Gateshead Senators @ Manchester Titans 26/06/2011

The Manchester Titans slumped to their 5th defeat of the season with a 22-12 lost to the Gateshead Senators on a hot day in Manchester last Sunday.

The Titans struggled on offense, gaining just 6 yards in the first quarter, so it was up to the defense to keep them in the game with CB Jeremy Walker making an Interception to end the Senators first drive.

On the Senators 2nd possession, they drove 63 yards for a 4 yard rushing TD by RB Gavin Barr which they converted making the score 8-0 at the end of the 1st Quarter.

Manchester’s Offense continued to struggle to move the ball but this time LB Matt McCormack recovered a Gateshead fumble to give the Titans the ball back.
This time QB Rik Lowthion completed passes of 13 yards to WR Ben Barker and 23 yards to WR Adam Simms to move the ball into Senators territory. However an incomplete pass on 4th down, turned the ball over to Gateshead.

With very little time left in the half, the Titans Defense forced the Senators to punt and from their own 24 yard line, Lowthion moved the Titans quickly down the field with completions to RB Greg Michael (19 yards), WR Matt Barton (40 yards) and Barker (6 yards) to move the ball to the Senators 1 yard line. Unfortunately, time expired before Manchester could score leaving the Half-Time score at 8-0 to Gateshead.

The Titans Defense continued its dominance by shutting out the Gateshead offense for the entire 3rd quarter, forcing 2 punts and 2 turnover on downs.
However despite some good running from RB Ross Profit with rushes of 17 and 12 yards, the Titans were unable to trouble the scoreboards – with an interception and a fumble ending 2 of their offensive series.

Due to injuries and several players being away, many Titans players were forced to play both Offense and Defense and with some of the Titans defense starting to tire, Gateshead’s star RB Barr finally broke loose on a 47 yard run down to the Titans 9 yard line. 2 plays later, WR Darren Mould scored on pass from Senators QB Chris Doyle. The successful conversion gave the Senators a 16-0 lead.

But it would last for just one play, as Simms took the ensuing kick-off and breaking numerous tackles, ran a mazy return all the way back to the Senators end-zone. The 2 Point Conversion failed and the Titans were now down 16-6.

3 running plays were stopped short of a First Down and the Senators were forced to punt back to the Titans. With regular starter, Alan Mead now back at QB, he led the Titans quickly downfield starting with a pass of 37 yards to Barker followed by a pass interference penalty which gave the Titans a 1st Down at the Gateshead 5. However the Senators defense stepped up and stopped 2 Profit runs leaving a 4th & Goal from the 16. Mead’s pass landed incomplete turning over the ball again.

On the next play, Barr broke free of the Titans defense and a thunderous stiff arm knocked CB Colin Boyle out of the way as he ran for a 74 yard TD. The conversion failed but the Senators had taken a 22-6 lead with very little time left to play.

However Mead drove the Titans 61 yards in 6 plays, finishing with a 12 yard pass to Lowthion for a touchdown. Again 2PAT was no good making the score 22-12.

K Ryan Farrell’s onside kick was recovered by the Senators who attempted to run out the clock but DE Andy Burridge recovered a fumble to give the Titans one last chance.

However the Senators pass-rush sacked Mead and then hurried him into 2 incompletions and his 4th down pass to Burridge was called back for a penalty, giving the ball back to Gateshead who took a knee to end the game.