A new year, a new season and a fresh start for Hellfire as we took our first visit to Crawley Wheelchair Rugby Club as an invited team to their WR5 Development League. Crawley, Saracens, Harlequins, Solent Sharks, Brighton Buccaneers and Hellfire all gathered for one of the largest events seen in a long while at the fantastic K2 Crawley Sports Centre. 


Hellfire, lead once again by head coach, team captain and former Team GB captain Steve Brown, started with day against our old friends at Brighton Buccaneers. Supporters of Canterbury Hellfire will be well aware that last December we hosted Brighton for the Gill Lurie cup, which saw Brighton the victors. This time Hellfire were ready and up for the challenge. The game was as fast paced as we have seen and ended with an amazing score of Brighton 8 Canterbury 17! Off the court we saw Brighton as our closest friends but on court it was all out Wheelchair Rugby. 


The amazing venue used two side by side courts, so the teams were able to see on another play, take notes about which players were the potential fast runners and who had the greatest passing skills. It also meant that tips, tricks and possible training moves could be seen by players both new and experienced. Events like this are where all the training, all the drills and all the hard work get to be translated into actual court time, which Hellfire and all the other teams have been lacking in recent months.  


Newer team Members like Bethany Miller, William Hopkins and Louisa Nerssessaian took full advantage of getting to see how the other teams defended and attacked them and at the end of day we did indeed develop our skills. The tournament also gave club Chairman Ian Lloyd an opportunity to referee six and a half games out of the 15. With the support of two level 3 referees, experienced table officials and the great people at Crawley Rugby Club the day was an all-round learning experience but, unfortunately, there was only one win in the five games. 

Match scores were; 


Brighton Buccaneers 8 Canterbury 17. 
Solent Sharks 18 Canterbury 5. 
Canterbury 4 Harlequins 13. 
Canterbury 6 Saracens 13. 
Crawley Jet’s 14 Canterbury 10. 


A huge thank you to the family, supporters, players, volunteers and everyone from the other teams that made this a day to remember.