STEVE Bennett praised the attitude of his Swindon Storm players as they twice came from behind to beat Bristol Apache 17-12 at Supermarine on Sunday.
The hosts led 3-0 at half-time following a field goal from kicker Sam Mendoza just crept over, but Bristol responded with the first touchdown of their own to take the lead for the first time.
A short run for a touchdown from Phil Bardwell and Mendoza’s extra point gave Storm a narrow lead, which was quickly wiped out as Apache ran in another score to lead the contest 12-10.
However, Storm were not to be denied as quarterback Dan Thorne connected with receiver Matt Jenkins for the game-winning touchdown, to which Mendoza added the extra point.
Following their heavy opening day loss to Farnham Knights, Bennett was pleased with his side’s response in a game which he insisted they need to win to keep them in the hunt for the post season.
“We put some very good yards down on our running game and our passing game was certainly more effective than it was against Farnham,” he said.
“We scouted Bristol really well and trained three times in preparation for this one because we knew we had to win. I had labelled this one as ‘gut check week’ because winning was the only way we could keep any hopes of a play-off berth alive.
“The guys really stepped up and showed great resolve. We held their offence really well and they only managed to pull off one long run for a touch down because we had them pinned on their own 30 yard line for most of the game.
“I didn’t see any heads drop when we went behind and the guys just got on with it and did everything very well. The tackling on defence was superb and all the guys stepped up really well.
“We hardly had to adapt out of the base package we put together from the scouting process and we are all very happy with what we did.”
Storm are next in action on Sunday May 18 when they travel to Portsmouth Dreadnoughts.