Hinckley’s Green Machine turned a corner in their season on Sunday with a convincing victory away at play-off rivals Lincolnshire Bombers. Both teams went into Sunday’s clash with identical records – two wins and two lossses. With wins over Leeds and Humber and losses to Sandwell and Peterboro, the armchair pundits had the Bombers to win by six points. On a poor artificial surface, Leicester Falcons didn’t seem to get off the bus and the Bombers marched down the field with ease and scored with a run to the left, however with personnel being moved around this was stemmed for the rest of the game.
When the visitors got the ball they went to the air and with the return of veteran quarterback Stuart Franklin targeting leading receiver Ashton Clarke Jackman, but it was another Ashton who took it in – rookie running back Ashton Patterson starting only his third game took a long run to the end zone, his blistering speed beating the chasing defenders to tie the scores at 7-7.
The defence stood firm on the ensuing drives and Jamaal Fredericks was ever present ending the game with 11 solo tackles, with veteran linebacker Chris Jagger having a solid game anchoring the middle of the D.
Corner back Alec Grant did a great job of neutralising the Bombers’ key threat at wide receiver.
With the Falcons getting into a groove on offence the scoreboard starting ticking over, with the two Ashtons piling on the points, Jackman with a catch across the middle leaving two defenders in his wake then a reverse run which he took to the house for six.
Patterson had another two touchdowns, a long run in the first half and a powerful run in the second dragging defenders into the end zone for his hat-trick. Jackman, not to be outdone, added a third TD in the second half with his customary sideline grab and run giving him his hat-trick too.
The Ashton party was broken up with rookie receiver Jonny Muanza grabbing his first senior TD.
The Falcons ended the game with 400 yards of offence, and they now face another long road trip to Humber where they are strong favourites after beating them 54-0 at home, before the big showdown with Peterborough at home on the July 5.