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BAFA News and Articles

27.04.2016
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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 different. 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. Linebacker Spencer 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 Harris. 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 play. 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 game.  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 standout performance. 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 Russia. 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 time. 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 defense. 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 we want." 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."
26.04.2016
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Game report supplied by William Clark - Glasgow The 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. The 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 conversion. As 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. In 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 Morrison. As 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 tough day. The Tigers next fixture is on the 08th May when they host the Newcastle Vikings.
26.04.2016
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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 Rugby Club. 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 on downs. 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 soon.
25.04.2016
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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 week. 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. Knights Head 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. The Warriors 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 Meanwhile 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 We understand two more women have joined Northern Premier teams - but Laura got in first with her performance against the London Blitz
20.04.2016
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Report supplied by Farnham Knights Having 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. The first 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. The Knights 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 It would 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. Top tackler of the day was David Francis who led the defense to limit the Blitz to just one second half score. The home 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!" OFFENSE: DEFENSE: Passing: D Francis 3S 2A C Goodall 1S 3A M Schmidt  1S 3A + 1Sack 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 0yds Receiving: H Carter 1 for 37yds STATS: 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  4yds J P Jones 3 for 0yds S Rance 1 for 0yds A Head 2 for -4yds KICK OFF RETURNS N Roope 2 for 51yds S Godfrey 3 for 57yds PUNT  RETURNS J Symons 1 for 9yds OFFENSE TOTALS: KNIGHTS: Rushing 36 for 148yds  1TD Passing 1 of 11 for  37yds TOTAL 47 for  185yds  1TD
19.04.2016
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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.
13.04.2016
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Report supplied by Colchester Gladiators Images courtesy of John Singer The Colchester 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 score 14-6. 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 20-6. 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
13.04.2016
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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 Sharks. 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 preparation. 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 1st Quarter 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. 2nd Quarter 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. 3rd Quarter 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. 4th Quarter 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 here http://www.oxfordsaints.com/schedule/. Game highlights
12.04.2016
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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 it.  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 website (www.nottinghamcaesars.co.uk), 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 advertising. More details of packages can be produced on request via contacting Steve Matthews on 07900 597 099 or emailing: media@nottinghamcaesars.co.uk   
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 promoted Knights. The Knights 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. The squad 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. A key 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" The Knights 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.