2013, 5th October. London Warriors 26-23 London Blitz, Britbowl XXVII. John Charles Stadium, Leeds
The Warriors won their first ever national championship with a 26-23 win over their arch-rivals. They were led by MVP Romaine Jackson who caught 6 passes for 139 yards and a Britbowl record 4 TDs.
Warriors Quarterback Jerome Allen led a 7 play, 78 yard touchdown drive late in the first quarter, scoring on a 42 yard pass to Romaine Jackson, extra point no good. The Blitz replied two drives later with two time Britbowl MVP Quarterback Fred Boyle leading an 11 play 66 yard drive for a score, converting the touchdown himself on a 14 yard scamper, with the Blitz converting the extra point.
With the score 7-6 to the Blitz at the half, the Warriors opened with another scoring drive to start the third quarter. Running back Kingsley Ejiogu got 9 carries on the drive, for 47 yards, before Allen found Jackson once more in the end zone with a 6 yard touchdown pass, extra point was good.
The Blitz looked like replying immediately as Boyle took his offence into the red zone once more; however, his deep pass to the left was intercepted by Warriors safety Vernon Kay. Kay could only return the ball to the Warriors 1 yard line, and a fumbled snap on the next play saw the Blitz record a safety, leaving the score at 13-9 Warriors.
Two series later the Blitz looked to take the lead, as Boyle once more led the team into scoring position. A touchdown seemed inevitable when Boyle hit wide receiver Charlie Joseph on a 24 yard pass play to set up 1st and goal at the 1, but on the very next play Boyle fumbled rushing to his right and the Warriors recovered.
On the subsequent drive, the Warriors fumbled the ball back to the Blitz on half way and Boyle went to work once again. The Blitz ran eight straight running plays before Boyle connected on a 4 yard pass to Jack Daley for 6 points, the extra point again good.
Not to be outdone, the Warriors replied on the next drive. After some strong running from Kingsley Ejiogu, Allen found Jackson for a third passing touchdown, this time a 45 yarder, again, the extra point was missed, leaving the score at 19-13.
By now the game was deep in the fourth quarter, and the Blitz were looking for the go ahead score. Despite some could plays through the air and on the ground, penalties held back the offence and the Warriors forced a punt. The snap sailed over the head of the kicker and the Warriors took over deep in Blitz territory.
Four plays later, on 4th and 9 from the Blitz 31, Jerome Allen escaped pressure and hit Jackson for a fourth score to put the Warriors up 26-16 with two minutes remaining.
Fred Boyle took over at halfway, and threw passes to Daley, and Joseph before throwing a deep pass to Andrew Cropper with 52 seconds left on the clock from 29 yards out to reduce the deficit to 3 points.
Then came the onside kick, but the Warriors comfortably came up with it and secured their first ever national championship.
2012, 26th August. London Blitz 37-21 London Warriors, Britbowl XXVI. Don Valley Stadium, Sheffield.
The Blitz won a 4th straight title and 2nd successive against their London counterparts with a convincing win. Leading 27-7 at half time, they extended their lead to 37-7 before the Warriors scored 2 TDs to make the score a little flattering.
It was Finsbury Park- based Blitz who made an explosive start with two early touchdowns through wide receivers Andrew Cropper and Tom Shennan.
The Warriors came storming back, scoring through ex-NFL running back Jermaine Allen. Undeterred, however, the Blitz took control the game with touchdowns from wide receiver Rod Bradley, running backs Gareth Dauley and Deji Alli, who returned the second-half kick-off straight back to the Warriors’ endzone, to open up an unassailable 37-7 third-quarter lead.
In the fourth quarter the Warriors went on to score two quick touchdowns, giving the scoreline a more-respectable look, but never really threatening to turn the game around.
Quarterback Fred Boyle was named most valuable player for the second year running.
2011, 24th September. London Blitz 18-0 London Warriors, Britbowl XXV. Crystal Palace National Sports Centre, London
The London Blitz won a third straight Britbowl with a dominating defensive performance
WR Rod Bradley scored an early TD on a pass from Fred Boyle that added to an earlier safety to give the Blitz an 8-0 lead, and then a 48 yard field goal from Jimmy Wyatt gave them an 11-0 lead. A 3rd quarter 30 yard run from Gareth Dauley gave the Blitz and unassailable lead.
2010, 18th September, London Blitz 34-20 Coventry Jets, Britbowl XXIV. Sixways Stadium, Worcester.
The Blitz completed another successful season with a 3rd Britbowl triumph in 4 seasons over their Midland rivals. Three Lorne Sam TD passes from the Jets QB were not enough as the Blitz edged to a 21-14 half time lead on the back of TDs from QB Fred Boyle, Gareth Dauley and Clive Palumbo. The Jets pulled the score to 21-20 before 2 further TDs from Dauley.
2009, 27th September, London Blitz 26-7 Coventry Jets, Britbowl XXIII. Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster
The Blitz regained their title after they ground down the Jets with 2 second half TD’s. Trailing 7-6 early on, Nathan Holt’s 32 yard field goal gave the Blitz a 9-7 half time lead. Cedric Perrochaud’s 38 yard interception return and then Gareth Dauley’s 68 yard rushing TD put distance between the teams.
2008, 21st September, Coventry Jets 33-32 London Blitz, Britbowl XXII. Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster
The London Bltz returned to defend their title in 2008, missing out to a field goal with 4 seconds left on the clock to go down 32-33 against Coventry Cassidy Jets in a repeat of the 2007 match up. They then won the British national championship again in 2009: BritBowl XXXIII saw them defeating the Jets 26-7.
2007, 23rd September, London Blitz 14-6 Coventry Jets, Britbowl XXI. Don Valley Stadium, Sheffield
The Blitz won their first national title with a strong, dominating defense, led by MVP Lennox Johnson who had two interceptions and a fumble recovery. The Blitz points came on two touchdown passes thrown by quarterback Stuart Franklin. The first was a five yard completion to Marcin Lai in the first quarter; the second a twelve yard toss to Rod Bradley in the third quarter. The Jets sole score came on a Tim Spaull touchdown pass to wide receiver Mark Cohen.
2006, 24th September, London Olympians 45-30 London Blitz, Britbowl XX. Don Valley Stadium, Sheffield
Michael Sobanjo ran for a Britbowl record of 278 yards from 31 carries and scored 3 TDs, as the Olympians racked up an 9th national championship in ten years and avenged an early regular season loss to the Blitz. The Blitz led 17-12 at half-time, but Sobanjo's 77 yard edged the Olympians ahead for the last time. Blitz QB Tom Britton became the first British born QB to pass for over 200 yards in a bowl game.
Olympians RB Michael Sobanjo smashed Paul Bailey's 1989 record (245 yards) for most rushing yards in a bowl game.
2005, 25th September, London Olympians 21-19 PA Knights, BSL Division One Bowl, Don Valley Stadium, Sheffield
The Knights took an early 10-0 lead on Paul Attia’s 1 yard run and Steve Belcher’s field goal, and when QB Ashley Heath found Belcher on a 43 yard TD the Knights had a 17-0 half-time lead in the British championship game. After blocking a Belcher field goal in the 3rd quarter, the O’s scored on a fake punt through Boyle before Tony Mackenzie broke loose to record a sack and safety to increase the Knights lead to 19-7 as the fourth quarter began. Jermaine Allen scored from 1yd out with 11 minutes remaining in the game the score stood at 19-14, and after another Belcher missed field goal the Olympians had one shot to win the game. Taking over at their own 22yd line they drove down the field on the power running of Jermaine Allen - finally scoring on his 7yd run with just 43 seconds left on the clock. Match report
2004, 26th September, PA Knights 28-14 London O’s, BSL Division One Bowl, Don Valley Stadium, Sheffield
The Knights clinched their first national title, and prevented the Londoners winning a record 8th successive crown in this Don Valley Stadium showdown. Marvin Jimmerson’s interception return gave the Knights a 14-0 lead, and Jon Wyse’s 50 yard TD gave the Knights and unassailable lead.
2003, 31st August, London Olympians 35-7 East Kilbride Pirates, BSL Division One Bowl, Don Valley Stadium, Sheffield
IT was the same old story for the London O’s as they romped to their seventh-straight British championship with what turned out to be a convincing victory over the plucky Pirates.
At the end of what has been a relatively traumatic season for the O’s, who have come close to losing their unbeaten six-year domestic run more than once this season, they shook off an early setback to dominate the rest of the game.
"Guys like Warren Keen and Clive Palumbo were a big part of that, but really the whole team stepped up."
East Kilbride took the lead in the first quarter when Jon Sutherland ran in for a 62-yard touchdown, but Keen rushed for touchdowns of 22 and 10 yards while league MVP Palumbo hauled in a 46-yard TD strike from quarterback Stuart Franklin.
"East Kilbride played smart, especially in the first half, and showed some things that we were not used to, even from watching them on film," Ayub added. "It took us a while to settle and play football, but once the defensive ends started working and we picked up their blocking schemes, we began to enforce our philosophy."
The O’s also benefited from an interception return touchdown from defensive lineman Paul Evans and sealed the victory in the fourth quarter when running back Matt Coppinger hauled in a one-handed nine-yard touchdown pass from back-up quarterback Dominic Dearman.
The game started badly for the Pirates when a blind throw by quarterback Gary McNey was intercepted by O’s linebacker Aden Durde, who spent time with the Scottish Claymores last season, at the East Kilbride 24. However, the O’s couldn’t capitalise and Andy Boyle saw his 37-yard field goal attempt blocked.
McNey, Sutherland and running back Willie Brown then led the Scots on their next drive and marched to the London 28, but McNey’s 45-yard field goal attempt sailed wide.
Both teams struggled to move the ball for most of the remaining moments of the quarter, which seemed to last an age, but East Kilbride had the upper hand with Sutherland looking sharp when bursting to the outside. Sure enough, it was the explosive East Kilbride back who opened the scoring when, following a London punt, he took the ball on the right side then cut down the left for a 62-yard scamper into the end zone. McNey made the extra point and the Pirates led 7-0.
"Sutherland has a great turn of speed and caused problems for us," said Ayub. "They have some good, young guys and a never-say-die team spirit."
That proved to be the wake-up call London needed and they soon hit back with a score of their own. A magnificent kick-off return, which saw blocker Durde take two men out on the right sideline, from Palumbo put the ball on the Pirates’ 20. After a pass interference call moved the ball to the 10, they were pushed back to the 12 and Keen then took a pitch into the end zone on second-and-goal. Boyle kicked the PAT to make it 7-7.
East Kilbride were still able to move the ball in the first half, but the O’s defense stiffened in the red zone and held McNey to a 32-yard field goal attempt early in the second quarter, which was duly blocked. London started to turn the screw when Keen burst through and ran in a 23-yard touchdown before halftime. Boyle’s kick made it 14-7.
Palumbo was making an even bigger impact on the game at the start of the second half. He had a touchdown called back then converted a third-and-long with a run down the left side. He then took a pass down the right side and benefited from a crunching downfield block from fellow wideout Jeremy Simms to scamper in for a 46-yard score. Boyle again slotted the PAT to make it 21-7 and the game was beginning to look decidedly out of reach for the Pirates.
The worries grew when, backed up deep inside their own five, McNey threw an ill-advised pass over the middle where defensive lineman Paul Evans was waiting to take the interception untouched into the end zone.
"We were looking for the screen when they were backed up in the red zone and we are very pleased for Evans," said Ayub. "It’s his first ever touchdown - and he’s scored it in a final."
The O’s backups began to show their stuff as the game wound down and Coppinger made a nice one-handed grab to close the scoring at 35-7, with Boyle notching the PAT, meaning that next season the O’s, once again, are the team to beat.
2002, 1st September, London O’s 42-15 PA Knights, BSL Division One Bowl, Don Valley Stadium, Sheffield
THE London O's have been crowned British champions for the sixth year in a row after recording a 42-15 victory over the P.A. Knights at Sheffield's Don Valley Stadium on Sunday.
After trailing 15-14 at the half, the O's reeled off 28 unanswered points to romp home as convincing winners of Britbowl 2002.
O's head coach Riq Ayub said: "I'm very proud of my players for winning this championship. Our execution in the first half was terrible and we weren't playing the type of football we needed to play.
"We refocused and got back to basics and produced when we got back on the field."
London made the brighter start to the Championship Game by scoring twice inside the opening four minutes.
Running back Warren Keen - who was in training camp with the Amsterdam Admirals before a hand injury ended his 2002 NFL Europe League season - opened the scoring on the second play from scrimmage - a 44-yard run around right end. Andy Boyle added the extra point.
Boyle then stretched London's lead when he took a slant pass from quarterback Junior Price 77 yards to the end zone. Boyle converted his own score for a 14-0 first quarter lead.
The Farnham-based Knights began their fight back late in the first quarter when American running back Tony Stitt forced his way into the end zone from 3 yards out. The extra point attempt was blocked to leave the Knights behind 14-6.
The Knights moved to within two points when quarterback Ashley Heath threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver John Clarke. With just over four minutes remaining in the half, the Knights moved into a 15-14 lead on Steve Belcher's 29-yard field goal.
With Stuart Franklin replacing Price at quarterback for the O's in the second half, London took control of the game and marched to glory.
Franklin threw touchdown passes of 2 yards to WR Marvin Allen, 36 yards to WR Clive Palumbo and also ran for a 1-yard score as the O's opened up a 35-15 lead by the end of the third quarter.
Franklin capped an impressive second half display by throwing an 18-yard touchdown pass to Palumbo to complete the scoring.
Palumbo earned game MVP honours with 4 receptions for 83 yards and 2 touchdowns, while Franklin completed 7 of 9 passes for 80 yards and 2 scores.
Leading London's defensive effort was linebacker Tim Newton (11 tackles and 2 forced fumbles), safety Scott Rowe (3 tackles and 2 interceptions) and linebacker Aden Durde (4 tackles, 1 interception and 2 pass defences), who drew special praise from his head coach.
Ayub said: "I think that Aden is a great individual who has worked very, very hard. I think that in a bigger pool or at the next level he will excel.
"He was an absolute lion out there today. I think he deserves a shot with NFL Europe. It's not my decision and I understand that but, in my experience, I would look at him."
Knights head coach Steve Rains said: "We showed we had great spirit coming back from 14-0 down because a lot of teams would have rolled over at that stage. We will learn from this experience and come back stronger next season."
2001, 9th September, London O’s 37-20 East Kilbride Pirates, BSL Division One Bowl, Don Valley Stadium, Sheffield
Stuart Franklin threw for 3 TDs and ran for another, and Warren Keen ran for 186 yards as the O’s ran out to a 28-0 lead, and held off a spirited Pirates comeback to register another national title win.
2000, 6th September, London O’s 34-26 Birmingham Bulls, BSL Division One Bowl, Don Valley Stadium, Sheffield
In one of the better finals of the era, the O’s secured a 4th successive national title despite 3 TDs from Bulls WR Marc Cohen. The O’s led 21-7 early on, and always had control with Shola Goppy making 10 tackles and Warren Keen running for a 47 yard TD.
1999, 15th August, London O’s 9-6 Birmingham Bulls, BAFA Senior League National Bowl, Saffron Lane, Leicester
The O’s won a penalty ridden final to secure their third successive final. German receiver Tad Moeller caught the winning pass from QB Junior Price, and Neil Edwards interception with 32 seconds remaining secured the title.
August, London O’s 20-0 Sussex Thunder, BAFA Senior League Division One Final,
Saffron Lane, Leicester
The O’s won a second successive title with a dominant 20 point shut out of the Thunder who were appearing in their first final. The O’s ran for 201 yards and Francis Hatega returned an interception for a TD on his way to MVP honours.
1997, 10th August, London O’s 26-20 Milton Keynes Pioneers (OT), Big-C Final. National Hockey Stadium, Milton Keynes.
According to First Down this was "the greatest game ever played in the UK". The final of the 1997 BIG C was well advertised, shown live on cable TV and a beautiful day to boot in a great stadium (Milton Keynes National Hockey Stadium) which drew in a crowd of 2,500. The lead see-sawed between these two dominant teams of the 1997 season, and with the O's leading 20-14 late in the fourth quarter the Pioneers tied the game up on Ken Barnett's 14 yard run. Ken Biggs blocked Gavin Hart's PAT to send the national championship game to overtime in the first and so far only time in it's history. London won the coin toss and marched straight down the field capped off by Justin Oke's 11 yard winning TD run.
1996, 25th August, Leicester Panthers 10-6 Milton Keynes Pioneers, BAFA Division One Bowl, Saffron Lane, Leicester
A momentous day for the Leicester Panthers as they won their first national championship in 13 years of trying, in what turned out to be the last competitive game of the franchise’s history. Tiggy Bell ran for 85 yards on 24 carries, and Craig Broughton scored the TD that gave the Panthers the lead. Rex Harrison’s field goal gave a slender advantage to the Panthers in a brutal match that they hung onto win.
1995, 29th July, Birmingham Bulls 34-30 London Olympians, BAFA Division One Bowl
John Riggs ran for 2 scores and passed for another 3, as the Bulls raillied from a 21-7 second quarter deficit to win the national title. The crucial score coming 7 minutes from time when Riggs hit fellow American Joe Grenidge on a 5 yard pass.
1994, 14th August, London Olympians 24-23 Birmingham Bulls, BAFA Division One Bowl, Saffron Lane, Leicester.
Bulls kicker Andy Raffo fluffed his lines by missing a PAT and two field goals – the last one a 42 yarder with 30 seconds left. Allan Tait hit 3 PAT’s and what turned out to be the winning points with a 20 yard field goal midway through the final quarter. The Bulls mounted a long late drive late in the 4th quarter which culminated in Raffo’s miss as the Olympians held on to win a third straight title.
1993, 1st August, London Olympians 40-14 Glasgow Lions, NDMA Final, Maidenhead Football Club
1992, 10th August, London Olympians 34-6 Leicester Panthers, NDMA Coke Bowl, Alexandra Stadium
The Olympians won their first national title with a dominating performance against surprise finalists Leicester. A dominating defense led by defensive MVP Dave Samuels restricted Leicester’s run happy offense to 2.7 yards per carry, whilst on the other side of the ball Richard Dunkley ran for 118 yards and 2 TDs off 24 carries and Leonard Valentine passed for 3 TDs as the Olympians jumped to a 22-0 half time lead and never looked back.
1991, 4th August, Birmingham Bulls 39-38 London Olympians, NDMA Coke Bowl, Alexandra Stadium.
The culmination of the 1991 NDMA season saw the Birmingham Bulls triumph over the London Olympians 39-38 in a thrilling see-saw game at Alexander Stadium, Birmingham. In front of 4,000 fans, trailing by 36-14 as the final quarter began the O's scored 24 unanswered points to lead the game 38-36 with only a minute to go. Bulls QB Dave Kramme engineered a six play, 62 yard drive enabling the Bulls to snatch victory with a 23-yard field goal from Mark Webb with 17 seconds left to break the hearts of the London side.
1990, 4th August, Manchester Spartans 27-25 Northants Storm, NDMA Coke Bowl, Crystal Palace
Spartans won back to back national championships as WR Allan Brown scored a hat-trick of TD receptions, but the win was only secured 2.44mins from time when Johnny Atlas (who scored 3 times himself) was stopped on a 2 PAT conversion that would have tied the scores.
1989, 6th August – Manchester Spartans 21-14 Birmingham Bulls, Bud Bowl IV, Crystal Palace
The Spartans won their first national title on the back of Paul Bailey’s Britbowl record 245 yards rushing, but all the talk was of Bulls star QB Russ Jensen’s absence after walking out on the team on the eve of the match. Spartans seized their opportunity and the national title.
1988, 4th September – Birmingham Bulls 30-6 London Olympians, Bud Bowl III, Loftus Road
The Olympians reached a third national final, but were on the end of a 30-6 drubbing by the rampant Bulls at Loftus Road. Bulls leapt out to a 23-0 half-time lead on the back of star US QB Russ Jensen’s 3 TD passes, a lead they held onto following a even second half.
1987, 20th September – London Ravens 40-23 Manchester Allstars, Bud Bowl II, Loftus Road.
This was the first British game to be featured on TV, with highlights being shown at primetime on Channel 4. It also featured a crowd of over 13,000 at Loftus Road to watch it live. The Allstars had a sensational offense in 1987, and the Ravens were as formidable as they had ever been since organized football had begun in the UK. The Ravens at the time had still not been beaten by a UK team in 5 years of football, and they cruised into a 19-0 half-time lead, and then Victor Ebubedike scored a 72 yard TD on the opening play of the 3rd quarter to put them ahead 26-0. The Allstars offense finally got going, and scored three quick scores in ten minutes as the Allstars closed the gap, but Mark Delaney’s 48 yard reception enabled the Ravens to put distance between the teams as they won a 3rd straight British title
1986, 31st August – London Ravens 20-12 Streatham Olympians, Bud Bowl I, Loftus Road
The Ravens won their second straight national title in the other national final of 1986 by jumping out to a 20-0 lead against their great London rivals. The Olympians made a game of it in the second half on the back of TDs from Gerry Anderson and Andy Smythe to pull the scores to within 8 points. On a last gasp drive, Steve Chesney failed to break the goal-line and the Ravens were champions again.
1986, 7th September – Birmingham Bulls 23-2 Glasgow Lions, BAFL Summerbowl II, Alexandra Stadium
In the season of the big split, Lloyd Queen returned the opening kickoff 86 yards for a TD, and Richard Meanwell booted a 54 yard field goal as the Bulls won their first national title in this BAFL final.
1985 – London Ravens 45-7 Streatham Olympians, AFL Summerbowl I, Villa Park
Not that this was a close game, but more of a historic game for British American Football. The Ravens won the first ever British final in Summerbowl I at Villa Park with a 45-7 hammering over the Streatham Olympians. Joe St Louis ran for over 108 yards, and the Ravens outgained the Olympians 456 yards to just 182 in total offense.