“A great debut season in the West of England is rewarded with a final”
Andy Beal (Club Chairman)
The Spitfires had a poor start to the season travelling to Cheltenham Phoenix with 8 players on debut in what was to be a season of rebuilding. The inexperienced squad came away with a 40-14 loss.
Round 2 saw the Spitfires on the road again travelling to the inform Swindon team. The game was a close fought contest but the Spitfires defence in the second half was good enough to secure a 26-10 win.
The Spitfires found themselves at home for Round 3 and they ran out 56-16 winners in a one sided game against the Forest of Dean Bulldogs.
Old rivals Portsmouth Seahawks made the trip to five acres in awful conditions and emerged as the winners of the derby in a game that was close until the last 20 minutes. The Seahawks quality in the last quarter saw them beat the Spitfires 50 – 32.
Round 5 saw the Spitfires get back to winning ways away to bottom of the table Somerset Vikings. The Vikings battled valiantly but the Spitfires backs finishing proved to be the difference as they ran out 40-16 winners.
Round 6 arrived with the Spitfires looking to revenge the Round 1 defeat against Cheltenham but unfortunately the Phoenix could not rise from the flames and the Spitfires were awarded a 24-0 and another 2 points in the table.
Round 7 was proving to be the biggest game of the season with the Spitfires knowing a win against the Swindon St George would put them in top spot. The home side did not disappoint and ran out 46-24 winners.
Round 8 always had the potential to be a banana skin and it definitely was as the Forest of Dean beat the Spitfires with two late tries after the visitors looked to have had the game sown up leading 16-14 with 4 minutes to play. The defeat saw the Spitfires lose the top spot and the chance of making the playoffs seemed gone.
Round 9 was a must win for the Spitfires and with the Vikings been unable to travel the Spitfires moved back into playoff contention with just one game to play.
Round 10 saw the Spitfires needing to beat the old enemy Portsmouth to ensure a playoff spot. They also needed a few over results to go their way as well. The Spitfires battled hard but lost out again to their rivals and with other results not going the right way the Spitfires found themselves dropping out of the top two losing out to Swindon and Cheltenham.
With the season seemingly over the Spitfires were handed a surprise when they realised they had qualified for the Plate Semi-Finals. The visitors were the Bath and Wiltshire Romans last season’s champions. The Spitfires at full strength ran out winners after a tight first half to qualify for the Plate Finals against the Oxford Cavaliers.
Updated 22:36 - 15 Aug 2016 by Glenn Tyreman