Head coach Don Edmonston was hugely proud of his players as the Edinburgh Wolves lost out 41-34 in overtime to the Merseyside Nighthawks after a thrilling BritBowl final.
The game was watched by a strong Wolves support who made the journey to Leeds for the first final the Capital side had reached in their 12-year existence.
“The guys gave everything today and I’m very proud of all we have achieved this season,” said Edmonston. “I can’t describe the pain we feel right now but we must take the positives from the game. We made it to the national final and lost in overtime to a deserving Merseyside team. I must congratulate the Nighthawks and their coaches.”
The match started well for the Wolves as Andrew McIver got on to a short pass and raced 70 yards into the end zone. The score was chalked off, however, for a hold.
It wasn’t long before the Wolves got in the end zone as, from the first Merseyside attack, Patrick Bartoszynski intercepted a pass deep in Nighthawks territory and Anthony Pinkerton ran the ball home on the next play.
The Wolves took advantage of a stuttering Nighthawk offence and quickly won the ball back, working their way up the field and this time it was Lloyd Dignan who ran the ball into the end zone following a neat sweep play.
Merseyside struck back with a couple of long passes which resulted in touchdowns but the Wolves retaliated just before half-time to go in at the break with a 20-14 lead.
The second half was end-to-end action with the lead swapping several times. Then, deep into the fourth quarter and after a superb defensive hold on their own goal-line, Jamie Morrison threw the ball to Lloyd Dignan who raced the length of the park and into the end zone for a 94-yard reception.
Merseyside pushed down the park and with the clock counting down, quarterback Adrian Hodgers saw his long pass tipped by a defensive back and land in the hands of Ben Barker who tied the game up at 34 all.
The Nighthawks scored on their first short drive attempt in overtime and held on for the win.
Edmonston said: “We will look to build on what we have achieved this season. We will add more quality to our roster and aim to go that extra step next season.
“I’d really like to thank all the players, coaches and volunteers who have helped us deliver success on the field and off it this year. We will be back next year and we plan to be even better.”