Women's World Championship Opens with Thriller

IFAF on 06/25/2017

Great Britain Women 2017

Great Britain Women 2017

 

Game Day 1:

Finland 21-27 Great Britain

United States 29-0 Mexico

Canada 31-6 Australia

 

The Women's World Championship opened on Saturday with victories for hosts Canada, the reigning champions, United States, and a significant upset as European Championship runners up Great Britain overturned the form books and defeated Finland - the team that took the European Championship crown in 2015.

 

Great Britain showed no signs of nerves as they took to the field in their first World Championship fixture but they did fall behind to an early touchdown by Finn Emmi Jarn and an extra point from Sanni Seppala.

 

Parity was quickly restored as Ruth Matta ate up the field for a stunning touchdown whilst Jayne Meddows duly converted the extra point.

 

A tight affair swung the way of the British just before half time as Jessica Anderson latched on to a 50 yard pass from Jo Kilby to make the score 13-7.

 

In the second half, Great Britain managed to put further distance between the teams as Lucy Kirk intercepted a Finnish pass and ran it into the endzone from over 50 yards. Matta added an extra two points to make the score 21-7.

 

The Finns piled on the pressure and Kristi Nirhamo reduced the deficit to 7, clutching a 25 yard pass from Jonna Hakkarainen.

 

Great Britain responded quickly and the Finns fell further behind when Kilby found Anderson again as the scoreboard moved to 27-14.

 

The influential Hakkarainen and Jarn combined to move the Finns to within 6 and the last seconds of the game saw Finland on the Great Britain 5 yard line but unable to penetrate, leaving the British to celebrate victory.

 

The second game of the day saw newcomers Mexico take on the might of the United States.

 

The first quarter bore testament to the fact that Mexico were not daunted by the prospect of playing the Champions with their defense standing strong, ensuring that the quarter ended all square at 0-0.

 

The Mexican resistance to the continued build up of pressure finally ended as the US took a 7-0 lead in the second quarter, a lead extended by a Safety and a dazzling run by Quaterback Lisa Horton.

 

Towards the end of the quarter Mexico gave themselves strong field position as they perfectly executed a Trick Play but a high snap meant that they could not capitalise.

 

The second half played out much as the first. Mexico's resilience limiting the potent US Offense with the final score 29-0 to the United States.

 

The final game of the day saw a clash between host nation Canada and their Commonwealth rivals Australia.

 

Canada drew first blood with a short field goal to take a 3-0 lead and further extended their first half lead to 17-0 with a highlight being a Pontbriand touchdown following a pass from Aimee Kowalski.

 

The second half opened up with Australian pressure and the Aussies opened their account with a tremendous touchdown by Kristy Moran.

 

The tournament debutants continued to probe the Canadian defense as the teams exchanged yards until Julene Friesen found the endzone to put clear daylight between the teams as the score moved to 24-6.

 

The final score of a hotly contested fixture saw Canada capitalise on a fumble in the endzone and put away the extra point to lead 31-6.