View our picture gallery from Swindon Storm’s play-off defeat against Bristol Apache at the weekend.
Click on any of the images below to view this gallery in full.
Pictures taken by Point 5 Photography’s Mark Page.
Swindon Storm’s first-ever play-off appearance ended in defeat as they succumbed to their old nemesis, Bristol Apache.
It was always going to be tough facing the divisional champions and number two seeds and it was the hosts who scored first.
Bristol’s tough running saw them open the scoring on one of the first offensive series of the day as they added the two-point conversion to lead 8-0.
Undeterred, Swindon utilised their game plan and got back into the match thanks to some terrific running of their own from Victor Ofoe.
Unfortunately Swindon missed the two-point conversion but were still very much in the game, trailing by 8-6.
After a back-and-forth couple of series, it was into the second quarter and neither team could turn the screw despite getting into good field positions including a fumble recovery by defensive end Seyi Awofadeju.
Swindon’s lack of execution cost them dear as Bristol extended their lead just before the end of the first half, again adding the two-point conversion.
A heavy downpour descended on the teams in the second half making handling very tricky.
Swindon produced some plucky defensive stanzas but a mix up and poor handling on a punting situation allowed Bristol to score again to increase their lead to 22-6.
Injuries then started to build up for Storm with starting centre Jamie Richardson and defensive play caller Dan Jeffrey both forced from the field of play.
One Swindon player who wasn’t showing any rust though was returning director of operations Steve Bennett but even he could do little to stop the Bristol onslaught.
Bristol scored again in the fourth quarter but failed to convert before quarter back Greg Roscow saw the ball slide through his hands before diving on it in his own endzone and conceding the safety.
Despite the scoreline, Swindon came up with another big series in the dying stages and managed to grab a safety of their own, forcing Bristol to kick the ball out of their own endzone to prevent a touchdown.
Swindon had put up a valiant effort in their first-ever national play-off match but it was Bristol who triumphed albeit with a slightly flattering 32-8 scoreline.
Bristol now face Berkshire in the semi-finals of the competition.