taken the lead but were doubing up the score against them.
The Final Score was The Destroyers 23 – Maulers 15.
And now we faced the team that had won their league to qualify for the Premier League. Leicester Tigers.
This was a real ding dong of a match with both teams going point for point with only the odd slip up. But it was neck a neck and by half-time it was
9 – 9!!!
Both teams having gained a lead and then lost it again were going to take this to the very wire.
It all came down to that final minute when Leicester Tigers started pulling away by 1 point and the Destroyers had a turnover against them which the Tigers took full advantage of, becoming winners 16 – 18 to them.
So we were left to play the 3rd/4th place play offs and Sue decided to let the players who had very little time on court to play together as a Thanks for their patience, plus we knew a couple of players would be leaving the Destroyers so it was a good opportunity for the new players to play in a tournament together and get used to the new future.
We came up against West Country Hawks again, and the Hawks were really after this. By half-time the lead was 13 – 4 to the Hawks so it was going to be nigh on impossible to do anything…….BUT we’re The Dorset Destroyers, we took the fight back to them and changed a few players around.
After 2 minutes in the second half the score was 14 -7. We’d got a few points back and were on a roll. Soon it was 14 – 9, then 15 – 11, then 16 – 13, the comeback was well and truly on it’s way and with 90 seconds left to go, both teams were knocking sevn bells out of each other and the Hawks were holding on tight, but their defence was weakening and the score was
17 – 14.
Was the impossible about to happen????? A slipped ball and the Hawks got to it before the Destroyers and off they charged with 20 seconds left on the clock. The score was 18 – 14 as the final whistle went. The comeback had not happened, but it was one hell of a fight back.
The Dorset Destroyers finished the Premier League in 4th place in the country and what a way to start the new Wheelchair Rugby 5’s tournament.