American football team Highland Stags advance to the British play-off final after defeating the Scunthorpe Alphas
The Highland Stags are now just one game away from becoming British champions after winning their play-off semi-finals.
Scunthorpe Alphas made their way to Invergordon on Sunday but after a cautious start on the scoreboard the Stags went 18-0 ahead before Scunthorpe scored eight consolation points in the closing stages.
There was plenty to celebrate for the home side as time ran out, with the trip to London now sealed.
In the final, the Stags play Bristol Apache at New River Stadium on Sunday 4 September, but for now the Highlanders can look forward to their semi-final triumph.
“It was fantastic, a great day,” said General Manager Tom Hutchison.
“We had an incredible audience and of course it was a great result so it was unreal.
“Scunthorpe’s strength is their defense, and our strength is our defense. This was their first loss of the year and I could understand why – they are a great organization.
“At the end of the first quarter, even though it was 0-0, I was pretty confident that we would at least give them a good game. Really, I thought we should win.
“We had never played against an English team before, so we didn’t know what the level was like down there. They could have played at a higher level all season but the guys did fantastic.”
With a strong lead in the closing stages, the Stags had every reason to be confident, but Hutchison was only able to relax in the closing seconds.
“We went up to 18-0, which meant they had to score three times,” he added.
“They were nowhere near able to score against us so we knew we could hold them off.
“We would have liked to exclude them, but they deserved to score because they are a very good team.
“It was still tense. Two goals are not uncommon, but I was confident that wouldn’t happen.
“We knew how to stop them and we ended up with a plan to finish the game as soon as possible and keep the clock ticking.
“I had full confidence that the guys would do it.
“They gave everything to get a goal in the end, but I relaxed a bit when we were less than a minute from the end and they still had two goals left.”