17th December 2000 - Monsters burnt by Phoenix

Ness Monsters 0 Fort William Phoenix 50

It was like a script from one of the great ancient greek blockbuster films. The Fort William Phoenix rising from the ashes coming through to Inverness to take on the might of the mythical Ness Monsters. Both the Monsters and the Phoenix once great teams in the past are hoping to rekindle the spirit of American Football that was so popular back in the eighties and early nineties. Players from Inverness's first kitted youth team, the Moray Firth Dolphins, were on hand to referee the game. The Monsters and Phoenix are both 8-man gridiron teams as opposed to the normal 11-man teams, this makes for a much faster and more fluid game, and it certainly showed. The game got off to an explosive start with Phoenix returning the Monster's kick-off all the way back for a touchdown. This was a sign of things to come as a very reduced Monster squad struggled to hold back Fort William. Fort William showed their dominance particularly in the running game with some spectacular runs straight through the heart of the Monster's defence. Perhaps Inverness's best opportunity was when wide receiver Marc Caldwell caught a 20 yard pass from quarterback Martin Devlin and was stopped just inches short of the endzone only to have the play called back on a holding penalty. While the scoreline implies a one sided game there was some consistent drives by the Monsters using a mixture of running and passing plays Some determined running by tailback Brian Macrae kept the ball advancing up field and some great catches by Marc Caldwell from quarterback Martin Devlin kept the passing game alive. On kick-off return Robbie Mather broke several tackles and picked up blockers on a play that took him across the field several times, setting the Monsters up in good field position at the start of the second half. The Phoenix rock solid defence under the leadership of Glen Liddell, a former Monster, proved too much for the novice Ness Monsters and managed to shut them out for the entire game, final score Ness Monsters 0 Fort William Phoenix 50