Report supplied by Oxford Saints
On Sunday 24th April the Oxford Saints claimed their 2nd win of the 2016 season, with a
comprehensive victory over division favourites, the Bristol Apache.
Following two thrilling fixtures between Oxford and Bristol
in the 2015 season, the re-match last weekend on Bristol's home turf was no
Photo courtesy of Chris Janes
The Saints returned from a 0-13 deficit at half time to
claim a 26-15 win, with an exceptional performance from both the offense and
the defense, which the Apache were unable to match.
Bristol began with the ball and on the first play,
quarterback Simon Marris completed a
deep pass over the middle for a 19 yard gain, with the receiver being brought
down by free safety Bilal Redd.
Duffy asserted his position on the field and made back to back tackles for
a loss of yards to end Bristol’s opening drive, including a sack on quarterback
With Oxford beginning their first drive under the leadership
of new quarterback Destin Maulding,
the Saints struggled to make progress against the Apache defense, with running
back Kev Brooks being stopped for
minimal gains. A fumbled ball (recovered by Oxford) set the Saints back 16
yards and forced them to punt the ball away.
With Bristol back in possession, Oxford made another strong
stand with middle linebacker Sam
Stancombe leading the defense. The Apache put the ball in the capable hands
of running back Jon Walters. Despite
picking up yards on the ground, a penalty against Bristol set them back and
tight coverage from defender Misha
Brooks prevented Harris from connecting with his targeted receiver.
With both teams probing for weaknesses, The Saints began to
move the ball in the form of running back Rob
Johnson, who picked up 18 yards and a first down on the drive. Coming up
short on 4th down, Destin Maulding attempted to convert for another first down
himself but was tackled for a 2 yard loss.
Harris went to the air and found progress against the Saints
defense. Further strong running from Jon
Walters saw him charging into the end zone for a 14 yard gain to open the
scoring for the day. Christopher Jones kicked the extra point and the host team
took a 7-0 lead.
Throughout the 2nd quarter, both teams attempted to find the
end zone but defiant defenses by Oxford and Bristol dominated the proceedings.
Combinations of runs from Rob Johnson
and Antonios Athanasiou picked up
yards on the ground but the Apache defense prevented any meaningful gains.
Oxford's defense remained strong across the board with more
tackles Spencer Duffy and Dean Bryan.
With the Saints offense knocking on the door, Maulding and
his crew were in scoring distance and only needed a few more yards to cross
into the end zone and find the equalizing score. Disaster struck and the ball
was stripped away from the offense by Bristol defender Dariusz Wiercioch who then raced the length of the field and across
the Oxford goal-line. The extra point
kick was no good and the Apache took a 13-0 lead.
Late in the 2nd quarter, the Oxford offense found its usual
fire when James Walter was switched from tight end to running back before being
unleashed on the Bristol defense.
Walter picked up 6 yards on his first carry before breaking
out for a 30 yard gain the play after. Further running from Walter was
accompanied by a 24 yard gain from team-mate Grant Tebb, he eluded several defenders as he charged up the field.
With the end zone in sight again, a pass from Maulding was
intercepted by an Apache defender and Bristol once again stopped the Saints
from getting onto the scoreboard.
With Bristol looking to add another score before half time,
they were moving the ball on the ground well with more tough running from Jon
Walters who was supported by an offensive line clearing a path for him.
Although With tackles being made by Bilal
Redd, Eric Mendoza and Duffy, Bristol continued to pick up yards with each
Duffy fired up the Saints sideline when he landed a big hit
on quarterback Simon Harris for a 10 yard sack, which also forced the ball to
come loose. Defensive end Adam Baker
reacted immediately and dived on the loose ball to to claim possession for
Oxford. Despite an 18 yard carry by Walter, the Saints ran out of time in the
first half to add points onto the board.
At the half time interval, Head Coach Andrew Day and Defensive Coordinator Nick Wykes addressed the team and made several adjustments.
Coming into the 2nd half ready to go, Oxford began with
possession and it was all James Walter as he charged across the field, picking
up 47 yards on 5 carries before crossing the goal-line from 3 yards out to
score a touchdown.
Kicker Sam Fielden
attempted the extra point kick but it was no good, but the Saints made it a
one-score game narrowed the deficit to just 13-6 in favour of Bristol.
With quarterback Mike
Hindmarsh taking over duties for the Apache in the 2nd half, Oxford strong
safety Chris Fox dealt a blow early on with a 7 yard sack on Hindmarsh as he
attempted to scramble and find space.
Hindmarsh and the Bristol offense were able to keep the
drive alive and continued to progress up field until Bilal Redd claimed his first interception with the Oxford Saints,
leaping high in the air to snatch the pass from Hindmarsh.
Walter continued to have a break out game as he continued to
wreak havoc against the tiring Apache defense, running for 49 yards in a single
play before being brought down.
In Bristol territory, Maulding completed a deep 21 yard
throw to Grant Tebb in the corner of the end zone, who managed to reel in the
touchdown pass despite close coverage by Apache defenders.
Head Coach Andrew Day made the decision to take the lead and
instead of kicking the extra point, he kept Maulding on the field. The
quarterback rolled out and threw a pass to tight end Richard Bloomer who was uncovered in the corner of the end zone,
giving the Saints an additional 2 points. 14-13 Oxford.
Oxford's defense closed the 3rd quarter on a high note with
a further sack on the Bristol quarterback, this time forcing a 7 yard loss at
the hands of linebackers Graeme Taylor
and Dean Bryan. The defense
continued to put pressure on the Apache with further tackles from Baker, Bryan,
Mendoza and Stancombe.
The relentless James
Walter continued to be an unstoppable force and was on track for a record
breaking performance, with a run for 26 yards and then a touchdown run for 49
yards into the end zone. The kick was no good but the Saints moved to a more
comfortable 20-13 lead.
Oxford's brutal defense continued to over power the Apache
and the next drive saw defensive end Conor
Whitehouse land a 7 yard sack on Hindmarsh, followed by a 9 yard sack from
Stancombe on the next play, forcing Bristol to punt.
The Saints marched down the field again with running from
Walter and Athanasiou, before Maulding handed the ball to full back Luke Fry who charged untouched into the
end zone for a 28 yard score, marking his first career touchdown with Oxford.
Fielden attempted the extra point kick but it was deflected
and a Bristol defender scooped up the loose ball and returned it to the Oxford end
zone, awarding them 2 points. 26-15 Oxford.
As the final whistle was blown, the Saints celebrated their
victory over the division favourites in what Oxford considered a must-win
Walter ended the game with a remarkable achievement and
personal record of 270 rushing yards, the majority of which were earned in just
the 2nd half of the game. An average of 10.8 yards per carry. He also
contributed two touchdowns and was named Team MVP (most valued player) for his
These kind of stats and his ability to create momentum for his
team reaffirms the logic behind Walter being called up to the GB Squad, with
his first game against an international team coming up in September against
The game was also the first for new player David Anthony who filled in
occasionally at nose tackle. It was noted by the defensive coaches that he had
a very strong first game and his stand out performance was driving the Bristol
centre deep into the backfield and taking him to the ground.
James Walter added: “I’m extremely proud of the team this
weekend; for not getting disheartened despite being down by two scores at half
The decision of the HC to move myself to running back at the start of
the second half proved crucial as we managed to drive the majority of the field
and score, thus providing the spark to turn the game around.
Inspiring players all over the field such as Rich Christian’s sterling
performance as part of a revitalised offensive line against a heavy blitzing
Bristol defense; combined with some outstanding plays from all over our own
It's always amazing to hit new records, 270 personal rushing yards
almost exclusively in the second half is phenomenal. Our offense is going from
strength to strength with playmakers all over and I don't see why both the team
and I cannot go on to set more records this season."
Head Coach Andrew Day commented after the game: “The
heart and desire shown by the lads was something else. Not only coming from a 2
score deficit at the half, but to totally dominate the second half scoring 26
points to Bristol's 2 and in the end running out as comfortable winners.
I'm really pleased with this win but we won’t rest. We know that only
continued hard work on the practice ground will keep us going in the direction
Defensive Coordinator Nick Wykes added his thoughts on the
defensive performance: “We had playmakers right across the unit and
Sunday was a disciplined, focused and very promising performance. A lot of
things we need to go away and tidy up, but today the Defense showed real
character and played their part in a very imposing team performance."
Game report supplied by William Clark - Glasgow
Tigers started quickly and recovered a fumbled punt return by Northumberland,
and this set up some nice field position. A run from Kris Krol followed by a pass reception from Pete McNaughton and then full back Yoann Hubert was able to run in his first Tigers touchdown.
Lightning stopped the conversion but the Tigers soon doubled their lead when Liam Baird recovered another Lightning
fumble. This time it was McNaughton who bulldozed his way in for a touchdown. Tigers
QB Paddy O’Donnell then ran right
across to the sideline and dived for the pylon to secure the two point
the second quarter progressed the Glasgow team added another score when Robb Renyi intercepted a Lightning pass
and ran the ball into the end zone. The Lightning defence stopped the
conversion but the Tigers had a 20 - 0 lead. On Northumberland’s next drive,
Linebacker Stevie Munro intercepted
another wayward pass to give the Tigers the ball but time expired on this drive
for the half.
the third quarter Northumberland came out with a good drive and tried a field
goal. Tigers Lineman Mark Chalmers
forced his way into the line and blocked the kick. Midway through the fourth
quarter and another Tigers touchdown, this time Krol ran it in, after a big
pass reception from O’Donnell to Robert
the Lightning tried to get something going on the back of a big Jordan Nellis run, another pass was
tipped by Thompson Sunerton and then
intercepted by Ben Filmer who ran it
back 15 yards. With further fumble recoveries from Dean Jardine and Munro, the Northumberland offence were having a
Tigers next fixture is on the 08th May when they host the Newcastle Vikings.
Report supplied by Bury Saints
Images courtesy of William G Watson
The Bury Saints
American Football club moved to 2-0 after a hard fought win over the
Southampton based Solent Thrashers
running out a 19-6 score line at Thetford
The Saints received the opening kick-off and struggled to
move the ball. Bury had to punt but Solent didn't fare much better on their
opening drive and did likewise. This continued through the next 2 series and
Solent was forced to punt a 2nd time - that’s when the fireworks exploded as RB
Cory Jenkins caught the punt and
weaved through defenders for a 40 yard TD to give the Saints an early 6-0 lead.
Rob Giles added the Point after TD
to push the score to 7-0.
The Thrashers were forced to punt again on the next drive,
but a fumble on the punt gave the Thrashers great field position at midfield
and they drove down to the Bury 6 yard line, but the Saints Defense carrying on
from the shutout vs Sussex stiffened
and forced a FG attempt that was botched on the snap and the Saints took over
The Punting and field position game carried on till the
middle of the 2nd quarter when Bury mounted an 11 play 57 yard drive capped off
by a 29 yard TD pass from QB Derek White
to WR Joe Hill. The PAT was wide
right so the score stood at 13-0 in favour of Bury.
Solent continued to threaten on drives but were stalled by
punts and an interception by DB Dmont
Herring to seal the score at 13-0 going into the halftime intermission.
Both teams were busy making adjustments during halftime, and
Solent seemed to get the upper hand in the adjustments department after their
own 11 play drive, but LB Chris Smith
picked off a Solent pass to quash the threat. The Thrashers did get a quick
strike after Bury fumble inside its own 10 yard line to close the gap at 13-6,
but failed to convert the 2 point conversion.
The game then became a series of defensive stands, punts,
turnovers and field position battles until late in the 4th quarter when Bury
recovered a fumbled punt catch by Solent inside their own 10 yard line with
White running in the 7 yard TD to make the score 19-6. The PAT was missed and
the Thrashers ran out of time to mount any further comeback.
Standout Defensive performances were had by Herring with 6
tackles along with his INT, Smith with 5 Tackles, a Pass Defensed and his
interception. Jack Hewett also chipped in with 2 tackles for losses, a sack and
also 5 tackles. The Offensive side saw Joe Hill post a 3 for 56 receiving line
and Don Ray Washington also had a
great game with 4 catches for 38 yards. As a team the Defensive unit has now
only allowed 6 points through 8 quarters of play, wreaking havoc in the red
zone, bending but not breaking.
Newly appointed Head Coach Christian Cantrill had heaps of praise for his team, but also
cautioned getting too far ahead of the next opponent - the Hertfordshire Cheetahs: "Today was a great game vs an excellent
opponent. They were the SFC1 bowl finalists last year and we knew they would be
a very dynamic offense and gritty tough defense. I'm proud of the Saints for
stepping up when needed and staying focused to bring the Saints Nation a 2nd
win out of 2 tries this young season. Our next opponent is yet another massive
matchup and we will be busy making improvements and putting in the work to face
them in 2 weeks’ time."
The Saints host the Cheetahs on Sunday 8 May with a 2PM Kick-off at Thetford Rugby Club.
Off of the field there have been some changes too, with Bobby Coffman having been appointed as
the clubs new chairman going forward. The organisation continues to maintain a
solid base with a number of exciting new ventures in the pipeline going forward
including the clubs very own Apple
and Smartphone App going live very
The Farnham Knights had a tough start to
life back in the Premier Division of
British American football when they took on and lost to the London Blitz last week. The Blitz have
been National Champions 5 times in the past 10 years and runners up for the
past 3 years - the loss was therefore not a great surprise - but the Knights
showed progress over the 4 quarters and hope to take that momentum forward this
Knights in action - Photo courtesy of Alison Berrisford
After a week
of preparation their task now however becomes still more difficult as they face
an away trip to the London Warriors
- three time National Champions who have vanquished the Blitz in the Final for
the past 3 years. The Warriors opened their season with a 71-0 win over the South Wales Warriors and are possibly
even stronger than last year with the return of Jerome Allen at Quarterback.
Coach Steve Rains said "We
knew that stepping up a level for the third year in a row was going to be tough
and last week was a learning curve for the team - we got better as the game
progressed and the key now is to carry on from where we left off at the end of
that game rather than going back to the start of the process.
are the #1 team in the country - we have to go there and be ourselves rather than
plan for damage limitation. We were the #1 team in the country in 2004 and in
many cases we won the game before we even got started just because of the
oppositions approach to our status. It will be a very tough game for us - but
then every game in the Premier Division is tough just as it should be"
#54 Laura Hill lines up vs the Blitz - Photo courtesy of Alison Berrisford
the Knights #54 Laura Hill claims a
#1 spot of her own as the first ever female player to play in the Premier
Division. Laura who play Offensive Line is part of the successful Great Britain Lions Women's team and
she has been part of the Knights Offensive Line squad for the past 12 months
playing a role in the Knights 2015 Division 1 Championship team. Her role
against the Blitz included blocking for the Knights end of game scoring play
understand two more women have joined Northern Premier teams - but Laura got in
first with her performance against the London Blitz
Report supplied by Farnham Knights
achieved promotion in each of the past two seasons the Knights knew that the
return to the top level of British American Football would be a tough task. The
challenge was made still more stretching when the fixture schedule dialled up
the London Blitz away as the first
fixture. The Blitz have been National Champions 5 times and runner up 5 times
in the last 10 years.
quarter saw the speed and power of the Blitz stop the Knights normally highly
productive offense and their offense scored two breakaway running touchdowns
and a passing touchdown to lead 21-0 at the end of the first period.
were climbing the learning curve and good blocking saw Nick Roope gaining good yardage - his partner at tailback Aaron Sekwalor was also productive -
Aaron was playing his first senior level game having graduated from last year’s
junior squad. The Blitz added two further scores in the quarter and the Knights
were in Field Goal range as time expired but unfortunately with no time outs
left they didn't get the kick away in time. 35-0 at half time.
Photo courtesy of Andy Soltysyiak - Knights running the ball
have been easy for the Knights to have folded under the pressure of the game
and the score - but they showed great spirit and the third quarter hopefully
showed signs of progress as it remained scoreless with both teams forced to
punt after good defensive work. 35-0 at the end of the 3rd period.
Into the 4th
quarter and both teams were using the depth of their squads. For the Knights
there were some impressive debuts for example Max Schmidt recorded the first sack of the season for the Knights -
Max was playing his first senior league game having been recruited from the
successful Surrey Stingers University team. On offense Ricardo St Hilaire carried the ball
twice for 6yds for his first American football action.
of the day was David Francis who led
the defense to limit the Blitz to just one second half score.
team added their further score at the start of the 4th Quarter but the Knights
had the final say as Nick Roope opened the teams account for the year with a
3yd run on the final play of the game following a 37yd pass reception for
another Junior team graduate Harry
Carter who was making his senior level debut.
Head Coach Steve Rains said “Clearly not the result we wanted
but we always knew it was going to be tough, we learnt a lot today and we were
a better team in the second half. We need to take those lessons on board and
prepare to return to London in 2 weeks’ time - to play the current National
Champions the London Warriors who are making a bid for their 4th consecutive
title - there are no easy games in this league!"
D Francis 3S 2A
C Goodall 1S 3A
M Schmidt 1S 3A +
C James 1S 1A
L Scott 1S 1A
J Vince 1S 1A
D Hatcher 2A
A Reid 2A
R Balderson 1S
A Alothman 1S
M Rutter 1S
M Gumas 1S
M Marriott 1S
V Fedotov 1A
L Bridcutt 1A
O De Ruyter 1 of 10 for 37yds
N Roope 0 of 1 for
Carter 1 for 37yds
N Roope 13 for 76yds 1TD
A Sekwalor 12 for 58yds
K Ejiogu 2 for 8yds
R St Hilaire 2 for 6yds
O De Ruyter 1 for
J P Jones 3 for 0yds
S Rance 1 for 0yds
A Head 2 for -4yds
N Roope 2 for 51yds
S Godfrey 3 for 57yds
J Symons 1 for 9yds
Rushing 36 for 148yds
Passing 1 of 11 for
TOTAL 47 for
Last Sunday the Sandwell Steelers clashed with the Birmingham Bulls in a local derby match that was as close as was expected. The Steelers prevailed 18-14 and were lucky enough to have some exclusive images from the game courtesy of Andy Neale - Whizzyfingers Photography.
Report supplied by Colchester Gladiators
Images courtesy of John Singer
Gladiators struggled in their season opener against the newly promoted Kent Exiles, as turnovers and poor
field position cost the team dear.
The Gladiators' first drive of the day summed up the match
as QB Curtis Bourke threw the first
of five interceptions after driving to the Kent 14. Although tackling the
interceptor on the one, an early opportunity had been wasted.
Chris Jackson powers through the Kent defense
The Exiles' offence however started fast and a couple of
good runs took them into Gladiator territory. The running back should have been
tackled in the back field but a couple of missed tackles enabled him to escape
to the sideline, and he took off to the end zone, securing the Exiles' first
points of the day. The two point pass attempt failed but Kent led 6-0.
Bourke threw his second interception which was returned to
the Colchester two, but a penalty negated an apparent score before good defence
held the opposing offence out for a turnover on downs.
The Gladiators gifted Kent another golden opportunity when a
poor snap on a punt was downed on their own 13 and it took the Exiles just
three plays to make up for their previous failure. A five yard touchdown pass
was converted by a pass play for two more points to extend the lead to 14-0.
Another interception gave the Exiles good field position
again but a great effort from Brendan
Bignell forced a punt from which the Gladiators got back in the game.
A run dominated drive saw Chris Jackson pick up a couple of first downs before Casey Campbell scorched through the
defence for a 38 yard score. A replayed two point pass failed but confidence
was returning to the Gladiators, now just 6-14 down.
Alex Wright intercepts the Kent QB in his Senior debut
Neither team could move the ball for the remainder of the
half as both sides turned the ball over twice, with the Gladiators throwing
another pick and a fumble but Kent returning the favour as junior graduate Alex Wright, playing in his first
senior game, picked off the Kent QB on consecutive drives to keep the half time
After the Gladiators had to punt the ball to start the
second half, Bignell got the ball back for his team with an interception and
the offence took the ball to the Kent 17. However a penalty pushed them back
and they were forced to punt.
Brendan Bignell tackles a Kent running back
As the Colchester offence struggled, the defence was gaining
turnovers of their own with first Joe
Parsons recovering a fumble before Joe
Stickings intercepted another Kent pass on his own one. But the quarter
remained scoreless to set up what promised to be a tense finish.
Another Gladiators fumble was punished as the Exiles started
a drive just 23 yards out. It took them just three plays to make the Gladiators
pay as their American QB found a receiver in the end zone from 17 yards out to
give them breathing space. The extra point was missed but the lead was now
After another Colchester interception, Kent effectively
sealed the game. Taking over on the Gladiators' 38, the running back broke
through the defence on the first play, and raced through for the score. Bignell
was the man again to block the extra point but the score was now 26-6.
With the Gladiators turning to the struggling passing game,
Kent looked safe but Jim Gilchrist
picked off a Kent pass to offer hope. However, four incompletions gave the ball
back to the Exiles and they padded the score with another rushing touchdown,
from 19 yards out.
Andrew Cairns runs the ball with assistance from Tom Burridge
The Gladiators continued to struggle to find receivers and
didn't really threaten again to leave Kent running out winners by a comfortable
looking score line of 32-6.
Head Coach Karl Bourke was disappointed with the execution
of the plays and said: “Despite a solid pre-season, our timing was
way off today, but I know we can play much better. Our defence made some nice
plays but when you turn the ball over seven times and give a good team
excellent field position, you're digging yourself a big hole. We have a few
weeks to our next game so we will look at the film and practice, practice,
practice, and ensure we put up a better showing than today.”
The Gladiators started out in similar fashion last year,
losing heavily in their first game, throwing four interceptions and opened the
season 0-2 before recovering to a solid 7-3 record, so this defeat does not
mean the team will struggle this year. The absence of a pre-season game clearly
hurt them again but they need to eliminate turnovers and work on the passing game
if they want to turn the season around like they did 12 months ago.
With a four week gap between games before the long trip to
Solent, there is plenty of time to put things right.
All Gladiators home games will be played at Colchester
Rugby Club, Mill Road, Colchester, kick off 2.30pm.
Full details can be found through the Gladiators’
website at www.colchestergladiators.com
Report supplied by Oxford Saints
Images courtesy of Gareth Brown Photography
On Sunday 10th April the Oxford Saints opened the 2016 season in front of a decent crowd
with a 36-12 home win over the visiting Cornish
Following a successful 2015 season in Division II Southern Football Conference West, the Saints made the
playoff stage but fell in the quarter finals to the Sussex Thunder, who have since been promoted to Division I.
Competing in the same conference, the Saints will be looking
for a deep playoff run and have made many improvements on and off the field in
Moving to Tilsley
Park in Abingdon, the Saints
have agreed terms to play all home games at this new venue which has been
recently renovated and a 3G field added.
An addition to the squad is American servicemen Destin Maulding as quarterback,
bringing experience from playing high school football in the USA.
QB Destin Maulding - by Gareth Brown
Matt Walsh, site
manager for Tilsley Park was named the special guest and selected to perform
the pre-game coin toss with the team captains.
Site Manager Matt Walsh tosses the coin - by Gareth Brown
The Saints began with possession of the ball and made good
progress with a strong performance from running back #24 Rob Johnson, picking up 25 yards on 3 carries.
On the 6th play of the drive, Oxford quarterback #14 Destin
Maulding found the towering tight end #83 Richard
Bloomer uncovered in the end zone and completed the pass for the score.
This marked the opening touchdown of the season and Bloomer claimed the first
score at the Saints new home.
Oxford's rookie kicker #80 Sam Fielden lined up for the extra point kick but the ball was not
set in place in time and instead holder Ian
Hiscock made the call to scramble with the ball and pitched it to Richard
Bloomer who attempted to run it in to the left for a 2 point score. Just as he
was being tackled, Bloomer successfully pitched the ball again to Sam Fielden
on the outside, who ran it in for the 2 point score. 8-0 Oxford.
The Sharks hit back quickly with a deep pass from
quarterback #14 Peter Carlin which
was hauled in by his receiver, costing the Saints heavily and brought the
Sharks within a few yards of the end zone. The play was reminiscent of when the
two teams last met in 2015 and the Sharks went for the deep ball on the first
play of the game, catching the Saints defenders off guard.
Peter Carlin sneaked the ball across the line on only the
3rd play of the drive to score the touchdown. Looking to even the score with a
2 point attempt, Carlin's pass was incomplete. 8-6 Oxford.
The Saints continued to look on good form with Destin
Maulding showing his talent and speed as he led Oxford's offense towards the end
zone again. Maulding took off on one play and ran the ball up the sideline for
a 9 yard gain and then capped the drive off by running the ball into the end
zone himself for a 13 yard touchdown.
Sam Fielden lined up for the extra point kick which was
good, extending the lead to 15-6 for Oxford.
George Wright lands a big sack on the Sharks QB - by Gareth Brown
The Saints defense held strong on Cornwall's next drive with
tackles from #99 George Wright and
#51 Sam Stancombe,
bringing the ball carriers to the ground on back to back plays, forcing the
visitors to punt the ball.
Maulding went to work on the next drive and completed a deep
pass to tight end #6 Grant Tebb for
a 21 yard gain, followed by a 19 yard pass to #83 Richard Bloomer who charged
into the end zone for his second touchdown of the afternoon. Fielden kicked the
extra point and the Saints went up 22-6.
Cornwall's Peter Carlin and his offense were beginning to
move the ball on the ground with short but consistent gains. After picking up a
first down, Oxford defender #52 Conor
Whitehouse (later awarded Defense MVP) made an outstanding play and charged
through Cornwall’s offensive line to deliver a big hit to the ground on the
ball carrier, setting them back -5 yards. The Sharks attempted to recover the
lost ground with another run attempt but were stopped by #48 Graeme Taylor,
forcing another punt.
Conor Whitehouse lands a big hit on a Sharks runner - by Gareth Brown
Oxford's next drive saw this biggest pass play of the day
with quarterback Destin Maulding throwing a perfect ball 42 yards downfield
into the talented hands of Grant Tebb, hauling in the reception for a huge gain
and to applause of the Saints sideline and spectators.
Running back #7 James
Walter, selected for the GB National
Team in the offseason, attempted to move the ball on the ground but the
Sharks had already identified him as the key threat in the game and worked hard
to minimise his impact.
A deep pass intended for Walter was contested in the air but
fell incomplete, forcing the offense to punt the ball away for the first time.
Closing out the 2nd quarter, Whitehouse delivered another
solid tackle for a loss of yards on the Sharks ball carrier, with teammate Sam
Stancombe claiming three tackles on the same drive, allowing the Sharks offense
minimal or no gains.
With the Sharks beginning the 2nd half with the ball, the
Saints defense began to increase the pressure with #54 Dean Bryan and Stancombe stopping the ball carrier on the first
play for no gain.
On the next play, linebacker #68 Calvin Holmes read the quarterback's movements and intercepted the
pass from Carlin, racing it 35 yards into the end zone for a touchdown with
thunderous cheers and applause from the fans.
Fielden remained on perfect form in his first regular season
game and kicked the extra point.
The remainder of the 3rd quarter saw both teams unable to
find the end zone but an improving Sharks defense, which managed to sack the
nimble Maulding for an 8 yard loss and successfully kept the Oxford offense out
of the end zone.
The Saints defense continued to be formidable with tackles
from Graeme Taylor, George Wright and tackles for loss of yards by Calvin
Holmes and rookie #55, Eric Mendoza.
In the air, defender #3 Ian
Hiscock broke up two pass attempts and prevented Carlin from connecting
with his targeted receivers. George Wright delivered a punch with a sack on
Carlin to end the drive, delivering the Sharks a -6 yards loss.
Later in the 4th quarter, the Sharks were in scoring
distance after a stalled Saints drive turned over possession of the ball deep
in their own territory. The ball was handed off to #21 Mark Womble who ran into
the end zone from 15 yards out for a touchdown.
Womble attempted to run the ball in again for the 2 point
conversion but was unsuccessful.
Grant Tebb in action - by Gareth Brown
The final drive for the Saints offense saw Walter and Tebb
bearing the load with both players moving the ball well up the field. From 20
yards out, the ball was put in the capable hands of Walter who charged towards
the end zone and easily out ran the Cornish defenders in pursuit, claiming his
first touchdown at Tilsley Park.
Fielden kicked another successful extra point and the hosts
ended the game with a 36-12 victory.
The next home game for Oxford is 24th April against
conference favourites, the Bristol Apache. Full schedule and dates available
News Release by supplied by Nottingham Caesars
As the Nottingham
Caesars American Football Club enter their 32nd consecutive year of
competition, they are making some major changes off the field, as well as on
Following this year’s league reshuffle by BAFANL, they will
be competing in the new Midlands
Division 1 against regular adversaries from recent years in the Birmingham Bulls and Doncaster Mustangs. Old rivalries
against the Cambridgeshire Cats and Peterborough Saxons will be rekindled
and we will also be testing our metal against new opponents in the Sandwell Steelers.
2016 sees us move back into our spiritual home inside the
athletics track at Harvey Hadden Stadium (in Bilborough, Notts.), following the
completion of renovation work of the sports complex there.
The Nottingham Caesars are building for the future. Their
new media team have taken the bit between their teeth and accepted the
challenge of increasing our visibility through our social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), our
which helped us achieve our biggest ever turnout (over 100 people) to the
pre-Christmas taster sessions for new players.
But perhaps most excitingly we are venturing into producing
in another medium, the newly created CaesarsTV!
The brainchild of former player Steve
Matthews, CaesarsTV will be streaming our 5 regular season home games live.
With his team of media whizzes and former players volunteering their time, we
are looking at making the Caesars game day experience a special event whether
you can attend the game in person or not.
Caesars TV is looking to provide:
- Player and coach interviews, team news and live footage of
the build up towards each home game in a live pre-game show. - Full coverage of each home game at Harvey
Hadden Stadium. - Full commentary of the game (with head ref mic’d up) -
Post-game reactions. - An edited highlights package made available within days
of the game.
This also allows us to venture into the exciting world of
being able to offer advertising through our media. We are actively seeking
anyone who would be willing to work with us through sponsorship and
More details of packages can be produced on
request via contacting Steve Matthews on 07900 597 099 or emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
Article by Steve Rains - Farnham Knights
The Farnham Knights sponsored by Premier Prospects take their first step
back into the Premier level of British American Football this Sunday at Mill Hill Rugby Club (KO 3-00pm)
It could not
be much tougher than facing the perennial BritBowl
Finalists and 5 time Champion London
Blitz. The Blitz will be looking to set their third successive National
Championship defeat to their cross town rival London Warriors behind them and the odds must be against the newly
were one of the top teams in the country from 2001-2006 and then reappeared in
the Premier level again from 2008 to 2012 - their 3 National Championship Final
appearances were 2002, 2004 and 2005
they won the prize in 2004.
The last two
seasons have seen the Knights step up a level and they won the Division 1 South
Bowl last year to secure promotion back to the top flight.
has maintained the base of players from last year with some notable additions
from neighbouring teams, Surrey
Universities successful college team and of course graduates from their own
very successful Junior programme.
absentee however will be star Running Back Gareth
Davies who ran for over 1600yds last season - it was discovered that he
achieved that with a broken wrist and the rehab from the subsequent operation
will see him miss the 2016 season.
Head Coach Steve Rains said "We are looking forward to
being back in the top level which is where we believe the Knights belong. We
know it’s going to be a significant challenge for us - but we have worked hard
in pre-season to be ready for it. We will find out Sunday how far we have come
on that journey"
are still looking for further sponsorship and have now added live internet
streaming of all of their games (Data links permitting) as an added attraction for potential backers.