ANDOVER based flag American Football team Solent Thrashers fell agonisingly short of a 2-0 winning weekend after a last minute defeat to the Chichester Sharks on Saturday.

The Thrashers had previously romped to a 34-6 victory over Reading Knights earlier in the day and looked set to record their second win after taking a 26-22 lead over the Sharks with a minute left to play.

However the plucky side were denied their first winning weekend of the season after the Sharks snatched a winning touchdown with less than 20 seconds to go.

The Thrashers, hosting their home tournament, started the day well, scoring touchdowns on each of their opening four drives through Tom Burroughs, Tom Barnes, Alex Brown and Jon Dunn.

Solent continued to move the ball well in the early stages with quarterback Adam Russell finding centre Adam Bambridge on several occasions for some good short yardage play.

Meanwhile the Thrashers defence continued to limit the Knights’ offence with good manto-man coverage from cornerbacks Alex Brown and Ollie Botham, linebackers Nathan Stubbs and Simon Harmer and safety coverage by Riley Lucas.

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(Ollie Botham and Riley Lucas go in for a tackle - Picture by Catalina Russell)

The hosts continued their intensity throughout the first half, taking a strong 28-0 lead into the break.

The Knights showed signs of improvement after the interval and finally breached the Thrasher’s defence with a good lobbed throw and catch, which narrowly evaded the hands of the diving Stubbs.

However the game never looked in doubt as the Thrashers increased their lead to 34-6 with a touchdown from Bambridge.

After a short break the Thrashers returned to the field for their game with a more experienced Chichester Sharks side. Solent started well with a quick four and out.

However a low snap forced Russell to take a knee in his own end zone, causing a safety and giving Sharks an early 2-0 lead.

The Sharks regained possession and moved the ball up the field well, scoring a touchdown to extend their lead to 9-0.

Thrashers suffered a further blow when Chichester scored again to take a 15-0 lead with half time approaching. However a brilliant drive, finished off by Russell’s throw to Dunn, raised Solent’s morale going into half time.

Thrashers continued on the ascendancy after the break pulling the game back to 15-13 when Russell found Dunn with a well executed long ranged throw. The Sharks fought back well and extended their lead again but Dunn and Russell connected again to pull the game back to 21- 19.

A well worked four and out by the Thrashers defence put Solent’s offence back on the field with a minute to play.

A deep ball by Russell caught the Sharks out once more and Brown made the catch for what looked like the winning touchdown.

A tense 40 seconds ensued as the Sharks pushed for a winner.

Despite some resolute defence Chichester found the breakthrough with just 20 seconds left to play to end the Thrasher's day with a 1-1 record.

Solent, who now have two wins this season, travel to the London Barracudas for their final tournament of the year on Saturday 16 July.