11. London Olympians 22-20 East City Giants, Eurobowl Semi-Final, 22nd May 1994
The Olympians looked down and out when trailing 20-8 with less than 7 minutes remaining. Richard Dunkley launched the comeback, and then after the O’s D had snuffed out a Giants drive he went in again with 2.49 on the clock for the go ahead score. Mike Taylor intercepted the Giants QB on their subsequent possession handing the O’s the chance to run out the clock. Match report
12. London Ravens 8-22 London Olympians, Budweiser League, 15th May 1988
In front of 3,000 fans, the Ravens unbeaten record against domestic opponents stretching back to 1983 went down against the close London rivals. Richard Dunkley ran for 3 TD’s and over 100 yards for the Olympians as they took control after the Ravens took an early 8-0 lead.Match report.
13. Kent Exiles 26-30 Coventry Jets, BAFL Division Two Final, 25th September 2005
The Jets, trailing 20-6 at halftime, were facing defeat for the first time in 2005. The Coventry team slowly turned the tide, eating away at the Kent lead and by midway through the fourth quarter took the lead 24-20 on the back of an amazing catch in the end zone by Mark Cohen. With 3 minutes to go the Exiles retook the lead on Matt Duncan’s 30 yard scrambling pass to Sean Starwind, but the Jets responded emphatically and on the ensuing kick-off MVP Tony Perkins returned the ball 90 yards for the title. Match report
14. France 17-18 Great Britain Lions, European Championship Pool B, 28th August 2004
Great Britain won promotion to Pool A of the European Championship, with a fantastic 18-17 victory over France. Trailing 7-0, and then having star QB Adam Lane knocked out of the game on a play that resulted in a personal foul, stand-in QB Pete Rogers passed for 2 TD's to Mark Squire and Tam Bryne. Rogers tied the scores at 7-7 on a pass to Squire, but with 2.45 left in the 3rd quarter, France took a 14-7 lead. With just over 10 minutes left in the match, Rogers passed for his 2nd TD of the game (to Tam Bryne), and a courageous call by Coach Riq Ayub to go for the 2 PAT was successful when Steve Coles burst over the line to give GB a 15-14 lead. France kicked a 25 yard field-goal with 3.30 mins left to lead 17-15, but GB were not to be denied as Pete Rogers kicked a 30 yard field goal with 38 seconds remaining in the game to give the Lions the Pool B championship. No match report
15. PA Knights 19-21 London Olympians, BAFL Division One Final, 25th September 2005
The Knights took an early 10-0 lead on Paul Attia’s 1 yard run and Steve Belcher’s field goal, and when QB Ashley Heath found Belcher on a 43 yard TD the Knights had a 17-0 half-time lead in the British championship game. After blocking a Belcher field goal in the 3rd quarter, the O’s scored on a fake punt through Boyle before Tony Mackenzie broke loose to record a sack and safety to increase the Knights lead to 19-7 as the fourth quarter began. Jermaine Allen scored from 1yd out with 11 minutes remaining in the game the score stood at 19-14, and after another Belcher missed field goal the Olympians had one shot to win the game. Taking over at their own 22yd line they drove down the field on the power running of Jermaine Allen - finally scoring on his 7yd run with just 43 seconds left on the clock. Match report
16. London Olympians 26-23 Bergamo Lions, Eurobowl Final, 5th June 1994
In front of over 20,000 fans in Stuttgart, the Olympians backup RB Stephen Hutchison (in for the injured Richard Dunkley) ran for 155 yards and 2 TDs and QB Leonard Valentine ran for a 91 yard score as the Olympians retained their Euro title. The O’s came from behind and withheld a late Lions rally in which their opponents declined to go for a tying 35 yard field goal that would have taken the game into OT. Match report.
17. Colchester Gladiators 27-23 Cambridgeshire Cats, BAFL Division Two, 14th May 2006
Stuart Brereton was the match winner for the Colchester Gladiators, hauling in a Rob Turner pass as time expired to complete a dramatic and unlikely comeback win. The Gladiators trailed by 17 points and trailed by nine points inside the final two minutes, with the Cats near midfield. After turning the ball over to try to run out clock, Turner found Clarke in the corner of the endzone to make the score 21-23 with 20 seconds remaining. The Gladiators recovered the onside kick and Turner’s “Hail Mary” to Brereton sparked wild scenes of celebration and disbelief with the 27-23 final score. Match report
18. Fife 49ners 24-18 Dundee Whalers (OT), BNGL, 13th May 1990
Fife won the UK’s first ever overtime game with a sensational 86 yard kick return from Andy Meikle. Dundee led 12-6 at half-time, and 18-12 in the second half before David Glendinning forced OT with a 21 yard pass to Dan McCarthy. Match report.
19. Glasgow Lions 27-24 Leicester Panthers, NDMA Semi-Final, 25th July 1993
Darren Trainor bootlegged into the endzone from 2 yards out with less than a minute remaining to send the jubilant Lions into the British final. Trainor’s sensational TD capped a 70 yard drive after Leicester had seemingly won the game with 1.51 left in the game when the Panthers went 24-20 ahead after a 83 yard TD reception from David Sweetman.Match report.
20. Destroyers 20-18 Severn Vale, BNGL, 27th May 1990
Severn Vale led 12-0 at half-time, but the Destroyers hit back with a 94 yard run from star RB Martin Phillips. Seven Vale went 18-6 ahead with Pat Hogan’s second TD of the day before the Destroyers launched their comeback scoring through David Dodd, and then on a last gasp drive scoring the winning TD with 6 seconds to go on Paul Mallen’s 3 yard catch from Ian Manley. Match report
21. Helsinki Roosters 20-21 Manchester Spartans, Football League of Europe, 29th May 1994
Import receivers Curtis Bell and Manny Johnson combined on a stunning 80 yard trick play TD to lead the Spartans to victory with just 23 seconds left. The Finns had gone ahead 20-14 with 50 seconds remaining on a 28 yard pass from Lopez to Laitimen. Bell received the ball on a reverse and then tossed the ball to Johnson who raced in to score. Kicker Nils Almelid nailed the PAT to secure the win. Match report.
22. PA Knights 22-21 London Olympians, BAFL Division One, 7th August 2005
In a game that showcased the very best of top level British American Football the current National Champions held on with a thrilling one point victory over the former champion London Olympians.
Paul Attia carried the ball 32 times for
With Stuart Franklin not available for the game the Londoners turned to former Great Britain QB Junior Price to lead their offense. The Knights defense however - led by former London Monarch Tony Mackenzie slammed the door shut on the visitors ground game and they were soon forced to punt the ball back to the Knights.
Knights QB Ashley Heath then engineered a patient Knights drive featuring strong runs from Attia complimented by two short yardage pick ups by Paul "Benny" Wakeford. With the Olympians crowding the line of scrimmage to stop the run, QB Heath fired a 39yd bomb to Wide Receiver Jonathon Gerring to open the scoring for the Knights. Steve Belchers extra point attempt was judged to have missed and the Knights led 6-0 as the quarter came to an end.
The Olympians were forced again to punt to the Knights and a good return from Mike Dunson saw the home team take possession at their own 40yd line. The Knights turned again to Attia and his darting runs behind full back Moses Tomas made good use of the ground clearing ability of the Knights Offensive line. The drive set up Paul Wakefords four yard run - the fullback going into the endzone virtually untouched behind Center Dave Carpenter and Right Guard Kevin Keohane. Steve Belcher made sure of the kick by perfectly splitting the uprights and the Knights stretched their lead to 13-0.
The two defences then dominated the next couple of drives. Price was chased and harried by Defensive Ends Tim Siewert and Liam Smith while Tony Mackenzie and Ken Ross added to their tackle stats when the visitors attempted to run.
With the half coming to an end the Knights had possesion again. A short screen pass to Paul Wakeford looked likely to result in a big gain for the home team but the Olympians Sacha Conte came up with a big play as he managed to intercept the pass and return it to the Knights 15yd line.
Price then found just enough time to get the ball in the air to Andy Boyle who hauled in the 19yd pass for the first league points to be scored against the Knights defense in a home game this year. Boyle kicked the extra point and the score stood at 13-7 at the half.
The Olympians had the first possession of the second half and they came out in a determined mood. A long drive from the visitors ate up the clock and kept the Knights defense on the field for a lot longer than they had been used to in the first half. Fourth down conversions from Clive Palumbo and Andy Boyle kept the drive going, as with the Olympian ground game failing to make progress, Price went to the air to keep the visitors moving.
Facing fourth down and short yardage at the Knights 12yd line the visitors had the choice of a 29yd Field Goal to close the Knights lead to just a Field Goal or to go for it and keep the prospect of a go ahead touchdown alive. Having already converted two fourth down situations on the drive the visitors coaching staff decided to roll the dice again - unfortunately for them it was third time unlucky as the Knights Defense held firm and the home team took over the ball deep in their own territory.
A short run and an incomplete pass saw the Knights facing third and long on their own 15yd line. With the Olympian Offense in a bouyant mood and the Knights Defense needing a break the home team faced a crucial third down conversion attempt. Paul Attia was handed the ball and with Moses Tomas and former London Ravens star Joe StLouis leading the way he blasted his way to a 25yd gain for the Knights.
QB Ashley Heath found Jonathon Gerring down the sideline for a good gain and Gavin Hart, giving Attia a well earned breathing space, picked up another first down as the Knights embarked on their own time consuming drive. With the bulk of the Knights drive eating up yards on the ground the drive took the two teams into the fourth quarter. The drive however was slowed by the Olympian defense as the Knights entered their redzone (20yd line) and, facing fourth down and 2 from the 4 yard line, this time it was the Knights coaching staff who had the decision to make. With Steve Belcher, one of the best ever British League kickers, available and the prospect of stretching their lead to a two score margin the Knights settled for a 21yd Belcher Field Goal to lead 16-7.
The Olympians are well known for their comeback wins and the Knights knew that the game was far from over. With Price finding success through the air - and a Knights penalty adding a 15yd helping hand - the visitors were soon threatening the home teams endzone. Again with Mackenzie driving them on the Knights defense stiffened and the Olympians faced a vital fourth down and goal to go from the 1yd line. The Olympians running back appeared to have fumbled the ball at the 1yd line - and the Knights looked to have stopped his progress short of the endzone. No signal was given but after momentary confusion the referees unpicked the pile and signalled an Olympian score. Boyle added the extra point and with 9 minutes remaining the score now stood at 16-14.
The Knights again sought to control the game and the clock with their running game. This time however it was the Olympian defense that held firm and the Knights were forced to punt. Great Britain and All Europe returner Jeremy Sims caught Steve Belchers punt at the Olympian 24 yard line - 76yards later the Londoners were celebrating a go ahead score. Boyle added the extra point and with 5 minutes remaining the momentum had dramatically swung in favour of the visitors who led for the first time 16-21 after Boyles PAT.
After Boyles kick off into the endzone the Knights took over at their own 20yd line. There was no doubt that their drive needed to result in a score if they were to win the game.
After one short gain a loss of yardage on their second play saw them staring defeat in the face. Many teams would have crumbled - but QB Ashley Heath calmly picked out Tony Talbot with a pinpoint 9yd pass to give the Knights a first down. Paul Attia picked up good yardage on the next play and then fullback Moses Tomas added to that with a 9yd pass reception from Heath. The Olympians however stiffened their defense again and the Knights found themselves facing another 3rd down situation. This time Heath hit WR Jon Gerring for a 25yd gain to both keep the drive alive and put the Knights deep into Olympian territory.
Attia then followed Tomas and StLouis in a repeat of the earlier big gain and was barely stopped by the visitors at their one yard line. From there Full Back Tomas was unstoppable and he crashed into the endzone for and emotional score with just 1 minute remaining on the clock. The Knights two point conversion attempt narrowly failed and the home team led 22-21.
The Olympians were not simply going to accept defeat and a good return from Clive Palumbo saw them takeover at the halfway line. Price completed a pass to Sims to put the visitors at the Knights 32yd line - but time was running out for the visitors. An incomplete pass and another Knights run stop saw Price spike the ball on the next play to give Boyle the time to attempt a 49yd Field Goal to win the game. The Knights knew that the NFL Europe triallist had the leg to make the kick - but the celebrations started as the attempt fell short. Match report
23. Birmingham Bulls 26-20 Leicester Panthers (OT), BAFA Division One Semi-Final, 7th August 1994
LB Martin Hughes returned an interception 38 yards for a TD to secure a final spot for the Bulls. Earlier drama had sent the game into overtime as Panthers QB Kargbo bundled his way in for the tying score with seconds remaining, and then the Panthers D blocked a last second field goal from Bulls kicker Andy Raffo. Match report.
24. Germany 9-38 Great Britain Lions, European Championship Semi-Final, 21st August 1989
The GB Lions swamped the Germans on their own patch in this European Championship semi-final.Nottingham Hoods receiver Allan Brown caught two touchdowns while running backs Victor Ebubideke and Trevor Carthy ran in two each themselves. In front of a partisan 6,000 Hamburg crowd and a national TV audience, the British players put on their best ever performance to lead 19-0 at half-time and 38-0 in the final period. Germany only scored near the end against GB's second string defense. No match report
25. Rockingham Rebels 28-29 Medway Mustangs, Combined Gridiron League Duke Division Week 1, 1989
Rockingham led 28-3 in the third quarter as the Mustangs struggled to come to grips with a new defensive system, and they sealed a remarkable comeback victory with Keith Isham’s winning PAT in the dying seconds. No match report
26. Manchester Spartans 27-25 Northants Storm, Coke Bowl, 4th August 1990
Spartans won back to back national championships as WR Allan Brown scored a hat-trick of TD receptions, but the win was only secured 2.44mins from time when Johnny Atlas (who scored 3 times himself) was stopped on a 2 PAT conversion that would have tied the scores.Match report.
27. Norwich Devils 17-13 Cambridgeshire Cats, BAFL Division Two, 23rd July 2007
The Norwich Devils became Division 2 South East Conference champions with a hard fought victory over their closest rivals from Cambridge. Man of the match Ben Green returned a kick off 70 yards for a spectacular touchdown with just 46 seconds left on the clock to maintain the Devils unbeaten record. The Devils led 10-7 at half-time, and the second half was dominated by both defenses and seemed to be petering out to a low scoring win for Norwich. Then late in the fourth quarter, the Cats looked to have snatched the game putting together a quick-fire 71 yard drive culminating in a 12 yard scoring pass from Brown to receiver Gurkinder Mann. Casey's extra point kick was blocked, but the Cats led 13 - 10 with under a minute to play. It was then Green came up with the big play, returning the kick off for the winning score. He then added the extra point, and so claiming all 17 of Norwich's points. Match report
28. Finland 0-26 Great Britain Lions, European Championship Final, 27th August 1989
Torrential rain had caused this European final to be staged several hours late and 20 miles from Hamburg, it's original venue. But none of these problems affected a rampaging Great Britain who adopted a ground attack because of the poor weather conditions and inadequate lighting. Victor Ebubideke and Trevor Carthy again led the charge with the Raven scoring the first points on a 50-yard break over right tackle. A defense which was to make six interceptions then kept the pressure on the Finns. Linebacker Karl Goodwin returned the first interception deep into Finnish territory where Ebubideke completed the job for a 12-0 lead which GB held at the half.
The Finns came out fired up in the second half and almost got back into the game with a long drive only to turn the ball over on downs after a successful GB blitz on fourth and five. Britain then surprised their opponents by going to the air and Jason Elliot found Allan Brown in the end zone from 30 yards. An extra point from Toby Hester gave Britain an unassailable 19-0 lead. Carthy finally got in on the scoring act in the fourth quarter to seal a truly memorable victory more impressive than the European Championship had ever seen before. No match report
29. Northants Storm 16-22 Leeds Cougars (OT), Budweiser National Quarter-Final, 22nd July 1989
Leeds looked to be heading out of the playoffs with the scores tied at 16-16 in the dying moments and the Storm camped on the Cougars one yard line. The Cougars halted the Storm though sending the game into overtime, and then won the game on Dave McIntosh’s 2 yard run minutes into the fifth period. Match report
30. London Ravens 13-51 Birmingham Bulls, Budweiser National Semi-Final, 21st August 1988
After losing their unbeaten record earlier in the season, the Ravens minds were concentrated on retaining their national title but they were destroyed by a Russ Jensen and Trevor Carthy inspired Bulls team. Jensen controlled the tempo of the play and passed for 2 TD’s and Carthy produced a fine example of two way football to send the Bulls through to the final. Match report
31. Birmingham Bulls 34-30 London Olympians, BAFA Division One Final, 29th July 1995
John Riggs ran for 2 scores and passed for another 3, as the Bulls raillied from a 21-7 second quarter deficit to win the national title. The crucial score coming 7 minutes from time when Riggs hit fellow American Joe Grenidge on a 5 yard pass. Match report
32. Glasgow Lions 23-21 Birmingham Bulls, 6th June 1993
The Lions secured finally broke the hoodoo at the Bulls had had over them, but winning this regular season encounter. The Lions were ahead for most of the game, before Paul Sinclair caught a 27 yard pass from Reisterer to put the Bulls 21-16 ahead. The Lions had one last attempt to win the game with a drive that culminated in Darryn Trainor’s pass to Scott Couper to put the Lions back ahead 23-21 with 1.33 on the clock The Bulls moved downfield in the closing seconds, but Andy Raffo’s 52 yard field goal to win it for the Bulls was missed with 7 seconds remaining. Match report
33. Great Britain Lions 24-21 Russia, European Championship Pool2004
In the first ever meeting between the sides, Great Britain QB Adam Lane completed 22 of 32 for 253 yards and 3TDs to inspire the Lions from a 14-10 half-time deficit to win their opening Euro 2004 Group B clash 24-21. GB scored in the first quarter on Lane's pass to Junior Price, and then Pete Rogers field goal closed the gap just before half-time. Russia jumped out to a 21-10 lead in the 3rd quarter before Lane's 4th quarter heroics. Lane passed for 2 TD's to East Kilbride's WR Mark Squire (the 2nd one inside the 2 minute warning). Veteran Mark Cohen caught the 2 PAT to give GB a narrow lead which they held onto. No match report
34. Manchester Spartans 34-22 Legnano Frogs, Eurobowl IV Final, 28th July 1990
Manchester Spartans were crowned Kings of Europe after beating Legnano Frogs 34-22 to win Eurobowl IV. The Frogs took early control with 2 first quarter TD’s, but Leroy Innes responded on a 47 yard TD catch, and further second quarter TD’s from Mitchell and Choates gave the Spartans a half time lead which they extended in the second half with 2 Paul Bailey rushing scores giving them a commanding lead that they held onto with ease. Match report
35. USAF Chicksands 12-13 London Ravens, Friendly, 4th July 1985
The Ravens became the first British side to beat an all American team as they defeated USAF Chicksands 13-12 on the 4th July on their Independence Day festival with touchdowns through Victor Ebudideke and Mark Wynnick. No match report
36. Leeds Cougars 25-19 Nottingham Hoods (OT), BAFA Division One, 1st May 1994
Leeds were cruising to victory with TD’s from Thomas and 2 from Eddie Harry as they built up a 19-0 lead by the fourth quarter. Hoods QB Ken Suhl launched the comeback with tosses to John McNulty and Paul Bucknall, and then with just 28 seconds to go a second TD strike to McNulty to send the game to overtime. Leeds QB Lamb settled the match in OT with a 58 yard TD pass to Jonathan Paley. Match report
37. Finland 3-14 Great Britain Lions, European Championship Final, 18th August 1991
The Lions retained their European Championship with a crushing defensive performance against the home town Finns. Jason Elliot scored on a QB keeper, and the Finns retorted with a field goal. The scores remained just 7-3 to the Lions, until the final minute, when Richard Dunkley fumbled as he was about to score, but an alert Pat Miller recovered in the endzone to seal the title win for the Brits. Match report.
38. Stoke Spitfires 24-26 Cardiff Mets, NDMA Div.2 Semi-Final.14th July 1991
The Mets looked down and out trailing 24-6 in the fourth quarter, but Canadian duo Gary Layton and Tom Vlasic combined on two scores to lead them to a stunning semi-final win. Match report
39. Manchester Spartans 20-26 Manchester Allstars (OT), BAFL Wild-Card game, 28th July 1985
The lead changed hands 4 times as the local rivals were deadlocked 20-20 at the end of regulation time, but it was the Allstars who prevailed in overtime as John Anderton caught a 7 yard TD pass to win it. Match report.
40. London Ravens 39-37 Birmingham Bulls, Budweiser National League, 24th April 1988
The Ravens had never lost to a British side and only just kept that record going after this thriller at Rosslyn Park. That record did not look in doubt as the Ravens stormed into a 33-14 lead including a 75 yard run by Joe St Louis, but the Bulls came back through TD’s from Logan and Williams to put them just 5 points behind. An offside call prevented a game leading Logan TD, and the Bulls had to settle for a field goal as the Ravens started to teeter on the brink before St Louis’s 25 yard TD run put them 39-31 ahead. A late Bulls TD from Norman Thomas made the score 39-37, but the 2 PAT pass to tie the game was batted down and the Ravens clung on. Match report
41. Colchester Gladiators 34-33 Capital Tigers, Budweiser Premier Semi-Final, 21st August 1988
42. PA Knights 15-14 Southern Sundevils (overtime), BAFL Division One Semi-Final, 10th September 2005
The Knights returned to the national championship with the tightest of victories. The teams were scoreless until the 3rd quarter when the Sundevils returned a fumble for a score and Scott Miller’s 2 PAT put them 8-0 ahead. With 97 seconds remaining Heath’s found Freeeman for a 27 yard TD and Kingsley Ejiogu tied the scores on the 2 PAT at 8-8 and the teams went into OT. Ejiogu scored on the Knights first possession in OT and Belcher’s PAT put them 15-8 ahead. Simon Hoque scored for the Sundevils on their next possession in OT, and the Sundevils then elected to go for the winning 2 PAT, but Eric Lewis was stopped short and the Knights prevailed. Match report
43. Chester Romans 17-14 Colchester Gladiators, BAFA Three Quarter-Final, 7th August 1994
Romans QB Gavin Woolger ran for 208 yards, but it was Phil Rowe who was the match winner for them very a last gasp field goal to win this play off match.Match report
44. Redbridge Fire 26-22 Gateshead Senators, BSL Division One Semi-Final, 24th August 1997
Fire QB Guy Manella passed for 276 yards and 3TDs, as the Fire turned a 20-0 lead into a 23-20 deficit with 1.58 left in the game. Manella engineered a last gasp 85 yard drive culminating in his 15 yard pass to Lee Kelly with 17 seconds remaining. Match report
45. Oxford Saints v West Coast Trojans, BAFL Division Two Final, 2006
Oxford Saints landed the Division 2 Championship trophy in Britbowl 2006 after a thrilling 29-28 victory over Glasgow's West Coast Trojans in the play-off final at the Don Valley Stadium, Sheffield. The Saints led 15-6, but Sutherland’s second TD put the
The conversion by Adam Newman put Saints 15-6 in front.
Trojans kicked off the second half in positive fashion, and reduced the arrears when Sutherland capped a 32-yard run with a touch- down. At the start of the final quarter, Oxford touched down through Ywantro Pasley to stretch the lead to 22-12.
Trojans then put together a ten-play drive, which started at their own 15-yard line.
On the tenth play, Sutherland ran in a touchdown from 38 yards, then Gary McNey converted to leave Trojans only two points behind. The Scottish outfit took a 28-22 lead when McMenemy ran 39 yards for a touchdown, but Sutherland failed to land the two-point conversion. This proved crucial, as in Saints' final drive, and with only 48 seconds left on the clock, knowing that seven points would give them the title, Taylor took the ball to within one yard of the end-zone. With just enough time for another play, Taylor, who won the most valuable player award, received the ball for a touchdown.
With the scores level, the pressure fell on Newman to claim the championship. He held his nerve to slot home the kick and secure the title for Saints.
46. Bournemouth Buccaneers 20-21 Crawley Raiders, BNGL Premier Semi-Final, 24th August 1992
Bournemouth led 20-7 at the break, but Crawley fought back through TDs from Ritchie and Henry before Phare PAT secured the semi-final victory. Match report
47. Yate Thundercats 13-13 Bath Gladiators, 10th April 1988
Bath led 13-10 with nine seconds left before their kicker Keith Sharp booted a 40 yard field goal into the wind to tie the match. Match report.
48. London Blitz 28-24 Coventry Jets, 23rd August 2007
Sunday saw the Coventry Cassidy Jets travel to Finsbury park along with their three year unbeaten domestic run, to face the London Blitz in a show down of the top two placed teams in the Premiership. The Blitz now sit top of the BAFL Premiership with the only unbeaten record as they came out 28-24 winners.
A good sized crowd, consisting of Blitz and Jets fans but also numerous players and coaches for other teams, turned up on a damp Sunday afternoon to see, what was expected to be a great game of football, and that’s exactly what it proved to be.
The Blitz received the first kick-off, and a touchback saw them start on their own twenty. After only a few short gains the home team had to punt the ball into Jets territory. The Jets offense and QB Tim Spaull, saw first hand why the Blitz defense was the number one ranked in the Premiership, as Aaron Sanders-Percival picked off his very first pass and gave the Blitz the ball back with good field position. Pat Cullen made short work of the short field. Some excellent blocking by the offensive line and an excellent fake by halfback Richard Cunningham, Cullen hit wide receiver Rod Bradley on a role out for a twelve yard score. The point after attempt by Nathan Holt was good and the Blitz led by seven. That was the only scoring in the first quarter.
The lead was short lived however as the Jets soon hit back. Following the kick off the Jets went back to their running game with carries by both Perkins and Coles; they moved the ball into Blitz territory. For their score however they went back to their go to guy in Mark Cohen, as some confusion in the Blitz secondary left Cohen open in the corner for a twenty three yard touchdown reception from Spaull, the conversion was good and the scores were tied.
The Blitz were then held again by a strong Jets run defense and the Jets soon had the ball back. A powerful and skilful run by Tony Perkins saw him go fifty three yards down the field to be finally dragged down by the Blitz’s defensive MVP for the day Jason “Bris” Brisbane on the Blitz one yard line. The stingy Blitz defense, again lead by Bris and Adrian Samuels stiffened and the Jets found themselves going backwards. A failed fourth down saw the scored remain at 7-7. The Blitz offense struggled to make any ground and on fourth down decided to punt away to midfield. A holding penalty against the Jets however gave the Blitz a fourth and one on their own twelve yard line. Forced to re-kick a poor snap and an illegal kick later and the Blitz defense again saw themselves defending their goal line from the five. This time the Jets managed to get the ball back into Cohen’s hands for the lead. The kick was good and the score was 14-7 to the Jets.
Coventry were unable to move the ball on their next possession and the Blitz held them to a three and out. With 42 seconds left on the clock and a chance to go into the half with the lead the Blitz offense took the field in hurry up mode starting from the Coventry forty two yard line. On the first play quarterback Pat Cullen took to the air, throwing deep down field, landing an absolute gem perfectly into the hands of Rod Bradley for a forty yard completion. Rod was tackled out off bounds at the two yard line, and two plays later Tyrone Irons-Reid leapt into the endzone with his second effort to give the Blitz a 21-14 lead at the half.
Unfortunately the second quarter wasn’t all good news for the Blitz as their team captain and heart and soul of the team, Adam Seoudy, left the field with a suspected broken leg.
The half time gave the crowd a chance to catch their breaths while the Jets Cheerleaders put on a dazzling display. Coach Moss was his normal relaxed self in the huddle and made it very clear that the business end of the game is in the second half. As quickly as half time had started, it was over and both sides, as well as the crowd were eager to get the second half underway.
The first few possessions of the third quarter saw both teams making small gains resulting in punts. One such punt from Blitz punter Duncan Aldous fielded by London based Jets wideout Jeremy Simms saw him weave his way down his own sideline and deep in to Blitz territory to start the next Coventry Jets drive on the Blitz ten yard line. Tim Spaull didn’t take long to hook up with wide receiver Joe Black on a jump ball and with the conversion successful the scores were again level.
On the next Blitz possession the Jets defense came up big with a forced fumble and recovery, leaving the Jets with good field position inside Blitz territory. The Blitz defense again showed why teams have struggled against them all season and big plays by Jason Brisbane and defensive end Pat Yeye saw the Jets offense going backwards. Eventually the Jets had to punt but a holding call against the Blitz saw them improve their field position and set up a great fifty three yard field goal by Steve Coles to give the Jets a three point lead.
Time was running out, but if anyone thought that was the end of the Blitz then they was wrong. Pat Cullen engineered an efficient drive which included a screen pass to Ricky Cunningham that saw him ducking and diving passed Jets defenders for a long gain down to the Jets two yard line. The drive was finished off with Cullen taking the ball in himself. The point after was good and the Blitz lead by four, meaning only a touchdown would be good enough to save the Jets three year long winning streak.
The London defense was however in no mood to give up a score. Ed Morgan nearly intercepted a third down pass, but with the fourth down falling incomplete the Blitz just needed to take a knee to see out the game.
Mark Moss, London Blitz Head Coach commented, “It was a great game of football and one that I hope the crowd really enjoyed. It showed how far both teams have come in the last few years albeit with two different strategies. I am very proud of the team we’ve managed to build a team of local guys with a mixture of experience and lots of youth. All the players have worked very hard since January, through training camp and up to today and they will continue to work hard until we achieve our ultimate goal. Every person on this team and in this club has one thing in common, if you cut them, they bleed blue and white and I couldn’t ask for anything more from them”
In the long run the weekend’s result doesn’t mean a whole lot as both teams have their sight set on the same goal that can’t be achieved until the 23rd September.
49. Cardiff Mets 32-30 West London Aces, NDMA Div 2, 7th July 1991
West London led 30-25 late in the fourth quarter and when Mets QB Gary Layton was intercepted it looked all over for the welsh side. On the very next play, Aces QB Mick Gadsby was stripped and with 18 seconds left Layton found Steve Gordon for the winning score. Match report.
50. Leicester Panthers 20-21 Northants Storm, 1st May 1988
Chris Cook blocked a last minute Panthers field goal to give the Storm a surprise victory in this Budweiser League regular season match. Panthers went 20-14 up in the third quarter but crucially failed to convert a 2 PAT. Milan Zuzek put the Storm ahead with a late 1 yard TD run, before Sean Payton led Panthers down the field for their ill fated field goal attempt. Match report