2nd December 2003 - K-TRAIN ON TRACK
The Cambridgeshire Cats celebrated a second season in the British Senior League with an awards dinner on Saturday night.
Running back Ken 'K-Train' Sweeney was voted the teams Player of the Year and also won the Offensive Player of the Year award. Linebacker Micheal Howling won the Defensive Player of the Year award while Running Back Stephen 'Booty' Morrison won the 'Special Teams' trophy.
Other award winners were Centre Mark Blackwell - Lineman of the Year; Defensive Back Anthony McLean - Rookie of the Year; Guard & Kicker Brian Jelley - Head Coach's Player of the Year; Defensive Back Simon 'Doc' Lewis & Defensive Tackle Pete
Hammond - Head Coach's Team Person of the Year, while Paul Wheal, Michael Wheal, Christopher Wheal, Peter Baker and John Harlow - collectively known as the 'Chain Gang' - again won 'Cat of the Year' awards for their efforts behind the scenes.
Paul Wheal was also awarded with a Distinguished Service Award for his contribution to football in Cambridge over the past 10 years. The new award of 'PLAY of the Year' went to Running Back Seth Cambell for his 75 yard touchdown reception away at the Essex Spartans in May.
Preparations for the 2004 season begin with team trial sessions on Sundays 7th and 14th December 2003 on Coldhams Common in Cambridge starting at 1200. These sessions are an opportunity for potential players of all ages to try out the Cambridgeshire Cats and American Football. No player is ever turned away from the team and we are keen to recruit more new players to the team to help build on the success of 2003. Further details can be found on the teams web site, www.cambridgeshirecats.co.uk or by phoning Head Coach Chris Wallis on 01480 461905.
2nd December 2003 - Kent Exiles news
The Kent Exiles American Football club, based in Orpington on the Kent/South London borders, are holding the last of three player trials on Sunday December 7th. The trials will take place at the Exiles home ground of Hoblinwell Park in
Orpington, from 10am until 3pm.
Once again the Kent Brewers youth kitted team, and the Greenwich Mariners collegiate team will be in attendance, after a successful first trial which saw all 3 teams boost their squads for next season. "We were especially pleased with
the turnout for the Brewers last time" commented Exiles spokesman Dave Pester, "Several new players joined, as well as our own flag squad stepping up to join as well. We also had some promising rookies for both the Mariners and the senior squad, as well as several experienced players in attendance".
The trials are open to all players who are interested in joining the Exiles, Brewers or Mariners for next seasons campaigns, and rookies are always more than welcome. 2003 saw the Exiles senior team progress from perennial losers to a play-off team, and the club are determined to continue the good work into next season, and make a real run in the play-offs for the first time.
The club will also be unveiling their new look for next season, as well as details of a new sponsor for the 2004 season at the session.
Full details of the club, and directions to Hoblinwell Park, can be found on the Exiles website www.eteamz.com/kentexafc The club can also be contacted by
calling Martin on 07944 730634.
23rd November 2003 - Oxford Saints news
Head Coach Chris Janes has announced details of the Oxford Saints training sessions in preparation for the 2004 season.There will be two preliminary sessions as follows:
Sun 30th November: VETS session to shake off the off season blues Sun 14th December: OPEN session for new players joined by VETS.Full mandatory training will commence on Sunday 4th January.
All training sessions will be held at Oxford RFU Ground, Botley; between 11am and 2:30pm. Players are expected to be on the field dressed and ready for 11:30am for the two preliminaries. Cleats and soft training equipment only will be required for preliminary sessions. For more information please contact:
Head Coach Chris Janes on 07979-782596 or by email at email@example.com
23rd November 2003 - Cambridgeshire Cats return for unfinished business
The Cambridgeshire Cats return to training on Sunday 7th and 14th December 2003 determined to go one game better in 2004 than this season's 14-12 Semi Final loss, to eventual champions, the Bristol Aztecs.
'To have an unbeaten season is an incredible achievement regardless of the sport or level it's played at' said Head Coach Chris Wallis. 'But for many the narrow loss to the Aztecs in the semi final left a feeling of unfinished business. From December we start the hard work required to take that extra step towards a championship.'
The Cats have been promoted to the British Senior League's newly created Division 1A which means they will face the best teams in the country. This is a huge step up in level of competition in what is only the teams third season of existance.
Cats Running Back Booty Morrison in action against the Chiltern Cheetahs during the 2003 season.
Photo courtesy of Matt Brown
'It is essential that we recruit more players for our 2004 campaign' added Wallis. 'Last season we had a great group of rookies and we must continue to introduce new players to the team.'
Training will begin at 1200 on the 7th and 14th December 2003 at Coldhams Common in Cambridge. Those interested can get further information from the teams web site
www.cambridgeshirecats.co.uk or by ringing Coach Wallis on 01480 461905.
23rd November 2003- Lancashire Wolverines report back for training
Bolton based American football team the Lancashire Wolverines confirm that their new home for 2004 will be the prestigious Bolton Arena. The Wolverines players will all report for pre-season training on the 7th of December.
Head Coach Tony Mulhall who coached in Guntersville Alabama, leads the team for his second season in charge. The team is looking for anyone interested in the sport, in whatever capacity to join the club which also boasts the best youth
programme in the country. Coach Mulhall says " We have players from all the major towns in Lancashire but are always on the lookout for new talent and would like to increase the squad size to around 50 fully kitted players. Coaches and
players here all have high aspirations with several having had trials with NFL Europes Scottish Claymores. The team will now play in one of the best facilities in the country which is a tribute to all those who put the effort in week in week out for this club "
The Wolverines will play teams from Birmingham, East Kilbride, Yorkshire and Nottingham to name but a few. The best teams progress to the playoffs with the National Championship game played once again at Don Valley stadium in Sheffield, Britbowl 2004. The Wolverines aim to better their quarter final appearance in last seasons campaign. Anyone wishing to play for the Wolverines or become involved with the club should contact either 01204 594268 or 01257 425167 or e mail via wolverines@ntlworld.
17th November 2003 - SUSSEX CELEBRATE IN STYLE
The Sussex Thunder celebrated their first year back in league action with their end of season dinner at the clubs base, Brighton Rugby Club. All enjoyed an engaging evening as the club honoured its outstanding performers during the season. Head Coach Warren Smart entertained every one with his after-dinner speech with club chairman Tony Miller then presenting the awards. The main award of the evening, thePlayers Player of the Year went to Free Safety & Kick Returner Dayle Kirby, who also collected the Defensive Player of the Year Award.
The Offensive MVP award went to the leagues leading receiver JP Flanagan. Other awards presented on the evening went to:
Defensive Rookie – Eber Kington (Linebacker)
Offensive Rookie – Dave Floate (Offensive Line)
Best Lineman – Ian McLean
Special Teams MVP – Andy Smythe.
Most Improved Player – Danny Minter (Offensive Line).
The Spirit of Thunder award, given to the person who has shown most commitment to the club over the year was presented to Claire Sears, who turns out to video every game, every practice and together with husband Matt (DL) produced the excellent season highlight DVD.
Chairman Tony Miller in his speech thanked everyone involved with the club for their successful return and hoped for an even better season in 2004,”Considering out of a squad of about 45 players, 25-30 had never played before this year and we had only 5 of our ex-players back. We could not have wished for anything better from the season.”
The Thunder report back to pre-season training on 30th November with a registration & testing day. All current players will be in attendance, with new players, veterans & rookies also invited to come along, as is anyone interested in joining the club as sideline staff, coaches or admin. Please contact Gary Whitfield on 01273 596060, Tony Miller on 01273 382925, Warren Smart 07957 424218 or visit our website atwww.sussex-thunder.co.uk
THUNDER TRIO CALLED UP
The Sussex Thunder was represented by a trio of players in the annual South V North Representative game, played in Birmingham. The three, Offensive Lineman Danny Minter from Lancing, Defensive Back Dayle Kirby and Full Back Glen Boyle all made the squad after the Thunder’s first season back in the British Senior League. Head Coach Warren Smart was also appointed to the coaching squad but was unable to attend due to a previous engagement. The Southern squad won the game convincingly 28-7.
FLANAGAN TAKES LEAGUE HONOURS
Thunder wide out JP Flanagan ended the 2003 BSL season as the nations leading pass receiver. Flanagan caught 50 passes for 801 yards including 4 touchdowns during the Brighton based clubs 1st season back in the League. Flanagan travelled to Sheffield to collect his award at the showpiece finale of the season, the Britbowl (the British equivalent of the Superbowl) along with many of his teammates. Head CoachWarren Smart said “This is a great achievement for the club in its first year back to win a national award, hopefully next year we can progress to bigger & better things.”
13th November 2003 - Nottingham Hoods to enter 2004 BSL season
The Nottingham Hoods are to be relaunched and will apply for entry to the BSL for the 2004 season. Recruitment of non BSL registered players starts today. Email Bink at firstname.lastname@example.org if interested
5th November 2003 - Lancashire Wolverines find new home
Lancashire Wolverines have successfully negotiated a deal to move into the prestigious Bolton Arena next to the Reebok stadium in Bolton. The £15 million pound Arena boasts some of the best equipment and facilities in the world and is
probably the finest establishment in the country. A spokesman for the Wolverines said " This is our big opportunity. The club has played in the Bolton area for many years. Players from all over the county from novice to those who aspire to become part of the elite player programme and beyond will have access to everything they need on one site. The Arena also boasts a multi million pound sports education theatre, conference facilities and multi use gymnasium. A deal is also being negotiated to bring all players and their families to the Arena facilities on a corporate membership. The Arena has great motorway links with the M61 less than half a mile away. Our players and opponents will be glad to know that the playing surface in the stadium is grass. The move will help to change the face of the game both locally and nationally and will be a major boost for American football in Britain.
19th October 2003 - COLCHESTER GLADIATORS - 20th ANNIVERSARY REUNION GAME
Colchester Gladiators 50
Essex Blades 8
The greater experience of the Colchester Gladiators was always likely to be a telling factor in this game against the plucky Blades of Essex University, and so it proved in this memorable and highly entertaining match celebrating 20 years since the formation of the Gladiators, and sponsored by HR Owen, Jaguar.
In front of TV cameras from Sky Sports and Anglia TV, and cameras from Heat magazine and the Evening Gazette, the Gladiators dominated the game from start to finish, highlighting the impossible task of the Blades coaches of preparing a team of relative novices for their biggest game in only three weeks.
A crowd estimated at 800, comprising die hard Gladiator fans, enthusiastic students, interested locals, and young fans of TV presenter Dermot O’Leary who had taken time out from his busy schedule to first help promote the game, and then participate in it, helped create a vibrant atmosphere, and raised a sizeable amount for the children’s charity Barnado’s.
Months of preparation came to an end as founder member Jay Hope kicked off with the wind at 2pm, and the Blades lined up for their first possession of the game. After a gain of four yards on first down, QB AJ Fenwick was sacked on second down by linebacker Paul Ainsworth fumbling the ball, which was recovered by Gladiators’ Jim Bromley. Fenwick suffered a fractured finger in the tackle, although he did return to the game.
The Gladiators had the ball for the first time in good field position, on the Blades 34 yard line and wasted no time in stamping their authority on the game. On first down runningback Stuart Brereton ran 24 yards to the ten, before Nick Foxley took the ball the final ten yards into the endzone for the first score of the day. Jay Hope kicked the extra point to establish an early 7-0 lead.
The ensuing kickoff was fumbled but recovered by the Blades but the delay enabled the Gladiators kickoff team time to get downfield, John Foxley making the tackle on the one yard line. The Gladiators defence were not going to let the Blades escape, and Bromley burst through the line to tackle the Blades QB in the endzone for a two point safety and a 9-0 advantage.
The team conceding the safety then has to kick off from its own 20 yard line, and the Gladiators took advantage of the resulting good field position, running in their third score of the quarter through Brereton again, this time from 13 yards out. The extra point attempt failed leaving the score at 15-0.
The Blades struggled to make any impression on the bigger and stronger defence of the Gladiators, regularly being tackled for losses, with Nick Darling and Simon Wilkinson trapping the runners in the backfield, and Shaun Rapley bursting through to make the tackle for an eight yard loss. With their offence unable to sustain any sort of drive, the punter was having a lot of practice, but punt returners Dermot O’Leary and Steve Tatum were consistently returning the ball back into Blades territory.
The Gladiators notched up their third touchdown just before the end of the first quarter after 11 yard gains by Brereton and O’Leary set up Paul Borstel for his first of two touchdowns on the day from six yards out. Hope again slotted the point after for a commanding 22-0 lead.
The second quarter followed the pattern of the first, with the Blades struggling to move the ball offensively and the Gladiators enjoying considerable success with Andy Cowling and Steve Lyons getting in on the act, running for good yards. The Blades managed to sack Gladiators QB Rob Turner for a nine yard loss to give them hope, but Turner managed to connect with Nick Foxley for a 21 yard pass completion to keep the drive alive. Brereton finished it off with a 14 yard scoring run, and with the extra point, the score was increased to 29-0.
Colchester (blue) vs Essex
The Blades never gave up though and sprung a surprise late in the second period by registering the most spectacular score of the day. The Blades defence managed to stop a Gladiator drive after good work by John Bragaglia and Rob Seal, forcing Hope to punt. Mike Thompson fielded the ball, weaved his way through a number of would be tacklers, and sprinted 70 yards for the six points. The snap on the extra point was mishandled, but kicker Gareth Waterhouse picked up the ball, sprinted around the left end, and managed to reach the endzone to add an extra two points, making the score 29-8.
There was still enough time in the half for the Gladiators to reply though. Brereton returned the ball 49 yards into the Blades half before QB Keith Rogers connected with Tight End Duncan Gardner for a short gain, and Borstel burst through for a 28 yard score. Hope’s fourth extra point closed the first half scoring at 36-8.
With the game seemingly decided, the intensity level of the first half was not quite reached as both teams tried to get all players involved. The Blades defence enjoying much more success registering a total of three interceptions of the Gladiators’ QBs by defensive backs Mark Batchelder and Ben Lloyd (twice).
The Gladiators added one score in each of the final two quarters, both converted by Hope, with Brereton completing a hat-trick of touchdowns, and Will Melton, scoring his first touchdown as a Gladiator since 1986. Melton also gained more than the required 26 yards to take him over 1,000 career yards for the team. A number of career milestones were reached during the game with Brereton going past 4,000 yards, Nick Foxley becoming the only receiver in Gladiators history to catch 100 passes, Turner became only the second quarterback to register 3,000 yards passing, and fellow QB Rogers inched up to 1,000 yards passing.
The Blades continued to try hard to make an impression offensively, but the welcome return after an absence of 11 years of American Rick Rotondo, the force of Tony Norton, and the speed of Paul Mellor and Malcolm Jay, it was always going to be an uphill struggle.
For the Blades though, it was a worthwhile exercise in preparation for only their third season in BCAFL, the University league. Head Coach Kevin Sharman expects his players to have learnt a lot from the experience and will be concentrating on the positives from the game, in readiness for their opening league fixture on November 2nd, at home to UKC Falcons.
For the Gladiators, the chance to once again play alongside some former team-mates, while helping out former colleague Sharman and raising money for a good cause made the whole experience very worthwhile. The Gladiators would like to take this opportunity of thanking their hosts Wivenhoe Town FC for their hospitality and huge amount of help on the day, the match sponsor, HR Owen Jaguar, and the secondary sponsors, Sir Charles Lucas Centre for Sport and Art (advertising and training), SportSafe UK (match balls), The Sign Factory (scoreboard), Cougar Athletic (shirts), and the Wig and Pen for the post-match party. After such a successful event, talk is already starting on next year’s game.....
16th October 2003 - Exiles and co. prepare for 2004
Kent Exiles have started their preparations for the 2004 BSL season and have two remaining player trials that will be held in the run up to Christmas.
The trials will be held on the following dates, and all will be at the Exiles
home ground of Hoblinwell Park in Orpington, on the Kent/South London borders.
SUNDAY 9TH NOVEMBER, 10am-3pm
SUNDAY 7TH DECEMBER, 10am-3pm
The trials will also be attended by the Kent Brewers youth kitted team, allowing
all players from the age of 15 to come and play kitted football. "This is great
for the Exiles and the Brewers" commented team secretary David Pester, "our
youth flag team has been playing some great football, but they are all keen to
progress onto the next level, forming this partnership with the Brewers will be
a big step forward for the Exiles organisation, and should open the Brewers
recruitment to a new area allowing them to enter the BYFA league properly next
The newly formed Greenwich Mariners BCAFL side will also be in attendance,
bringing 3 levels of kitted football to the Exiles organisation for the first
time. The Mariners are still in the early stages of their formation, but after a
month of training the players are learning fast, and a combined training session
with an experienced team will only accelerate their progression.
The trials are open to all players who are interested in joining the Exiles,
Brewers or Mariners for next seasons campaign, and rookies are always more than welcome. 2003 saw the Exiles senior team progress from perennial losers to a play-off team, and the club are determined to continue the good work into next season, and make a real run in the play-offs for the first time.
Full details of the club, and directions to Hoblinwell Park, can be found on the
Exiles website www.eteamz.com/kentexafc The club can also be contacted by
calling Martin on 07944 730634.
16th October 2003 - Colchester Gladiators charity match info
The charity American Football match between the Colchester Gladiators and Essex Blades on October 19th is now just a few days away.
A number of sponsors have been negotiated for the event including HR Owen Jaguar, Sportsafe UK, Cougar Athletic, The Sign Factory, and Sir Charles Lucas Centre for Sport and Art.
TV presenter Dermot O'Leary has confirmed he will be playing in the game and will be visiting Colchester on Saturday 4th for some promotional activities before joining his Gladiator team mates for training on Sunday 5th.
Dermot will be available to sign souvenir programmes at a number of venues on Saturday 4th after doing a radio interview on local radio station SGR Colchester.
He will be at the Wig and Pen pub on Colchester High Street from about 10.30am before visiting Sir Charles Lucas Centre for Sport and Art, Greenstead, Colchester at about midday.
He then hopes to drop in on The Essex Blades at their recruitment table at Essex University shortly after 1pm before going to Wivenhoe Town FC where the charity game is being staged. He will stay and sign programmes and watch Wivenhoe Town play their home game, and sign more autographs.
On Sunday 5th, he will take part in the Gladiators training session from 11am. Media and spectators are welcome to watch before being able to meet Dermot when training finishes around 1.30pm.
More information is available from Nick Foxley at Sir Charles Lucas Centre for Sport and Art on (01206) 500917 or logging on to the Gladiators website at www.eteamz.com/sites/colchestergladiators/ or e-mailing email@example.com
5th September 2003 - Britbowl 2003
In front of a crowd of 1,315, it was the London O's and the Bristol Aztecs who took the plaudits on a great afternoon of British American Football.
Division One - London O's 35-7 East Kilbride Pirates
Pirates RB Jon Sutherland breaks clear to open the scoring against the London O'S
Photo courtesy of BritballNow
Division Two - Bristol Aztecs 32-15 Nottingham Caesars
The Caesars go close to scoring against the Aztecs with this spectacular effort
Photo courtesy of BritballNow
11th August 2003 - BSL Div.2 Quarter-Finals
Cambridgeshire Cats 9-6 Southern Sundevils (double OT)
A 24 yard Field Goal by Brian Jelley, 4.07 minutes into the SIXTH quarter sealed a dramatic victory for the Cambridgeshire Cats, sponsored by Mickey Flynns American Pool in Cambridge and the Royal Mail, in their Quarter Final clash with the Southern Sundevils from Southampton.
The Cats got off to the perfect start as strong running by Seth Campbell and Mark Spittle set up a 25 yard pass from Quarterback Nick Tilbury to Wide Receiver Steve Peck to open the scoring. Jelley's extra point attempt was missed but the Cats still led 6-0.
The sweltering conditions seemed to affect both teams as the game became dominated by mistakes and penalties until Southern Running Back Gareth Dauley broke away from three Cats tacklers to sprint home for a spectacular 75 yard touchdown run. The extra point attempt failed and the half ended with the score tied 6-6.
Like the first half, the third quarter was dominated by errors, penalties and good defensive play by both sides and the score remained tied.
The fourth quarter saw the Cats offence start to move the ball, behind powerful rushing by Seth Campbell and Mark Spittle, driving into scoring range on a number of occasions. But yet more mistakes, penalties and a blocked Brian Jelley Field Goal meant the score remained 6-6 after 60 minutes of play.
So the game went into sudden death over time with the first team to score as the winners.
The one-two combination of Campbell and Spittle continued to work well for the Cats and they had the first chance to win the game. But another Jelley field goal attempt was blocked and the Sundevils regained possession inside the Cats half.
Powerful running by Gareth Dauley and Barry Minter saw the Sundevils move the ball to the Cambridgeshire 5 yard line. The Cats defence, led by Linebacker Steve Bennett, dug in and three plays later the Sundevils lined up to kick a field goal and seal victory. But veteran defender Mickey Howling powered through the line to block the kick and give the Cats a life line.
Yet more strong running by Campbell and Spittle saw the Cats move the ball from their own 4 yard line as the first period of Over time ended. Crucial Third Down Catches by Dave Lemon and Steve Peck kept the Cats dreams alive before Booty Morris broke lose on a brilliant 30 yard run to move the ball inside the Sundevils 10 yard line. Three runs later and the Cats were in position for Jelley to make his game winning kick.
A stunned Cats Head Coach, Chris Wallis said, 'Wow! I'm shattered and I wasn't even playing. The players from both sides gave everything today and must be exhausted. Double over time games are very rare and the tension was incredible. But we held our nerve when it mattered and came away with the win. Now I need a beer!'
Despite the errors and 12 penalties the Cats offence gained over 450 yards in total offence. Runningback Seth Campbell led the way with 139 yards from 17 carries while Fullback Mark Spittle weighed in with 126 yards from his 17 attempts.
On defence Linebackers Mickey Howling and Steve Bennett each made 15 tackles while Defensive End Richard Rigby sacked the Southern Quarterback twice to go with his 8 tackles.
Cambridgeshire will now face the Bristol Aztecs in the British Senior League National Semi Finals this Sunday 17th August 2003 on Coldhams Common in Cambridge, Kick-off is at 1430. For further information ring Head Coach Chris Wallis on 01480 461905 or check the teams web site www.cambridgeshirecats.co.uk.
Kent Exiles 12-27 Bristol Aztecs
On what was a day that will be remembered for the hottest temperatures ever
recorded in the UK, the Exiles were writing their own records by making their
first ever playoff appearance, making the trip up the M4 to Bristol to face the
With starting quarterback Matt Duncan suffering a torn ACL in the lead up to the
game, the Exiles looked towards Simon Mackerill to lead them in their biggest
ever game, but despite an admirable performance the team came up short against
the experienced Aztecs.
The Aztecs took an early 7-0 lead in the first quarter when star running back
Kenny Saro burst through the Exiles defence to score on a 72 yard run, Saro
proved to be the difference between the teams as he racked up 3 touchdowns on
The Exiles struck back on the very next drive though, some fine running from
veteran Alan Hands put the Exiles into Aztecs territory, from where Mackerill
found Martin Jefkins from 26 yards out, the receiver making the grab at the back
of the endzone for the Exiles first playoff points, and Mackerills first
touchdown pass. Mat Tompsetts extra point was missed, and the score stood at
The Aztecs hit back in the second quarter, Saro again breaking free on a long
run this time from 64 yards out. Aaron Alexis, who also recorded a club record
26 tackles, blocked the extra point and the score stood at 13-6.
The remainder of the half was a defensive affair, with both teams bending a
little but not breaking, and the half ended with the Aztecs looking for the
endzone but Mark Evans and Mike Turner both broke up the Aztecs passes and the
halftime score stood at 13-6.
Defence was on top again in the early part of the second half, but the game
swung in the Aztecs favour after a late hit left Exiles quarterback Mackerill
limping from the game. Third string Quarterback Graham Deacon took to the field,
but with no preparation time he could not engineer a drive. Mat Tompsett came on
to punt, but a high snap meant that the Aztecs took over in Exiles territory.
The defence held for two plays before Aztecs quarterback Ashley Richer lofted a
deep pass to the sideline where Jon Hartley made the catch and scored on a 31
yard completion, it was to be their only completion on the day, but a costly one
for the Exiles as after the extra point the Aztecs led 20-6.
With their offence struggling to come to terms with losing two Quarterbacks in
one week, the Exiles found it hard to move the ball, and with the Aztecs eating
up the clock with their power running game the Exiles defence began to tire
under the relentless sun, and allowed the Aztecs a final score, Saro completing
his hat trick this time from 4 yards out, the extra point was good and the
Aztecs led 27-6.
The Exiles mustered the resilience to mount another drive on their next
possession, Stewart Muir carried the load and eventually rounded off the drive
on a 28 yard touchdown run, it capped another fine day for the 1000 yard rusher
as he finished with 114 yards on the ground, and bought the Exiles hope at
The Aztecs used their experience to control the ball for the remainder of the
game, not giving the Exiles any chance to come back, and rounded the game out
"This season we have turned around a perennial loser into a playoff team and we
have to be very proud of that", commented Exiles head coach Phil Wood, "It
doesn't make it any easier losing today though, but we'll use this to make the
team stronger for next season, the players have now all seen what it will take
to make the next step, and we are determined to go further next year. We wish
the Aztecs well in the semi finals, they will be a tough unit to beat for any
team, and I won't be surprised to see them playing in Sheffield at the end of
The Exiles are already building for next season, and the club can be contacted
via their website www.eteamz.com/kentexafc New players and coaches especially
are needed, as well as anybody interested in helping to run the club.
<<lineup3.jpg>> <<quarter back.jpg>>
The first picture shows the Exiles (in white) lining up to face the Aztecs
The second picture shows Exiles quarterback Simon Mackerill dropping back to
3rd August 2003 - BSL wrap
In a tough encounter, Sandy Francis kicked the winning field goal in overtime for the Ipswich Cardinals as they down the PA Knights in the Div.1 Southern wildcard matchup. Tied at 7-7 at the half, the Knights need a last second field goal from Jon Wyse to tie the scores 10-10 at full-time. The Cardinals now face the East Kilbride Pirates. The Birmingham Bulls face their nemesis, the London O's, in the other semi-final after they wrapped up a convincing 50-8 win over the Lancashire Wolverines in the Div.1 Northern wildcard game
Div.1 semi-final match ups
London O's v Birmingham Bulls
East Kilbride Pirates v Ipswich Cardinals
In Div.2, the Oxford Saints lost 28-19 at the South Wales Warriors to finish ranked number 8 going into the playoffs where they will meet the Gateshead Senators. The Saints loss means the Southern Sundevils will now have to face the Cambridgeshire Cats.
Div.2 quarter-final match ups
Gateshead Senators v Oxford Saints
Cambridgeshire Cats v Southern Sundevils
Nottingham Caesars v Staffordshire Surge
Bristol Aztecs v Kent Exiles
3rd August 2003 - Sussex Set To Secure Future With Smart Move
The recently formed Sussex Thunder has appointed a new head coach after just one year back in the British Senior League. Former Assistant Head Coach and Quarter Back’s coach, Warren Smart, will take over at the top with immediate effect. Last season’s Head Coach, Rich Worsell, will step down to Assistant Head Coach.
The south coast club have done this in order to put their long-term plans into place and allow Rich Worsell to pursue football opportunities outside of the club. Rich will be moving to the States to coach at State College High School and the Penn State Nittany Lions. Although he is due back in December the Sussex Thunder are expecting to lose him to a European team. Coach Worsell said that “If I am coaching in England next year it will be at the Thunder.”
The appointment of Smart will give the Thunder some long standing stability, and with his proven track record of coaching and playing, the Sussex side will be looking to challenge for the 2004 Division Two title. Coach Smart has had an excellent playing career with over twenty years experience, gracing teams with his skill, such as the London Blitz and the Norwich Devils. He also won the BCAFL coach of the year award in 1991 with the UEA Pirates, where he took them to the College Bowl game.
Coach Smart said about the move “I am really looking forward to working as Head Coach of the Thunder. This past year was awesome as we had a squad of fifty guys, forty of whom had played less than twenty games between them when we started the year. To go 5-5 from scratch was nothing short of brilliant. All the plaudits for that should go to my predecessor, Rich Worsell and his coaching staff. Tony Miller, Gary Whitfield, Steve Davis, Phillipe Crisp and Les Davidson. Rich will remain with us until some bright spark sees how good he is and takes him away! We are planning the long-term future of the Sussex Thunder. We are looking to develop a new footballing dynasty in the south of England. For that I will need coaches, administrators and a fan base, not to mention more players. Our plans are to continue recruiting and challenge for the Division Two title in 2004. We want to re-establish our youth programme and make sure the future of football in the UK is well served.”
Sussex chairman, Tony Miller, had this to say, “It’s been a great season for a team of 80% rookies and only four old Thunder players. We couldn’t have asked for more. With eight rookies starting on offense, including four linemen, to come out with one of the leading passing games in Division Two is quite an achievement. I would like to thank Rich Worsell on his first season with the club and for all the hard work that he has put in, along with everyone else involved. I would also like to congratulate Warren Smart on his appointment as the new head coach of the Sussex Thunder. Warren has over twenty years experience of playing and coaching both here and in the States and has impressed everyone at the club with his knowledge and ideas over the last year. Warren will replace Rich Worsell who will continue as Assistant Head Coach and Offensive Co-Ordinator and I hope he will be part of the Thunder organisation for years to come.”
Coach Smart will begin his programme with a pre-season mini camp on November 30th at Brighton Rugby Club. He is currently looking for additional coaches. Present vacancies include Defensive Co-Ordinator and all positional coaches. Players of all standards are also welcome to try out for this budding club. All players, coaches and administrators can contact the Head Coach on 07957 424218 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also contact the club secretary, Gary Whitfield on 07703 316886.
The Thunder would also like to thank all their sponsors that helped them make the 2003 season so enjoyable and successful.
30th July 2003 - Nottingham Caesers 64-7 Manchester Titans
The Titans knew they faced a huge challenge to come to the unbeaten Caesers who had earlier in the season defeated them 63 – 0. However they made the trip across the pennines to play their final game of the season.
A great punt by Jodie Forder started the Caesers at their own 2 yd line, however the Caesers immediately showed their class by making a huge drive to make their first score of the day. This was finished by a Touchdown pass and two point conversion both to the speedy Caesers receiver#20. They almost identically scored again with the same post corner route from the same reciever.
The quarter ended 14-0 and the half ended 34-0. The Titans cam out fired up for the second half and even though they continued to concede, two turnovers by the defence from Chris Haywood and Phil Chapman ahowed they were still plating this game. The offence showed up aswell with some steady running and then the line held well to give QB Rik Lowthian time to throw a precision pass to Jodie Forder, and great blocking from Omar Bahfir saw the first score against the Caesers on their home soil for two years.
The game finished 64-7 in what was a hard fought contest in great spirits by both sides.
This concluded the Titans first ever season in which it has built wide respect across the division and is even producing some outstanding prospects
28th July 2003 - CHILTERN CHEETAHS 30 NENE VALLEY HYBRIDS 46 (h/t 14-31)
Chiltern welcomed Nene Valley to Amersham for the first meeting between the two teams and spectators on the day were treated to an offence explosion by both teams.
A combined total of 840 yards were posted by both teams offences. Star of the day was Nene Valley Running Back Ricardo Givens with 160yds rushing and 4 touchdowns. From Chiltern it was Darren Shepsman with 166yds rushing and 1 touchdown.
The game exploded in to life early on with Nene Valley racing in to a 20-0 lead midway through the first Qtr.
It wasn't until the 2nd Qtr. that the Cheetahs sprung in to life to reduce the deficit firstly Andy Crowther crashed over from 2yds out and on their next possession Q.B. Rob Suttling sneaked in from the 1yd line, Adie Stemp caught a 2pt conversion attempt and the deficit was reduced to 6 points (14-20)
It was short lived though as Nene Valley once again found their Offensive rhythm and extended their lead further with Ricardo Givens going in from 10yds and also adding the 2pt conversion. Right on the stroke of half time Steve Booth added a 14yd Field Goal to give the Hybrids a 31-14 lead.
The second half saw Chiltern straight in to their stride when Andy Crowther scored his second Touchdown, also adding the 2pt conversion. Nene Valley replied almost immediately with Ricardo Givens getting his 4th Touchdown of the day.
At the start of the 4th Qtr.Nene Valley secured the win when Steve Booth caught an 11yd pass and tacked on the 2pt conversion.
Inside the last 2 minutes Chiltern had one last attempt to put respectability to the score line and Darren Shepsman was rewarded for his fine running on the day when he went over from 3yds out and Adie Stemp caught the 2pt conversion attempt to leave the final score 46-30 in Nene Valley's favour.
24th July 2003 - BritballNow records history
This was the moment that the London O's broke the legendary London Ravens record for most consecutive wins, as WR Clive Palumbo falls into the endzone with seconds to go in their 26-22 win over the PA Knights.
Earlier RB Warren Keen had got them back into the game with this score below. Full match report below.
23rd July 2003 - Chiltern Cheetahs funday
To coincide with the Cheetahs match against Nene Valley Hybrids on Sunday July 27th there will be the clubs first family day. Along with what should be a cracking game between two hard hitting teams there will be loads of attraction including; a bouncy castle, coverage by Swan 107.4 fm, a children's entertainer and other attractions to make it a day not to miss.
All the action starts at 14:00 and the match between Chiltern and Nene Valley kicking off at 16:00.
For more information check out the Cheetahs web site at
23rd July 2003 - CATS STAY PURRRRFECT!
The Cambridgeshire Cats, sponsored by Mickey Flynn's American Pool in Cambridge and the Royal Mail, won a hard fort contest with the Essex Spartans on Sunday to end their 2003 regular season with a perfect 10 wins from 10 games record.
The first quarter was a tight affair. Both teams struggled to move the ball until Cats Running Back Seth Campbell opened the scoring with a spectacular touchdown run. Great blocks by Mitch Henry and Jim Logdon gave Campbell the opportunity to break two attempted tackles before he out sprinted the rest of the Spartans defensive players down the left sideline for a 41 yard score. Brian Jelley added the extra point and the quarter ended with the Cats 7-0 in the lead.
Defence dominated the second quarter highlighted by a spectacular interception and return by Defensive Lineman Ian Brazier. The half ended with the Cats holding on to a slender 7-0 lead.
The Cats started the second half showing some of the offensive form that has been missing in recent weeks. Powerful running by K-Train Sweeney, Mark Spittle and Campbell again saw the Cats drive down the field to the Essex goal line. From where a huge block by Chris Wolfe and Brian Jelley allowed Sweeney to stroll into the end zone for his sixteenth touchdown of the season. Jelley missed the extra point but the Cats still led 13-0.
At the end of the quarter the Cats defence got just rewards for their terrific work all game when Defensive Lineman Richard Rigby tackled the Essex Punter in their end zone for a 2 point safety and 15-0 lead.
The fourth quarter saw the Cats finally get their passing game to work as Quarterback Nick Tilbury first found Wide Receiver Matt Smith across the middle from 23 yards out to extend the lead to 22-0 and then hit Steve Peck with a perfect 21 yard scoring pass to secure the victory.
'It's been a great season so far.' Said Cats Head Coach Chris Wallis. 'To stay undefeated in a season is an incredible achievement and it was a great feeling when the final whistle blew. I'm very proud of everybody involved with the team. To achieve this much in just our second season reflects how much hard work we have done over the past two years. But we also know that the job is only half done and now the tough games really do begin with the playoffs'
The Cats now have two weeks training before the playoff Quarter finals on the 10th August 2003. The opposition and venue for this game are not yet known. Some teams have yet to play all their games and Coldhams Common is not available on this date. The game will be played in Cambridge, somewhere, and for further details keep checking the team web site (www.cambridgeshirecats.co.uk) or phone Coach Wallis on 01480 461905
21st July 2003 - O's take the Ravens record in dramatic finish
Drama! There can be no other word for it. The London O's broke the British record for most consecutive wins by winning their 64th straight victory, and breaking the London Ravens record in the process. They rallied for a 16-0 deficit at half-time, and trailed 22-6 early in the 4th quarter to defeat the Personal Assurance Knights 26-22 in Guildford.
A large crowd in Guildford
The Knights took an early 3-0 lead on a field goal, and extended that to 9-0 when QB Ashley Heath found a wide open Jon Wyse in the endzone. The O's could not move the ball on the ground, whereas the Knights were untroubled in that department as Anthony Stitt barrelled over numerous Os linemen that got in his way. Stitt scored his first TD of the day in the second quarter from a yard out to give them a 16-0 half-time lead.
Early in the second half the O's RB Warren Keen scored on a short range TD himself as the O's seemed to make a comeback, but at the beginning of the 4th quarter it was Stitt who restored the advantage on another 1 yard plunge to give the Knights a seemingly unassailable 22-6 lead.
Up to the beginning of the 4th quarter, the Knights had completely outplayed the O's who had consistently failed to move the ball on the ground. With the O's having to take to the air with little time left, many in the large crowd assembled were surprised to see the Knights persisting with just a 3 man secondary. They gave up two long range passing scores to Andy Boyle as the O's pulled to 22-20, and took over again with less than 2 minutes to go.
Andy Boyle scores the O's 3rd TD to pull within 2 points
Again, the Knights just kept one man deep. The tactics looked like paying off, as the O's faced a 4th and 9 with 20 seconds to go on the half-way line. However, Boyle caught a slant pass for 10 yards to keep the drive going.
With just 9 seconds on the clock, Stuart Franklin lofted a perfect pass down the left hand touch-line, and Clive Palumbo one on one ran onto the pass and raced into the endzone for a 36 yard score. There was no way back for the Knights, and the O's were left to celebrate a historic win, and home field advantage in the playoffs.
The O's celebrate their winning score
All photos courtesy of BritballNow
18th July, 2003 - Showdown in Guildford
BritballNow will be at the Varsity sports centre in Guildford on Sunday which is preparing to host the biggest game in British American football history for the past six years on Sunday 20th July (KO 2-30pm). Both SkySports and Carlton TV will have cameras at the game as the hometown Personal Assurance Knights take on the visiting London O's in the final game of the Knights regular season. On the line in the clash between the 6-1 Knights and the 5-0 O's is the Southern Conference Championship in the British Senior League, the Championship holds the key to a bye week and home field advantage for the play off Semi-Final. Added spice to the clash is that the O's, six time consecutive British Champions, have not been defeated domestically for 4 years - after last week's win at Ipswich fate has decreed that this clash with the Knights will determine whether or not they beat the longstanding British Senior League record for consecutive wins held by the once dominant London Ravens.
The teams met earlier in the season and the O's just held on to beat the Knights by 3 points after the Guildford team had led at halftime. Knights Head Coach Steve Rains commented, "This is a huge game for us and for the sport in this country. The O's have built up an aura around themselves and have dominated the sport in a similar fashion to Man Utd in soccer. They have a truly well deserved reputation as perennial winners and we know that they are very keen to break the Ravens record to secure a place in the record books that rewards their efforts over the past 4-5 seasons. The game is justifiably attracting a lot of attention and we are expecting a good crowd for the game. The Knights will not be overawed by the occasion we have rapidly built the club into genuine contenders over the past two seasons and we know that we are capable of winning - the O's are aware of that also and it promises to be a fascinating game"
Edited from http://www.paafo.freeserve.co.uk/html.htm
18th July 2003 - THUNDER AND EXILES REMEMBER FORMER BRIGHTON PLAYER
The game between Sussex Thunder and Kent Exiles played on 13th July was preceded by a moment of sadness. The two squads formed a circle in the centre of the field. They were joined by a number of fomer Brighton B-52s players and supporters and officials to hold a minutes silence for Phil Cregeens who passed away unexpectedly, at the age of just 35, recently.
Phil was a lineman with the exciting B-52s squads in the 80s and early 90s. He also took part in the famous game against City College of San Francisco, played at Candlestick Park, home of the 49ers.
He is remembered with great fondness by those who played alongside him or watched from the sideline and I am sure all of those involved in our sport, both past and present, will join his former colleagues in offering their condolences to his family.
14th July 2003 - O's tie British record (or do they), Pirates win Northern crown
In yesterday's BSL action, the London O's won 10-7 at Ipswich to tie what we believe is the British record for most consecutive victories. The London Ravens won 63 consecutive games between 1983 and 1988, and including forfeit wins the O's tied this yesterday. The confusion surrounds, the O's forfeit win over the Mets earlier this season which may have been expunged from the records, in which case the O's will still be one short. They can take the record/or tie it next week away to the PA Knights in a battle for the Southern Conference. Should be a cracker. Britballnow will be covering the game next week.
Yesterday, the O's led 7-0 at the half, but Ipswich hit back to tie the game in the 3rd quarter, and missed a chance to take the lead on a long field-goal attempt which hit the upright. The O's took the game with a field-goal as time was running out.
The East Kilbride Pirates took the Div.1 Northern Conference (and home advantage throughout the playoffs) for the 3rd straight season with a comfortable 76-0 win over their closest challengers, the Lancashire Wolverines.
In Div.2, the Kent Exiles qualified for the playoffs for the first time with a 28-23 win over the Sussex Thunder, and the Staffordshire Surge made sure of post-season action with a 23-6 win over the Tees Valley Cougars.
17th July 2003 - Kent Exiles 28-23 Sussex Thunder
The Kent Exiles secured their first ever playoff appearance, and moved to a 7-1
record, in this topsy turvy performance.
Action from the game courtesy of the Kent Exiles
The Exiles started the game brightly, holding the Thunder offence easily, and
then powering the ball downfield to open the scoring on Stewart Muirs tenth
touchdown of the season from seven yards out. Mat Tompsetts extra point was
missed, and the Exiles led 6-0.
The Thunders next drive was snuffed out quickly as well, brothers Carl and Aaron Alexis making the tackles to give the offence the ball back straight away. This time the offence scored when quarterback Mat Duncan found Roy Hall on a 6 yard pass, Tompsett's extra point was good, and the score stood at 13-0.
By now the Exiles defence was dominating the Thunder, and holding them easily on every drive. The Exiles then once again powered down the field, and the drive ended when quarterback Duncan found Martin Jefkins on a five yard pass for the touchdown, Tompsett was good again and the Exiles had a comfortable 20-0 at half time.
The second half started dramatically, the Thunder held the Exiles offence and
forced them to punt the ball away. Tompsett's kick was high and long, and the
Thunders punt returner Dale Kirby could not hold onto the ball at his own goal
line. The Exiles Michael Turner was on hand to recover the muffed return in the
endzone, and the rookie scored his second special teams touchdown of the season, this time the Exiles elected to go for a 2 point conversion, and Duncan this time found Alan Hands in the corner of the endzone to convert, and give the
Exiles a 28-0 lead.
The Exiles looked to have complete control of the game, but a lack of discipline
allowed the Thunder to come back into the game, as Andy Smythe, Mike Ashby and J-P Flanigan scored three touchdowns late on to bring the score back to 28-23 as time expired.
"The win today was the most important thing" commented Exiles head coach Phil Wood after the game, "we had our destiny in our own hands, and we are now guaranteed our first ever play-off appearance, and who knows how far we can go now. I'm upset at our second half performance and I must take the blame for our lack of discipline, we can't afford that if we want to win going forward".
Exiles most valuable players on the day were Mat Duncan on Offence, Aaron Alexis on Defence and Michael Turner on Special Teams.
The Exiles now travel to Maidstone on Sunday to take on the Puma's in a local
derby match, the Exiles were victorious at home 28-8 earlier in the season, and
a win will push them further up the standings and on the road to playoffs in
The club can be contacted via their website, www.eteamz.com/kentexafc, and would especially like to hear from anybody interested in coaching, as the club has a thriving youth team who need some help in that area.
17th July 2003 - Nene Valley Hybrids 8-14 Cambridgeshire Cats
The Cambridgeshire Cats, sponsored by Mickey Flynn's American Pool in Cambridge, fumbled their way to a narrow 14-8 victory over local rivals the Nene Valley Hybrids, the South Eastern Conference title and home field advantage throughout the playoffs last sunday.
Both defences and offensive errors dominated the first half with the Cats just able to take advantage of the Hybrids turnovers. The first quarter ended with the score tied at 0-0 after a Steve Booth Field goal was blocked by Cats Defensive Back Chris Dahl.
Errors continued to negate good plays by both offences until midway through the second quarter when Chris Dahl managed to break through the Hybrids Offensive line again to block a punt which was recovered inside the Nene Valley 10 yard line. Two plays later Booty Morrison barrelled in from the two yard line for the go ahead score. Brian Jelley added the extra point for a 7-0 lead.
Pinned deep in their own half by excellent coverage by the kick-off unit the Hybrids turned the ball over again on their next drive. This time Michael Bey stepped in front of a Toby Mason pass and returned the interception inside the Nene Valley 10 yard line. The Cats Offence took little time in finding the end zone as Scott Debson ploughed in from 3 yards out. The extra point kick was added and the half ended with a spectacular interception and return by Cats Defensive Back Doc Lewis to preserve Cambridgeshire's slender 14 point lead.
More fumbles and strong defence continued to stop both offences moving the ball with any consistency and no points were added in a third quarter. The Cats kicking game, led by Punter Doc Lewis, forced the Hybrids to drive from deep in their own half as time in the fourth quarter ticked by. Eventually the Cats defence tired and Nene Valley scored a much deserved touchdown. But after the Hybrids had scored the two extra points just 11 seconds remained in the game. Fortunately Cambridgeshire running back Seth Campbell recovered Steve Booth's onside kick as time ran out.
An extremely relieved Cats Head Coach Chris Wallis said 'We had some of our Offensive players missing today but nothing should be taken away from the Nene Valley Hybrids for their performance. They showed great character, courage and an awful lot of heart today.
But a win is a win regardless of how ugly it might be. We know that we will need to step up our performances from now on but it's good to be able to play so bad and still get a victory.....just!
Our defence won us the game today. They played hard football in scorching conditions against a tricky Hybrids Offence. I'm extremely proud of all involved the Cats organisation. To win the conference title in just our second season is a fantastic achievement.'
The Cats stay unbeaten at 9-0 and have another tough fixture against the Essex Spartans this coming Sunday, on Coldhams Common in Cambridge, to complete their regular season schedule before the playoffs start. Kick Off has been changed to 1600. For further details please check the Cats web site www.cambridgeshirecats.co.uk or phone Chris Wallis on 01480 461905.
29th June 2003 - YORKSHIRE RAMS (AWAY) 0 V 84 EAST KILBRIDE PIRATES
The Rams made the long road trip north on Sunday with a very understrength squad to take on Scotland’s finest, the East Kilbride Pirates. The scoreline did not reflect the commitment and effort which the Yorkshire players had, but they did travel back with their pride intact and heads held high.
The Rams kicked the game off with the home side taking early advantage and made good progress on their first drive of the day. Yorkshire’s defence dug in though and forced the punt which was downed at the visitor’s five yard line. The Pirate’s luck was with them as the first attempted pass fron Simon Dewdney was batted into the hands of Gary Chalmers in the endzone to give East Kilbride the six points after just two minutes. The Rams showed promise after receiving the kick off and made good ground helped by a well taken pass by Lee Taylor from Dewdney, Taylor was rewarded with a well earned MVP for offence, but Yorkshire faltered well inside opposition territory and had to punt. Jon Sutherland scored his team’s second touchdown when he literally bounced off defenders to go 57 yards to paydirt. Ram’s Rich Handby gathered the kick off and rumbled forwards for yardage with many Pirates on his back before finally collapsing near the halfway marker. Bad luck reared it’s head again for Yorkshire when Dewdney’s first pass was picked off by Steven Wilson to regain the ball for the home side. Stuart Jones made a superb open field tackle to stop a certain TD run by Sutherland on the Pirates first play but the reprieve was short lived. The third EK touchdown came on a 15 yard pass from Gary McNey to David Mooney and with McNey’s kick splitting the posts the score read 19 – 0. Yorkshire’s offence proved again ineffective against the powerful Pirate’s defence and had to punt again. Another solo tackle on what would have been a touchdown run, this time by new signing Neil Stubbs who played a variety of positions and was awarded the defensive MVP for a superb game, put back the scoring for a while. The pressure remained though and McNey’s 23 yard pass to Sutherland gained the six , the score increased to 26 – 0 when McNey booted the ball over the bar.
Yorkshire had to punt again on their first drive of the second quarter and the Pirates got their fifth TD when Jordan Falconer returned the pigskin 83 yards for the score. The Rams were unlucky not to pull back a few points when a pass from Dewdney was well taken on the run by another new signing, Matt Excell, who went for a 20 yard gain and with an open field in front jumped over a fallen defender who just caught his foot to bring him down. With EK regaining possession, Excell showed he was just as good on the other side of the ball when he chased down Willie Brown who thought he had the end zone in his sites, but just as the Rams thought they had taken some pressure off McNey lobbed the ball to Sutherland for him to score his third TD of the game. Excell was again thwarted of a score as he returned the kick off as he was unluckily caught by the back of his loose shirt. Pirate’s penalties combined with an excellent catch by Paul Calvert started to finally put some pressure on the home team inside the last couple of minutes, but after not converting the fourth down East Kilbride once more took over the ball deep in their own territory. As the end of the half approached Brown got the TD he had been hunting when he raced down the right side 53 yards, Andrew Mackintosh barged through for the two pointer. Yorkshire lost the ball on a fumble but after more good tackles by Stubbs and Excell the Rams thought that the scoring was finished for a while. McNey had other plans though as he lofted a 25 yards pass for Mooney to gather in with just one second on the clock. McNey ran the ball in to finish the half at 54 – 0.
The second half started much the same as the first. Steven Wilson intercepted the pass from Dewdney and returned the ball 45 yards for the score to make it 60 – 0. Just a couple of minutes later the Pirates added another TD when Sutherland jinked his way through tackles to go 48 yards for his fourth score. John Adams barrelled his way through for the two. Half way through the quarter, and after making some good yardage, but with many players tiring through playing both ways and in different positions Yorkshire had to punt once more. Jay Alexander saw a space in which he thought he could gain a first down and went for it instead of kicking, but paid the price after being brought down heavily just inches short of the mark. Another good run by that man Sutherland got his side deep into the Ram’s half to help set up a score, McNey took advantage and ploughed his way through from 8yards to add to the points. Brown went in for the two pointer to finish the period 76 points up.
The final period saw the Ram’s pride and spirit come through as they held the Pirate’s advance for most of the quarter with good work by linebackers Ben Walsh, Steve Goulden and Andy Hill. As the end of the game neared Jones saved another certain score when he got between the ball and the receiver on a long pass but the points did increase just before the two minute warning. With his line giving him plenty of time to throw, McNey picked out Ian McVeigh in the endzone for a 25 yard score. Jim Dorman plunged through to add the two points and the game to end 84 – 0.
The Yorkshire Ram’s next game is this Sunday 6th July at the Westgate Redoubt ARLFC, Broadway, Lupset. Kick off 2:30 pm. It will be a modern day War of the Roses as they take on the Lancashire Wolverines in what could be a vital game in the race for the play offs.
29th June 2003 - CHILTERN CHEETAHS 22 SOUTHEND SABRES 8 (h/t 8-8)
Chiltern welcomed the Sabres on Sunday hoping to bounce back after the embarrassing defeat to the Kent Exiles the week before.
The start of the game saw some early exchanges of possession but it was the Sabres who drew first blood when David Gowers caught a 17yd James Dawson pass and with Gary Abbott running in the 2pt conversion they had an 8-0 lead.
This seemed to wake up the nervous Cheetahs and the Offence soon got into rhythm with Q.B. Rob Suttling in particular showing a fine vain of form, completing 15 of 23 pass attempts in the first half alone, with just reward when Darren Shepsman caught an 8yd toss and a 2pt conversion to tie the scores (8-8) This was backed up with fine running from Deniz Karragulle and Andy Crowther.
The second half saw Chiltern take a further grip on the game when Conrad Patrick caught his first career Touchdown for the Cheetahs, once again Darren Shepsman caught the 2pt conversion attempt.
Going in to the 4th Qtr. the heat and humidity was taking its toll on the Sabres small squad. The game was put safe by Andre Clarke on his only Offensive play when he ran 68yds to make the score 22-8
There were stellar performances all round from the Cheetahs, on Offence Rob Suttling completed 20 of 31 pass attempts, Spencer Whybrow caught 6 passes, Ade Stempe 5 and Conrad Patrick & Darren Shepsman 4.
Defence once again saw Andre Clarke lead the way with 10 tackles and a sack closely followed by Darren Whybrow with 6 tackles and a sack.
The cheetahs now have a 3 week break before their last two regular season games, both at home, on July 27th and August 3rd.
Full information on the Club can be found at www.chilterncheetahs.com
25th June 2003 - Cambridgeshire Cats 47-14 Nene Valley Hybrids
A highly motivated Cambridgeshire Cats team, sponsored by Mickey Flynn's American Pool in Cambridge, hosted local rivals the Nene Valley Hybrids and came away with a hard fought 47-14 victory.
The Cambridgeshire offence clicked instantly and scored on it's first seven drives. Ken 'K-Train' Sweeney started the scoring with an 11 yard run to cap the Cats first drive. Brian Jelley kicked the extra point to make the score 7-0. But the Hybrids came straight back with a combination of strong running by Ricardo Givens and tricky shovel passes from Toby Mason to Jez Hannon before Steve Booth scored on a 21yard run. Booth then added the extra point to tie the game 7-7. The Cats came straight back and ended the first quarter with another touchdown as Seth Campbell ran in from 8 yards out. The extra point attempt by Jelley was good and the Cats led 14-7.
But the Hybrids were determined to continue the shoot-out and started the second quarter with an equalising touchdown. More strong running by Givens this time set up a 2 yard run by Buddy Williams. The extra point was kicked and the game tied again at 14-14. The Cats went to the air for their next score as Quarterback Nick Tilbury threw a perfect strike to wide receiver John Smith from 16 yards out. Once again Jelley added the extra point and the Cats were back in front, 21-14.
At last the Cats defence found their usual form and stopped the Hybrids offence. Once again Cambridgeshire embarked on a long, time consuming drive which was finished off by Booty Morrison powering in from 12 yards out. Yet another extra point kick by Brian Jelley meant the Cats ended the half 28-14 in the lead.
The Cats took control of the game in the third quarter as the Defence continued to limit the Hybrids offence and K-Train Sweeney added another two touchdowns, from 1 and 32 yards out. Jelley could only manage to convert one of the extra point attempts but Cambridgeshire still held a commanding 41-14 lead.
The Hybrids continued to battle hard in the fourth quarter and came close to reaching the Cats end zone on two occasions but the games scoring was finished by the Cats as Tilbury threw his 13th touchdown of the season connecting with receiver Steve Peck from 33 yards out.
K-Train Sweeney added 105 yards, from just 13 carries, to his three touchdowns while Quarterback Nick Tilbury completed 10 of 12 pass attempts for 163 yards and 2 Touchdowns. On Defence Linebackers Tre Carpenter and Mickey Howling had 13 tackles each.
The Cats stay on top of the British Senior League's South Eastern Conference with an 8-0 record and a slender one game lead over the Kent Exiles who have a 7-1 record. The next game for Cambridgeshire is another tough test away at Nene Valley, in Kettering, on the 13th July 2003.
25th June 2003 - Kent Exiles 49-8 Chiltern Cheetahs
The Exiles cruised past the Cheetahs to go 6-1, and guarantee themselves their first winning season since 1998, behind a solid team performance which got better as the day went on.
The Exiles took an early 7-0 lead as they scored on their first possession when Stewart Muir ran the ball in from 9 yards out; Mat Tompsett kicked the point after. It was the start of a stellar performance by both as Muir was to finish the day with 139 yards rushing and 4 TD’s, whilst Tompsett earned himself a place in the Exiles record books by converting all 7 of his extra point attempts on the day, ironically beating the record set by his brother Ian in 1996.
The Cheetahs hit back in the 2nd Quarter when some broken coverage by the Exiles defence allowed Rob Suttling to hit Spencer Whybrow on a 32 yard touchdown, it was Suttlings first completion on the day but it put him over 4000 yards passing in a Cheetahs uniform, a milestone which the veteran celebrated in style by hitting Darren Shepsman on the next play for the 2 point conversion and an 8-6 Cheetahs lead.
The 8-6 scoreline was to stand until the second half when the Exiles started to turn the screw and dominate the game on both sides of the ball, a solid drive saw Muir score his second of the day this time from 6 yards out, Tompsett converted and the Exiles led 14-8, and were not about to look back.
After a solid defensive stand forced the Cheetahs to punt, Matt Duncan hit Kris Maciolek on a 21 yard reception which then allowed Muir to score his third from 5 yards out, Tompsett converted again and it was 21-8.
The Cheetahs next drive ended spectacularly when linebacker Aaron Alexis came on a blitz and blindsided Cheetahs quarterback Suttling forcing him to fumble the ball, Paul Taylor-Holland scooped up the loose pigskin and rumbled 28 yards before being tackled on the Cheetahs 3 yard line. This allowed Muir to round off his performance by scoring from 3 yards out this time, Tompsett of course converting again for the 28-8 lead.
The Exiles defence then stepped up once again on the next drive, the Cheetahs going back to the same play which they scored on earlier in the game found that Steve Collison was on hand this time to snag the interception, the second year defensive back then evaded what seemed like the entire Cheetahs team on his way to a 52 yard return for his first senior touchdown. Tompsett was good again and the score was 35-8.
The Cheetahs next drive ended in similar fashion, this time Tony Bainbridge made the pick giving the offence good field position. Matt Duncan found Graham Deacon for 17 yards down to the 3-yard line, from where veteran Exile Rob Williams scored for the second game in a row, Tompsett trotted onto the pitch and the score read 42-8.
The Cheetahs persisted with the Ariel attack, and their final drive saw Exile Steve Berry make his first pick of the year, a short return set up the offence again. The drive culminated in Martin Jefkins 25yard reception from Matt Duncan, capping a fine day for both players. Jefkins finished with 8 receptions for 144 yards and the touchdown, whilst Duncan had 188 yards in the air, and 77 on the ground. Tompsett was again good and the final score stood at 49-8.
“42 unanswered points in the second half” commented Exile head coach Phil Wood, “I can’t really say too much after that, except I wish we’d had the same level of performance in the first half! Today I saw what this team is capable of, this is the first time that we’ve had the entire team perform at it’s best.”
“That was great” beamed Exiles coach Ted Smith, “I was really pleased for the Defence today who started making some huge plays all over the pitch, but the offence then showed it’s class by capitalising on all of them. We’ve still got 3 games to go of course and we need to make every one of them count if we are to make that playoff trip that has always eluded us in the past, we are not there yet”.
The Exiles now have a week off to prepare for their final 3 games which will see If they can ensure a playoff place, their final home game is a tough match versus the Essex Spartans, followed by an away trip to the Sussex Thunder before the Maidstone Pumas face the Exiles again, this time on their home turf.
25th June 2003 - South Wales Warriors 0-27 Bristol Aztecs
The Bristol Aztecs took their record to 7-2 on Sunday, defeating the South Wales Warriors 27-00 at Llanrumney, Cardiff. The game saw Aztec running back Kenny Saro eclipse the 1000 yard mark for the season, and the team take their rushing total in excess of 2000 yards.
Aztecs Running Back Kenny Saro on his way to breaking the 1000 yard barrier.
Courtesy of Mike Allen
For the second time in three games, Saro made his first carry count for six points - shedding tacklers on a dazzling 60 yard run. Jamie Wilkinson's extra point was good and the Aztecs were up 7-0 in a hurry. The Welsh side were kick-started into life, and the remainder of the first quarter saw both sides exchange punts. Into the second and with the storm clouds overhead, the Aztecs brought some thunder of their own. Saro and Stone marching the ball downfield, setting up QB Richer's perfectly lofted 16 yard scoring strike to Wilkinson. A missed point after and it was 13-00. The home sides short passing game was having some success with Barry Winter frustrating the Aztecs, but the Bristol Defense weren't in the mood to give up any points. With seconds left in the half, Richer heaved up a deep pass, and once again Wilkinson made the grab, eluding the Warriors defense to score. The receiver converted his own TD and it was 20-00 at the interval.
Maintaining pressure and in control of the game, a third quarter 21yd TD pass from Richer to Tim Stone was the fatal blow - Richer evading the sack, finding the open man, and the big fullback was never going to be kept out of the end zone. Once again Wilkinson converted and it was 27-00. A second interception for Bristol ensured that the Welsh scoring threat was neutralized.
It wasn't until after the final whistle that Saro's 1000 yard achievement was announced - capping a 173 yard day. Along with Saro, the Aztecs other brace of backs performed admirably, 102 yards from the combined efforts of Taylor, Stone, Wiltshire, Matt and Olly Barratt. Not to be outdone, the Aztec passing game had a potent day - Ashley Richer 4 of 6 for 107 yards and 3 scores - taking him over 500 yards passing on the season. Dave Keen contributing with 3 of 5 for 22 yards. On the receiving end, Wilkinson's 2 grabs both being scoring passes, giving him 6 on the season.
Defensively, a second consecutive shut out for the Aztecs, Jay Taylor with 9 tackles and a sack, Abdul Saro with 6 tackles and 2 sacks, giving him 7 QB takedowns on the year. Interceptions too for Ben Tolley and Chris Powles - both with their second pick of the year.
The Aztecs wrap up their regular season with a home fixture against the Dominos Oxford Saints on Sunday at BAWA Healthcare & Leisure, Southmead Rd, Filton. Now almost assured of a play off spot, the Aztecs must win this final game and hope for a Southern Sun Devil loss to capture the South West division title. Kickoff is at 2:30pm. For more information on American Football in Bristol go towww.bristolamericanfootball.com
25th June 2003 - Glasgow Tigers 24-20 Manchester Titans
The Manchester Titans may be having trouble breaking their duck but they are sure making a habit of making games exciting and bringing them to the wire.
Early in the game, it could have been argued that long journey had taken out of the Titans as they conceded two td’s on consecutive drives after the offence went 3 and out twice. The Tigers made a steady drive finished by a short run, however the two point conversion was prevented by the Titans D. The second score was a 10yd pass from #88 Matt McCusker to #80 Gareth Alexander, again the conversion failed.
From this point onwards the game changed rapidly, with the Titans defence making stands on 5 consecutive drives in the rest of the half including one forced fumble and recovery by Chris Haywood.
The offence, gradually got their game together, they finally made a huge breakthrough when QB Rik Lowthian found Omah Bahfir for a 45yd reception, which set up a touchdown for Jodie Forster. The half ended with Manchester well back in the game at 12 – 6 to Glasgow.
The 3rd Quarter saw the Titans start confidently as Tamas Byrne was given his reward for many first half receptions as he outpaced the Tiger backfield and scored from a pass for an 85yd touchdown, the biggest in Titans history. Byrne went on to convert the conversion to give the Titans the lead 13-12. The Tigers responded ferociously however and marched the length of the field with mainly rushing plays finished off by a 12yd pass. Again the 2pt conversion was prevented.
Going into the final quarter the Tigers went for a fourth and goal attempt and a close call was rewarded to the Tigers when Paul Keys caught and was tackled just on the endzone line. This put things heavily in Glasgow’s favour 24 -13, as James Keogh made a big tackle to make this Glasgow’s fourth failed 2 point conversion of the game.
The Titans responded well, with a long drive headed by QB Rik Lowthian. And finished again with a 15yd pass to #46 Tamas Byrne. Tam converted again to make the score 24 – 20.
The Tigers were trying to keep possession at this late stage in the game but a great interception by Adam Boanas, gave the Titans hope. At this crucial stage the Tigers D stepped up, and managed to force a turnover on downs, and this is all they needed as they took a knee to run the clock out.
This was yet another classic the Titans have come out the wrong end of. However, the Titans camp is optimistic their first win is on its way. The next match will be against the Staffordshire Surge on 6th July at 2.30pm at Hough End Rugby Club, Chorlton, Manchester.
20th June 2003 - Merseyside Nighthawks 19-14 Manchester Titans
After a tied game earlier in the season and tied position in the league both teams were highly charged for this game and both upped the standard of play. Eventually Merseyside emerged victorious in a game which could have gone either way.
On the opening kickoff for the game a sign of it not being Manchester’s day showed early as the kickoff rebounded of a Titans helmet and straight back into the nighthawks path, and they gained possession. Both defences stood strong to start with. With running games what both offences were showing early on. Titan Lee Morton, and Nighthawk Nathan Hazel both with big runs.
It was the second quarter when the scoring began with a six yard run from Nighthawk running back Nathan Hazel. The field goal attempt was unsuccessful. The Titans responded well led by QB Rik Lothian, with a drive almost the length of the field. A spectacular catch from Tamas Byrne kept the drive alive. The drive ended with a fourteen yard reception from Jodie Forder, who also caught the 2pt conversion to put the Titans ahead 8-6.
However the nighthawks responded even more ferociously by bringing the ball on the run all the way back and scoring with a 10yd run again by Nathan Hazel. The nighthawks then had to go for the two points. QB Andy Ley tried to scramble, but was caught, but then quick thinking paid off as he tossed it to Nathan hazel who ran in for 2.
Rik Lowthian passing game for the Titans shone again on the next drive and this was emphasised when coming out of the pocket for a 35yard pass to Tamas Byrne to level the scores. The half ended and things were all square, making things even more tense for the next half.
The third quarter saw good stands by both defences and Merseyside were the first to breakthrough with a field Goal from Dave Webb. On the following drive, Manchester were forced to punt from deep in there own territory and a bad snap led to a safety, and a Merseyside lead of 19-14.
Into the final quarter and sparks of hope for the Titans were there as an Interception from James Keogh, and then later a tackle on fourth down from Mark Vickers to force a turnover on downs. But on both occasions the Nighthawks defence was solid. The game was finished off by an Interception from the Nighthawks Gary Kay.
Both teams played out of their skin in what was a cleanly fought battle.
18th June 2003 - Venue change for the Cats
After a weeks rest the Cambridgeshire Cats, sponsored by Mickey Flynn's American Pool in Cambridge, are preparing to play the Nene Valley Hybrids this Sunday, kickoff at 1430.
This game was originally scheduled for the 13th April 2003 and should have been a home game for Nene Valley. But the Hybrids, based in Kettering, had problems hosting the fixture so it was switched to Cambridge. Cambridgeshire will now travel to Nene Valley on the 13th July 2003.
'Things have gone well for us so far this season' said Head Coach Chris Wallis, 'But we take nothing for granted. Nene Valley have won their last two games and we always treat our opponents as if they are the best team in the nation regardless of their record. This is a local derby for us and we know that we are going to be in for a real battle.'
'Our next goal is to earn a place in the playoffs and then home field advantage for the Quarter and Semi Finals in August. The only way we can ensure this happens is to stay focused and win our remaining games.
After travelling to Kettering on the 13th July the Cats host the Essex Spartans the following week before the post season begins.
16th June 2003 - Kent Exiles 28-12 Sabres AFC
The Exiles travelled to Southend on Sunday to take on the Sabres, in the searing heat four different players scored touchdowns to take the win, and move the Exiles to a 5-1 record consolidating second position in the South East conference, and their best ever start to a season.
Exiles running back Alan Hands on his way to 100 yards.
Photo courtesy of the Kent Exiles
The Exiles started brightest, putting together a short drive which ended in
Sabres territory following an interception. The Defence then held the Sabres
immediately to give the ball back to the hungry Exiles offence. Lee Nash
finished a good drive with a jinking 11 yard run into the endzone, and Mat
Tompsett tagged on the point after to give the Exiles a 7-0 lead. The second
quarter saw much of the same, the Exiles defence halting the Sabres
consistently, whilst the offence pounded away and ate up the yardage towards the Sabres endzone. The Exiles second touchdown came courtesy of Rob Williams the veteran Exiles scoring his first touchdown of the year on a 3 yard run. Tompsett again kicked the point after for a 14-0 lead at the half.
A turnover on their own 18 yard line early in the second half saw the Sabres
gifted an opportunity to pull a score back, and they duly did so when James
Dawson found David Gowers on an 18 yard pass play, the defence stifled out the two point conversion and the score was now 14-6.
The Exiles again scored on the next drive though, Alan Hands with a 45 yard run deep into Sabres territory set up Stewart Muir's 4 yard burst, both backs were to finish the day with over 100 yards rushing. Tompsett again hit the extra point and the score now stood at 21-6.
With the game effectively sealed the Exiles turned to their younger players to
see out the game in the fourth quarter, the young defence allowed one more
Sabres score when Greg Crease ran in from 4 yards out to make the score 21-12, but then young Exiles quarterback Simon Mackerill sealed a fine first start by running the ball in from 39 yards out, the extra point was again tacked on by Tompsett and the Exiles had the final score in a 28-12 victory.
"It was another good win for us today" commented Exiles head coach Phil Wood, "we tried out some new things, and got a lot of our younger players into the rotation today. I was especially pleased with Simon Mackerills performance, in his first ever start he led the team well and spotted some weaknesses in the Sabres which he took full advantage of."
The 5-1 record marks the Exiles first non-losing season since 1998, "it's been a big step for us to start winning games again" commented Ted Smith, the Exiles offensive coach, "but we're not resting on our laurels, we know we need to keep winning to get ourselves into the playoffs for the first time, and nobody's going to help us get there but ourselves".
The Exiles now face the Chiltern Cheetahs in a crunch game on Sunday, the Exiles ran out 14-13 winners in a nail biting encounter earlier in the season, and the Cheetahs will be keen to turn that around as the home team this time.
16th June 2003 - Bristol Aztecs 34-0 Plymouth Admirals
The Plymouth Admirals came to town to face the Bristol Aztecs, and were caught on the wrong end of possibly the Aztecs best team performance of the season, going down 34-0 in a shortened game.
In balmy conditions in the west, the Aztecs opened up strongly, Mike Sutherland registering his first regular season score for the Bristol on an 18 yard run. Knowlson converted and it was 7-0. Keen for the shut out, the Aztec defense was in good form, and University safety Ben Tolleysnared a wayward Admiral pass and returned it 52 yards to score. A missed PAT saw the score stay at 13-0. Up against an Aztec team keen to get their offensive machine rolling, the Admirals were always going to struggle. Bristol QB Richer hitting WR John Hartley on stride for a 50 yard TD pass. 20-0 Aztecs. Turning the screw, Richer found WR Wilkinson on an 18 yard strike, and the Aztecs were up 27-0. As the half ended, the Plymouth offense, backed up deep in its own end zone punted the ball away â€“ alas the punt was big on height, but small on distance, and an unfortunate bounce saw the ball head straight to Aztec linebacker Jay Taylor to field and stroll in the end zone to score. Another good extra point saw the score hit 34-0. Faced with a lack of healthy personnel, the Admirals staff made the tough decision to conceed the game at the half.
A short but efficient day for Bristol, Kenny Saro with 88 yards on the ground edges closer to his 1000 yard season, Sutherland with 40 and a score impressed too. In the air, Richer was 6-10 for 146 yards and 2 scores. Hartley doing the most damage with 95 yards and a six pointer. A shade over 300 yards offense for the Aztecs in the half.
Bristol's impressive D tackle Redditch's Anthony Perkins
Photo by Mike Allen
Defensively, Abdul Saro registered 4 tackles and a sack, and both Tolley and Taylor found the end zone, and the team surrendering just 54 yards to the visitors.
Next week the Aztecs travel down the M4 to take on the South Wales Warriors, with a win putting Bristol in good shape for the playoffs. For more information on American Football in Bristol go to www.bristolamericanfootball.com
10th June 2003 - Sussex Thunder 0-39 Cambridgeshire Cats
The Cambridgeshire Cats, sponsored by Mickey Flynn's American Pool in Cambridge, travelled to Brighton last sunday to play league new boys the Sussex Thunder.
The Cats offence started the game determined to cut out the errors that had dogged them in recent games and immediately marched the length of the field to score on their first possession. Powerful blocking by Offensive Lineman Mark Blackwell, Russ Begbie, Brian Jelley, Mitch Henry, Sav Johnson and Jim Logdon who opened huge running lanes for the backs to exploit and set the tone for the rest of the game. Eventually K-Train Sweeney swept in for a short touchdown. Brian Jelley added the extra point for an early 7-0 lead.
Despite the windy conditions the Thunder offence used it's dangerous passing game to move the ball down field with some good plays. But the inform Cats defence adjusted and, using great pass defence and ferocious tackling, soon shut down the Sussex Offence for the rest of the game.
With the running game working so well The Cats saw no reason to change tactics and used Running backs Ken Sweeney, Dave Lemon and Mark Spittle to march down the field on several long drives which helped them dominate the game and add two more scores before half time.
First, running back Booty Morrison barrelled in from two yards out for 13-0 lead after Jelley's extra point kick was blown wide and then Quarterback Nick Tilbury found Wide Receiver John Smith in the end zone from 56 yards out. Mickey Howling, subbing for the injured Jelley, added the extra point to extend the score to 20-0 at half time.
The second half started with more tough running by Sweeney and Seth Campbell before an 'NFL-esque' catch and run by wide receiver Steve Peck set up a second scoring pass from Tilbury to Smith from 6 yards out. Unfortunately Brian Jelley continued to struggle with the weather conditions and the extra point kick was missed. 26-0 in favour of the Cats.
With the Cambridgeshire defence in dominant form the Offence continued to pound the ball on the ground for the rest of the game allowing eight different running backs the chance to run the ball. K-train Sweeney added another two short yardage touchdown runs in the remainder of the game which, together with a Jelley extra point kick, gave the Cats a 39-0 victory.
This victory was undoubtedly set up by great play by the Offensive and Defensive Lineman giving other players the glory with their hard work. Running back Sweeney benefited the most from this gaining 169 yards rushing and three touchdowns. In total the Cats rushed for over 320 yards in the game. Quarterback Nick Tilbury completed over 70% of his limited passing attempts for 71 yards and another two touchdown passes to John Smith.
Defensive Backs Chris Dahl, Nate Stroman and Michael Bey put in some crushing hits on the Sussex Wide Receivers who must be complemented for holding onto the ball under such punishment. Defensive Lineman Tigger Hammond and Chris Tann sniffed out the Thunder Quarterback for a sack a each.
The Cats move on to a 7-0 record and now have a week off to prepare for yet another tough game against local rivals the Nene Valley Hybrids, from Kettering, on the 22nd June 2003. The venue for this game is yet to be announced.
14th June 2003 - Colchester Gladiators reforming
On Sunday 19th October 2003, the Colchester Gladiators will be reforming for one final match in celebration of the 20th Anniversary since the team's first training session.
The game will be played against BCAFL side the Essex Blades to help them prepare for their new season.
The concept of the game has already created a lot of local media interest due to a number of reasons.
Former Gladiator and current TV presenter Dermot O'Leary has agreed to play in the game, as has former Gladiator standout linebacker Rick Rotondo, who currently works for Sky Sports as a cameraman, Brit Bowl commentator, and occasional studio guest. These two players have enticed Sky Sports to commit themselves to filming the event to be screened on national TV, a week or two after the game.
As the Gladiators are not currently playing as an active team, all proceeds will go to the Dr. Barnado's charity and a local Colchester charity.
Wivenhoe Town Football Club have agreed to stage the game at their Broad Lane ground, and a large crowd is expected.
All former Gladiators are invited to take part in the event, with over 40 former players already having committed themselves to playing or helping out on the day. The Gladiators are still trying to track down a number of players however, particularly from the early years and these players should get in touch through the website.
Former Head Coach George Baldwin who led the Gladiators to their only National Championship, the Premier Division in 1988, winning all 17 games, has been contacted and hopes to make it for the day. Other standouts from that year such as QB Milton Myers and RB Mel Moore are proving more difficult to contact.
Further details can be seen on the specially constructed Gladiators website at www.eteamz.com/sites/colchestergladiators/.
10th June 2003 - Kent Exiles 27-7 Maidstone Pumas
The Exiles overcame the plucky Pumas in this tough local derby to solidify
second place in the south east conference with a 4-1 record.
As the Exiles expected this game was not to be as easy as it looked on paper,
over the years these two teams have been fierce rivals, and neither team wanted
to come away on the losing side. This was evident from the outset, as the Pumas
came out playing some tough defence, which stopped the Exiles from getting on
the board in the 1st quarter, the Exiles were just as tough though, holding the
Pumas easily and forcing several punts.
A turnover early in the second quarter gave the Pumas good field position, from
where a trick play where quarterback Lenny Button caught a pass near the goal
line put the Pumas in scoring position, and a 3 yard pass then completed the
job. The extra point was kicked, and the Pumas led 7-0.
The Exiles then took the ball back, and marched downfield to tie the scores.
Stewart Muir and Alan Hands running for key fist downs before Martin Jefkins
caught the 5yard touchdown from quarterback Matt Duncan. Mat Tompsett kicked the extra point. The half time whistle then stopped any further scoring until the second half.
The Exiles fielded the ball to start the third quarter, and stamped their
authority on the game immediately. Quarterback Duncan again found Jefkins on a 35yard connection to put the Exiles deep into Pumas territory, from where
Stewart Muir ran the ball in from 10 yards out, Muir was to finish the game with
a very respectable 149 yards on the ground. Tompsett again kicked the point
after, and the Exiles led 14-7.
The Pumas offence was now finding yardage hard to come by, and an interception by Paul Taylor-Holland killed off the next drive, giving the Exiles an open invite to score again, Muir again finishing the job this time from 13 yards out, Tompsett was again good on the extra point and the Exiles led 21-7.
A sudden hailstorm hampered the teams for the rest of the third quarter, and
stopped any further scoring, but the Exiles put the game out of reach as soon as
the weather changed at the start of the 4th quarter when Duncan again found
wideout Jefkins, and the speedy receiver outpaced the Pumas defence for a 72
yard score, Jefkins finished the day with 120 yards receiving, as well as
becoming the first Exile to break the 2000 career yards receiving barrier. The
Exiles now led by a score of 27-7, and the game was effectively over.
The rest of the game saw the Exiles give valuable game time to their legion of
young players, and the final score stood at 27-7 to the Exiles.
"This wasn't our best performance of the season" commented head coach Phil Wood after the game, "but we applied pressure at the right times and adjusted well to the number of trick plays the Pumas ran, and held them whilst also scoring on some quality drives of our own."
"The best thing about to day was the number of fans who came out to watch the
game" commented Exiles statistician Simon Clarke, "we had close on 100 people on our sideline cheering the team on, even the hailstorm didn't dampen their spirits!".
The photo shows wide receiver Martin Jefkins shaping up to catch his first
touchdown of the day from quarterback Matt Duncan
7th June 2003 - Doncaster Mustangs 37-19 Merseyside Nighthawks
In Hot, sticky conditions, Mustangs leading rusher, Brian Long, added 11 carries and 171 yards to his tally leading the home team to a convincing win against the Merseyside Nighthawks.
The ‘Stangs’ took control of this fixture when Free Safety Tim Adams intercepted a hurried pass from the Nighthawks QB, carrying the ball deep back into Nighthawks territory. A few short drives later and ‘Stangs’ QB and the offence's MVP, Graham Lightfoot scored from the 1 yard line, the extra points attempt missed by inches leaving the score at Mustangs 6, Nighthawks 0.
Mustangs RB, Steven Egbury, early in the second quarter, carried the ball 8 yards into the Nighthawks end-zone with the 2 extra points added by RB Brian Long, making the score Mustangs 14, Nighthawks 0. The ensuing second quarter of action saw the fired up Mustangs defence, creating havoc for the Merseysiders as they failed to advance the ball convincingly, forcing the Nighthawks to punt the ball on many occasions.
Not to be totally outplayed the Nighthawks finally strung together a drive resulting in a touchdown pass to a waiting receiver in the end zone, failing to add the extra points with an unsuccessful kick. To make the score, Mustangs 14, Nighthawks 6.
Once again ’Stangs’ QB Graham Lightfoot scrambled in with the ball from 9 yards out, adding another 6 points to his tally on the day. Two extra points were added by James ’Bez’ Berry who ran into the Nighthawks end-zone untouched thanks to impeccable blocking by the Mustangs offensive line, making the score Mustangs 22, Nighthawks 6.
To top this following a badly snapped ball on a Mustangs punt attempt, the Nighthawks strung together two plays hitting pay-dirt with the first of two touchdowns in the second quarter, the first being an impressive 52 yard dash into the end-zone, the extra point attempt was also good, making the score Mustangs 22, Nighthawks 13. The second score being a 12-yard pass. This time however they failed in the extra points attempt when the ball was badly snapped, Mustangs Linebacker Martin ‘Diesel’ Gardham, making an excellent solo tackle to stop the run in with the ball.This saw the close of the first half of action with the half time score Mustangs 22, Nighthawks 19. Could the Nighthawks claim victory in the second half?
The second half once again saw the ‘Stangs’ defence wearing down the Nighthawks with the third quarter proving to be a mid field battle. Neither side coming out on top until the fourth quarter started.
A series of drives and plays by the ‘Stangs’ seized the game and put it out of reach of the Nighthawks. RB Steven Egbury ran in a touchdown on a 27 yard run followed by Brian Long adding the 2-point conversion. Mustangs 30, Nighthawks 19.
The Mustangs final scorer of the day Adam Kettlewell ran in a 10 yard touch down followed by a successful extra point kick by newly appointed Kicker Mark Blyth. The score line now at 37 - 19 in the Mustangs favour the game finally brought to a conclusion with a hard fought win, for the ‘Stangs’.
Brian Long had a touch down disallowed after a fellow player, fouled a Nighthawks player, otherwise the score could have been a lot higher.
Most valuable player on the Mustangs defence went to Line Backer, Paul Jowe for a string of consistent tackles against the Merseyside running plays.
The team would like to thank all fans that attended for giving great support throughout the game.
3rd June 2003 - Chester Romans 6-16 Lancashire Wolverines
The Wolverines finally overcome the spirited Roman defense in a nail biting
second half at Chester RUFC. After a scrappy first half in which both teams
failed to keep possession, the Romans capitalised on their continued pressure
going 6-0 up midway through the third quarter on a 17yd TD pass. They failed the
extra point kick. With the Wolverines knowing time was running out they pounded
the ball out on the ground.Late in the third, Phil McGrath scoring on a 5yd TD
run, also getting the 2 pointer. In the 4th quarter with tiredness taking its
toll QB Adam Purcell connected on a 17yd TD pass to WR Iain Pearson. Even though
the Wolverines connected on the 2pointer again to go ahead 16-6 the Romans to
their credit did not quit. A late Roman surge was snuffed out by the Wolverines
swarming defense. With the Wolverines again threatening as the clock expired.
3rd June 2003 - Cambridgeshire Cats 14-0 Chiltern Cheetahs
The Cambridgeshire Cats, sponsored by Mickey Flynn's Pool Hall in Cambridge, beat the Chiltern Cheetahs 14-0 in the 'Cat Bowl' played at Coldhams Common to ensure a winning 2003 season.
Both teams defence set the tone for the game by dominating the first quarter. The highlights of which were Rookie Defensive Back Ant McLean making his first career interception and Defensive Lineman Andy Wilson ripping the ball out of a Cheetahs running backs hands for a bizarre fumble recovery.
The second quarter started in a similar vein as Andy Wilson incredibly ripped the ball out of a stunned Cheetah running backs hands again for another amazing fumble recovery. Fortunately the Cats offence was finally able to capitalise on the great play by the defence with Quarterback Nick Tilbury passing to Receiver John Smith from 24 yards out for the go ahead touchdown. Brian Jelley kicked the extra point for 7-0 lead. Defence's again took control of the game and the half ended with the Cats holding on to a narrow lead.
The Cambridgeshire offence continued to miss fire in the third quarter but fortunately the hard hitting defence was still in dominant form. The Cats did manage to move the ball into the scoring zone once but the Chiltern defence played tough and forced Brian Jelley to loop his Field Goal attempt wide left leaving the Cats a 7-0 lead at the end of the third quarter.
The Cats offence finally got things going in the fourth quarter as running backs Ken Sweeney, Dave Lemon and Booty Morrison broke long runs to help set up another scoring pass from Tilbury to Smith from 6 yards out. Jelley kicked the extra point to give the Cats a crucial 14 point lead.
Chiltern then started to pass their way down field but Defensive back Chris Dahl intercepted a trick pass play to end the threat allowing the Cats to run out the clock and secure their sixth win from six games.
With the Cats misfiring on offence the hero's of the game were the hard hitting defensive players. Chris Dahl made 7 solo tackles and an interception while Mickey Howling added a further 9 tackles. Ant McLean made 4 tackles to go with his interception and Andy Wilson's' two amazing fumble recoveries proved crucial.
The Offence struggled to move the ball on an extremely tough Chiltern defence but still managed post some decent stats. Quarterback Nick Tilbury completed 9 of his 20 pass attempts for 115 yards and two more touchdowns but also threw three interceptions. Ken Sweeney ran for 119 yards from only 13 attempts while Wide Receiver John smith caught 4 passes for 65 yards and two touchdowns.
This weekend the Cats travel to Brighton to take on the Sussex Thunder and their third very tough game in a row.
Chiltern now have a week off to prepare for the visit of Maidstone To Amersham and to allow all the bumps and thumps to heal.
27th May 2003 - SOUTHERN SUNDEVILS 30 SOUTH WALES WARRIORS 0
The Sundevils opened the game with a 50 yard drive, but the Warriors dug deep to force a fumble at the 3 yard line.
With South Wales’ Spread - No Huddle offence, the game, & drives went by very quick. Unfortunately the Warriors couldn’t get anything going and their first four drives ended in Punts.
At the start of the second quarter Warriors QB Russ Wingfield was sacked on second & third down, then was intercepted by James Irving on 4th down at the 15.
The Sundevils attempted two rushes, but the stingy Warriors D held firm. Then Southern QB Davin Jones found his rhythm, connecting on three straight passes, to move the ball down to 23 yard line. Showing great poise QB Jones looked off the secondary and hit his third read, finding WR Steve Shergold at the 13. Shergold did the rest, running in untouched for his first score on the day. Jones added the extra two, diving in at the pylon. Sundevils 8 Warriors 0
The balanced attacked caught South Wales off guard, but there would be no more scoring in the second quarter.
The Warriors received the second half KO, but again, went 3 & out. The Sundevils opened with a short drive of their own before punting back to South Wales.
With a stalled second drive, the Warriors lined up to punt, and Southern DB James Irving partially blocked the punt.
Southern’s ensuing drive stalled again, so Southern HC Simon O’Hara opted to punt, pinning South Wales deep in their own half.This decision would effectively ice the game, as a fumble on first down, found its way into James Irving’s hands and he strolled untouched into the end zone (his 3rd Defensive TD this season) from 13 yards out.Mark Penfound added the extra 2 points for a 16-0 lead.
As the Warriors tired, Southern stepped up again with LB Mark Penfound intercepted a Wingfield pass at the 10. But not to be left out Irving would complete his great day with his second interception too. This pick would set up another Jones to Shergold TD, this time form 32 yards out. The same pair added the extra two points for a 24-0 score line.
Mark Penfound rounded out his exception day (13T 6A 2sacks 2 int and a blocked punt) with another Wingfield Interception. Then Rookie RB Adam Parsons broke outside and raced 54 yards down the sideline for paydirt to complete the scoring on the day.
27th May 2003 - Essex Spartans 16-28 Cambridgeshire Cats
The Cambridgeshire Cats, sponsored by Mickey Flynn's American Pool in Cambridge, travelled to Basildon expecting their toughest game of the season and got exactly that.
Essex had the better of the early exchanges but as the Cats defence toughened up the offence kicked into gear and scored on a 4 yard run by Runningback Ken 'K-Train' Sweeney. The extra point kick was missed leaving the Cats with a slender 6-0 lead.
The Spartans reply was immediate as the ensuing kick off was almost returned for a score leaving Essex with great field position. But the Cats defence refused to buckle and stopped the Spartans from scoring at their own 4 yard line as the first quarter ended.
Spurred on by their team mates efforts Quarterback Nick Tilbury led the Cats offence on a time consuming 16 play, 96 yard drive which was finished off by K-Train Sweeney sprinting in from 7 yards out. Brian Jelley nailed the extra point giving Cambridgeshire a 13-0 lead.
But the Cats could not afford to relax as the Spartans recovered a fumble giving them excellent field position again. Yet again the Cats defence performed brilliantly holding Essex out of the end zone with another Goal Line stand to end the half.
The second half started badly for the Cats as another fumble gifted essex the ball. Fortunately Defensive Back Nate 'Slash' Stroman intercepted a wayward Essex pass
and this time the offence replied immediately as Quarterback Nick Tilbury found Runningback Seth Campbell with a short pass who then broke two desperate tackles and sprinted away from the floundering Essex secondary for a 75 yard touchdown. Jelley added the extra point kick giving the Cats a 20-0 lead.
With the Defence in dominant form the Offence soon had the ball again. Eight plays later Sweeney smashed in from a yard out for his third touchdown of the game. Tilbury passed to receiver John Smith for the two extra points and a 28-0 lead at the end of the third quarter.
But the Spartans refused to lie down and came storming back as Quarterback Aaron Griffiths first found John Stott from 38 yards out and then Paul Simpson, again from 38 yards, with scoring passes. Essex added the two extra points after both touchdowns to reduce the score to 28-16.
Another Cats fumble set up a nail biting finale as Essex moved the ball to the goal line once again. But a third Goal Line stand held the Spartans out of the end zone to seal a hard fought victory in dominant form.
Linebackers Mickey Howling (11 tackles), Tre 'Dawg' Carpenter (6 tackles) and Chris Wolfe (9 tackles) lead a brilliant defensive display while Defensive Lineman Chris Tann weighed in with 6 tackles and 1.5 sacks. On offence runningback Ken Sweeney ran for 98 yards from 14 carries and Quarterback Nick Tilbury connected on 8 of his 12 pass attempts for 160 yards and a touchdown.
The Cats have another extremely tough game against the Chiltern Cheetahs at Coldhams Common in Cambridge this sunday. Kick Off is at the usual time of 14:30.
21st May 2003 - Dundee Hurricanes 42-0 Edinburgh Wolves
The Hurricanes continued there division two campaign with the visit of local rivals the Wolves to Dundee.
The game started slowly with both teams appearing to test each other without either making any breakthrough, late in the first quarter Dundee began to gain an advantage and Qb Bruce Thomson passed for 18yds to brother Fraser for Dundee's opening score.Qb Thomson then completed a two point conversion to American import Cameron Scott to give Dundee a 8-0 advantage at the end of the first quarter.
Dundee started the 2nd quarter at a frantic pace with Dom McNeil intercepting a Edinburgh pass and running in from 70yds to open his scoring on his club debut.
A disastrous punt attempt from Edinburgh then saw James Cunningham recover the ball for Dundee and dive in from two yards for 20-0 lead, Dundee now were well and trulely beginning to dominate and Niakate Mahamadou ran in the two point conversion. Bruce Thomson then completed a 16 yd pass for a td to Grant Mclennan to give Dundee a 28-0 half time lead.
Edinburgh came out lookingg fresh after the break and held the third quarter to no scoring. Dundee made some changes in the 4th bringing new American signing Dom McNeil in at qb,he showed his ability with the play of the game a perfect 35 yd pass to Grant McLennan to stretch the lead to 34-0,Fraser Thomson added the two point conversion. The final play of the game saw Qb McNeil pitch the ball to Niakate Mahamadou and the pair run 70 yds for the final score of the game. Game mvps for Dundee were offensive Niakate Mahamadou and Defensive Ryan Crighton
21st May 2003 - Kent Exiles 14-13 Chiltern Cheetahs
Chiltern returned to Kent for the second time in as many weeks, this time to take on the fast improving Kent Exiles. With both teams experiencing their best campaign starts for a few years it was going to be a close, tight contest and that was exactly what it was, with the game not being decided until the last few seconds.
The weather played a major factor in deciding game strategy. With a strong wind blowing straight down the pitch and squally rain, both teams opted for the run for the majority of their plays, with Chiltern using 7 different ball carriers, the pick being Andy Crowther with 95yds and 2 touchdowns. With Chiltern having the lion's share, it wasn't until the last play of the first Qtr. that they took the lead when Andy Crowther ran in from the 1 and Ben Dunmore added the extra point. (7-0)
The 2nd Qtr. saw a reversal with Kent taking control and scoring themselves inside the last 2 minutes of the half when Graham Deacon caught a 22yd pass from Matt Duncan and with Matt Thompsett adding the extra point conversion the teams went to half time tied at 7-7 The 3rd Qtr was stalemate, both teams Defence's rising to the challenge with neither's Offence completing a single pass.
The 4th Qtr. saw Chiltern controlling the ball well against the slope of the pitch both on the ground and in the air and were rewarded when Andy Crowther got his 2nd T.D. of the day, this time from 2yds out. The extra point was missed and Chiltern held a slender 13-7 lead. A good kick off by Chiltern put Kent deep in their own half. Chiltern's Defence were holding Kent and Abdul Lawal thought he had sealed a Cheetah win with an interception returned to Kent's 15yd line, but this was called back on a roughing the passer penalty, giving Kent another opportunity and after a 29yd run and 15yd completion, Matt Duncan found Graham Deacon once more this time from 15yds out, Matt Thompsett tacked on the extra point to lead 14-13.
Chiltern had enough time for one more possession and with 4 quick completion's, 2 each to Conrad Patrick and Spencer Whybrow Chiltern were on Kent's 6yd line. With 4 seconds left in the game Chiltern took their final time out to set themselves up for a game winning field goal. Excellent Defence by Kent saw them block the kick and victory was theirs.
18th May 2003 - Plymouth Admirals 0-14 Southern Sundevils
On a windy day in Plymouth, the Sundevils travelling squad received the opening KO and behind the running of Barry Martin and ex-Admiral Tim Iles march straight into Plymouth’s half, but stalled following penalties.
But the Admirals, with the ball at mid field, couldn’t take advantage of the field position. Their first series, following two offside penalties, accounted for minus 4 yards, and then their ensuing punt was block by LB Mark Penfound.
This penalty littered, but clean, game prevented either Offence from getting into stride, and another Sundevil drive stalled at Plymouth’s 26.
The Admiral next drive started the same as the first, with LB Mark Penfound, and then LB James Irving make consecutive tackles for losses. Then an Admirals misdirection play broke out over left tackle for 20 yards and a first down. This play would actually be the longest play from scrimmage on the day, but would also be one third of Plymouth’s first down on the day too.
Three plays later the Sundevils forced a punt, but neither offence could get anything going as the 1st Qtr ended.
A roughing the punter penalty gifted the Sundevils another chance as the second quarter started and the Southern O’line drove the team down to the Admirals 20 yard line, before Admiral S Richard Howlett would break up the fourth down pass. Howlett and Team-mate Adrian Dabbs actually broke up 5 of Southern QB Davin Jones’ 11 atts.
The Admirals gained some breathing room, with their second first down, but the Sundevils were not going to let this one slip, and held firm on the next three plays.
After another exchange of punts the Sundevils started at Plymouth 38 yard line and behind the power running of Iles (30 carries 103yds) & Martin (12 car 60yds) they drove down to the Admirals 14 yard line, but it would be Howlett again, break up a pass, to stop another Sundevils at the 7 yard line.
The Sundevils D stepped up the pressure once again, and Mark Penfound tackled the RB for a 4 yard loss to start the next series, and following two straight QB sneaks the Admirals would have to punt on fourth down at their own 11. A low snap put the Admirals punter in real trouble, but he saved a TD by regaining the ball at the one.
But it wouldn’t be the Sundevils as penalties and broken passes kept the game scoreless as time expired.
Half time 0-0
Southern opted to take the wind in the third quarter, and this would pin Plymouth deep. James Irving broke up a third down pass and following the punt, QB Davin Jones would engineer an eight play 38yard drive, rounded out by a Tim Iles 9 yard TD Run. Iles would add the extra two and the Sundevils would not look back.
Another deep KO by Leo Lindsay would have the Admirals starting at their 3. With Plymouth struggling to get anything going would be forced to punt.
A promising Sundevils 10 play drive would again stall at the start of the third following DB Adrian Dabb’s interception. But a block in the back on the return would push the Admirals back to their end zone and two plays later, James Irving returned an interception 14 yards for paydirt.
This score sealed the victory and behind the running of Rookie RB Adam Parsons, the Sundevils ran out the clock, and jump back to the top of the South West Conference.
Defensive Captain Mark Penfound whose 15T 4A, helped hold the Admiral to just 49 yards on 49 plays, with just the three first downs.
Final – Southern Sundevils 14 Plymouth Admirals 0
17th May 2003 - Sabres 0-24 Cambridgshire Cats
The Cambridgeshire Cats, sponsored by Mickey Flynn's American Pool Hall of Cambridge, recorded the hundredth win in Cambridge gridirons history with a 24-0 shut out victory of the Sabres from Southend.
The Cats offence started the game well but errors restricted them to a 21 yard Field Goal by Brian Jelley and a three point lead at the end of the first quarter.
As the second quarter the Cats defence, led by Linebackers Chris Wolfe, Mickey Howling and Tre' Dawg Carpenter, soon provided the offence with opportunities to get on the scoreboard again. First Quarterback Nick Tilbury found Wide Receiver John Smith from 48 yards out for the first touchdown of the game. Then Simon 'Doc' Lewis scored his first career touchdown with a 36 yard return after Defensive Back Chris Dahl blocked a Sabres punt. The games scoring was completed when running back Ken 'K-Train' Sweeney smashed in from 4 yards out. Brian Jelley kicked the extra points after each of the touchdowns to give the Cats a 24-0 half time lead.
The Cats failed to score in the second half. But they did manage to give rookies and new players some much needed playing experience with eight different Running Backs rushing the ball and six receivers making catches. Credit must also be given to a undermanned Sabres team that battled hard right to the final whistle and it took spectacular plays by Chris Dahl and Defensive End Ian Brazier to keep them out of the Cats end zone.
On a sad note, the game was the last with the Cats for Defensive Backs coach Harry Donaldson who returns to the United States in the near future. All at the Cats would like to wish Harry and his family all the best for the future and thank him for his hard work over the past two seasons.
12th May 2003 - Maidstone Pumas 18-26 Chiltern Cheetahs
The Cheetahs returned to Gridiron action at Maidstone after a 3 week lay off and won a game they could easily and maybe should have lost.The opening exchanges were nervous to say the least but it was Maidstone who drew first blood when Ruben Cruz intercepted a Deniz Karragulle pass intended for Conrad Patrick and returned it 27yds to open Maidstone's scoring account for the season.
It wasn't until the 2nd Qtr. that Chiltern's Offence finally got the ball moving, having to rely on the tandem running of Andy Crowther and Abdul Lawal after Q.B. Deniz Karragulle injured his throwing arm in the first Qtr. Midway through the 2nd Qtr. Darren Shepsman opened the Cheetahs account when he jinked in from 3yds out to level the score at 6-6. Chiltern's Defence stepped up a gear on Maidstone's next possession forcing them to punt, but on Chiltern's ensuing possession they fumbled the ball which Maidstone recovered inside Chiltern's 10yd. line. A costly penalty followed by and a sack on Q.B Lee Button by Richard Strub pushed them back to the 26yd line but to no avail, on third and goal Lee Button aired it out and Nicholas Cabon hauled it in to put Maidstone ahead 12-6 With a little over 2 minutes left in the half and three time outs remaining Chiltern showed good clock management in what turned out to be the final drive of the half. Once again the tandem pairing of Andy Crowther and Abdul Lawal came good and with only 8 seconds remaining in the half Abdul Lawal was rewarded for his fine running going in from 12yds out and with his partner in crime Andy Crowther adding a 2 point conversion Chiltern went in at half time 14-12 up. The 3rd Qtr. was like watching an american football tennis rally with both teams exchanging possessions and moving the ball well but not threatening the scoreboard. At the start of the 4th Qtr. the momentum once again shifted towards Maidstone when Lee Akehurst ran in to score and put them up 18-14. This lifted the Pumas and if it wasn't for some fine Defensive work play, namely from Andre Clarke and Darren Whybrow they could have extended their lead. Their play generated a bit more urgency in the Cheetahs offence and with less than 5 minutes to go they re took the lead when Andy Crowther bulldozed in from 2yds out. (20-18) This Score put Maidstone on the catch up trail once again, but 3 plays in to their next drive it was Abdul Lawal's turn to shine again, only this time on Defence, when he intercepted a Lee Button pass and returned it 37yds to score and settle the Cheetahs nerves.
The Defence held out the Pumas for the remaining time in the game to seal a nervous 26-18 win. Notable performers on the day were Andy Crowther with 123yds on 28 carries, Abdul Lawal with 119yds on just 11 carries, he also caught 2 interceptions on his defensive duties. On Defense 2 players shone, Darren Whybrow with 8 tackles and a sack for a 13yd loss and Andre Clarke with 9 tackles. The Cheetahs return to Kent next Sunday to face the ever improving Exiles in what should be a tough but exciting contest
12th May 2003 - Kent Exiles v Sussex Thunder
Kent Exiles 47-29 Sussex Thunder
After the Juniors match up it was time for the senior match to take place, even
at this early stage of the season it was a game both teams knew they had to win
to keep up with the table topping Cambridgeshire Cats. The Exiles took the opening kick-off and drove deep into Thunder territory, but were unable to score once near the endzone, and the Thunder took over deep in their own half. The Exiles defence was slow to react, and some good running by Andy Smythe carried the Thunder downfield from where quarterback Paul Robinson
found Mike Ashby with a 10 yard pass for the first score of the game. Robinson
then converted the point after attempt himself to give the Thunder an early 7-0
lead. The Exiles hit back immediately though, on the very next drive quarterback Matt Duncan found Roy Hall on a 67 yard pass play, the speedy wideout broke a couple of tackles and earned the Exiles 6 points. Mat Tompsett's extra point was wide of the posts, and the Thunder had a 7-6 lead.
The Exiles defence then held the Thunder and got the ball back for the Offence,
who immediately began driving downfield again. Alan Hands had his first carry of
the game, and racked up seven yards allowing him to hit a milestone in his
career, passing 2000 yards rushing for the club. Alan is the first person to do
this in an Exiles uniform. The drive was nicely finished off by Stewart Muir
with a 10 yard run for the touchdown, this time Mat Tompsetts extra point was
good, and the Exiles led 13-7.
The Exiles defence then looked as though they would hold the Thunder again, but
on third and long Robinson hit Ashby for their second score of the day, this
time from 45 yards out, Robinson again converted the point after and the Thunder
Once again the game swung the other way on the very next drive, after a few
short gains Exiles quarterback Duncan went back to receiver Hall for their
second touchdown of the day, this time from 68 yards out, Tompsetts extra point
was wide again, leaving the score 19-14 in favour of the Exiles. The half was rounded out with another score, Sussex coming back into it again after a short drive, this time Robinson hit Will Graystone for a 25 yard touchdown pass, and then found Warren Smart for the 2 point attempt, and the Thunder led 22-19 going in at the half. The Exiles kicked off to the Thunder to start the second half, much like the first half it looked as though the Exiles defence was asleep on the first drive as the game swung in the Thunders favour following a Smythe 47 yard run for the touchdown, Robinson again hit the extra point and the Thunder now had a 10 point lead, 29-19.
Once again the Exiles dug in hard, and following Roy Halls 60 yard kick return
the offence took to the field and drove straight in for the touchdown, Alan
Hands capping his momentous day on a 2 yard run. The Exiles then opted for the 2 point conversion, which Stewart Muir duly converted. Muir finished the day with
180 yards rushing, as well as the touchdown earlier in the game.
Finally on the next drive the Exiles defence kicked into gear, a hard hit by
safety Mark Evans forced an incomplete pass, and then rookie defensive tackle
Stu Page forced the Thunder running back to fumble, and recovered it himself,
giving possession back to the Exiles.
This was the break the Exiles had been looking for, their offence was in
dominant form and felt they could score on every drive, and they duly obliged
with Duncan finding Hall for his third touchdown of the day, this time from 18
yards out. Hall was to finish the game with 161 yards receiving, as well as his
three touchdowns. Mat Tompsett slotted the extra point, and the Exiles now led
Buoyed by their last stand the Exiles defence was now well into their game, and
the Thunder were finding it difficult to move the ball, a short drive ending in
a punt, and the Exiles took over again on their own 20 yard line. Muir was now
running the ball well behind fantastic Offensive line blocking, and the chains
moved on virtually every play, the drive finished when Duncan threw for his
fourth touchdown of the day, Martin Jefkins making the reception from 21 yards
out. Tompsett's extra point was blocked, but the Exiles now had a 40-29 lead.
The Thunder looked to get straight back in the game, with the Exiles defensive
line now snuffing out the running game they had to go to the air, but the Exiles
read the play beautifully and Mat Tompsett made the interception to once again
turn the ball over.
With only five minutes left in the game the Exiles started on a drive to kill
the game once and for all, Duncan scrambled for a first down, and then Lee Nash
pounded forward for another, Kieron Hyams then came up with a big catch on third
down for yet another, and the Exiles were in scoring range again. Lee Nash
pounded the ball in from 3 yards out, Tompsett kicked the extra point, and with
only 1.28 left in the game the Exiles had an unassailable 47-29 scoreline, which
was to remain the final score.
"I'm very proud of the team today" commented Exiles Head Coach Phil Wood, "in
the past this team would have buckled and lost the game in the second half, for
the second week in a row we have now overturned a second half deficit and gone
on to win the game. The offence was outstanding today, we racked up over 500
yards in all, and Stewart Muir and Roy Hall both had outstanding individual
games, Matt Duncan led them well, he always knew what needed to be done, and
kept several drives alive with his canny play. I'm also very pleased for Alan
Hands who passed a tremendous milestone for the club today." The Exiles now face the Chiltern Cheetahs at home this coming Sunday before a two week break, kick-off is at 2.30pm at their Hoblinwell Park home. The Exiles can be contacted through their website www.eteamz.com/kentexafc
8th May 2003 - Exiles Break Duck Versus Hybrids
The Kent Exiles travelled to Kettering on Sunday to take on the Nene Valley Hybrids in their second game of the 2003 season, after narrowly losing to Cambridgeshire the previous week.
The Exiles were in confident mood as the game started, but soon got a wake up call from the Hybrids who scored on their first possession with a 40 yard run from Ricardo Givens, they also kicked the extra point, and the hybrids led 7-0 before the Exiles had even touched the ball.
The Hybrids then kicked off to the Exiles, who began their drive inside the 30
yard line. Quarterback Matt Duncan marshalled his team downfield, behind running
from Alan Hands and Stewart Muir and then ran the ball in from the 1 yard line
himself, Matt Tompsett kicked the extra point, and after 2 possessions the score
was tied at 7 all.
After this flurry of scoring the rest of the half was surprisingly scoreless, a
series of penalties and missed plays hampering the Exiles offence despite
driving into scoring territory twice in the second quarter, and the half time
score remained 7 all.
The second half started as the first had, with the Exiles defence still asleep,
and the Hybrids Ricardo Givens again scored this time from 22 yards out, the
extra point was missed, but the Hybrids led 13-7.
The Exiles then muffed the kick return, and had to start the next drive from
within their 15 yard line, two plays later following good plays by the Hybrids
defence they faced 3rd and 16 from their own 9 yard line, and looked like
handing the Hybrids great field possession again. The Exiles were determined to
bring themselves back into the game though, and on the next play Matt Duncan
found wide receiver Martin Jefkins alone on the sidelines, and the wideout
turned the pinpoint pass into a 71 yard touchdown sprint to tie the score at 13
all. Matt Tompsett again nailed the extra point and the Exiles had a 14-13 lead
they were not to let slip.
The big play had spurred on the Exiles defence, and they showed it on the next
series. Gary Ead led the way on first down with a great tackle, one of his team
leading 10 on the day, and then David Pester nailed the Hybrids running back for
a big loss on second down, the third down pass was broken up by Mark Evans and the Hybrids punted the ball back to the Exiles.
Then the offence once again showed what they could do, driving the 60 yards
downfield and finishing with a 1 yard burst by Alan Hands for the touchdown, not
only did it give the Exiles a 20-13 lead but it signalled Alan passing the 100
points scored for the club barrier, only the second person in club history to
record that feat. Mat Tompsett again slotted the extra point as well, and the
Exiles led 21-13.
The Exiles defence continued their domination in the 3rd quarter, forcing the
Hybrids to once again punt the ball away as the quarter ended.
The Exiles started the fourth quarter looking to put the game away, once again
Hands and Muir led the way with Lee Nash also moving the ball well on the
ground, and quarterback Duncan finding wide receivers Roy Hall and Martin
Jefkins with key first down catches. The drive ended with Hands scoring his
second Touchdown of the day from 3 yards out, this time the extra point was
blocked, but the Exiles had taken over 11 minutes off the clock on a great
drive, and now led 27-13.
The Hybrids had no way back as the Exiles defence continued to hold well,
turning the ball over on a Matt Tompsett interception, and the Exiles offence
ran out the clock for the first win of the season.
Exiles MVP's on the day were Lee Nash on Special Teams, Alan Hands on offence, and the whole Defensive Line took the defensive award.
After the game Exiles Head Coach Phil Wood commented "we are very pleased to
have won this game, it has now got to provide a platform for us for the rest of
the season. We've finally got a very big monkey removed from our backs, and we
now need to keep our feet on the ground for the rest of the season, at the
moment our most dangerous enemy is our own complacency."
The Exiles now take on the Sussex Thunder on Sunday in their second home game of the year at Hoblinwell Park in Orpington, followed by the visit of the Chiltern Cheetahs the following week. Full details can be found on the clubs website www.eteamz.com/kentexafc
3rd May 2003 - Knights fail in Austria
The PA Knights put up a spirited performance in Austria last night in their EFAF Cup game against the Tyroleon Raiders. The game was shown live on Austrian TV and played in front of approx 3,500 spectators. The Knights trailed by just a single score at half-time (28-21) against one of the best sides in Europe, but it was the Raiders who stepped up a gear in the second half to ease to a 56-21 victory. For a full match report click here.
30th April 2003 - Kent Exiles vs. Cambridgeshire Cats
The Royal Mail sponsored Kent Exiles kicked off their 2003 campaign versus the Cats at Hoblinwell Park on Sunday, and despite a spirited and much improved performance came away losing to a strong Cats side.
The Cats scored on their first possession of the game with a 1yd run by Ken 'K-Train' Sweeny, the first of three he was to score during the game, Brian Jelly's extra point was no good, and the Cats had an early 6-0 lead.
Exiles quarterback Matt Duncan then led his team downfield on the next possession to tie the scoring, runs of 19yds by Duncan and 18yds by Stewart Muir setting up Martin Jefkins for a 4 yard catch in the endzone from a Duncan pass, Mat Tompsetts extra point was blocked and the score was tied at 6 all.
The Exiles defense (in black) taking on the Cats offense
The second quarter started well for the Exiles as well, ex-Winchester Rifle Paul Taylor-Holland stripped the ball from the Cats running back, and rookie Stuart Page recovered the loose ball to give the Exiles possession. After a short drive Stewart Muir punched the ball in from 9 yards out, and Mat Tompsett's extra point was good, to give the Exiles a 13-6 lead.
Mark Evans then kicked off to Cats return man Michael Bey, who fielded the ball on his own 2 yard line, the Exiles coverage was brilliant though, Ian Rumsey forced Bey to turn into Michael Turner, who forced the fumble, and then scooped it up and ran the 6 yards to the endzone untouched for the touchdown, it was the second play in Turners career having joined as one of the clubs 16 rookies this
season, several of whom made large contributions throughout the game. Mat Tompsett again slotted home the extra point, and the Exiles had a 20-6 lead.
The Cats then took possession, despite fumbling the kick return again, and drove downfield well behind a mixed run and pass attack, before Sweeny scored his second touchdown of the day from 8 yards out. Brian Jelly slotted the extra point this time, and the score was 20-13 to the Exiles going in at half time.
The Cats came out strong to start the second half, again mixing their attack well, and a good drive culminated in a 19yard pass from Nick Tilbury to Jonathan Smith, Jelly's extra point was blocked by Exiles linebacker Aaron Alexis, who finished the day with 21 tackles, and the score stood at 20-19.
The Exiles then took over again determined to extend their lead, and did so behind strong running from Muir and Alan Hands, but it was wideout Jefkins who scored on a 3 yard pass from Duncan, their second of the day, for the Exiles to take a 26-19 lead after Tompsett's extra point was blocked.
The Exiles defence was finding it hard to read the Cats offence which mixed it's plays well, and on their next drive the Cats scored again, this time it was Steve Peck who hauled in the Tilbury pass from 4 yards out. The Cats elected to go for the lead, and attempted a 2 point conversion, but the Exiles defence held and at the end of the 3rd quarter the Exiles still led 26-25.
The Cats dug in deep in the fourth period, their offence still performing well, with the defence stepping up and holding the Exiles scoreless, Sweeny's 4 yard run and a Dave Lemon 1 yard blast with Jelly converting both extra points sealed the game for the Cats with a final scoreline of 39-26
Exiles MVP's on the day were Martin Jefkins on offence, Paul Taylor-Holland on defence and rookie Mark Turner on Special Teams.
Exiles head coach Phil Wood was in a pensive mood following the game "it was a tough loss today, we performed admirably for 3 quarters and let ourselves down in the fourth, we could have upset a very good team today. We'll learn from this though, and look to rectify our mistakes versus Nene Valley next week."
The Exiles now travel to Kettering to take on the Nene Valley Hybrids, before returning home to face the Sussex Thunder on the 10th May, kick-off at 2.30pm. The Exiles can be contacted by calling Martin on 07944 730634, or Dave on 01689 859356 or via the club websitewww.eteamz.com/kentexafc
28th April 2003 - PA Knights triumph on British clubs return to European competition
Congratulations to the PA Knights who defeated the Zurich Renegades 24-7 in the EFAF Cup yesterday. The Knights win was the first time a British club had played in European Competition since the London O's in 2001, and were the first side to win a game in Europe since the O's won the Euro Cup in 1999. Anthony Stitt ran for 147 yards and 2 TDs, and Dave Tobin added another running score late in the 4th quarter.
27th April 2003 - Romans unveil new website
The Chester Romans are pleased to announce their new website, located at www.romansfootball.com It has up-to-date news and information, rosters and directions to Chester Rugby Club.
Game Report: London Blitz (44) @ Norwich Devils (6)
Sunday 27 April, 14:30, Powerleague, Norwich
By Nick Manning
London Blitz sent a message to the BSL Divison One on Sunday: “We’re no pushover!” The Blitz traveled to newcomers Norwich Devils in a game most people expected the Blitz to lose. The result, a 38 point blowout with a measured offensive performance and touchdowns from both the defense and special teams units.
“I’m pleased to get the first win in the bag,” said Blitz Head Coach Nick Rockell. “It was good to see the guys stick at the game for 60 minutes and get a job done.” Coach Rockell stressed that the big win does not mean the Blitz can relax in their upcoming off weeks. “We need to work on execution and timing. It’s important that we practice hard over the next few weeks and get ready to play PA Knights. We’ve still got a long way to go.”
The game was sealed late in the fourth quarter by returner Marcin Lai, who returned a kickoff for 82 yards. But the game was won early on by the running of rookie Wingback Lee Palmer. In a breakout game, Palmer rushed for 126 yards on 16 carries - the first Blitz back to rush for over 100 yards in a game for 3 seasons.
Palmer’s workmanlike performance was rewarded in the fourth quarter with a five yard TD on the ground. Palmer was backed up by the capable rushing of fellow rookie, Jody Toussaint and Ian Green. Toussaint’s turn of speed grabbed him an 8.5 yard rushing average on 6 carries and one score. Green’s 10 rushes for 28 yards netted him a couple two point conversions, and was unlucky not to take in a score of his own.
QB Luke Sanders completed 6 of 16 for 85 yards, throwing one TD to the multi-talented veteran Lai at the end of the first period of play. The score was the culmination of a mammoth drive by the Blitz, eating up almost 10 minutes of the clock and marching almost 80 yards. An interception return by Frank Mayo in the second quarter extended the Blitz lead before half time. The Canadian veteran also led the team with 2 catches for 36 yards on the day and a two-point conversion.
The game was put beyond the reach of the Devils in the third quarter when the Blitz backed up solid defensive play with scoring runs of 5 and 6 yards by backup fullback Jason Brisbane and Toussaint. Late in the fourth quarter, the Devils persistence with their passing game netted a compensatory TD with an impressive 19 yard lob.
20th April - Sussex Thunder 8 - 18 Chiltern Cheetahs (H/T 0 - 12)
QTR 1 2 3 4
Sussex Thunder 0 0 6 2 8
Chiltern Cheetahs 12 0 6 0 18
Qtr1 Chiltern Andy Crowther 7 yard TD run (Dunmore kick blocked)
Qtr1 Chiltern Darren Shepsman 6 yard TD run (2 x PAT no good)
Qtr3 Chiltern Darren Shepsman 55 yard TD run (2 x PAT no good)
Qtr3 Sussex D Kirby 25 yard TD catch from Paul Robinson (2 x PAT no good)
Qtr4 Sussex Adrian Teague tackled Chiltern Andy Crowther in Endzone for a safety
The Cheetahs travelled to Sussex to take on the reformed Thunder on Sunday after a disappointing result at Essex last week. Sussex won the toss and Chiltern received the ball. The offence quickly move the ball on Deniz Karagulle's 45 pass to Darren Shepsmen and runs by Abdul Lawal and Andy Crowther, with Crowther opening the scoring on a 6 yard run, Ben Dunmore saw his extra point kick was blocked (0-6).
On Sussex's opening drive, Quarterback Paul Robinson got his side into scoring range, but the Cheetahs defence held strong on a fourth a goal give the offence the ball back on 5 yard line. Chilterns offence moved the ball gradually down the field on 16 plays and 85 yards ending in score for Darren Shepsman on a 6 yard run for his first senior points. The 2 point conversation failed giving the Cheetahs a 12 - 0 lead at the end on the 1st quarter. Solid Defence again from the cheetahs prevented further drives for the Thunder in the 2nd Quarter with Nick Larkins intercepting a Robinson pass in the end zone.
Two plays into the 3rd Quarter, Chiltern's Darron Mayhew recovered a Sussex fumble and on the next play Darren Shepsman run 55 yards for his second touchdown of the game. Again the extra point failed (0 - 18). Sussex came back late in the quarter and scored on Paul Robinson's 25 yard pass to Dayle Kirby, and with the 2 point conversation failing Chiltern's lead was down to 12. On the next drive the game was delayed when Chiltern's Owen Thomas injury was dealt with, and his will now be out for the season after an excellent 1st half recording 9 tackles and 1 assist.
In the 4th quarter, Sussex continued to drive the ball with more confidence after scoring but where held again by Chiltern defence on a 4th and goal on the 1 yard line.
Only to score on the next play with Linebacker Adrian Teague tacking Andy Crowther in the end zone foe a safety (8 - 18). The nearest either side came to scoring after that was very late in the game as Chiltern's Adbul Lawal was stopped on the 1 yard line after an 11 yard gain.
13th April 2003 - Southern Sundevils 8-6 Bristol Aztecs
Report courtesy of the Southern Sundevils
This game was another typical Aztecs Sundevils battle. On a windy day, Bristol won the toss and elected to receive, but early on this was clearly a defensive battle. Southern held Bristol on their first two runs and then Sundevils new DE Kerry Gray sacked Bristol’s QB on 3rd and long.
After a punt the Sundevils O took over on their own 48, but only to turn the ball over on downs 3 plays later.
On Bristol’s next series their Offence was again sacked, on 3rd and long, by K Gray forcing another Aztecs punt. The Southern Sundevils starting on another short field and opened with a short run by Tim Iles. This was unfortunately followed by a QB Ted Baynham interception.
The interception was returned 32 yards and gave Bristol excellent field position for the first time in the game.
It looked like Sundevils Defence had held firm until on 3rd and 4 at the 11, Southern were caught off side. Bristol wouldn’t miss this opportunity, as they scored on a 6 yards touchdown pass from David Keen to Jason Tyler on the very next play. The extra point kick was blocked by Sundevils DT Jac Franchin, but the Aztecs had broken through for a 6 – 0 lead.
The Sundevils responded well gaining 28 yards on 6 straight rushes as the quarter ended.
In the 2nd quarter both Offences gain same hard yards, but couldn’t break through. After an exchange of punts Bristol’s TB David Liddle popped through the line and broke free for a 44 yard gain. This was after a Defensive collision took out 3 Sundevils. The Defence managed to re group and again DE K Gray stepped up, this time to force and recover a fumble on 3rd Down.
This would be the closest either Offence would come to scoring. Bristol ended the half with a well earned 6 – 0 lead
The half time re group worked wonders for the Sundevils, as QB Ted Baynham and FB Scott Miller led their team on a 65 yard 12 play drive that just fell short on fourth down at the Aztecs 15.
This first Southern drive set the tone for the 2nd half, as the managed to keep Bristol locked down in their own half for the whole of the 3rd quarter.
Right at the start of the 4th quarter, following a Sundevils blocked punt the Aztecs almost got out of their half until FS Justin Farrugia stepped in front of a wayward pass to keep the pressure firmly back on the Aztecs.
Southern had a holding penalty on the interception return so their Offence started back on their own 36.
After 2 short runs by Gareth Dauley (who totalled 22 carries for 133 yards on the day) the Sundevils faced another 3rd and long. This time Ted Baynham found WR Ben Webb from 61 yards out for paydirt. Tim Illes stepped up and followed a crushing block by FB Scott Miller for a tough 3 yards and the 2 point conversion was good and Southern now held a 8 – 6 lead.
The Sundevils never looked back and shut down the Aztecs Offence to 3 and out for the remainder of the half. In fact the Sundevils held the Aztecs to 3 total yards in the second half and only one 1st down, which came on their last drive.
26th February 2003 - Kent Exiles v Leicester Eagles flag matches
The Leicester Eagles junior and cadet flag teams travelled to Kent on Sunday
to take on their counterparts from the Orpington based Exiles. Earlier in the day the Exiles had announced the signing of Chris Linnaird as an assistant coach to the youth teams, so it was a baptism of fire for him! Chris has been a fan of the game for a long time, but after joining thesenior team last year he decided that playing was not for him, but still keen to be involved he offered his services to the youth teams, and was gratefully accepted.
Photo courtesy of the Kent Exiles
The Exiles juniors (11-15 year olds) were the first to play, but with
several key players missing they struggled to find their rhythm, and soon
found themselves trailing 13-0 after two touchdowns from the Eagles. Towards
the end of the first half the Exiles found their scoring form, when Scott
Mewse broke free on a long run all the way to the endzone to bring the score
back to 13-6, the Eagles once again scored though to make the half time
The Exiles came out determined for the second half, but the Eagles once
again scored to take a 26-6 lead, and looked in control of the game, but the
Exiles regrouped and were determined to improve on their first half
performance and hit back straight away when Sherif Kader caught a touchdown
pass from quarterback Craig Griffiths, Joe Alexis converted the 2 point
conversion, and the score was now 26-14.
The Defence then took a stand, stopping the Eagles short of a first down on
the first three plays, when on fourth down Sherif Kader stepped in front of
the Eagles receiver to intercept the pass, and return it all the way for
another Exiles touchdown. Once again Joe Alexis caught the 2 point
conversion from Craig Griffiths, and the score was now 26-22.
With time running out the Exiles defence once again stopped the Eagles short
and took over the ball with only 1.13 remaining deep in their own half,
quarterback Griffiths completed three passes in a row to take the Exiles
into Eagles territory with only 13 seconds remaining, from where the hail
mary pass was broken up by the Eagles to fall incomplete as time expired to
give the Eagles a thrilling 26-22 victory.
After this thrilling game it was the cadets (7-11 year olds) turn to play,
and this time it was the Exiles who came out the strongest with Emma Bell
scoring on the first possession for a 6-0 lead. This was the score for most
of the half until the Eagles Holly Cooke intercepted Exiles quarterback Marc
Turner and returned it for a touchdown and a 6-6 half time score.
The second half started well for the Eagles with Holly Cooke again making
the difference on a long run to the 1 yard line where she was tackled by the
Exiles Lucy Donovan, but then an interception in the endzone by Claudio Kim
swung the ball back to the Exiles, and Emma Bell scored her second touchdown
of the day, and the Exiles had a 12-6 lead. Strong defence then held the Eagles on their final possession, and the
Exiles were 12-6 winners.
"I'm very proud of both teams today" commented Exiles head coach Mike
Pemberton, "they both played really well, and have learnt a lot in the last
few months about playing together as a team. The Eagles are one of the top
teams in the country, and we really enjoyed playing against them, we will
learn from the games and be better in our next tournament in Crystal Palace
in a couple of weeks time."
The Exiles junior and senior teams are still looking for more players and
coaches, so if you would like to get involved please call Martin on 07944
730634 or Dave on 07778 548488, or visit the clubs website at
www.eteamz.com/kentexafc for lots more details.
3rd February 2003 - Lancashire Wolverines announce coaching staff
Lancashire Wolverines announce their coaching staff for 2003 season. Steve Norris club chairman will lead the Wolverines as Senior Team Principal. Tony Mulhall moves from Linebackers to full control of the Wolverine defense whilst Dave "Crock " Robinson returns to coach an improving secondary that includes Rob Boone a Free Safety from New York State. Also returning to the team are Claymore trialists Danny Bowles and Iain Pearson at WR and QB Adam Purcell. 1000 yarder Tailback Phil McGrath and an improving QB Wayne Glover have also already signed. Jim Blinkhorn moves to co-ordinate the Offense with Assistant Coaches Orlando Holman a native of Philadelphia ( Backs ) Steve Norris ( Off. Line ) and Dave Herd ( TE's and WR's ). The Wolverines need new players especially at any of the Line positions. " We have a core of around 36 players but want at least another 14. Last year was a tough one for the Wolverines who played 7 games back to back in a tough first season in Division I. Says Jim Blinkhorn "We had several key players injured but we pulled through at the end. This showed great team spirit that we want to continue. We are still waiting for 1 or 2 key players to make their minds up whether they are staying or leaving but no matter what happens, we will be continuing with the same intentions and philosophy that the coaching staff believe in. If players have trouble with that and don't want to be a part of it well there's always other teams. We as a coaching staff have a vision of where this team should be and its our task to help it get there.
The Youth team are also back in training with the largest squad since 98. New Head Coach Geoff Leigh leads the squad for the 2003 season with his target set for yet another Bowl appearance the 7th in 8 years. Anyone wishing to take part in any of the Wolverines teams at any level should contact us at www.eteamz.com/wolverineden or on 01204 594268 01257 425167 or 0161 799 0121.
1st February 2003 - Former Birmingham Bull Bob Shoop earns top College post
Columbia University announced the appointment of Bob Shoop
as its head football coach today. Director of Physical Education &
Intercollegiate Athletics John Reeves selected Shoop as the 17th coach in
the 134 years of Lion football. Shoop played for the Birmingham Bulls in 1989.
The former Yale wide receiver has been mentored by some of the top coaches
in collegiate football and has been a part of several significant turnaround
efforts. As the defensive secondary coach at Boston College for the last
four years, Shoop played a major role in B.C.'s recent success. The Eagles
have captured a bowl victory in each of the last four seasons. Shoop's
secondary was a key cog in B.C.'s 9-4 record and Motor City Bowl
Championship this season. The Eagles ranked 13th in the nation in passing
defense and 17th in pass efficiency defense.
Shoop has earned a reputation as a strong nationwide recruiter. During his
career as an assistant coach, his recruiting territory has spanned 22
states. His focus has been in the Northeast, with a concentration in
Pennsylvania at each institution.
24th January 2003 - Exiles Go Prime Time
The Kent Exiles starred on prime time TV this week. After contacting ITV Meridian the Exiles arranged for the TV cameras to attend their training session on Sunday to film a short piece on the team which was aired on the 6 o'clock news sports section on Wednesday in the countdown to the Superbowl weekend.
ITV Meridian broadcasting covers the South and South-East of England,
serving a population of 5.5 million in an area extending beyond the Thames
estuary to Essex in the North, and taking in all major centres as far west
as Weymouth in Dorset, representing over 10% of the UK's viewing public.
The feature included short interviews with players, as well as film of
training and 'staged' plays. It will also focus greatly on the future of the
sport, as the Exiles also arranged for NFL Europe development officer Gerry
Anderson to be interviewed for the piece, and for the youth section of the
club to be filmed also.
Meridian have also agreed to forward any interest form the report to the
Exiles, who will then put people in touch with their closest teams.
"We hope this feature will have a positive effect for the sport as a whole"
commented Exiles Spokesman Martin Jefkins, "Meridian covers a huge area, so
we were careful not to focus it on the Exiles specifically, but on the sport
itself. With the coverage on Channel 5 at 7pm as well, the sport will be
getting some well earned coverage over the week".
"Obviously I hope we will benefit from players coming forward to play for
the team" comments Head Coach Phil Wood, "but this was really about the
sport and getting it to a wider audience, especially at a time when Kids
will be watching the TV, our youth team has flourished recently, so there is
interest out there, we just need to capture it".
The Exiles can be contacted by calling Martin on 07944 730634 or Dave on
07778 548488, or through the clubs website www.eteamz.com/kentexafc
6th January 2003 - Sussex Thunder rookie trials and open day
Sussex Thunder American Football Club is holding an open trials day on Sunday 19th January at Brighton Rugby Club, Waterhall Recreation Ground, off Mill Road, Brighton (off roundabout at junction of A27 and A23). Full directions and map can be found on the club website www.sussex-thunder.co.uk
The event kicks off at 10am and is open to players of all ages whether they have sports experience or not. The trials will be for both senior and youth kitted teams and junior and senior flag teams. All potential players should wear shorts or track bottoms and, if possible, football boots.
Head Coach Rich Worsell and his staff will be holding meet and greet sessions with any player or parent wanting to know more about the American Football scene and Sussex Thunder in particular.
Thunder will also welcome any person wanting to take a part in making the club's return to league action a success. They are especially keen to recruit game-day assistance to take on the roles of chain crew, stewards or Line Judges. This last position has the full backing of BAFRA (British American Football Referees Association)
The Management Committee is also keen to find new members, especially a statistician to compile and maintain game-day and team records. In fact anyone who believes they have a skill to offer is welcome to come along and have a chat.
For those unable to attend they can contact Gary Whitfield on 01 273 596060 or Tony Miller on 01 273 382925
The club returns to full training for the 2003 season a week later on 26th January at the same venue.