Great Britain Lions
Young Lions Roar in Gdansk
Nov 5, 2023 - 8:59:23 AM

The young Lions travelled to Gdansk to play the first GB International at Junior level in exactly 5 years.

The visitors dominated the first half with touchdown runs from Craig McLeod (24yds) , Gareth Davies  (4yds), Michael Green (55yds) and TD passes from QB Joe Thompson to Michael Green (4yds) and James Wootton (19yds). The Lions Defense held firm (as they would do all day) but the visitors did give up a safety on a blocked punt to leave the score at 2-35 at the half.
In the 2nd half the Polish team came out stronger and the Lions used all of their 45 man squad. The third quarter was scoreless but the visitors did add a final TD in the fourth when Craig McLeod scampered in from 9 yds out. Kicker Kieron Smith kept his perfect day adding his sixth consecutive PAT for the final 2-42 scoreline.
The Lions Offense accounted for 302yds from 49 plays (Rushing 35 for 241 5TD's , Passing 4-14- 61yds - 2TD - 1Int). Star runner was British Youth Bowl MVP Gareth Davies who carried 13 times for 102yds and 1TD with Craig McLeod also staking a claim with 5 carries for 48yds and 2TD's. Michael Green had 93 all purpose yards and 2TD's.
The Lions Defense did not concede a point.They created 5 sacks (Matthew Hardcastle 1.5, Niall Scott-Grant 1.0, Andrew Johnston 1.0, Jonathan Plahar 1.0 and Elliott Hoyte 0.5) and two interceptions (Dan Conroy 16yds and Nick Olive 2yds) further turnovers resulted from four fumble recoveries (Harry Clifford, Craig McLeod, Jean-Paul Jones and Dominic Gould (26yd return).
The unluckiest player on the day was Safety Dan Conroy who saw both a dazzling Punt Return and a weaving Interception Return brought back out of the Polish endzone for illegal blocks.

Head Coach Steve Rains said "This is a great start for us - our goal when I took over the team was to get back on the field and with great help from BAFA, my Coaching and Admin Staff, our shirt supplier Rhinosports and the Redditch Arrows, we made it happen. The next goal was to win and our young men did a great job on the field. This is a very important milestone and we are determined that it is just the first one in a journey that will put Great Britain back onto the Junior football map. I am very proud of our achievement to date"
Full GB LIONS Stats
J Thompson      4 of 10 for 61yds 2TD 1Int
C Bourke          0 of 4 for 0yds
Total              4 of 14 for 61yds 2TD 1Int
G Davies       13 for 102yds 1TD
M Green        1  for 55yds  1TD
C McLeod      5  for 48yds  2TD
E Harewood   6 for 14yds
G Carpenter    1 for 10yds
JP Jones        1 for 7yds
C Bourke        2 for 4yds
C Denham      4 for 1yd
K Phillips        2 for 0yds
M Hardcastle     2U 1A plus 1.5 sacks
N Scott-Grant    2U plus 1.5sacks and 1FF
D Gould            2U 1A plus 1FR (26yds)
A Haldane        2U
D Conroy          2U plus 1Int (16yds)
N Olive             1U plus 1Int (2yds)
J Plahar            1 sack
A Flannagan      1U
J Donatien         1U  1A
A Crabbe           1U  1A
K Smith             1U
A Johnston         1U plus 1sack
T Wasley           1U
J Eaton              0.5 sack
D Jennison         1A plus 1FF
E Hoyte              0.5  sack

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