The Mercenaries 1-4 Tempo Ray Mutineers

Week 4 06/09/03

Referee: Dermot Gaggler

Weather: Nice

Gate: 34k

The only team with a 100% record travelled to meet the only team yet to record a win. Predictably the scoreline was heavily in favour of the dominant team in the East, the Mutineers. The Mercenaries went into the game boosted by securing their first touchdowns and point in week 3 against the Savages. Even with that point, the home side were still rock bottom of the Eastern Conference and must have dreaded the visit of a Mutineers team boasting three consecutive clean sheets including memorable victories over the Wildmen and the Dolts.

The gameplan for the home side was clearly to try and catch the Mutineers early with some dramatic and unpredictable play. It didn't come off for the lowest ranked offence in the league as two calamitous mistakes cost them early on. Team captain, Alec von Tasslebine the Human Thrower called a Razzle Dazzle play but his team-mates were not on the same wave length and absolutely nothing came of it. The error was compounded by a fumble from von Tasslebine as he desperately scrambled to atone for the team's lack of co-ordination. The thrower wasn't given a second chance as Amazon Linewoman Joanie Brawler blitzed in to knock him away, take possession for herself and become the third different Mutineers scorer of the season and first not listed as a Blitzer.

1-0 down without managing to make a play on their own kick-off, the Mutineers were already showing that they would be extremely tough opposition for the home side to deal with. The next kick-off was even worse. The Mutineers fans took it upon themselves to show the Mercenaries the physicality needed to make an impact in Blood Bowl with a pitch invasion. Invading an opponent's pitch is often regarded as suicidal but it paid off for the away team. Dark Elf Lineman Peln'taro and Goblin Skriver were both taken out of the game while only swift medical attention saved Lineman Viryvan von Sted from a seemingly fatal injury. Once order was restored, the Mutineers blocking turned up the heat. Alec von Tasslebine added another fumble to his already impressive numbers and hope began to fade from the assembled home crowd.

With team confidence low, Alec von Tasslebine as captain was the one the home side turned to for the lift needed to combat the increasingly brutal blocking of the Mutineers. The thrower took hold of the ball and looked to speed merchant Splinter, the Skaven Gutter Runner to make a move down the flank. The move did not come off as Splinter tried too hard and fell to the floor when over-striding in an effort to move closer to the Mutineers line. A potential long pass was on but seen by Toxix the Wight who began an awesome display of blocking with a tackle on von Tasslebine to elicit yet another fumble from the hapless Mercenaries captain. Toxix followed up the tackle with a hit on Lineman Krispin De La Richnoc who had the misfortune to be standing near the Undead blitzer in the middle of one of his most impressive blocking displays of the season.

The remaining Mercenaries recognised the half was up and ran. By the time the half was over, only three were left on the pitch, von Tasslebine and Splinter as well as Hobgoblin Trevor Da Trevor who had spent the entire drive trying to work out exactly who was on his team and who he was supposed to be blocking. The ball never left the Mercenaries end for the entire first half. The early score from Joanie Brawler was added to by Gunnar Gunnarsson. The Dwarf Runner had the simplest of scores with not a single Mercenary able to pose a threat to his ball handling and plenty of time in which to stroll in for his first TD of the season and a well-earned flagon of ale.

2-0 down at half-time, things were clearly bleak for the Mercenaries. The medical staff worked wonders to put out five players for the second half. There was no way back now though and defeat was inevitable for the home side. The courage of the five who took the field in the second half has to be applauded. Their bravery had its reward thanks to appalling play from Mutineers skipper Savogand Thrall the High Elf Blitzer. The High Elf received the kick-off but fumbled an attempted pass despite being under absolutely no pressure whatsoever. A piece of inspired individual play from Mercenaries Gutter Runner Splinter was exactly what the crowd wanted to see at exactly the right time. Dodging from numerous tackle zones, the Skaven flyer picked the ball up from the feet of Savogand Thrall and turned towards the end zone. He didn't get a single yard before Savogand struck him down and stripped the ball from his grasp. Savogand is an outstanding Blood Bowl player but he suffers from that most Elvish of traits, over-confidence. Taunting the fallen Gutter Runner, the High Elf was not concentrating on the ball when he moved to pick it up and fumbled once more. The Elf's sixth fumble of the season was costly. Splinter scrambled to his feet, grabbed the ball from the floundering Savogand, dodged away and stumbled in for a touchdown.

The first score against the Mutineers and it came with only five opponents on the field. The inspired play of Splinter was in marked contrast to the bumbling of the illustrious Savogand Thrall who should really have done much better. There was still plenty of time left in the game so a miraculous comeback could still be on the cards. The Mutineers shut down that train of thought instantly. A casualty from Zzharg Zzhargson the Chaos Dwarf and another from Dwarf Longbeard Kerval Axebreaker reduced the Mercenaries to just three fit players. Savogand Thrall did not make the same mistakes on this kick-off, running un-opposed down the field for a 22 yard touchdown. The drive was quick and brutal. There was simply nothing the Mercenaries could do with so few players on the pitch. Still, they came out for the next drive and rode their luck when a bad kick caused a touchback.

Needless to say, it was Splinter who took up the possession and sprinted once again for the Mutineers line. Luck this time was not with him as an amorous state overtook the Skaven and he gave up the play mid-flight in favour of some cheese in the crowd. The Mercenaries coaching staff could hardly believe what they were witnessing. Taking a beating and 3-1 down, their only touchdown scorer had voluntarily left the field of play. The game was almost up, only Alec von Tasslebine the Thrower and brave team captain alongside Halfling Richard "The" Small had survived the game to this point. Those Mutineers players not in the vicinity of the ball just stopped playing and began to joke and point at the home dugouts full of injured players. Amazon Blitzer Boa Dicea was the only one who carried on in earnest. She took possession from where Splinter had left the ball lying and ran the remaining distance to the goal-line and the biggest win so far for the top side in the Eastern Conference.

A comprehensive victory driven by fearsome blocking and a brutal pitch invasion, this game wasn't even close. The Mercenaries almost needn't have turned up but it is a credit to them that they became the first team to score against the water-tight Mutineers defence.

Injuries:

Mercenaries: Krispin De La Richnoc - Wrist Tendon Damage (Niggle)
Skriver - Broken Foot (1 game)

Key Stats
Team
CAS
Rush
Blocks
Downs
Dodge
Fum
Mercenaries
0
17
7
3
17
4
Mutineers
6
55
38
31
0
5

MVPS: Peln'taro, Kerval Axebreaker

Best Players

Splinter: 1 TD, 2 Rushes for 13 yards, 1 Block, 1 Down, 12 Dodges, 1 Stand, 2 Fumbles
Toxix: 1 CAS, 8 Blocks, 7 Downs, 1 Tackle
Kerval Axebreaker: 1 CAS, 8 Blocks, 7 Downs


Results