12th December 2003 - BCAFL Week 7 review, Tsunami fall to the Stags
Nottingham Outlaws 34 - 32 UT Cougars
The Outlaws moved to 5-1 with this close away win at the Cougars. UT took the opening kick off and drove all the way down field to set up RB McDonald run which gave the Cougars the lead. Nottingham responded immediately with RB Chris Mullan powering the ball in from 2 yards out and then catching a short pass from Adam O’Keefe for the crucial 2PAT. However UT's McDonald returned the kickoff 70 yards for the TD and the lead. The frantic first quarter scoring was not over as US import Will Pierce caught a short pass from O’Keefe and streaked down the sideline for a 34 yard score. In the second quarter Cougar's McDonald lined up at WR caught a pass form QB Pete Rodgers to walk in untouched. An excellent goal-line stand from the Teeside Defence sent the 2 sides in at the half with UT leading 18-14. However the second half was more intense as Nottingham struck back immediately through Slot Back Paddy O'Brien on a 35-yard run, with Will Pierce adding the 2PAT, to take the lead 22-18. However the Cougars offense responded again with QB Rogers sneaking the ball behind the blocking of Centre Dave Hardy to get the TD. Nottingham again responded with some good runs up the middle from Mullan and managed to put together two scoring drives to take the lead 34-24 as Pierce scored twice from 14 and 1 yards. With 2:30 seconds on the clock UT took over from their own 30 yardline and Rogers masterminded a scoring drive with some assistance of penalties took the ball into the endzone on another QB sneak, FB Adam Ledner added the 2PAT. This left the scores at 34-32 in Nottingham’s favour and the game ended as Nottingham's Mark Fish recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock.
Glasgow Tigers 12 - 6 Lancaster Bombers
After a close loss the previous week the Tigers came from behind and won in over time at Lancaster. Lancaster opened the scoring in the first quarter when strong running from RBs Scott Ashman and Marc Siaka behind the Bombers O-Line allowed Siaka to run in for a 14-yard score. The game then descended into a war of attrition with both Defence’s thwarting each other’s attempts on offence and both punters getting the chance to exercise their legs.The tying score came in the fourth quarter when QB Matt McCusker found Ronald Gaffin in the end-zone for the score. With both teams 2PATs failing the game went into Overtime. Both teams were forced to punt it away on their opening possessions. A good drive from the Bombers ended on another punt from where the Tigers drove downfield with McCusker linking up with Ian Bertram to end the game 12-6 to the Tigers with 45 seconds of OT remaining.
UCH Sharks 0 - 13 Newcastle Raiders
On a sunny day in Gateshead, Newcastle welcomed the UCH Sharks for what was sure o be a hard-hitting affair. The Raiders scored on the very first play, with Rich Green catching a tremendous pass and running into the Endzone, the PAT, by Green, put the put the Sharks 0-7 down. A stalemate ensued for the rest of the half, with both offences making good drives. Most notabe was the running of Rich Cochrane, who along with Markus Mueller and Yacine Salmi, was one of the sharks most effective weapons. The second half continued in much the same vein, and Hull came close to scoring on a number of occassions. Towards the end of the 4th quarter, Newcastle scored again, Green catching in the endzone from a 20 yard pass to complete the win for the Raiders.
Leeds Celtics 18 - 14 Stirling Clansmen
The Stirling Clansmen got off to a slow start in the game against the Leeds Celtics and found themselves behind early on. An 8 yard pass from Leeds QB Alex Fisher to Chris Kuc put the Celtics up 6 – 0 in the first quarter. Fisher then found WR Jack Nill in the back of the endzone early in the second quarter giving the Celtics the 12 – 0 lead. Stirling struck back before the half when RB Jon Sutherland ran the ball in from 8 yards out pulling the Clansmen to within 6. It was Leeds who struck first in what turn out to be a defensive battle in the 2nd half, Fisher once again found Nill in the endzone, this time from 15 yards out giving Leeds the 18 – 6 lead in the third quarter. Stirling’s offence then marched down the field and found the endzone from 6 yards out with a Jon Sutherland run to which he added the 2PAT pulling the Clansmen to within 4 in the 4th quarter. Stirling’s defence held strong forcing Leeds to punt the ball, giving the Clansmen a chance at the late 4th quarter comeback. QB James Thompson engineered a drive to the Leeds 7 yardline. Then with the 2 minute warning just passed, the Celtics had 4 big stops, to end the game. A great tackle by Ed Morgan, and a brilliant game saving bat down by Simon Harmer on fourth down sealed things for the Celtics.
PA Surrey Stingers 0 - 58 Bristol Bullets
Bristol entertained an injury struck Stingers side in bitterly cold conditions. Bristol received the ball and wasted no time in getting going. Strong running by the Bullets resulted in Tunde Adepoju running the ball in from 18 yards, the PAT was good. The defence were in no mood to let the offence have the glory and quickly responded by pinning the Stingers deep in their own territory. This led to a bad snap and PA having to take a knee in their own end zone and give up the safety. The Bullets refused to ease up and the outstanding Tom Chapman, who gained over 100 yards in the first quarter, went over after breaking a 46 yard run and Adepoju added the 2PAT. The scoring for the first quarter wasn’t over with a TD for Bullet’s new boy Olumide Thompson going over from 8 yards. The Bullets defence remained resilient and kept forcing the Stingers three and out. In the second quarter the Bullets kept up the pressure and Rookie TE Chris Taylor scored with a 1 yard TD pass from James Carter. The Bullets went in at the half 31-0 ahead. They continued their form into the third quarter and Naguib Yusufu maintained his scoring record, with a piece of individual brilliance to score from 63 yards. Rookie QB Kirk Dunn was given his chance to impress and wasted no time as he carried the ball over the line from 5 yards out. Adepoju completed his 14 point haul with a 31 yard run and Taylor scored his second TD of the day when Dunn found him with a 26 yard pass. The Bullets took the game with a franchise record win – 58-0. A special mention goes to Bullets kicker Mike Brown, who also set a Bullets record by kicking 6 out of 7 PAT’s.
Hertfordshire Hurricanes 50 - 0 UKC Falcons
After holding the Kent offence on their first series, Junior Price took the punt and returned it 50 yards for the score after darting through the Kent coverage, Rob Kelly added the PAT. The Hurricanes then increase their lead with Richard McHugh following the blocking of an impressive offensive line for 11 yards and the score. The Canes defence was dominant all day and gave the offence great field position, which Andy Cochrane converted to points with a 2 yard TD. WR Jon Gerring rounded off a triumphant first quarter for the Hurricanes taking a QB Price pass 23 yards for the score. Price then completed the first half scoring on a 44-yard run for a touchdown and Kelly again added the extra point. The second half saw the Hurricanes continue where they left off in the first half with Aston Ellington charging in from a yard out after a dominant drive from the Canes offense, Kelly added the PAT. The 4th quarter saw the Canes defense hold firm after some strong running from Kent’s Lekan Lawal and the offense pound in another score for running back Dan Johnson going in from 6 yards. David Hartley rounded off the scoring for the Canes after a strong game at LB with a fumble recovery in the endzone from a blocked Falcons punt for the touchdown.
Brighton Tsunami 0 - 56 Southampton Stags
Sunday saw Southampton take on the as yet undefeated Brighton Tsunami. The game started with Southampton scoring in the first series, Brighton’s first drive was then unsuccessful and the ball was punted back to Southampton. In another good series with the Southampton offence dominating Brighton’s defence, Southampton scored making the score 14-0. The very next Southampton drive saw another touchdown through Ted Baynham (QB), his third of the game. Brighton then came back at Southampton through a long drive, but to no avail. The first half finished at 36-0 to Southampton, with a valiant display put on by both teams; however Southamptons defence was able to keep Brighton at bay with some great play by numbers Rich Gibbins and Gareth Thomas. The second half was much the same as the first with Southampton having all the chances, except for a good pick off by Brightons #27 who ran 45 yards deep into the Southampton half, before eventually being chased down. The final score was 56-0 to Southampton, who showed much determination in what proved to be an overpowering game.
Unfortunately the Sheffield derby had to be postponed but should be rescheduled for a later date. BCAFL now enters it's Christmas break with action resuming on the 25th January 2004. In the meantime on the football front the BYAFA England vs Scotland game takes place on the 14th December at the Dewsbury Rams stadium with a noon kickoff. This will also be the location of the BCAFL lottery draw.
5th December 2003 - BCAFL Week 6 review, Tsunami and Lions still undefeated
Brighton Tsunami 6 - 2 PA Surrey Stingers
With the Week 6 game at Surrey being classed a double header Expansion Team the Brighton Tsunami have moved to 3-0 in their first BCAFL season thanks to a win over the PA Surrey Stingers. PA Surrey started off the better of the two teams with their offense moving the ball and their defense holding the Tsunami back. In the first quarter a Surrey punt put the Tsunami back on their own goalline the Stingers defense were able force a three and out, and then scored a safety on the attempted punt as the punter was forced to recover in the endzone. Going into the second quarter Brighton began to move the ball better and their defense were able to get good pressure on the Stingers O resulting in an interception ran back for a TD by Eber Kington. The second half saw good play by both sides but both defences held on and there no further scores.
Oxford Cavaliers 0 - 65 Birmingham Lions
Birmingham saw off divisional rivals Oxford to take their record to 5-0 going into the Christmas break. The Lions ground game roared into action in the first quarter, with QB Stuart Ennis scoring from 7-yards and then FB Jay Alexander from 9-yards. The score moved to 36-0 at half-time after WR Dave Winter weaved in on a 36-yard reception from Ennis, and Alexander and WR Matt Phillips running in from 11 and 14 yards. The versatile Winter also scored Birmingham’s first FG of the season from 15yds in the third quarter, and Alexander showed a clean pair of heels for his hat-trick with an outside run from 11-yards. WR Lee Rubin then hauled in a 22-yard strike from Ennis to move the score to 51-0. Rookie TE Ben Parkes grabbed Ennis’ third TD pass for a 28-yard score, and Phillips scored on a dazzling 56-yard punt return to finish the scoring in the fourth quarter. The high-scoring offense should not overshadow an awesome defensive performance, with DL Mark Pagett collapsing pockets and stuffing runners throughout the match. Despite the flow of scores, the Cavaliers never gave up and the defense was able to get a couple of sacks and put in some big tackles, with the offense gaining some good yardage with runs from RB Hafeez Lawal and a good catch from WR David Skingley off of a QB Justin Saroyan pass.
Sheffield Hallam Warriors 38 - 8 Caledonian Roughriders
A clash of the expansion teams saw the Caledonian Roughriders take on the Sheffield Hallam University Warriors. Both sides came into the game searching for their first win of the season. Having scored a safety early in the first quarter, the power and strength of the English squad proved to be too much for the Scots.The Warriors powered their way to an 18-0 half time lead thanks to a 10 yard touchdown run from WR Chris Jones and a 16 yard interception return from LB Charlie Bradley. Despite a hard fought second half performance from the Roughriders, Hallam stepped up the pace and soared touchdowns on runs from RB Casey Farquharson (45 yard run), QB Phil Wood (60 yard run) and RB Sean Heyward (20 yard run). But the Warriors were denied a clean sheet when Caledonian got some reward for their hard fought performance with a consolation score in the fourth quarter when the impressive Ian McGowan ran in from 10 yards out and added the 2PAT on another run. The win represents the Warriors first win in the League and was achieved at their fifth attempt. Hopefully Caledonian too will see a win in this their first season.
Glasgow Tigers 20 - 21 Loughborough Aces
Glasgow opened the scoring with RB Andy Hall going in from 12 yards for the TD. With the 2Pat incomplete the scores remained the same until the middle of the second quarter. Loughborough DB Jay Cordingley charged down a Tigers punt and ran the ball back 25 yards for the score. With Andy Studer hitting the PAT Loughborough had a narrow lead approaching halftime but with the last play of the half Tigers QB Matt McCusker found WR Matt McCree on a deep pass to score a 30yd TD, the 2PAT was missed. With the Tigers receiving the kickoff at the start of the third quarter they managed to hammer home their advantage, Kenny McPhail returning the ball 80 yards for the TD. With the 2PAT again missed the Tigers had a 18-7 advantage. The Aces Offense responded quickly with RB Craig Flower going over with a 6 yard run followed by a 2PAT catch from Richard Cole. Flower added another 8-yard run but with the PAT being batted down the Aces now had a 3 point lead. The Tigers could not peg back the difference in the 4th managing to bring the gap down to one on a safety but the Aces secondary held their nerve to repel the Tigers final drives.
UCH Sharks 12 - 18 Sheffield Sabres
This hotly contested grudge match produced another exciting game which saw the Sabres emerge victorious. After forcing the Sheffield Offence into a three and out on their first drive, the Sharks Yacine Salmi took the ensuing punt 50 yards for a TD. The rest of the first half turned into a defensive battle. The Sabres started brightly in the second half when QB Paul Musker threw 15-yard pass to RB David Leslie. Opting for an onside kick Eddie Mellor recovered the ball for the Sabres and set up a 20-yard strike from Musker to WR Ryan Spokas. After recovering a Sharks fumble the Sabres marched downfield and Musker scored with his third TD pass this time going to RB Rob Levy. After being shutdown for most of the second half Hull managed to gain momentum in the fourth quarter on a drive which was capped off by a 3-yard run from RB Markus Mueller with only a minute remaining. With mist rolling in from the peaks the Sharks were forced to attempt the onside kick, Eddie Mellor rose to the occasion to make his second recovery giving possession and victory to the Sheffield Sabres.
UT Cougars 6 - 14 Leeds Celtics
Pressure in the first quarter seemed to get to both teams, as they drove down the field but couldn’t convert yards into points. Teesside took the opening kick off and Teesside’s offence drove 60 yards to the leeds 2 yardline when QB Pete Rodgers fumbled the ball and the Leeds defence recovered. A mixture of offensive mistakes and great defensive stops continued to keep the score at 0-0. Into the second quarter, the Celtics broke the dead lock with a passing TD, when QB Alex Fisher hit WR James Parkhouse. This was the result of a long drive, held together by the Celtic offensive line. Teeside managed to hit back before half time with a fantastic drive against a solid Celtic defence. Pete Rodgers bundled over on a QB sneak for Teeside. From then on, the Celtics defence and special team were unstoppable. Retuns from Ed Morgan and Peter Drake gave the offence good field position time after time. Also a series of interceptions from Ed Morgan, Sam Hamed, and Richard Nice spoiled the Teeside drives in the second half. The Celtics offence grew stronger throughout, with a fine mixture of passing and running. Eventually the pressure prevailed when Joe Coultate went over on a 7-yard run up the middle. This was finished off by a 2PAT on a quick slant to Chris Kuc. The Cougars were shut down in the fourth but the Celtics couldn’t manage to score any further points.
Derby Braves 0 - 10 Leicester Lightning
Derby arrived at Saffron Lane on a chilly afternoon. Derby RB Rob Hanrahan had an 82-yard run into the endzone called back on a penalty. Although there were some big drives coming from both teams the first quarter ended scoreless. In the middle of the second quarter Lightning QB Brian Mann threw a 40-yard pass to the wide-open WR Riddell for a TD. Leicester scored on the 2PAT with Mann going for a QB sneak. Derby then conceded a safety which resulted in Leicesters' 10 – 0 lead at half time. There was no scoring in the final two quarters in what was more of a defensive game.
Nottingham Outlaws 15 - 26 Staffordshire Stallions
Nottingham had a good start to the game with a fumble recovery on Staffs first offensive play, followed by a FG by Adam O'Keefe. The remainder of the first half was a frustrating time with Notts offence not being able to gain any more points although being in range a number of times. Staffs on the other hand dominated the first half with three TDs, two from RB Jason Prince on long runs and a 25-yard reception by the WR Chris Richards. In the second half Nottingham were better scoring two TDs, the first being a 5-yard run by William Pierce, and the second a 25-yard reception by Paddy Daly. The fourth quarter saw Staffs take the game away from Nottingham with a further TD by TE Ziad Choueiri with a 20-yard reception followed by the 2PAT by Jason Prince. The game’s result has now opened up their division’s title chase.
Essex Blades 18 - 46 Warwick Wolves
The result of this match seemed determined at the end of the second quarter. Birthday boy RB Robin Carter opened the scoring for Warwick on a 20-yard run. This was swiftly added to by an 87-yard TD dash by WR Arpy Vezer. RBs Toby Rhodes and Nathaniel Byram got in on the act, scoring a TD each, before scoring for the half was rounded off by influential Warwick QB Andy McKinley. Despite the six touchdown haul for the Wolves, strong goalline defending from the Blades had prevented five conversion attempts, the sixth going to Toby Rhodes. This offensive power was complimented by the run stifling defense of the Wolves led by Adam Savage and Alan Harris and a strong contribution from the secondary, notably Chris Small. The complexion of the second half was different however, with the Wolves offense failing to find a rhythm and resorting to Punter Adam O'Reilly. Essex capitalised on the change of possession with a TD, an Alex Payne reception from an AJ Fenwick pass. The flagging Warwick offense was put back into forward gear by a fourth down conversion attempt by Toby Rhodes which opened up for a TD. Essex then struck twice, with two receptions by WR Kayed Al-Qasimi, from QB Fenwick, both run in from distance. The final word and points, went to Warwick, with a muscular drive ending with a touchdown run for Rob Temple.
Reading Knights 0 - 32 UKC Falcons
After a pair of stalled drives the Falcons marched downfield thanks to nice catches from Paul Cornforth and Matt Fry on QB Eric LaVinge's passes. This set up a 16-yard score from HB Leken Lawal and a PAT from Mike Bourguignon. Despite some good passing from the Knights they were unable to score and pinned the Falcons deep in their own half with a solid punt. The falcons however ran an option pass perfectly as HB Gaz Wright took the pitch, looked downfield and found Fry behind the secondary who took it for an 86 yard score. The second quater saw the Knights defence tighten up and they blocked the following PAT attempt and denied the Falcons any further scoring opportunities. In the third quarter the Falcons ran away with the game as Lawal took a sweep 85-yards for a score and a 20-0 lead. Bourguignon proved he was more than just a kicker as he intercepted the Knights QB near their own goal line and stretched the ball over the line. The Knights consistently passed for first downs throughout the game but with two fumbles and 4 interceptions turnovers cost them dearly. The scoring ended in the fourth quarter when Lavinge found WR Tom Payne over the middle who weaved through the secondary for a 59 yard score.
Bath Killer Bees 10 - 26 Cardiff Cobras
In a hastily rearranged fixture, due to an ‘unplayable’ pitch in Cardiff, the home team travelled to Bath still just as determined to win no matter where they played. The Cobras D set the tone for the afternoon turning the ball over early with some strong tackling to let the offence get on the field. QB Lance Godfrey engineered some great plays that consistently moved Cardiff deeper into the Bees endzone which resulted in a 12-yard TD run by sibling and TB James Godfrey. Special teams got in on the act to when they kicked off to Bath a fumbled kick return allowed CB Harry Maynard to put the pressure on force a safety. In the second quarter the Cobras offence maintained their consistency with a string of great catches by WR Max Osborne. The drive was finished off with Godfrey throwing a deep TD pass to WR Dave Pruett. Godfrey added the 2PAT running it into the endzone to finish the half 16-0. Godfrey ran into the endzone for a TD in the third with the 2PAT caught by WR Matthieu Peron. Bath turned up the heat after a long punt deep into the Cobras half led to Cardiff having to punt only to be blocked and a safety scored by Bath to put some points on the board. Shortly afterwards the Cobras forced a safety themselves due to numerous fumbles in the backfield. Late in the game the Bee’s salvaged some pride when they drove the ball downfield to catch out the defence with a short pass to WR Ben Salisbury, it was the same play again to make the 2PAT.
WeeK 7, 07/12/03, action of the BCAFL season is as follows: Glasgow Tigers @ Lancaster Bombers UCH Sharks @ Newcastle Raiders Leeds Celtics @ Stirling Clansmen Nottingham Outlaws @ UT Cougars Sheffield Hallam Warriors @ Sheffield Sabres PA Surrey Stingers @ Bristol Bullets Hertfordshire Hurricanes @ UKC Falcons Brighton Tsunami @ Southampton Stags See www.bcafl.org for further details.
27th November 2003 - BCAFL Week 5 review
Loughborough Aces 18 - 6 Derby Braves
Loughborough Aces Head Coach Andy Sweeney has become the first BCAFL coach to reach 100 wins after this victory over Derby. These have included 3 College Bowl victories along with several Conference and Division titles so far. With the first quarter dominated by the defenses neither team was able to get on the scoreboard. Moving into the second quarter the Aces offense started to move the ball by both air and ground plays. QB Andy Studer threw to WR Mark Terry to set up a Craig Flower 3-yard TD run but the PAT was stopped by the Derby D. With the Aces stopping Derby's next drive the offense came back on to the field. QB Andy this time through a 30-yard pass to WR Rod Bradley for Loughborough’s second TD of the game. The second half started with the aces receiving the ball and scoring the third TD of the day with on a 21-yard reverse by Bradley. Late in the third the Aces drove the ball down to Derby's 20-yardline where they were stopped by derby’s D and the ball was turned over on downs. From there a breakaway run left the offence at the Aces 5-yardline and RB Dave Harber ran in a TD to put Derby on the scoreboard. Neither team scored again as the Aces secured their second win of the season and Coach Sweeney's 100th of his Aces career.
Cardiff Cobras 6 - 14 Hertfordshire Hurricanes
Picture courtesy of the BCAFL
In very wet, cold and windy conditions, both teams got off to a conservative start playing out the first quarter without score. Both teams were trying to get their running games going and it was Herts who succeeded with Andy Cochrane moving down field behind a fine display by the offensive line. After a long drive, Herts went to the air and Adam Camp held onto a Junior Price pass from 9 yards out to put the Hurricanes in front in the second quarter. With the Cobras RBs failing to move the ball consistantly the canes got the ball back the offence took over. After another long drive led again by Cochrane and the OL, Jon Gerring caught another Price pass from 3-yards. Camp held on to a pass to add the 2PAT to put the Hurricanes 14-0 in front at the half. Following a fumble by Herts PR which was recovered by Chris Davies the Cobras offense were able to get into the endzone on a 10-yard James Godfrey run. The 2PAT was unsuccessful and the score remained 14-6 to Hertfordshire as time ran out in the fourth quarter.
Newcastle Raiders 21 - 28 Glasgow Tigers
After a first quarter in which both defenses negated the opponent Newcastle struck the first blow. After Rod Petrie ran an interception back to the Glasgow 1-yardline Newcastle’s QB Tom Bouch sneaked in the score, with Matt Barton adding the 2PAT on a pass reception. The scored remained the same till half time. The Tigers struck back immediately with QB Matt Mccusker finding Ian Bertram for the score. However the ensuing kickoff was returned 91 yards by Rod Petrie for a Raiders TD, with Rich Green adding the PAT. Glasgow bounced back before the end of the third quarter When McCusker threw another fine TD pass caught by WR Rob Campbell to set up a tense finale. Newcastle came out in the 4th and struck what should have been the final blow, LB Jonathan Rooney running the ball back off a fumble recovery 55yds for the TD to put Newcastle ahead 12-21. The resulting kickoff however was run back 76-yard for a TD by KR Kenny McPhail to bring the Tigers back into the game. Ryan Garrett added the 2PAT and on the Tigers next drive a 4th down convgersion caught by Ian Bertram set up McCusker to sneak in from 3 yards, Ryan Garrett converted the 2PAT. A dropped pass in the endzone by Newcastle as time expired left the Tigers with the victory.
Stirling Clansmen 40 - 8 Caledonian Roughriders
Stirling concluded their sweep of Caledonian Roughriders with a 40 – 8 victory. Stirling’s offence got off to a quick start after Caledonian’s John Butler fumbled on a punt return and the Clansmen recovered on the Roughriders 7-yardline. Jon Sutherland opened then scoring, running in from 3 yards and added another TD on the following drive with a 43-yard run to which John Chilton added the 2PAT giving the Clansmen a 14 – 0 lead. An Andreas Sommerseth interception set up QB James Thompson pass to Tight End Peder Engebretsen at the end of the first. Jeff Bryan added another score with a 47-yard punt return and Chilton again added the 2PAT to give the Clansmen a 28 – 0 lead at Halftime. Good defensive play from the Clansmen forced 3 turnovers, interceptions by Iain Smith and Michael Ives and a fumble recovered by Smith. QB Thompson capitalised on the turnovers finding Engebretsen again from 12 yards out late in the 3rd quarter and the pair connected for a TD once again early in the fourth, this time from 34 yards out, putting the Clansmen up 40 – 0. The Roughriders scored late in the 4th quarter when Ian McGowan ran it from 8 yards out and added the 2PAT.
UCH Sharks 19 - 2 Sheffield Hallam Warriors
Hull travelled to Sheffield to face expansion team SHU Warriors and started the stronger, gaining possession from the kick off and coming close to a TD on the offence’s first drive. Following heavy pressure from the Sharks defence, the offence regained possession, scoring with a 4-yard run from Richard Cochrane. The 2nd quarter continued in the same vein with Hull’s defence, headed by DTs Steve Gullick and RJ Stockdale, dominating their opposition. This allowed the offence to maintain possession and exploit the running abilities of Cochrane, Markus Mueller and Yacine Salmi. This was completed as rookie Mueller ran in a 25-yard TD. The successful PAT from Mike Barrett ensured the Sharks ended the half 13-0 up. The Warriors began the 2nd half looking to open up the passing attack with Ollie Clayfield at QB. He connected with Chris Jones, Dan Rourke & then Sean Rodgers but again the drives stalled. Each side then exchanged a number punts thanks to good defensive work. As the third quarter drew to a close the Warriors scored a safety after a long Mark Tuck punt put the Sharks under pressure close to their own endzone. Hull’s final points came courtesy of Jason Hague, scampering in 3 yards to put the game beyond doubt.
Sheffield Sabres 14 - 24 Leeds Celtics
The battle for South Yorkshire bragging rights was won by the Leeds Celtics after a hard fought match against the Sheffield Sabres. The Celtics started the scoring early when they capitalised on a fumbled punt return to set up a 7 yard sweep for RB Jack Watkinson. The Sabres responded with an 85 yard drive which was capped of with a 1 yard QB sneak from Paul Musker. Ryan Spokas hauled in the 2PAT on a pass from Musker. The Celtics re-took the lead before the half when Watkinson scored his second TD of the day on a 10-yard run. On the opening drive of the second half the Sabres re-took the lead on 70 yard drive which culminated in a TD pass from Musker to Spokas. The advantage was tipped in favour of the Celtics when WR Chris Kuc caught a 10 yard pass from QB Alex Fisher. On a third and long Fisher threw a short screen pass to FB Joe Coultate, who broke several tackles on the way to a 17 yard score in the fourth.
Leicester Lightning 6 - 53 Nottingham Outlaws
Nottingham ended their regular season home campaign with a convincing win over the spirited Lightning. Nottingham dominated in all facets of the game and excellent special teams constantly gave the offence short fields to attack and the defence a lot of field to defend. Nottingham scored on their first two possessions of the first quarter through Will Pierce and Cris Mullan both on 3-yard runs. In the 2nd quarter the Outlaws kept up the pressure and Pierce recovered a poor punt snap in the end zone for his second of four TDs on the day. Paddy O’Brien finished the half in style as he knifed through a tired Leicester defence to score from 57 yards. In the second half the Outlaws continued in relentless fashion – backup QB John Imeson ran in from 12 and 9 yards, plus Pierce added a 15-yard catch from Westwood and a 38-yard run. A bright spark for Leicester was the 60 yard reception of John Lemon from Scott Summers, which should give them some momentum going into next weeks rematch against Derby.
Tarannau Aberystwyth 6 - 50 Birmingham Lions
Birmingham put up a half-century against Tarranau Aberystwyth to move to 4-0 with a second consecutive 50-6 victory. The Lions scored TDs on their first six possessions to move to a lead they did not lose and the defense stifled the opposition yet again. Lions WR Matt Phillips hauled in two short first quarter TDs from QB Stuart Ennis, but Birmingham’s curious inability to score 1 or 2 point conversions plagued them. An excellent second quarter saw the Lions stack up 26 points, FB Jay Alexander smashing in from 10 and 4 yards. Birthday boy Ennis also hurled a 50-yard strike to WR Dave Winter, before taking it in himself from a yard out. The Birmingham defense, having only conceded 6 points in 3 games, were again impressive, with bone-jarring run defense led by LB Roberto Monfradini. They were punished for a moment’s weakness in the third quarter by a spectacular 86-yard dash by Aber QB Alex Wilson, but the Lions would not be denied. Phillips completed his hat-trick with a 6-yard grab, and two Birmingham rookies combined in the fourth quarter for their first trip into the endzone, QB Neale Canning tossing a 3-yard pass to WR Adrian Warmington.
Warwick Wolves 6 - 2 Oxford Cavaliers
Very wet conditions seemed to rob both teams of the finishing touches needed to complete their plans to score in this encounter. Points were first scored by Oxford from a forced safety by Tom Russell early in the 2nd quarter however it was a day for the defences of both teams to be accounted for and dominate the game. The ball travelled up and down the pitch and turned over countless because of both teams running game but neither offence could penetrate enough to score until Warwick ran in six points from Robin Carter in the last quarter. The scoring game was then finished at 6 – 2 to Warwick but the score no way reflected the battle both teams faced with not only each other but the weather as well.
APU Phantoms 0 - 38 Essex Blades
In “good football weather” the Blades and Phantoms exchanged punts early in the first quarter, but the first break came for the Blades as a punt was blocked and then recovered in the end zone by DT John Bragaglia. The next time APU punted the snap went out the back of the end zone for the first of 3 Essex Safeties, the others added by George Askew and Mike Thompson. The Blades punt unit again forced the phantoms to start within their own 5-yardline and when they tried to pass out of trouble LB Steve Tighe was there to intercept and score. In the second half the Blades Offence got rolling and scored with a bootleg by QB A.J. Fenwick then on carbon copy plays by WR Kayed Al-Qasimi to end the scoring and seal the Blades first win.
UKC Falcons 0 - 3 UEA Pirates
In atrocious weather conditions UEA and Kent played out what could only be described as game for the purists as the Pirates moved to 4-1 on the season. The boot of Kevin Blacoe has been a revelation this season, and he landed a 33-yard field goal for the only points of the game early in the first quarter. Rich Barnard continues to smash Pirates rushing records, clocking up his third successive 100-yard rushing game under difficult circumstances, and taking his BCAFL season tally to 526 yards in five games. Against the Falcons he carried the ball a workmanlike 135 yards in 26 carries. Neil Morgan is also consistently setting the stats, with two more receptions today taking his tally to 11. The tight end has taken a catch in every game so far this season, and somehow managed to haul in a spectacular one-hander against the Falcons.
Bristol Bullets 14 - 6 Bath Killer Bees
The Bullets travelled to local rivals Bath Killer Bees knowing that only a win would keep their play-off hopes alive. Both offences found it difficult to get to grips with the difficult conditions and fumblitis was the story of the game. It was Bristol who found their feet first when James Sewell scoring from 26 yards out on a reverse. The mean Bullets Defense were in no mood to give up anything and saw out the half, to give the Bullets a slender 6-0 lead at half time. The second half saw even more mistakes as the conditions deteriorated. It took a piece of individual brilliance from Bullets RB NaguibYusufu to break the second half deadlock, beating the Bath D to score on a long TD run. Tom Chapman ran in the 2 point conversion to put the Bullets up 14-0. Bath hit back with a great return from the ensuing kick off and Bath’s RB James Miller then found a cut back lane in the Bullets Defence and scored from 20 yards, but the 2PAT was stuffed in the backfield by Brian Israel. The Bullets ran the clock out and gained their first victory of the year.
Reading Knights 0 - 14 Plymouth Blitz
The first half saw little action for both teams, short drives and punting being the predominant outcomes. The second half saw the Plymouth Blitz take the field with a rejuvenated offence starting with a successful drive on the back of their running game. A TD was scored by Stephen Bentley on a 1-yard rush, the 2PAT was added by rookie fullback David Luther-Davies. The following kick off put the Knights deep in their half, a fumble recovery put Plymouth’s offence back on the field, but were unable to push through the Knights D. A turnover on downs and the Knights returned to make another go of it, but were cut short by a 15 yard interception return by DB Jabu Stuart for the second and final score of the game. The final quarter saw both defences putting in great performances in which the Knights were able to stand their ground and keep the Blitz Offence out of the end zone.
PA Surrey Stingers 2 - 30 Southampton Stags
In extremely cold and wet conditions, Southampton saw Surrey at home. The first quarter started with rookie Matt Widdowson scoring his first touchdown with his first ever catch. With some good runs and a few good receptions, considering the conditions, Southampton went straight at Surrey again and scored through Oli Nicholls. The second quarter saw a great punt from Surrey which put the Southampton offence on their own 5-yardline, and after some unnecessary penalties, Southampton were quickly on their own 1-yardline. After a poor attempted run Steven Hollindale was able to cause a Southampton safety, putting the score at 12-2. At the end of the third quarter Oli Nicholls scored again, with a 9-yard run, to give Southampton a fairly comfortable lead. The Stingers didn’t give up however and their defence tried hard to contain the run, but seemed to have problems with the Southampton heavy set. With everyone getting cold and tired the fourth quarter started with another score from Oli Nicholls, and ended with a Anthony Cannizzaro 1-yard run putting the final score at 30-2. A good game considering the conditions, with Southampton rookie Oli Nicholls scoring 3 TD’s for 172 yards.
See www.bcafl.org for further details.
21st November 2003 - BCAFL Week 4 review
BCAFL was saddened last week to learn of the passing of Bristol Bullets Coach Steve Jones. Steve battled cancer over the past few months but sadly passed away in the early hours of Monday morning. BCAFL would like to wish the Jones family, and in particular Steve's wife Tracey and son Pierce who were always by his side on gameday, our condolences in their time of mourning. Steve became Head Coach of the Bullets in 1999, taking the task of turning them into winners. They had not won a game in 3 years, but Coach Jones took on the challenge of turning the tide. He installed a sense of self belief, confidence and pride. Soon after, his hard work and ethics began to show results, culminating in the Bullets becoming undefeated South West Division Champions in 2001/2 and making their first ever trip to playoffs. In a direct quote from the Bullets website - "Steve you gave us confidence in our darkest hour, you made us believe in ourselves and our team mates, you taught us how to hold the rope. A Coach, a leader and a friend. You shall be forever missed." A minutes silence was held before all Week 4 games in memory of Steve. Steve's widow Tracey has requested that donations be made to charity rather than sending her any flowers or gifts. The charity is the MacMillan Trust at Frenchay Hospital, Bristol. Cheques should be posted to Steve Lee, who is collecting these donations, at 192 Soundwell Road, Bristol, BS16 4RR and should be made payable to "MacMillan Cancer Relief".
Plymouth Blitz 18 - 14 Bristol Bullets
Bristol hosted the Plymouth Blitz on the back of an emotional week. Bristol came out firing and moving the ball, and the defence forcing turnovers. This paid off early in the second quarter when rookie RB Naguib Yusufu went in from 15 yards, with Mike Brown converting the PAT. Plymouth responded with some big offensive and special team plays and went on to score with an 8-yard pass to Mike McGowan. In the second half Plymouth started where they left off and started to dominate the battle for field position. Their offence to took to the air as Bristol's D were stifling ground attacks. The air attack worked as the QB McMillan found Nick woods in the end-zone. The Bullets responded in the best possible way with Naguib Yusufu breaking a 70-yard TD run, Brown added the PAT to give the Bullets the advantage 14-12. In the fourth quarter it was a story of turnovers and field position. Plymouth took advantage when they got the ball deep in Bullets territory and finally broke through with a bootleg by Mcmillan from 7-yards in what proved to be the vital score of the game.
Stirling Clansmen 6 - 16 Lancaster Bombers
The Clansmen suffered their first regular season defeat in 2 years after going down 16-6 against the Bombers. Stirling struck first when CB Jeff Bryan intercepted a Mike Rudd pass and ran it back 65 yards for the TD. Lancaster evened the score on their next possession when good blocking allowed RB Mark Saika to score on a 62-yard run and QB Mike Rudd ran in the 2 point conversion as they took the lead 8 – 6. Good pressure from the Bombers D saw big hits from Boy de Waart, Joel Shupe and Keith James cause havoc with the Stirling O and Rob Ahlin came up big with 2 INT's on the day. The Bombers scored again when an errant punt snap sailed over the punter's head and out of the endzone for a safety. A fake punt on fourth and long put Lancaster in scoring position and Saika took advantage by running it in from 7 yards out to give the Bombers a 16 -6 victory.
Birmingham Lions 50 - 6 Warwick Wolves
Birmingham Lions FB Jay Alexander in action against Warwick Wolves
Photo courtesy of the Birmingham Lions
The Birmingham Lions moved to 3-0 with a 50-6 victory over divisional rivals Warwick Wolves, both teams went into the game with 100% records. FB Jay Alexander gave the Lions the lead in the first quarter with a 3-yard run, but inefficient ball control meant that Warwick were given possession deep in Birmingham territory at the beginning of the second quarter. The stingy Lions defense gave up their first points of the season on that possession as Nathaniel Byram ran in from 20-yards, but otherwise established dominance, allowing QB Stuart Ennis to throw TD passes of 32 and 36 yards to WRs Matt Phillips and Lee Rubin before the half. Birmingham got into stride early in the second half with Alexander strolling in untouched from 6-yards in the third quarter, before taking in the 2PAT to take his points tally to 16. DB Jonny Barbakoff scored the Lions’ first defensive TD of the season with a searing 68-yard interception return, and Ennis took his season haul to 13 TDs passes with a 4-yard toss to Phillips and a 12-yard throw to a leaping rookie TE Ben Parkes in the fourth, capping the win.
Cardiff Cobras 32 - 0 Tarannau Aberystwyth
Cardiff made the journey to Aberystwyth with one goal in mind, keeping the Welsh Bowl in Cardiff. This was achieved with some great passing, strong running, sacks and another shutout from the Cobras defence. An early TD from the visitors set the tone for the game and it came in the form of a magnificent 40-yard pass by QB Lance Godfrey and a stunning catch from WR Dave Pruett. Good opening drives by the Cobras D made sure that Aber’s GB Bulldogs TB Michael Palin was never going far. This put the O back on the field, a long darting run from Godfrey that was almost a TD itself was finished off by TB Adam Collett on the next play. The 2PAT was good with Godfrey passing to TE Lloyd Davies. A Cobras drive based on strong running was capped with another Davies reception as he was found in the endzone by Godfrey. Good defense ebsured Aber were unable to move the ball and the offence took to the field again to and Godfrey ran in a 15yd TD around the Aber defence. A 54-yard rushing TD by rookie RB Kieran Topping completed the scoring.
Derby Braves 7 - 34 Nottingham Outlaws
The Derby Braves travelled to Nottingham looking for their first win of the season, but came up against an Outlaws team looking to maintain their unbeaten start. Nottingham almost scored on the opening kick-off with Paddy Daly taking the ball deep into Derby territory, but they didn’t waste much time and capped a three play drive with a 1 yard surge into the end-zone form Chris Mullan. On their next possession Mullan added his second score, this time from 40 yards. QB Westwood swept into the end-zone for the 2PAT. In second quarter Outlaws William Pierce caught a short pass from Westwood and paced 60 yards to score and O’Keefe added the PAT. On Derby’s next possession, rookie DT Brian Okonkwo stripped the ball from Derbys' RB and trundled 35 yards to score his first TD. In the second half, Derby started to move the ball and RB Michael Sobanjo broke tackles on his way to a 58-yard score. However, Daly was able to return the ensuing kickoff 78 yards to finish the scoring.
APU Phantoms 0 - 45 UKC Falcons
The Falcons kicked off but the first of two & 1/2 sacks from DE Chris Powell killed the Phantoms drive. After two punts the Phantoms were bogged down in their own half and a high snap on a punt went out of the end zone for a safety. The Phantoms luck didnt improve on their next drive, a tipped pall was intercepted by Paul Cornforth. The Falcons scored on their next series as HB Lekan Lawal spinted off left tackle for a 27-yard score. Further scoring runs of 20-yards from Lawal and 7 yards from Fullback Delroy Antonie, and 3 good PATS from Mike Bouguignon led to a 23-0 halftime lead. Early in the second half APU threatened for the first time as TE Cornforth was stripped and APU recovered. The drive unfortunately stalled and the Falcons put the game away with another safety and 3 further touchdowns from Lawal who totalled 215 yards and 5 scores on 12 carries. APU showed good spirits throughout and narrowly missed a chance to score in the final minutes when Andy Laing was underthrown on a fly pattern.
Sheffield Sabres 14 - 20 UCH Sharks
The Sheffield Sabres travelled to the UCH Sharks and played a see-saw match which saw 4 lead changes. The Sabres scored first when WR Ryan Spokas took a Paul Musker pass 60 yards for an early touchdown, Spokas also caught the 2PAT. Hull fought back with some strong rushing and scored early in the second quarter with a 12-yard run from Yacine Salmi. WR Richard Cochrane broke through the Sabres secondary on a 5 yard pass reception to put the Sharks up 12-8 at the half. In the third quarter LB David Leslie stepped up and returned an interception 40 yards for the TD to swing the advantage back to Sheffield. In the fourth quarter and needing a score the Sharks mounted a long drive which culminated in a 10-yard TD catch from Mike Barrett, Jason Hague ran in the 2PAT.
Staffordshire Stallions 36 - 0 Leicester Lightning
Staffordshire Stallions moved to 3-1 after overcoming a determined Leicester side at Saffron Lane Stadium. The Lightning won the toss and were keen to attack from the kick off, returning the kick to their own 40 yard line. However an early blitz forced a fumble from QB Brian Mann and Staffs Ben Rainford was first to gather the ball. The Stallions were forced to punt but their D also made the Lightning punt on their next drive. The resulting punt by Heggs though was blocked by DE Chris Ward, who recovered the loose ball before being bundled into touch on the 3-yardline, this set up a TD run in by QB Anthony Charles. The Stallions next TD was set up following an interception by CB Oliver Darne and good running by RB Jason Prince, QB Charles rolled out and found rookie WR Stuart Wren for his first TD. Chris Ellis scored the Stallions next tow TDs the first a 46-yard run as a FB and the second a defensive TD as he took a fumble recovery 40-yards to the endzone. The final TD came in the third quarter as Charles found TE Ziad Chouiri who was able to beat the D on a 65-yard score and Jermaine Allen running in the 2PAT.
Essex Blades 0 - 41 UEA Pirates
After trying to do things the spectacular way for the first ten minutes – including a 46-yard link up between QB Lucien Giordano and rookie Martin Ray the Pirates began moving the ball on the ground to allow FB Jesse Lamberth to dive over from one yard. The second quarter was totally dominated by one man – Richard Barnard. The TB broke away on TD runs of 37 and 43 yards to get the Pirates going and a nine-yarder on the stroke of half time completed his hat-trick of scores. Kevin Blacoe, who had already racked up three PATs with the boot, boosted his personal points tally as he picked up a Blades' Matt Excell unforced fumble on the 40 and took it to the house for UEA’s second defensive score of the season. Barnard got the ball back in his hands as soon as possible and went on to break the club single-game rushing record (formerly 25-180) and clock the club’s first ever 200-yard rushing game with a 19-yard burst down the right sideline. The final score came as backup QB Mike Callan found Toshi Takahashi in the endzone for a 14-yard TD.
Hertfordshire Hurricanes 45 - 0 Oxford Cavaliers
After receiving the opening kick-off, the Oxford offence went three and out on their first possession thanks to some fine Hurricanes defence led all day by LB Lloyd Buxton. Upon receiving the ball, the Canes offence marched downfield combining both pass and run to great effect. The drive was capped off by RB Andy Cochrane 2 yard run for the score. It wasn’t long before the Herts offence had the ball back and was marching again. QB Junior Price launched a 35 yard pass to WR Jon Gerring, his fourth TD this season. The Herts offensive line dominated all day and led the offence on another long drive downfield capped off by Price going in from 2 yards out. Ewan Alman capped off the scoring for the Canes late in the first half with a 65 yard interception return for a touchdown, Rob Kelly tacked on the PAT. The second half saw more of the same from the Herts offence. Richard McHugh scored on a 60 yard bomb from Price and Aston Ellington scored from three yards out to put the game beyond reach of the Cavaliers. Both times, Kelly added the PAT. McHugh then rounded off a fine personal display by scoring on a 20 yard run.
Southampton Stags 48 - 0 Reading Knights
The match started with a somewhat slow first quarter, with neither team able to convert any chances into a score. Southampton’s offence were unable to finish the few chances they had. The second quarter saw the Stags come back with a new spring in their step, scoring two TDs from two drives, through James Stephenson and WR Ben Webb. The Southampton defence also found second gear scoring two defensive TDsthrough an 11-yard fumble recovery from Andy Pickard and the second an 11 yd interception return from Ben Dunmore. This was followed by another offensive touchdown from Jeremy Gee which was the final score of the half. Two more scores were added by the Southampton offence with QB Ted Baynham on a 3-yard scrabble and a second from WR Webb on a 28-yard pass. The fourth quarter prompted a pride saving shutout by the Knights defense but the O were unable to get on the score card.
Unfortunately ambulance issues meant that the games between Loughborough and Bath, and Surrey and Brighton had to be called off, hopefully they can be rescheduled later in the season. WeeK 5, 23/11/03, action of the BCAFL season is as follows: Newcastle Raiders @ Glasgow Tigers Stirling Clansmen @ Caledonian Roughriders UCH Sharks @ Sheffield Hallam Warriors Sheffield Sabres @ Leeds Celtics Loughborough Aces @ Derby Braves Leicester Lightning @ Nottingham Outlaws Tarannau Aberystwyth @ Birmingham Lions Warwick Wolves @ Oxford Cavaliers APU Phantoms @ Essex Blades Cardiff Cobras @ Hertfordshire Hurricanes UKC Falcons @ UEA Pirates Bristol Bullets @ Bath Killer Bees Reading Knights @ Plymouth Blitz PA Surrey Stingers @ Southampton Stags See www.bcafl.org for further details.
5th November 2003 - Nottingham Outlaws 7 – 6 Staffordshire Stallions
Former Staffordshire Stallion quarterback Adam O’Keefe scored the decisive touchdown to hand Nottingham a narrow win over their fierce conference rivals. Neither team managed to get to grips with the wet conditions in a game that saw many self induced errors, with the Stallions especially at fault in failing to adapt to the conditions.
The stallions travelled to the Clifton campus still smarting after last years 22-0 humbling and were keen on seeking revenge. A severe shower just before kick-off made early conditions extremely difficult, especially for the visitors who almost gifted the home side an early score. After an ineffective first drive by Nottingham, they were gifted the ball on the 25yard line by a Staffs fumble. The home side moved the ball rapidly, reaching first and goal on the one. But the visiting defence finally sprang to life, halting fullback Chris Mullen half a yard out. Then linebacker Ben Rainford halted an attempted sweep, pushing the ball back onto the seven. The Outlaws were content to settle for a field goal. But after a bad snap. Kicker O’Keefe was unable to get the ball off and was tackled well short of the end zone to end the drive, much to the relief of the visiting sideline.
As the game moved well into the second quarter, both teams struggled to get a grip on the game. The Outlaws offence made several first downs but were consistently denied making big drives by a determined Stallions defence who had quickly shut down the wide running game. On the other side of the ball, the Stallions offence was still struggling to hold on to the ball, despite making several big drives. Twice in the quarter running backs made big gains only to loose the ball when well placed in Nottingham territory. Then came the decisive play of the game so far. On third and long, the Outlaws went airborne. Under pressure from the tenacious defensive line, the quarterback could only find first year safety Steve Wright who embarked on a mazy run to score. The visiting jubilation was short lived however when the score was brought back for a personal foul on veteran Ziad Choueiri. The Stallions however still took up possession on half way and were well placed to drive home the advantage. Once again however poor handling surrendered the initiative and presented the home side with a chance to take the lead late in the half. The home side moved the ball up field, converting several big third down plays to move into the red zone. The Stallions defence however once again held firm close in, forcing the Outlaws to go for the three points. This time the snap was good but the kick from Keefe, against the wind, fell just short and the Stallions were able to see out the end of the half, with neither team as yet able to preach the goal line.
The second half started much better for the Stallions, who dominated the third quarter. The Outlaws were unable to make much headway as the visiting defence continue to defy the challenging miss-directional plays of the home side. In contrast the Stallions made big yards as they moved the ball up field, with both Chris Ellis and Jason Prince making good contributions. Despite several punts, the Outlaws were pinned in their half and unable to gain much ground. After another O’Keefe punt, Staffordshire took possession inside their own thirty. The Stallions moved up to midfield, achieving several first downs. Then came the games biggest play to date that gave the Stallions a valuable lead. Prince was given the ball on a sweep but cut back into the middle. There seemed little on but a quick burst of pace saw the linebackers beat and after shrugging off several tackles he found himself in open field. Despite the valiant efforts of both the cornerback and safety, Prince strode home in the corner for his second score of the season. The Outlaws quickly redeemed themselves and were able to block the PAT.
The Outlaws refused to back down and immediately looked to hit back. They quickly moved the ball up field. The Outlaws had seen their wide running game closed down but as the game wore on were finding more success up the middle as fullback Chris Mullen began to have a major bearing on the game. His strong running, including several big gains, meant the Outlaws were finally able to make headway. They strode confidently into the red zone and looked good for the score until they suffered yet another unforced turnover, this time Mullen loosing the ball. This gave the Stallions offence a chance to increase the lead and they seemed eager to do so, with the running game once again finding success. The visitors once again strode confidently forward as the home defence seemed to tire, with gaps appearing. Once again however the Stallions good work was undone by yet another fumble and proved the pivotal point of the match.
As the game moved into the final quarter the home side embarked on their longest drive of the match, with Mullen in particular impressing as the Stallions defence, like their counterparts, began to tire. The Outlaws once again moved into the red zone but this time they were able to capitalise. After sucking in the defence with a succession of fullback drives, the ball went airborne and O’Keefe, operating as tight-end, came down with the ball to level the scores. He then composed himself to squeeze in the extra point, scraping the post on its way, to give the Outlaws a narrow lead.
The score appeared to knock the stuffing out of the Stallions, who failed to hit back immediately. Despite obtaining yards, they were soon run down by a resurgent defence and were forced to punt. The Outlaws took control of the ball on their own twenty and attempted to run the clock down, making several fist downs as the moved to midfield. With the two minute warning taken, it appeared the Outlaws would see out the win. But the Staffordshire defence refused to accept defeat and were rewarded with a vital turnover when a blitz caused running back Justin Smith to fumble the ball. Defensive End Ward recovered smartly, his second of the game, to give the Stallions one final chance to snatch the win with little over a minute left on the clock. Rolling out left, quarterback Ant Charles found receiver Chris Richards down field to move the ball on the twenty yard line. The running game then ground out further yards but the visitors were unable to find the end zone as the Outlaws stood firm. On fourth down with time running out the Stallions went for the game winning kick. Despite a good snap the defence once again held firm, charging down Prince’s attempt to run out the clock and hand Nottingham a hard fought victory much to the despair of the away side. Both teams went away eagerly awaiting the return clash in three weeks which could yet decide the fate of this year’s conference bragging rights.
19th September 2003 - GB Bulldogs win again in Italy
The GB Bulldogs won the second game of their tour of Italy with a 27-6 win over the Italian Under-25 National team.
10th September 2003 - GB Bulldogs win opening tour game
The Bulldogs won their opening tour game in Italy 20-0 against Titans Romagna. Lawrence Alger (1 yard run), Mike Palling (5 Yard run) and Jon Gerring (7 yard pass) and scored TD's along with two extra points from Adam O'Keef, complemented by an unrelenting defence.
26th August 2003 - BCAFL release provisonal schedule - 4 new sides join league
There are 4 new sides in the newly released BCAFL schedule bringing the number of University sides to 32. The new sides are the Caledonian Roughriders, Sheffield Hallam Warriors, APU Phantoms and the Brighton Tsunami. The new schedule can be found by clicking here.
25th August 2003 - GB Bulldogs 15 London Blitz 26
The GB Bulldogs warmed up for their Italian tour with a 26-15 defeat against the BSL Div.1 side, London Blitz. The Bulldogs have two games on their tour - Sunday 7th September in Forli against the 2002 Division 2 champions 'Titans Romagna' www.titans.it of the Italian football league. Then on Saturday 13th they travel to Parma to play against the Under 24 year old players of the Italian National Team.
18th August 2003 - Southampton Stags announce new sponsors
The Southampton Stags are happy to announce they now have three new sponsors
for the new BCAFL season. It is a tremendous boast for the club who have
been going from strength to strength in Southampton. Travel inn has agreed
to kit the team out in polo shirts and caps for the upcoming season. RFC
have increased their sponsorship from last season. They will be joining with
Southern Exhaust supplies for next season in getting the club new kit. RFC
will also be helping out the club with minibuses for games and practices
without the cost of petrol or driver.
Southern Exhaust supplies currently also supplies Eastleigh football club who
play opposite the Stags on Stoneham lane. The Stags are looking to link up
with Eastleigh FC to help promote both games in each other’s venues. They
are also interested in the Vixens cheerleading squad providing entertainment
at home matches for the team. The Stags have already helped at Eastleigh
football club when they where on hand to fund raise at Le Tissier’s last
competitive match. Over the weekend £6000 plus was raised at events for
the Lisa Wilson scholarship fund, which the Stags played a small part in.
The Stags also have decided to fund raise for the fund over the next BCAFL
Members of the Stags with Matt Le Tissier
Their quest to bring American football more to prominence in Southampton has
received a further boast from a local nightclub the Academy. They have
agreed to show NFL games on Sunday nights. It will mean not only will fans
be able to watch games in a social atmosphere until the end, but also the
game will be exposed to a whole new audience.
Head coach Mick Hogan said “This backing will help us these season but it
certainly doesn’t mean we’re rich” “I’m please with the way team has
progressed over the last season off the pitch, hopefully we will be able to
reflect on that success on the pitch”
“We are more than happy to help the Wilson family in their fundraising”
Anyone interested in the team and finding out more:
Email: I _ A _ Mckechnie@Hotmail.com
10th August 2003 - Birmingham Lions want an Offensive Line coach
The Birmingham University Lions American Football team are looking to appoint a new OL Coach for the 2003/04 campaign.
The Lions are one of the top teams in BCAFL and have a good playoff history. Also the Lions are renowned for their quality coaching staff, which includes, 4 international coaches.
The Lions are dedicated to developing as an organisation both on and off the field. The successful candidate should have expert knowledge in the field, preferably within a coaching background, and be committed to coaching development as well as player development.
So if you are interested in joining one of the top organisations in football and are prepared to work as part of a team, and show your enthusiasm & love for the sport then contact Head Coach Wayne Hill on 07719 200882 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Southern Conference Final
HERTFORDSHIRE HURRICANES 49 SOUTHAMPTON STAGS 18
The Stags were the only team to beat the Hurricanes in the regular season, and have done so the past 3 seasons, so this was a grudge match. Herts received the kick-off and immediately marched downfield, scoring on their first drive with Andy Cochrane running it in from 7 yds. With the Hurricanes Defence in fine form after last week’s display against Birmingham, the Stags were forced to give-up possession on downs, allowing QB Junior Price to instigate another Herts TD with Cochrane running it in from 2 yds. Cochrane also ran in the 2-point conversion. Again Herts D held strong, allowing their O to receive the ball and score once more, with Cochrane running in from 6 yds, and scoring the 2-point conversion. Southampton’s Offence then began to fight back, running the ball well and into the red-zone, with QB Baynham throwing a short pass to score. Herts answered immediately, marching the ball downfield, this time QB Junior Price ran it in from 2yds. The extra point from Kelly’s boot was successful. At the end of the half the score was 29-6 to Herts.
The Hurricanes weren’t about to let up. Junior Price marshalled the Herts deadly running game, and it was Andy Cochrane who scored his 4th of the day from 3 yards out after a 90-yard drive from the Offence. Again the Stags fought back and began to find their rhythm, until DT Ryne Miller forced a fumble, recovered, and ran for 50 yards downfield scoring a defensive touchdown. Once again the trusty boot of Rob Kelly added the extra point. But the Stags didn’t give up the fight and scored with HB Dauley running it in.
The 4th quarter saw Herts O continue their fine form, this time executing the plays perfectly to allow HB Banks to run in from 15 yards, the extra point kicked by Kelly. Southampton came back at that with one final score, with QB Baynham throwing another short pass into the end zone. The rest of the 4th quarter saw both teams D hold strong, with Herts Offence running the clock down to finish the game victorious, winning 49-18.
Northern Conference Final
STIRLING CLANSMEN 20 STAFFORDSHIRE STALLIONS 15
With the shock defeat of Leeds under their belts, Staffordshire travelled up to Stirling, their confidence high, and a place in College Bowl XVII up for grabs.
Stirling opened the scoring with a TD pass form QB Gary McNey to WR Carlos Yanes-Roca, but were unable to capitalise, as the 2pt conversion attempt was stopper short. Staffs retaliated, with strong blocking form the O-Line and good vision from Ziad Chouer leading to a TD. The extra point attempt was successful and the Stallions took the lead. Several times during the second quarter the Clansmen threatened the end zone but Staffs held firm. The breakthrough came after a key interception by Jeff Bryan. McNey followed up with a QB sneak and the 2pt conversion was completed with an outstanding catch from Johnny Bannerman. The Clan ended the half with a narrow lead.
A scoreless third quarter saw Staffs executing their power running game and this paid off on the fourth, Chris Ellis scoring the TD and running in the 2pt conversion. The score stood at 15-14 and the pressure was on Stirling and replacement QB James Thompson. Their hard work and determination was rewarded late in the 4th, the groundwork laid down by Jon Sutherland and Thompson resulting in a TD pass caught by Yanes-Roca. With the score at 20-15, Stallions’ QB Brett Rosenbaum saw the opportunity to win the game in the dying seconds, but the ball was lost on a passing play. Johnny Chilton recovered the ball and Stirling booked a place in the College Bowl for the first time in their history.
3rd March 2003 - BCAFL Wildcards
There were wins for Nottingham, Southampton, Staffordshire and Birmingham in the BCAFL wildcards this weekend. Please see photos of yesterdays BCAFL playoff game between Southampton Stags and Kent Falcons.
Pictures courtesy of the Southampton Stags
NOTTINGHAM OUTLAWS 15 UCH SHARKS 8
Nottingham opened the scoring with thirty-five yard field goal (O’Keefe) off of their first drive. A long Nottingham drive was stopped in the second quarter on the Hull five-yard line, when Hull forced a fumble on third down ending the drive; the rest of the first half was all defence. In the second half Outlaws scored on a QB Sneak (Verhaaf) following a long drive, but the PAT went wide making it 9-0. Hull got on the score sheet later in the third quarter when the Nottingham punt snap went out the back of the end zone making the score 9-2.
In the second half the Sharks started strongly going no-huddle with QB Marc Gent moving the chains with some great passing. However, the momentum in the game switched when the Sharks failed to complete on fourth down. The Outlaws O stormed forward and QB Roland Verkauf found RB Huw Williams for a long completion that was denied a TD by a heart stopping tackle by 4-year veteran FS Gareth Wild. Wild’s efforts were in vain however when a couple of plays later Verkauf kept hold of the ball and took it in himself. The Sharks D continued to look impressive and got their reward when an errant punt snap flew over the Outlaws kickers head to award a safety at the end of the 3rd. In the 4th the Outlaws did well to drive down the field, RB Williams scoring a 5-yard TD. Hull refused to play dead and surged back with 3 minutes on the clock. QB Marc Gent finding Victor Choi for a 25 yard TD on 4th down with 2:26 left in the ball game. The onside kick attempt was recovered by Nottingham who ran some time off the clock but where forced to punt. This gave the Sharks the ball on their own 4-yard line with 56 seconds left on the clock. After some breath taking get-out-of jail 4th down completions Hull were left on midfield with less than 7 seconds left. Unfortunately the expected miracle never came as a long bomb attempt was thrown just to far for the Hull WR to catch to bring the game to a climatic ending.
STAFFORDSHIRE STALLIONS 11 NEWCASTLE RAIDERS 6
The opening quarter was scoreless, despite raiders’ QB Lynch consistently finding his receivers on quick outs and Stallions’ RB Ellis making valuable yards up the middle. The 2nd quarter saw Staffs pile on the pressure, driving the ball 60 yards up field and looking good for the score until Newcastle recovered a fumble. The stallions finally found the end zone, Summers reacting quickly for the TD and Calvert running in the additional 2 points. The first half ended with Staff holding an 8-0 lead.
Newcastle began the third quarter in the same vein as the first quarter, yet they were still unable to make inroads. The Stallions however continued to move the ball with fluency, again reaching the Raiders red zone despite missing the injured Calvert. However once again they were unable to finish off the drive. The third quarter ended with Raiders in possession on their 25-yard line. The game though was not for the faint hearted. Both sets of players were receiving big hits, and the Stallions began the final quarter with 5 starters off injured. This seemed to unsettle their concentration and two plays into the final quarter, Lynch rolled out to his right and was able to find wide receiver Richard Green open up field, who in turn was able to evade a final desperate tackle and find the end zone. The Stallions though rallied to keep out the two-point attempt and maintain a slender lead. RB Choueiri returned the kick off 50 yards to set the Stallions up on the Raiders 15 yard line. The Raiders again held firm and the Stallions settled for three points as Summers kicked a field goal. This set up a grandstand finale as the Raiders needed a touchdown to win. Both offences swapped possession until the final drive. Following a punt, the Raiders took up possession on their 35-yard line with less than two minutes left. Following several big third down conversions, the Raiders led by inspirational quarterback Lynch, marched Stallions 17 yard line. On 4th and long, Lynch launched a bomb into the end zone. Despite being too high, the referees insisted there had been defensive pass interference and the Raiders received the ball on the two yard line. Lynch was foiled on a sneak and with eight seconds left, the raiders had one final chance on the Stallions 1yard line. Both sidelines were silent, mesmerised by the heart-stopping finale. Expecting a sneak, the middle of the line became a wall. Instead lynch dropped back and handed off to fullback Jonathan Rooney, who had been immense all day. Powering to the line he was hit head to head by DE Chris ‘Spider’ Ward. Rooney was wrapped and unable to advance. Falling backwards he hit again by LB Ben Rainford and the ball came up 1 yard short.
OXFORD CAVALIERS 6 BIRMINGHAM LIONS 10
The Birmingham Lions began their assault on the BCAFL playoffs with an exciting victory over the Oxford Cavaliers. The divisional rivals met for the third time this season, with each having previously won on home soil, thus Oxford were again favourites on their home turf.
After a scoreless first quarter in which Birmingham drove the ball consistently and had 2 decent scoring opportunities to open their account. However it was Oxford who took first blood, with Kingsley Ejiogu breaking tackles around left end and then racing 72 yards for the opening score of the game. After a roughing the kicker penalty on the PAT, Oxford decided to go for 2 points with the ball now on the 1 and ½ yard line. However a strong D-Line push caught the Oxford FB in the backfield, which resulted in no gain and the failure of the 2pt conversion. The Lions replied almost immediately when a long drive inspired by running back Kevin Joseph, was finished by a 38 yard TD reception by TE Jake Ourada who held onto a Stuart Ennis bullet over the middle and broke 2 tackles and then lunged into the end zone. Lions went for the PAT and Kicker Ian Battison split the uprights to give Birmingham a 7 – 6 lead, which they took into half time.
The game continued to go back and forth with neither team managing sustain a drive all the way into the end zone. Midway through the third, Battison managed to kick a field goal to give the Lions a four point lead at 10 - 6.In the fourth the Cavaliers tried valiantly to take back the lead. Oxford thought it all over when Birmingham got to the Cavaliers 3 yard line, but great pressure from the Oxford D-line forced a fumble on the snap that they then recovered and the Oxford offence came onto the field for one last drive. Oxford came close when QB Charlie Greenbacker hit TE John Barclay for a 70-yard pass, but a last-ditch tackle by Dave Winter brought a halt to Barclay and to the Cavaliers’ season
UKC FALCONS 8 SOUTHAMPTON STAGS 30
An eventful opening quarter ended with the Stags 2-0 up following a safety. Neither team really had a firm grip on the game but it was a defensive first half battle that ended with Southampton holding a narrow lead.
The Stags drove the ball in the third quarter to get a touchdown and have the game at 0-8. The attempted extra point was failed as the kicker it to low at hit Tom Arnold of the falcons’. The Stags seemed unstoppable as they went to score a second touchdown another touchdown to make the game a frightful 14-0. This fired the Falcons up and resulted in excellent executions by the offence. Catches were caught, runs were long, and the O-line gave everything they got. This ended with Gareth Wright making the resulting touchdown; furthermore, the same man scored two points for the Falcons. The score was 14-8; hopes were high for the Falcons. However, after the Falcon’s kick-off, the Stags executed an excellent run and ran to make a long touchdown. The score was 20-8.
Southampton dominated the last quarter. The Falcons entered the quarter fatigued, but never gave up. The defence, lead by Glenn Lindley, made attempts to stop the Stags offence but to no avail. The Falcons succumbed to a final touchdown and two extra-points.
3rd March 2003 - BCAFL Wildcards
There were wins for Nottingham, Southampton, Staffordshire and Birmingham in the BCAFL wildcards this weekend. Please see photos of yesterdays BCAFL playoff game between Southampton Stags and Kent Falcons.
Pictures courtesy of the Southampton Stags
Next Round of Playoffs will see:-
Staffordshire Stallions at Leeds Celtics
Nottingham Outlaws at Stirling Clansmen
Birmingham Lions at Hertfordshire Hurricanes
Southampton Stags at Cardiff Cobras
For a full review of the BCAFL Wildcard games, and for a preview of the next round courtesy of the BCAFL click here.
19th February 2003 - BCAFL Week 11 roundup
Courtesy of the BCAFL, the week 11 roundup can be found by clicking here.
Hertfordshire Hurricanes dominating against the Essex Blades
Photo courtesy of the BCAFL
15th February 2003 - Stags reach BCAFL playoffs
The Southampton Stags cruised into the BCAFL playoffs with a comprehensive 27-6 win over the Bristol Bullets. The Bullets opened strongly behind the running of Kevin Saro, and took a 6-0 lead on the game's opening drive. The Stags came back into it on their first drive and tied the scores at 6-6 with some strong running of their own. With the Bullets moving the ball well with Saro, the turning point came when Saro suffered an injury which forced him to miss most of the game thereon. The Bullets were unable to move the ball, and the Stags opened up a 20-6 half-time lead. In the second half, QB Baynham struck early in the 4th quarter (see picture below) on a long range pass to move the Stags to a commanding 27-6 lead which they held for the rest of the game. To see a number of other photos from the game click here.
3rd February 2003 - It's all for charity
While in the NFL a benchmark for running backs to reach one thousand yards, BCAFLs Southampton Stags have set themselves a mark of raising a grand for charity. It hasn’t been possible though without a little help from their friends.
The Scottish Claymores who have donated prizes for the Children in Need raffle have also donated game tickets to the opening game of their season. These were raffled along with a game shirt at the Stags/Sundevils superbowl party. So far with the two events and the summer absail the two teams have raised over £750 for charity.
The Stags are setting themselves up for the grand barrier with something that is quite literally hair raising. Following last years success six members are having their chests waxed and shaved by girls from FYEO night club on Valetine’s day. The club will also raffle off prizes from sponsor Subway. The majority of money raised will go to the Meningitis research foundation. The disease sadly claimed the life of Sundevil/Hull Shark Jon Mcmillan in 2001.
Sponsors have developed an interest in the club with Subway showing an interest in extending their deal with the side. Also current sponsors RFC recruitment are looking to develop the current deal further.
Also the club has been active in the community by helping Swaythling primary school in Southampton with their American pen pal program. The Stags with the help of Jo Davis (a former Bristol Bullet) tutored the 8-9 year olds on the game and gave them a go throwing and passing the football. The afternoon was a great success and the school is asking for more sessions on American Football.
However with all the off the field activity happening the Stags are firmly focused still on improving their on the field performance. The team has been working closely with senior team the Southern Sundevils and the improvements have been beginning to show on the field. Both have been helped by the publicity gained from the success of Claymores kicker Rob Hart a former player of the Sundevils and ex BCAFL player.
Anybody interested in taking part in American Football in Hampshire or the South should email: Stagsfootball@hotmail.com
2002/2003 PLAYOFFS: ROUND 2
A LOOK AHEAD………
LEEDS CELTICS V STAFFORDSHIRE STALLIONS
VENUE: University Athletic Grounds,
Weetwood Pavillion, Bodington Playing Fields, Weetwood, Leeds
KICK OFF: 1pm
The Stallions will travel to Leeds following their wildcard victory over Newcastle. The Celtics are the top seeds in the Northern Conference, boasting a perfect 8-0 regular season record. The two teams have met four teams previously, Staffordshire leading the series 3-1.
Will Staffs be strong enough to break through the best defence in the League? Or will Leeds dominate their way through to the Northern Conference Final?
Visit the teams’ websites: www.eteamz.com/leedsceltics
STIRLING CLANSMEN V NOTTINGHAM OUTLAWS
VENUE: Gannochy Sports Pavillion,
University of Stirling
KICK OFF: 1pm
North Central Division Champions, Nottingham, face a long journey North to take on Scottish Champions, Stirling. The clansmen boast the best offence in the League, racking up an impressive 262 points during their undefeated regular season. The two teams have only ever met once previously, during the 1996/1997 season, and it was the Outlaws who took the spoils.
So can Nottingham repeat that victory or will the Clan prove to be just too strong?
Visit the teams’ websites: www.clansmen.cjb.net
HERTFORDSHIRE HURRICANES V BIRMINGHAM LIONS
VENUE: Furzefield Sports Centre
Potters Bar, Herts
KICK OFF: 1pm
The mighty Hurricanes host a strong and determined Lions team in only their fifth encounter, the series standing at 2-2. Hertfordshire are one of the most successful teams in the League and they have only ever dropped two playoff games. Birmingham narrowly missed out on the South Central Divisional title but will now have their sights firmly fixed on a place in the Southern Conference Final.
So will Herts make it to yet another Conference Final or do Birmingham have what it takes to dispatch the number one team in the South?
Visit the teams’ websites: www.hurricanes.org.uk
CARDIFF COBRAS V SOUTHAMPTON STAGS
VENUE: Llanrumney Playing Fields
Mendip Road, Llanrumney, Cardiff
KICK OFF: 1pm
South West Divisional rivals, Cardiff and Southampton, will battle out for the twenty fifth time in their history. Their only meeting this season resulted in a 31-0 win for the Stags and the Cobras only loss of the regular season.
Will the Stags be able to repeat that win or will the Cobras strike back?
Visit the teams’ websites: www.eteamz.com/cardiffcobras
CHECK OUT WWW.BCAFL.ORG
26th February 2003 - Falcons soar into BCAFL playoffs
UKC FALCONS 12 UEA PIRATES 6 (OT)
Both teams needed a victory in this double-header in bid to secure a place in the playoffs. It turned out to be a fiercely competed contest with the Falcons emerging victorious. The respective defences dominated the first quarter, with neither O gaining any real momentum. The UEA offence in the 2nd quarter kick-fired under the impressive QB, Jacob Banik and some good running from Rich Barnard. It was of no surprise that Banik was the first to score on a QB keeper from 12 yards. The Falcons, however, were quick to respond with RB Gareth Wright scoring after connecting onto a 30 yard bass from QB William Hogan. The PAT could have settled the game but it was remarkably tipped to send the ball just wide of the posts. The 2nd half saw no score as both defences managed to prevent a TD whilst the offences were in the red zone. Although the Falcons scored a TD in the 4th quarter, it was called back on a holding decision with the score remaining level at the end of normal time. Overtime followed a similar pattern as the rest of the match with superlative performances from the Defences who knew what would be lost if a TD was conceded. With under 2 minutes to go, the Falcons offence which gaining momentum with every drive, were put in excellent field position on the UEA 15 after a pass interference call. With 30 seconds remaining, WR Mike Whitby dived to catch the pass from Hogan to win the match and surely book a place in the playoffs for the first time in Falcons history. This match was a classic and both teams were physically and emotionally exhausted by the end of this 4½ hour encounter.
BATH KILLER BEES 21 PLYMOUTH BLITZ 0
The second meeting of these two teams on successive weekends resulted in a very similar game. The first half ended in a stalemate with neither team managing to find the endzone. Plymouth stuck to their running game with huge efforts from running backs Nick Woods and Chris Renshaw, but they were kept at bay by a solid Bath defence led by the outstanding linebacker Mark Richards. The Bath offensive passing game was tamed in the first half with Blitz D-End, Rick Walker turning up the heat. The second half was a different story as Bath discovered their running game and they went ahead in the 3rdquarter when QB B. Salisbury came up with a 2 yard TD run. Bath went further ahead in the 3rd when, after a good drive, QB B. Salisbury connected with wideout Mark Dallamore for a 3 yard TD. The 2 point conversion was good. The Bees defence continued to dominate Plymouth in the 3rd and 4th with free safety Niall Dawson making a big contribution. Bath completed the win in the 4th when running back Ben Wiltshire made a succession of powerful runs, culminating in a 4 yard touchdown. The PAT was good.
OXFORD CAVALIERS 20 BRISTOL 15
A shaky start from the Bullets saw the Cav’s capitalise with an early TD from John Barclay. Oxford gained momentum and after TD’s from MLB Simon Jolly and WR Luke Sikkema, Bristol found themselves 20-0 down at the end of the 1st quarter.
Penalties proved costly for Oxford’s defence in the second quarter as Bristol took full advantage and cut the deficit on a Javan Bromhall 3 yard touchdown run followed by a successful two-point conversion pass from James Carter to Jermaine Berridge.
The third quarter proved to be largely uneventful as neither team’s offence could move the ball consistently. Bristol edged closer at the beginning of the fourth quarter when Chris Speed found Berridge in the endzone and Blake Evans converted the PAT. The Bullets got one last shot in the final minutes only to be denied by a determined Oxford defence, and rookie SS Chris Gage’s interception allowed Oxford to run out the clock taking the victory and the divisional crown
SHEFFIELD SABRES 0 STIRLING CLANSMEN 32
After a scoreless opening quarter, Stirling took the lead in the 2nd with a 2yd safety from Andreas Sommerseth and ended the half 10-0 up following a 4yd TD from Gary NcNey and 2pt conversion from Carlos Rocca.
With no score again in the 3rd, Stirling went in to the final quarter hoping for a shutout. Two further TD’s from McNey, one from James Thompson and conversions from Andreas Sommerseth gave the Clansmen a 32-0 victory over a depelted Sabres squad and a bye week in the playoffs.
NEWCASTLE RAIDERS 30 GLASGOW TIGERS 24
Hyped as game of the week. Newcastle had never been to the playoffs; Glasgow had never missed the playoffs. The pressure was on everyone as both teams were prepared to spill blood to claim their place in the final six. As a neutral there surely couldn’t be a more thrilling game to watch, as a coach and player hearts were in mouths. The two teams were very evenly balanced on ability, agility and pure aggression. At the end of the first quarter the teams were deadlocked at 0-0, with some game day nerves creeping in to some performances. But this was the day that Newcastle had been waiting for, their offence playing like we knew they could with great running lanes created and wide receivers that were burning up the yards between themselves and the end zone. After a great score by Newcastle, Glasgow capitalised on a mistake by Newcastle and went into half time the leaders. After the break it was the turn of Newcastle’s defence to show what they could do. After the kick off they recorded three consecutive sacks driving Glasgow back twenty yards and getting a safety to level the scores. Glasgow aren’t the type of team to let that action go unhindered and some great passing by their QB put them back on top. Newcastle’s DB’s caught up with the play sooner rather than later and began to clamp down. The star of the afternoon on the white and blue side of the ball was QB Eian Lynch who passed perfectly and rushed for 150 yards, scoring twice. After a rollercoaster game that could have swung either way Newcastle caged the Tigers and after the season they had last year this shows how keeping the faith CAN reap rewards
CARDIFF COBRAS 26 TARRANAU ABERYSTWYTH 6
Cardiff hosted Aberystwyth for the annual Welsh bowl on Sunday and came away not only with the coveted silverware, but a 7-1 regular season record and the Southwestern Division Championship as well.
Cardiff took the early lead with a 15 yard TD run from Adam Collet, the 2pt conversion from lance God putting the Cobras 8-0 up. Just before the end of the 1st quarter, Aber responded with a 5yd QB keep from Simon Broad. The 2nd quarter saw Cardiff stepping up a gear, with two TD’s from Geriant Hill and Henry Paddison.
The second half was marked by Cardiff’s offense and defense putting the pressure on the Aber boys. It was Picks-R-Us for the Cobra secondary, with Steve Smith and James Mackay each grabbing an interception and Munn adding two more to his tally, making the team’s takings no less than six picks on the day. The Cobra offense drove steadily into the opposition’s redzone behind cutting runs from Louis Fonseca and John Bateman, but it wasn’t until the fourth quarter that Godfrey once again found Paddison in the endzone for what would be the game’s final 26-6 scoreline
PA SURREY STINGERS 36 UEA PIRATES 26
Surey opened the scoring with a 10yd TD from Scott Goddard, Dave Tobin carrying in the 2pt conversion to give the Stingers an 8-0 lead. UEA responded after a fumbled Surrey exchange was scooped up by Ian Burchett for a 36yd TD. e Stingers then mounted another confident drive with Goddard carrying the load. Dudley Graham fired a pass from the 10yd line to the back of the endzone where a diving Alex Shipman hauled it in for his first ever TD. The extra point attempt failed and the Stingers led 14-6.
The third quarter became a scrap between two teams both capable of moving the football, but both defences seemed intent on tightening the screw. UEA’s defence kept holding firm as Surrey entered their red zone, with Dan Osmond, Jaba, and Ben Spence all forcing fumbles, which UEA’s CJ Dahllman rcovered. The final one giving the pirate offence some momentum as Banik found Gouldson again, this time from 32 yards out to swing the game back towards UEA. However as the teams turned for the fourth quarter Surrey wrested control from UEA again, with a long drive burning time off the clock, before icing their performance with a final score. Tobin again converted and the Stingers led by 36 – 19. UEA were not finished and drove the Singers back, and Banik then found Ian Burchett in the end zone for the score. Again Gouldson hit the PAT and the lead was cut to just ten. The pirates then struggled to hold the stinger offence in check although the pirates defence held firm giving UEA one last shot to get down the field. The drive moved steadily down the field with essential catches from Rik Nordling, and Gre Young keeping things going. In the end Banik threw his first pick of the day right down the throat of stinger DB Jamie Stacey, to effectively end the game.
UT COUGARS 8 LEEDS CELTICS 36
Leeds arrived in Teeside looking to complete a perfect 8-0 regular season, having secured the North Eastern division last week. Leeds applied pressure early with a long drive, but failed to rouble the scoreboard. However, the dominant Leeds defense continued apply pressure to Teeside. It didn’t take long for Leeds to open the scoring, when Hytham Hamad ran into the endzone. Leeds extended this lead to 18-0 by the half. With several starters missing, due to illness and injury, the Leeds team looked to the experience of Robert Taylor and Gareth Morris, who didn’t disappoint. Aided by Tom Hughes and Dan Prewitt they dominated the line of scrimmage on defecse, and together with Richard Nice and rookies Ronald Austin and Sam Taylor, continued this dominance on offence. Leeds ended up winning 38-6, with the number one ranked defence and number two ranked offence going into the playoffs.
ESSEX BLADES 8 READING KNIGHTS 14
In a game that never really came alive until the 2nd half, Essex Safety Mike Tompson made three interceptions, but his last was the most spectacular as he returned it 45 yards for a score, breaking two tackles on the way. The Blades converted the extra point and had a lead to defend. Reading fought back with a huge ground based drive which ate up a huge chunk of the quarter but resulted in a short range score for their Fullback. The extra point attempt was stopped short though and Essex clung to a slender lead.
In the fourth Reading set out on another long drive, and again they drove their way down the field, scoring on a swing pass from seven yards out. The XP attempt was barrelled over.
Essex were not finished though and Reading had to survive two red zone stands in the last five minutes, but on a last fumble with ten seconds remaining, Essex saw that elusive first win slip away.
19th February 2003 - BCAFL Week 11 roundup
FALCONS PLAYOFF BID FALTERS AT SURREY
PA Surrey Stingers 18 UKC Falcons 14
Kent’s hopes of a first appearance in the playoffs took a blow at Surrey with a narrow loss this weekend.
The match began with a strong battle for field position with many turnovers in the first quarter from both teams. The Falcons struck first on a 20 yard Pass from QB Bill Hogan to WR Mike Whitby to give them a 6-0 half time lead. The Stingers took revenge on the 1st play of the second half with HB Dave Tobin going 70 yards for a score. A Safety and later a TD from Falcons HB Lecken Lawal gave the Falcons the lead again at 14-6 but 2 more TD runs from Tobin in the 4th sealed it for the Stingers.
LEEDS TIE UP EASTERN DIVISION
Lancaster Bombers 6 Leeds Celtics 41
Leeds Celtics claimed the Northern Conference Eastern Division title after a resounding victory over divisional rivals Lancaster.
The Bombers finally crashed out of playoff contention as Leeds’ speed on D and the efficiency of their offence proved too much for a depleted Lancaster side. The Celtics came out firing on all cylinders but after a 42 yard run from their tailback and with six points looking inevitable on the Lancaster 7 yard line, Bombers CB Gil David grabbed an interception in the endzone to get the ball back for the home team. The Lancaster offence stuttered though and were forced to punt, and Leeds capitalised on their next possession as WR Tom Lockard broke several tackles on a 45 yard TD reception. Leeds got the ball back and once again made Lancaster pay as their running back rolled in from 5 yards out, with the extra point again successful to make the score 14-0. The Bombers started the second quarter brightly with two huge sacks from DE Boy de Waart on the harried Leeds QB, but Lancaster’s next drive was quickly ended and Leeds QB Ku was then able to hit WR Lockard for his second TD reception of the day from 25 yards out. Things got worse for Lancaster as the Leeds running back hit the endzone from four yards on their next drive putting the score at a daunting 28-0. However the Bombers refused to give up and mounted a strong drive upfield with Lancaster QB Mayne completing passes to WR David and RB Hailwood, with Hailwood finally sprinting round the outside of a flatfooted Leeds D for a 3 yard TD rush making it 28-6 at halftime. The Bombers offence found it hard going in the third despite two great catches including a superb one-handed grab from TE Andy Doran, and were forced to punt once again. With Lancaster putting several rookies in on D the Celtics moved the ball more successfully and hit the endzone again after a 20 yard rush from their tailback. Into the fourth and rookie Lancaster CB Billy Adam grabbed his first ever interception giving the Bombers chance to gain good field position, but they were once again denied and the Celtics hit the endzone once again after a 28 yard TD catch, but the extra point was sliced wide to make the final score 41-6.
KILLER BEES STING THE BLITZ
Plymouth Blitz 7 Bath Killer Bees 26
Two games and two losses into the season, many had written off Bath as playoff contenders but following another victory this past week, they are now one of a number of Southern Conference teams that can finish the regular season with a 6-2 record.
The first half belonged to Plymouth, who ran the ball well through running backs Nick Woods and Chris Renshaw. The Bath offence tried to respond in the air and on the ground, but they could not put points on the board, coming closest with a field goal attempt, which bounced out off the crossbar. Plymouth were rewarded for their dominance with a 17 yard touchdown run by QB Greg Pigott in the second quarter. The PAT was good. This was the only score of the first half. The second half was a different story as Bath came out a new side. The Bees took to the air and outstanding contributions were made by wide-outs Steve Leonard and Nick Farnell-Watson. Bath took the lead in the third quarter when a good drive brought them to the Plymouth red zone, and Bees QB Ben Salisbury scrambled in from 16 yards for the TD. The 2 point conversion was good. Plymouth were held on their next drive by a rejuvenated Bath defence and the Bees struck again with a 7 yard receiving touchdown for wide-out Mark Dallamore. The fourth quarter continued in the same manner as the third. Despite a spirited fight from the Plymouth team, their offence could not break down the Bees as they had in the first half. Bath put the game beyond doubt in the fourth with 5 and 9 yard rushing touchdowns for running backs Stuart Miller and Henry Murray respectively
RESILIANT SABRES NO MATCH FOR ACES
Loughborough Aces 43 Sheffield Sabres 6
Loughborough recorded only their third win of a difficult season over a gutsy Sheffield team.
Loughborough controlled the game well, the defence keeping Sheffield pinned inside their own 30 yard line for most of the first half and the offence moving the ball for two rushing touchdowns from GB Bulldogs RB Mattar M’Boge. However the Aces seemed to take their foot off the gas in the second quarter and looked sloppy at times. Sheffield worked hard with a small squad of players, most of whom played both ways and deserve massive credit for their effort, but just couldn’t get the better of the strong Aces D. The second half started with a bang, a fumble on the opening Kickoff return allowed Sheffield to return the ball for a touchdown. However then the Aces turned on the power and brought their A game and for the majority of the second half looked unstoppable putting in 3 touchdowns in the 3rd Quarter from QB Andy Studer and M’Boge. The Aces D too was on top form and Cornerback Greg Williams returned an interception right into the red zone. The fourth quarter heralded much of the same, with Loughborough running riot against a fast tiring Sheffield side. Rookie Running backs Craig Flower and Karl Blackmore putting in Two more TD’s and James Trinder converting a PAT Kick. Again massive plaudits to Sheffield who fought to the end with a lot of heart, and credit to the inexperienced Aces team whose second half performance was much more in line with what one has come to expect from a Loughborough side.
HERTS CLINCH 5TH DIVISIONAL TITLE
Hertfordshire Hurricanes 41 Essex Blades 0
The Hurricanes breezed past the Blades to secure yet another Southern Conference Eastern Division title and keep themselves in strong contention for the top seed position in the South.
Hertfordshire Hurricanes dominating against the Essex Blades
Photo courtesy of the BCAFL
Veteran WR Rob Kelly opened the scoring for Herts with a 37-yard reception off of experienced QB Junior Price. And it was Kelly’s boot that added the PAT. Kelly continued his new-found form in the first quarter with another reception from QB Price, this time for 14 yards. The second quarter began as the first had ended. With Herts utilising the talents of their QB, Price found WR Nick Piper wide open, and he duly ran it in from 39 yards. The Blades Defense began to pick their game up and stopped Herts from scoring any more in the second quarter. The end of the first half saw Herts leading by 19 points to nil.
In the third quarter Herts continued the scoring, this time with RB Andy Cochrane running the ball in from 10 yards out. The PAT kick from Rob Kelly was successful. The Herts D managed to get on the score sheet twice in the third quarter. First came an interception by Linebacker Justin Watkins, great pass coverage on the left flank enabled him to pick the pass and run it in from 25 yards out. The next series saw DE Andy Villier force a safety, sacking the Blades QB in the end-zone. Despite the score line Essex did not give up the fight. Their defense continued to play tough but they couldn’t stop Andy Cochrane’s power running as he scored from 6 yards out. Rob Kelly’s PAT kick was once again successful giving him a total of 15 points for the day
CLANSMEN TAME THE TIGERS – AGAIN!
Stirling Clansmen 34 Glasgow Tigers 10
Stirling’s great season continues with a resounding 34-0 completion of the ‘Battle Of Scotland’ series following a comprehensive victory over Glasgow.
From the outset it was going to be physical but it would be Stirling who would strike first. With a kick-off return by Jeff Bryan putting the Clansmen in prime field position, precise blocking from the offensive line led to a rushing touchdown by Jon Sutherland. The multi-dimensional offence continued its mastery throughout the first half and the 80 yard touchdown pass from Gary McNey to Carlos Yanes-Roca cemented a dominating lead at half time. The second half saw more of the same with James Thompson engineering a ground attack which resulted in another Sutherland touchdown run and a resounding 34-10 victory. The defence played its part throughout the game with the run continually being stuffed and hard hitting most notably Jamie Mccansh. This team effort now sees the Clansmen in the playoffs for consecutive years for the first time in their history.
CAVS TAKE TOP SPOT IN CENTRAL DIVISION
Warwick Wolves 12 Oxford Cavaliers 20
After the first Oxford drive ended at the 40 yard line, punter Johnny Round punted to give the ball to Warwick on their 5 yard line. Cavalier rookie DT Charlie Rand broke through the line to sack the Warwick QB in the end zone, recording the safety and making the score 2 – 0.
The second quarter continued much the same as the first and the Oxford defence made the next big play when FS Dave Powell caught his first of two interceptions on the day, giving the ball back to offence. Oxford managed to capitalize on the turnover, rapidly moving up the field and the drive ended with HB Kingsley Ejiogu running the ball in behind good blocking from FB Hafeez Lawal and the o-line to give Oxford the lead 8 – 0. DB Paul Brown was the next to pick off a stray Warwick pass and 3 plays later QB Charlie Greenbacker found TE John Barclay in the end zone to put the Cavaliers up 14 – 0 at the half.
In the third quarter Warwick came out fighting in this their last game of the season and their work finally paid off when wideout Danny Pass scored his first TD of the season. Warwick then caught the Oxford D napping and scored again, this time to Arpy Vezer. DE Rob Padgett picked off the 2-point conversion attempt.
The Oxford D stepped it up in the fourth with another pick by Powell and Rand pushing the Wolves back 10 yards with his second sack of the day. The Oxford offence then followed the defence’s example and Ejiogu was awarded his second score of the day after a strong drive. The game ended 20 – 12, with the Cavaliers going on to play Bristol the following week in a replay of last season’s conference semi-final.
SHARKS MAKE BID FOR PLAYOFFS
UT Cougars 0 UCH Sharks 20
A cold day in Darlington hosted the annual clash between longtime rivals the Hull Sharks and the Teeside Cougars.
Both sides went 3 and out in their first processions neither side wanting to make the first crucial mistake. On their next procession however the Sharks surged forward deep into the Cougars red-zone. The visitors thought they were ahead when QB Marc Gent connected with TE Jason Hague, however the play was ruled out because of an inadvertent whistle. Unfazed Gent scored on the very next play this time finding veteran wide-out Victor Choi for the six.
Teeside tried to get into the game but were dismayed when Hull LB Kevin Marshall picked off a wayward pass by Cougars QB Pete Rogers. The first half carried on in this way with the Sharks O looking strong despite not scoring whereas the Cougars were kept at bay thanks to some clever pass coverage.
The deadlock seemed like carrying on after the break until midway through the 3rd quarter when Sharks RB Robert Avery broke a tackle and scampered more than 50 yards for a dramatic TD. The Sharks lead was further increased with a Tom Lim conversion run.
Teeside refused to play dead and fought back with the rushing of veteran Richard Marshall. Late in the 4th the Cougars managed to march down to the Sharks 8 but failed to score. The Sharks went 3 and out and Teeside looked threatening. However an amazing 70 yard punt by Gareth Wild not only got the Sharks out of trouble but also pinned Teeside in their own red zone.
This position allowed Hull FB Richard Cochrane to power home another 6 to put the game out of the Cougars reach.
Teeside travel to Leeds next week knowing only a win will keep their slim playoff hopes alive, the Sharks on the other hand have completed their season and must wait on other results to see where their post season destiny lies.
BULLETS PLAYOFF HOPES DASHED BY STAGS
Southampton Stags 27 Bristol Bullets 6
With this game being a potential playoff decider both teams needed a win to keep their hope alive. Bristol received the kick and went to work straight away driving down field. On what seemed a turnover by the Stags on 4th down turned into first down for the Bullets as a roughing the passer penalty was called. The Bullets took advantage and scored on a run by star rusher Kenny Saro.
While the Stags first drive stalled a future possession saw strong running from Dauley and Miller. With Miller getting the td on a four yard run. After the kickoff the Bullets fumbled near the Stags goal line. Miller again took the TD and then the 2pt conversion.
The Stags defence then made the play that swung the game in the home sides favour. A fumble was scooped up by safety Nick Morrison Smith who proceeded to follow his blockers for a seventy yard touchdown.
No further scoring was seen until the 4th Quarter, when Ted Baynum threw a 37 yard touch down pass to Paul Brady. Despite drives by Bristol a Stags defence led by Owen Thomas and ' QT' Yelen prevented any further scoring. The Stags O-line helped by helping their offence to eat up time on the clock. The game ended with a drive by Bristol failing to reach the Stags endzone.
11th February 2003 - BCAFL Week 10 roundup
With two weeks to go till the end of the BCAFL regular season, teams are turning up the intensity in the hope of securing a playoff spot.
OXFORD CAVALIERS 14 BIRMINGHAM LIONS 7
The first quarter set the tone for the game with a string of tough drives as both defences held firm. Kingsley Ejiogu broke a 60 yard run to the Birmingham 3, only for Oxford to be denied their first score and the quarter ended scoreless. Oxford continued to move the ball on offence with a number of long drives, finally culminating in a 20 yard touchdown pass from Greenbacker to TE John Barclay to put the Cavaliers up 6 – 0.
The Lions came out in the 3rd Qtr fired up and took the opening drive 70 yards for a TD. This was a familiar result with QB Stuart Ennis hitting Dave Winter in the corner of the Endzone for the TD. The big play on this drive came from WR Rhodri Evans who hauled in a 35 yard pass from Ennis to move the Lions deep into Cavs territory. Ian Battison converted the PAT which gave the Lions a 7 – 6 lead. The teams continued to trade long drives until the Oxford defence stepped up in the 4thquarter to regain the momentum. DE Rob Padgett forced a fumble on an option pitch and MLB Matt Moorcroft was there to capitalise on the loose ball. The Oxford offence took advantage of the great field position and Ejiogu punched the ball in from 8 yards out. Ejiogu scampered round the right end for the two point conversion. With six minutes left on the clock, the Birmingham offence mounted one last drive taking the final ball of the game 70 yards to the Oxford 15 yard line, where on 4thdown and 5, the drive stalled with an incomplete pass.
The Lions now have to wait to see the results of other teams over the next 2 weeks to see if they can win the central division and where they will rank in the playoffs, while Oxford still have a remaining three fixtures to play in the next two weeks.
UCH SHARKS 14 UEA PIRATES 6
The first Half was a ‘to and fro’ encounter, neither team managing to score despite gaining positive yardage. There was strong play on either sides of the ball, especially the Sharks revamped defensive line which played well all game.
After the break the Sharks surged forward on their opening procession through some strong work by veteran RB’s Robert Avery and Richard Cochrane but they couldn’t score.
After another 3 and out by the Pirates, Hull got the ball back and pressed on. A 15 yard rush by Victor Choi broke the deadlock and put the Sharks up by 6. The score was further increased when a botched punt allowed first game rookie Ben Breen to tackle the Pirates punter Ian Burchett in his own end zone for a safety. Another offensive mistake by the Pirates gave Hull the ball back 10 yards from UEA’s endzone. This was capitalised upon by the Sharks QB Marc Gent gaining his first passing TD when he connected with WR Mike Barrett.
UEA however refused to give up and got their just deserts in the 4th Quarter when QB Jacob Banik connected with WR Ed Franklin. UEA continued to comeback into the match thanks to some strong work by Banik however in the end the Sharks D held on.
HERTFORDSHIRE HURRICANSE 26 PA SURREY STINGERS 0
This one was a must-win game for Herts. Off the back of a narrow defeat at Southampton Herts needed to show the rest of the league what they were made of, and playing against old rivals Surrey made for an exciting match. The Herts D came out strong in the first quarter, holding the Stingers in their half of the field, causing them to give up possession on downs and give the Hurricanes Offense time to find its rhythm. They found it in the second quarter when veteran RB Andy Cochrane ran it in from 2yds. The Hurricanes went for the two-point conversion and were successful with Cochrane again running it in from 2 yds. Conditions were perfect for the Hurricanes Offense to exploit their passing game. This came into evidence when QB Junior Price found RB Richard McHugh open on the right flank and with little resistance McHugh ran it in from 33 yards out.
The second half saw a spirited display from the Stingers on both Offense and Defense. Stingers O began to march up the field with Herts D struggling to contain Stingers RB Tobin. But Herts played strong and eventually forced Surrey to punt. In the 3rd quarter the Hurricanes offense exploited the talents of QB Price. With the O-line providing great pass protection, Price threw a pin-point pass to RB McHugh out in the flats who sprinted 66 yards into the end-zone. The Hurricanes completed their scoring in the 3rd with another run from Cochrane, this time from 21 yards out. The 4th quarter saw both Defenses holding out well and conceding no points. Final score: Herts 26-0 Stingers. Only Essex stand in the way of the Hurricanes 5th Divisional title in 10 years.
DERBY BRAVES 6 NEWCASTLE RAIDERS 20
To start with the teams were very evenly matched, with two great defences playing two off form offences. For the first quarter the match stayed entirely in one half of the pitch. After an interception touchdown by a Newcastle linebacker was declined, just a few moments later a derby backer scored a 22-yard interception. After half time both teams came firing out. Newcastle’s offence started to come together after some great play by the d, stopping derby consistently giving the o time to build momentum. A big aggressive physical derby never stopped dishing out the hits but eventually an on form Newcastle kept calm and ended up in control.
UKC FALCONS 26 ESSEX BLADES 0
A vastly improved Essex combined with a rusty Falcons resulted in a closer return leg. The Falcons started well, with Mike Whitby returning the ball for 60 yards to put the offence in good field position. Whitby then completed the score, receiving a 15 yard pass from a HB option by Gareth Wright. The Blades responded with a long drive led by their resilient QB Joe Stickins, but came up short at the end. The Falcons scored in the 2nd quarter, courtesy from a 35 yard flare pass, received by Mike Manetta and thrown by QB William Hogan. The 3rd quarter saw no score and it wasn’t until the 4th quarter that the Falcons offence started firing with Hogan scoring with a sneak from the 1 yard line. The 2 PAT was successful with RB Gareth Wright blasting through with a 3yd run. The Falcons completed the scoring with a 15 yard pass received by Manetta to end the game at 26-0. Much credit to the Blades who have made an impressive improvement and will be a team to watch out for next season. The win for the Falcons puts them in good stead to reach their first ever playoffs.
SHEFFIELD SABRES 2 UT COUGARS 14
UT Cougars travelled to Sheffield, hoping to repeat their early season victory and further their playoff chances, whilst Sheffield were still searching for the first victory. What Teesside found was a determined Sheffield side, whose first half passing game forced the Cougar’s defence into retreat. Unable to force the ball into the endzone however, Teesside’s offence would be given a chance to drive back into Sheffield territory. With the defences both standing firm, the only score of the half was a first quarter Safety, with Sabres DT Eddy Mellor bursting through the line of scrimmage like a tram, making the tackle on Teesside’s punter as he attempted to scramble out of the endzone.
Teesside returned from the half time break resolute on both sides of the football. Despite having no completed passes throughout the game, their running backs consistently picked up the short yardages required to convert to First Downs, and a tiring Sheffield defence were gradually picked apart. It was in the 4th Quarter that the break for Teesside finally came, with Rich Marshall and Ben McQueeny successful on red-zone offence, running in two Touchdowns to put the game beyond Sheffield’s reach. A two-point conversion was added by Teesside QB Pete Rogers, leaving the final score Teesside 14 - Sheffield 2.
BRISTOL BULLETS 6 CARDIFF COBRAS 18
The Cobras make the short trip across the Severn with one goal in mind: stop the Bullets’ perennial scoring machine Kenny Savo. Keeping Kenny in check proved to be the key that allowed the Welshmen to avenge last year’s narrow defeat and claim the Southwest Division with an 18-6 victory over the Bullets.
The day could not have started better for the Cobras. After winning the coin toss, Cardiff struck immediately as Geraint Hill broke free for his second TD kick-off return in as many games. Once again behind some key special teams blocking, Hill raced 80 yards to put the Cobras up 6-0 with only a few ticks off the clock. The Cardiff defence then got a chance to showcase its talent; the Bullets were jammed and forced to punt. The linebacking core of Phil Hume, Martin Barratt and Tim Macy fought through fierce blocking from the Bullets O-line to make key stops, and allowing safeties Simon ‘Furious George’ Purcell and Chris Davies to step up for crushing tackles on the running backs. However, late in the first quarter, the Bristol veteran Savo did what he’s prone to do and broke free on a 45-yard TD jaunt. As the extra point flew wide to the left, the second quarter began with both teams feeling the need for more defensive pressure.
And defence remained the word of the day for much of the second quarter. Both teams caused and recovered turn-overs, but it was a crushing hit by Andrew Giblin that knocked the ball out of Bristol’s possession deep in their own territory late in the half. Macy recovered the loose ball and Cardiff drove deep into the Bullets’ redzone to try and break the scoring stalemate. QB Lance Godfrey found a diving Geraint Hill in the endzone just before the halftime whistle to put the visitors up 12-6.
The third quarter was a defensive coach’s dream-come-true. Both teams were greedy with territory. Crushing tackles by Purcell, Giblin and Barratt pinned the bullets in place; even James ‘Molasses’ Mackay got in on the act, delivering devastating tackles on the Bristol backfield. Cardiff’s offence saw glimpses of greatness with great runs by David Sinclair and Adam Collett, but failed to capitalise in the third. It wasn’t until the fourth quarter when Geraint Hill broke free again, streaking past his defender for a 57-yard TD reception. A perfectly thrown ball from Godfrey was just the ticket to put the game out of reach for the hosts.
STAFFORDSHIRE STALLIONS 20 LOUGHBOROUGH ACES 0
In a game where rivalry is deep and etched in history these two teams knew that their hopes for the playoffs depended on the final result. The game began with Staffs kicking off and after a short return the Aces took the ball. They went three and out on their first series and punted the ball down to the Stallions 25 yard line. From there the Stallions drove down the field behind some excellent blocking from the O-line and great running from the Stallions backfield. The resulting score finally came on the Loughborough 8 yard line when FB Dan Smart smashed the ball through 2 tackles and into the endzone. PAT failed. Loughborough desperately tried for the remainder of the half to get some life into their offence but no matter what they did could not punch through the Stallions defence. The Stallions offence however continued to punish the Loughborough defence but could not break through. The following half saw more life injected into both teams. Loughborough realising they were in a desperate situation started to run the ball in the capable hands of M’Boge. However this only lasted a short while as the Stallions defence quickly adjusted. The second TD came courtesy of Andy Calvert who from 11 yards out managed to break tackles everywhere to find himself in the endzone and the Stallions were 12 – 0 up. PAT failed. Again Loughborough turned to their running game but found themselves picking up minimal yardage as LB Paul Summers and DT’s Adam Steele and Stephen Burnett made life miserable for the Aces O-line. The Aces QB Studer had a hard day as he constantly found DE Chris Ward in his face and the resulting sacks found them losing a great amount of yards. The final TD came midway through the fourth as QB Tim Smith took the helm from QB (and former Aces rookie) Brett Rosenbaum. Tim drove the Stallions downfield with the O-line working very hard and making some outstanding plays. FB Dan Smart continued to hammer into the Aces defence and picked up some well earned yards. Tim Smith finally capped it off with a run of his own from 7 yards out. The resulting PAT was a 2 point conversion that saw Tim Smith hit RB Ziad Choueiri in the corner of the endzone for the final two points of the game and the last nail in Loughborough’s coffin. Next up Leicester.
LEICESTER LIGHTNING 0 LANCASTER BOMBERS 6
The Bombers flew into Leicester needing a win to keep their playoff hopes alive, and returned home with the required result after a hard territorial battle. Both offenses struggled in the first but Lancaster QB Mayne’s passing was looking promising as he completed several passes, including one to TE Pemberton who unfortunately had to leave the game injured; and the rushing of Tom Hailwood also looked dangerous. Into the second and Leicester were forced to the air on almost every down, where they were thwarted by the emergent Bombers secondary of CB’s Gil David and Rick Peters and rookie FS Adam Saul, who were imperious throughout the day. Lancaster were finally able to mount a long drive after crucial receptions from WR’s Dean Alexis and Tom Hammil to set them up at the Lightning two yard line, where Leicester made a strong stand but were eventually overcome as RB Billy Simoneau blasted in for six. The Lightning stopped the 2PAT and the score was 6-0, where it was to stay for the rest of the game. Leicester came out strong in the second half but a huge sack from DE de Waart and more good coverage put paid to their efforts, and Lancaster RB Hailwood was looking ever more dangerous as the game went into the final quarter, where a promising Leicester drive was ended after a Peters interception on the Lancaster 20 yard line. After more territorial tennis and an earlier ‘miraculous reception’ from new TE Ian ‘History Boy’ Brown, Lancaster had the ball deep in their own half after a terrific stop on the six yard line from their D, and QB Mayne completed more passes to WR’s Gil David and Hammil, with his longest of the day a 33 yarder to David to put the Bombers deep into Lightning territory. Hailwood continued his strong running but the game came to an abrupt and unhappy end when a Lightning defender went down with a dislocated shoulder and damaged collarbone and they were forced to forfeit the game. Nevertheless it was mission accomplished for the Bombers who go into a do-or-die clash with Leeds with a win the only result they can afford…
GLASGOW TIGERS 110 SUNDERLAND KINGS 0
A gutsy performance from league newcomers Sunderland Kings, who despite having a small squad, held out and played hard through four difficult quarters. As Glasgow racked up the points, the Kings never gave up and demonstrated a spirit that more teams should aspire to having. Glasgow scores came from: Paul Mc Meekin, Jeremy Beedy, Andy Hall, Neil Rogers, Graeme Clee, John Hall, Rob Campbell, Kenny McPhail, Stuart Proudlock, Alistair Choat, Matt McCree, Ronald McDonald, Iain Hay and Matt McCusker. The Tigers remain in the playoff race but a lot hinges next week’s game against divisional rivals and current leaders Stirling.
4th February 2003 - BCAFL Week 9 roundup
SOUTHAMPTON STAGS 33 HERTFORDSHIRE HURRICANES 31
The Hurricanes travelled to Southampton in expectation of their toughest test of the season. It was an intense game that went right to the wire. It was a battle of the offences, both defences finding it hard to cope with the opposition power running games. The Stags backfield combination of Millar and Dauley, and Hurricanes veteran Andy Cochrane were unstoppable. Both teams scored five touchdowns a-piece, the deciding factor in the game being the PAT conversions. In tricky conditions it was Southampton who came out on top, successfully converting 3 PAT kicks to Herts one. Special mention goes to Andy Cochrane, once again the workhorse of the Hurricanes, who ran for 208 yards off 38 carries, scoring 4 touchdowns.
LOUGHBOROUGH ACES 12 LEICESTER LIGHTNING 6
This was a high stakes game for both sides, Loughborough needing a win to get their season back on track, and Leicester wanting revenge for a defeat by the Aces in the first game of the season. Loughborough started the game brightly, chasing down the opening kick-off to give Leicester minimal return yardage, and then the defence forced Leicester to punt on their second set of downs. The offence then appeared to find a gear it had been lacking so far this season, plays were working both on the ground and in the air and the ball moved down field for a touchdown on the Aces first offensive drive by rookie tail back Rich Marnell. Leicester came out hard but on the whole couldn’t get the better of the dominant Aces D, despite making decent gains on several plays. The Aces continued to carve holes in the Leicester D taking the ball to the goal line twice more in the first half, but were unable to punch the ball in from short yardage. The Leicester offence came out on their last drive of the half and made some big plays to push the Aces D backwards to their own goal line before QB Brian Mann smashed the ball into the end zone on a short outside run. The sides went into half time level at 6 – 6 with much to think about.
The 2nd half very much mirrored the first, Loughborough were dominant on defence with DB’s Pete Sewell, Greg Williams and Alan Scott making some big plays and the Aces O moving the ball well behind a much improved Offensive line, strengthened by the addition of Centre James Hathway. However, frustration on the Loughborough sideline grew, as the offence was again unable to put the ball in the end zone from short yardage. The Aces Defence hit 6th gear in the 4th quarter pinning Leicester back in their own half and making some big plays to give the Aces O maximum advantage. Safety Fadie Shamoon made a fantastic interception deep in Lightning territory taking the ball back to the 2 yard line, and the breakthrough finally came with just over a minute left in the game when first year RB Craig Flower ran through a hole created by his O line to score the winning TD. Heartbreak for Leicester who hung onto the game for so long, but massive relief for the Aces who were finally rewarded for their hard work and dominance in the game.
BATH KILLER BEES 8 STAFFORDSHIRE STALLIONS 0
A strong wind and fine defensive efforts from both teams made this a hard game for the Killer Bees and the Staffs offence. The first half was dominated by the Stallions with the Bath offence struggling to find any sort of yardage and turning the ball over too often. They were kept in the game by the heroic efforts of the Bath defence, led by LB Mark Richards and DT James Kokiet who stopped everything that was thrown at them. In the 3rd quarter, Staffordshire had the wind in their favour and went to the air, but their attempts were halted again by the Bath secondary. The Bees offence, obviously shaken by their half time talk and spurred on by their defence played tighter football and ran against the wind to grind down the 3rd quarter clock. In the 4th the Bees, with the wind behind them, also went to the air and they were rewarded when QB Ben Salisbury connected with wide-out Steve Leonard for a 55yd reception touchdown. Bath went for the 2 points and the reception was made by Oliver Vivian. Staffordshire tried to fight back in the dying minutes, but a relentless wind and unyielding Bath defence gave them nothing.
PA SURREY STINGERS 6 BRISTOL BULLETS 12 (OT)
An uneventful 1st quarter saw a series of possession changes but with no score from either side. The 2nd quarter continued on from the 1st, the Bullets tough defence led by GB Bulldogs’ Brenden Cunnaine, Lee Richards, Martin Pragnell and Ben Tolley kept the ‘Storm’ tight and unforgiving. After another series’ of possession changes PA’s offence drove to the Bullets 7 yard line and were looking to score, power back Dave Tobin then fumbled and the ball was quickly picked up by rookie safety Adam Sparrow who then returned the ball to bring the Bullets offence out of the ‘danger’ zone. The half ended 0-0, both teams confident of the win.
A hard hitting 3rd quarter was a battle of the defences, neither side giving up the necessary yards for a score and after several 3 & outs for both teams the third quarter ended 0-0 and overtime was looking more & more likely. The 4th quarter was the toughest so far, both teams determined to score to add another ‘1’ to the win column. Surrey once again drove the length of the field to threaten the Bullets defence, this time however the Stingers capitalised on their position and quickly passed to TE Kenny Lethman for the crucial 6 points and the lead. The 2-point conversion was stopped by the Bullets defensive front 5 which left the Bullets needing a score to draw even. The following play, Bullets RB ‘Touchdown’ Kenny Saro then returned the ball the length of the field for the Bullets first kick off return TD of the season, but the Bullets failed to convert and the game was back even at 6-6. This ended the 4th and the teams went into overtime with PA winning the toss.
Overtime was extremely tense and after some power running from Dave Tobin, Surrey looked to be in a position to threaten, unfortunately they couldn’t make the first down and were forced to bring their defence out to stop the Bullets 0. The Bullets put together a strong drive and their rookie QB threw a 20-yard pass to receiver Blake Evans for a great catch, the TD and the win.
CARDIFF COBRAS 8 PLYMOUTH BLITZ 6
After a long Christmas break, Cardiff hosted Plymouth on a typically cold, wet day. With the Welsh weather grounding any hope of a Cobras air strike and the Blitz’ run-based wing-t offence, this was never going to be anything other than a war in the trenches.
The 1st quarter saw chances scuppered by both sides. Following kick-off, Cardiff quickly took possession after Shane Riches caused a fumble in the Blitz backfield that was greedily scooped up on the 12-yard line. Cardiff failed to find their feet, though, and gave the ball over on downs. Plymouth also found it hard to gain any ground, and the quarter ended without a score. The 2nd quarter was a similar affair – much of the afternoon saw Cardiff’s defence pinning the wing-t in its own territory, and the Plymouth defence holding Cardiff’s offence back. Neither team was able to move the ball consistently and it was the visiting team who earned the chance for first blood. The 30-yard field goal attempt sailed wide right and the half ended in a scoreless deadlock.
The Cobras knew they needed to do something and do something quickly if they were going to have a chance. Geraint Hill answered the call when the combination of his speed and great special teams blocking saw the young speed demon streak 85 yards on the opening kick-off to score. With the two-point conversion by Dave Sinclair, Cardiff put 8 precious points on the board. Again, drives by both teams stuttered and stumbled; the 3rd quarter ended with the 8-0 home advantage. The 4th quarter was simply about which team wanted it more. Plymouth were determined not to let another close one slip away and assembled a long drive. Their persistence paid off when Dave Bulmer broke free on the left side for a 20-yard scamper to bring the Blitz within 2. With the earlier missed field goal, it was clear that the ensuing 2-point conversion was going to play a huge part in determining the winner. Once again, it was Cardiff who stepped up, with Martin Barret shedding a leadblock to make what turned out to be the game-saving tackle. Barret’s efforts secured the 8-6 lead that would take Cardiff to 5-1 and keep them at the top of their division.
BIRMINGHAM LIONS 36 WARWICK WOLVES 6
While Southern Conference rivals Herts faltered at Southampton, Dave Winter and Stuart Ennis again combined to lead the Lions to a comfortable victory over local rivals the Warwick Wolves.
After a quiet 1st quarter by both teams the Lions exploded in the 2nd with 26 unanswered points. Winter started the blitz of points hauling in 15 and 62-yard TD receptions from Ennis. The Lions PAT was unsuccessful after the first TD but Kevin Joseph went in untouched from 3 yards out after Winters spectacular 62 yard TD to make the score 14 – 0 to the home side. The Lions defence started to take hold of the Wolves offence and gave the ball back to their O near mid-field. Two plays later Winter took his first hand off of the day and went 55 yards un-touched down the Warwick sideline to complete his hat trick of TD’s. The PAT was unsuccessful. Winter was not finished there and once again the Lions defence toughened near the end of the half and an interception by James Morris gave the Lions the ball on their own 30 yard line with 1 minute to play in the half. The Lions offence took this opportunity to drive down the field with Ennis leading the no huddle offence 70 yards for a score with 10 seconds left. Ennis completed 4 of 5 passes on this drive, ending it with a 12-yard TD strike to Winter. Which made the score 26 – 0 and gave Winter the Lions record for most TD’s in 1 half, and just out doing himself on last weeks 3 TD’s vs Reading.
The second half saw a massive change of guard for the Lions as they rested a majority of their players. This resulted in both teams struggling to make good progress in this quarter. Winter once again contributed to the next score after a drive stalled, Winter punted the ball away and Richard Szostecki raced down on the coverage team to stop the ball at the Warwicks own 1-yard line. Two plays later D-Linemen Mark Pagett burst through the Wolves line to tackle the RB for a 4-yard loss and a safety. The Lions offence clicked again after the Wolves KO and a 60-yard drive was topped with reliable FB Scott DeCharme catching a pass from Ennis and strolling in untouched for a 12 yard score. Rookie WR Matt Phillips hauled in a 3-yard pass from Ennis for the 2-point conversion. Late in the 4th quarter the Wolves were still fighting and some good running by RB Robin Carter saw them move the ball consistently down the field. This resulted in Carter scoring the Wolves first TD of the season on the very last play of the game from 3 yards out.
The regular season is now be entering it’s final stages but with so many games falling foul to the weather, expect a number of mid week fixtures over the next couple of weeks.
Week ten fixtures include: Bath Killer Bees v Tarranau Aberystwyth, Bristol Bullets v Cardiff Cobras, Derby Braves v Newcastle Raiders, Glasgow Tigers v Sunderland Kings, Hertfordshire Hurricanes v PA Surrey Stingers, Leicester Lightning v Lancaster Bombers, Oxford Cavaliers v Birmingham Lions, Plymouth Blitz v Southampton Stags, Reading Knights v Warwick Wolves, Sheffield Sabres v UT Cougars, Staffordshire Stallions v Loughborough Aces, UCH Sharks v UEA Pirates and UKC Falcons v Essex Blades.
For more details about any of these teams, BCAFL and College Bowl XVII, visit www.bcafl.org
27th January 2003 - BCAFL season re-starts
Last Sunday, whilst final preparations were underway in San Diego for SuperBowl XXXVII, the second half of an already thrilling BCAFL season kicked off.
BRISTOL BULLETS 16 PLYMOUTH BLITZ 13
After a win against the Birmingham Lions the young Blitz squad were out to prove themselves against the highly rated Bristol Bullets. The game in short was a defensive battle, both teams bringing strong D-Lines to beat both teams’ run-focused offences. Blitz D immediately forced Bristol to punt and after a short punt the Blitz offence came on the field with 35yrds to drive. On 3rd down rookie RB Dave Bulmer broke through for a 32yrd Touchdown converted by Greg Piggott to put the Blitz 7 ahead.
In the second quarter two consecutive disputed pass interference calls put the ball close to the Blitz end zone and the Bullets capitalized with a 3 yard TD run by Matt Dudley. Bullets failed to convert but a flag on the play gave the Bullets another chance and with a pass to TE Charlie Saker they converted for 2. Both teams exchanged punts, the Bullets having the advantage of the wind but under pressure and perched just outside their end zone, the Blitz conceded a safety, Matt Clarke making the tackle.
With everything still to play for both teams came out in the second half with mighty defensive stands but eventually late in the 3rd Quarter the Blitz offence increased the intensity, driving up the field with strong running plays and an important pass to Marco Pinder setting up Dave Bulmer for a TD run in from 4 yards.
The Bullets responded at the beginning of the 4th quarter breaking loose with a 49 yard run, setting themselves up with 6 yards to go. Blitz D pushed them back but James Carter responded with a 15yrd sweep running in a TD to go ahead.
Plymouth weren’t ready to concede the game, resiliently driving the ball back up the field in the dying minutes. With 4 yards to go it seemed as though Blitz were going to drive it in but a goal line stand by the Bullets prevented a late upset.
LEEDS CELTICS 2 LANCASTER BOMBERS 0
Leeds, having had a great start to the year, faced a tough Lancaster team at home. A hard, physical and defensively dominated game ensued, with both offences making lots of mistakes. Leeds running back Joe Johnson got the ball into the endzone, only to find the score disallowed for a holding penalty. The Leeds defensive line dominated the line of scrimmage, with Robert Taylor and Gareth Morris hurrying the quarterback on every pass and allowing no rushing up the middle. The deadlock was finally broken when Leeds were gifted with a safety in the overtime period; the Lancaster snap sailing over the quarterback’s head leaving the ball to be downed by the running back in the endzone to give Leeds the win.
UEA PIRATES 30 ESSEX BLADES 0
An all round performance from UEA overwhelmed a spirited Essex side, the UEA offence led by QB Jakob Banik was unstoppable, while UEA nose tackle Ben Adams dominated the line of scrimmage, recording four sacks and three tackles for loss
Other results included: Hertfordshire Hurricanes 35 Warwick Wolves 0 and Birmingham Lions 43 Reading Knights 0.
College Bowl XVII will take place on Sunday 30 March at Ram Stadium, Wakefield, home of the Dewsbury Rams. For further information, directions etc, visit our website: www.bcafl.org
Week 9 should herald some more exciting games, just take your pick from this host of fixtures: Bath Killer Bees v Staffordshire Stallions, Birmingham Lions v Warwick Wolves, Cardiff Cobras v Plymouth Blitz, Essex Blades v Reading Knights, Loughborough Aces v Leicester Lemmings, Nottingham Outlaws v Derby Braves, PA Surrey Stingers v Bristol Bullets, Southampton Stags v Hertfordshire Hurricanes, Sunderland Kings v Newcastle Raiders, UCH Sharks v Oxford Cavaliers, UKC Falcons v UEA Pirates and UT Cougars v Leeds Celtics.
24th January 2003 - BCAFL playoff preview
In a month when SuperBowl fever is gripping many American Football fans in Britain, our very own British Collegiate American Football league is gearing up for the second half of an already thrilling season. With College Bowl XVII less than three months away, all eyes and hopes are firmly fixed on the twelve playoff spots up for grabs. So just who are the main contenders in the battle for this years BCAFL crown? Report courtesy of the BCAFL
The Celtics have emerged the surprise leaders of the pack, going into the Christmas break with a perfect 5-0 record and the best defensive record in the league, having conceded only six points. Leeds are certainly no stranger to the playoffs, or indeed, the College Bowl. They are four times Northern Conference Champions, four times College Bowl finalists and winners of College Bowl X. Following a relatively quiet development season last year, the Celtics have taken the Northern Conference by storm, already proving that they have the talent, class and ability to keep the College Bowl in the North. www.eteamz.com/leedsceltics
The Clansmen have had a dream first half of the season, joining only Leeds and Hertfordshire on a 100% record. Stirling are twice Scottish Divisional Champions, but are yet to secure a Northern Conference title or a trip to the College Bowl. All that could change this year though if the team’s performance so far this season is anything to go by. Stirling have already defeated archrivals Glasgow twice in the aptly titled ‘Battle Of Scotland’. With remaining games scheduled against Sheffield and Sunderland, plus a final bout against Glasgow, expect the Clansmen to make a strong bid for their first ever trip to the Final. www.clansmen.cjb.net
The hotly contested Northern Conference Central Division currently heralds two playoff contenders, the first of which are the current division leaders, the Staffordshire Stallions. The team are in a strong position with a 3-1 record after the first half of the season but they do have a tougher post-Christmas schedule with games against Bath, Loughborough, Leicester and a rearranged fixture at home to Glasgow. Staffordshire made the playoffs last season, losing out however to Glasgow, but with a much improved and strengthened squad, this team is likely to see playoff football this season. www.geocities.com/staffsstallions
The Outlaws are the second of the teams from the Central Division to contest a playoff position. They have had a change of fortunes last season and this has continued under new Head Coach, Paul Sherratt, and have put themselves in play-off contention with back-to-back shut-out victories against Loughborough and Staffordshire. They now face two tough games against Derby, victories meaning they would go undefeated in divisional games and qualify for the post-season for the first time in their history. Nottingham could also clinch the division title if Staffordshire lose another game.
Head Coach Paul Sherratt stated “Any post-season progress this year is a bonus. Our goal at the start of the year was to win 5 games, which we are on track to do. I’m very pleased with the attitude of our players; they really deserve to be in the play-offs. We’re improving every week so we’ll be ready but we’re not looking past Derby. They have a lot of talent and are very physical so I’m expecting two close games.” www.su.nottingham.ac.uk/~afoot/
Formed in 1985, the then named Titans made an impact in their second year, earning a position in the playoffs. In 1988-89 the renamed Demons again lost in the first round of the playoffs. However, the next season, they went on to a victory in College Bowl IV, defeating Birmingham 21-20. In 1990-91 Teesside was undefeated and cruised to a 19-0 College Bowl V victory over East Anglia. As favourites for a third consecutive title, the Demons were upset 8-0 in the 1992 playoffs by Glasgow. The team were again renamed, now the UT Cougars, and they returned to the playoffs in 2000/2001, losing out in the Northern Conference Championship game to Loughborough. After a relatively quiet season last year, they have bounced back and are in a good position going into the second half of the season. www.eteamz.com/cougaracademy
The Bombers go into the final stage of the season with the Eastern division finely balanced, and facing two crucial games against fierce rivals Leeds that will determine the playoff picture in the North. In the 96-97 season, the Bombers went 7-1 to win their first divisional title. In their first ever playoff game, they were defeated 12-6 by Glasgow. The 1998-99 season saw a strong squad go 6-1-1 and make the playoffs for the second time in their history, only to lose to Loughborough 24-12 in a rescheduled mid-week fixture. Lancaster went into the Christmas break at 3-2 and with their offence clicking and the defence looking as strong as ever plus a few new additions to the squad, the Bombers will be looking to make a late surge into the playoffs – with the two derby games with Leeds and an away clash with Leicester standing between them and the postseason. www.lancs.ac.uk/socs/bombers
The Chasing Pack
Leeds and Stirling are certain to see post-season football this year but things further down the ladder are a little more uncertain and it could all change quite quickly.
The Tigers resume their campaign with a 2-2 record, and currently outside contenders for a playoff spot. Their two losses were both against Stirling but with one final game between them still to come, Glasgow will be determined to prevent a 3-0 whitewash. Glasgow have an impressive playoff history, making it to the post season eight times, winning two Northern Conference Championships and College Bowl VIII. Their remaining half of the season sees them face Staffordshire, Stirling, Sunderland and Newcastle. www.gla.ac.uk/Clubs/Tigers
Last season’s National Champions still have an outside chance of making the playoffs despite a disappointing first half of the season. Currently at 1-3, the Aces have no choice but to win all of their four remaining matches against Derby, Leicester, Staffordshire and Sheffield. They must also rely on results from elsewhere in the Conference, in particular, the Eastern Division. Loughborough have a very strong playoff record, having played twenty post-season matches. They have made the College Bowl five times in eight years, winning three of them. www.eteamz.com/loughboroughaces
Hertfordshire are once again leading the way in the Southern Conference, going into the Christmas break with an enviable 4-0 record. The Hurricanes are one of the most successful teams in the league, having only ever dropped two playoff games and winning three College Bowls. With four remaining games against Warwick, Southampton, Surrey and Essex, Herts will be looking to secure yet another Southern Conference Eastern Division Title and are one of the strongest Southern contenders for this year’s College Bowl. www.hurricanes.org.uk
The Lions are having a strong season so far at 4-1 and are currently leading the Central Division. No doubt, they are looking like having a definite chance of playing post-season football. Their remaining fixtures include Reading, Warwick and a return trip to last year’s College Bowl Runners Up, Oxford, where they will hope to repeat their week six victory. Birmingham again are no strangers to the playoffs, with a Southern Conference Championship and a trip to College Bowl IV already under their belt. http://web.bham.ac.uk/usfootball/
Cardiff has had one of the country's most successful programmes since it was founded in 1987. The Cobras have had three undefeated regular seasons and have been to the College Bowl three times, most recently in 1995-96, when they lost to Leeds 14-8 in College Bowl X. They are the current leaders of the Western Division at 4-1 with four remaining games versus Plymouth, Bristol and two games against Aberystwyth. www.eteamz.com/cardiffcobras
The Falcons are the surprise package in the current playoff picture. Having dropped only one game so far this season to current Eastern Division leaders Hertfordshire, the Falcons have enjoyed notable victories, including a 50-0 whitewash against Essex. UKC are yet to experience the playoffs, never having made it before in their seven year history. But this season could very well herald a change. Their remaining games have them scheduled against Essex, Surrey and twice against UEA. www.eteamz.com/ukcfalcons
The Cavaliers have emerged as a very strong force in BCAFL over the past few years, as winners of College Bowl XV and runners up in College Bowl XVI. They have only played three games so far this season and their remaining schedule includes fixtures against Aber, Hull, Warwick and two tough fixtures against Birmingham and Bristol. Currently second in the Central Division with two games in hand over current leaders Birmingham, Oxford may well make a late surge for one of the playoff spots. www.geocities.com/cavaliersfootball/
At 2-1, the Bullets have said they do not consider themselves playoff hopefuls but after an impressive league performance last season and their first ever trip to the playoffs, plus a notable 46-0 victory over Loughborough this season, it would be foolish to count them out of the running just yet. Their five remaining fixtures are against Plymouth, Surrey, Southampton, Cardiff and Oxford so who knows? www.eteamz.com/bristolbullets
College Bowl XVII will take place on Sunday 30 March at Ram Stadium, Wakefield, home of the Dewsbury Rams. For further information, directions etc, visit our website: www.bcafl.org
So that’s the current playoff picture. The season kicks off again on Sunday, with Essex Blades v UEA Pirates, Leeds Celtics v Lancaster Bombers and Reading Knights v Birmingham Lions.
American Football is alive and kicking in Britain and with 29 BCAFL teams playing around the country, there are plenty of opportunities to come along and watch a game.