Euro Cup Final
Heysel Stadium, Brussels
London O's 12-6 Oslo Vikings
QB Nick Hewitt and WR Clive Palumbo
twice hooked up for touchdowns to lead the O's to glory in the Euro Cup Final in Brussels.
London were forced to go to the air after losing leading rusher Justin Oke in the early
stages of a hard fought encounter between the two previously unbeaten sides.
Oke left the game to receive stitches to
his cut hand after rushing for just 9 yards on 5 carries. Former Monarch Stephen
Hutchinson filled in admirably, rushing for 103 yards on 18 attempts.
But it was the Vikings who made the
stronger start to the final as they recovered the opening kickoff that was fumbled by Bahr
Viera and then Gerry Anderson.
Taking advantage of excellent field
position, Oslo took the lead when Fred Nanhed pounded into the endzone from three yards
out. Gary Thomas blocked the extra point.
With their ground game missing the pace
and power of Oke, the O's went to the air to level the scores late in the second period.
Starting deep in their own territory,
London drew back into contention when Hewitt found Palumbo down the right sideline, who
then raced 60 yards into the end zone for the score.
The wideout was then penalised 10 yards
for an excessive celebration on the ensuing extra point, which was then blocked.
Oslo received the ball after the half
but could only manage six yards before punting to London's 22, where the O's embarked on
the game-winning nine-play, 78 yard drive.
Hutchinson then rushed three times for
27 yards to begin the drive before a short Hewitt run, a Vikings penalty and a Simms
reception set up second-and-seven from Oslo's 36-yard line.
Hewitt rolled out right, searching for
an open receiver and threw to Palumbo at the five, who in turn evaded a tackle to reach
the end zone.
O's QB Hewitt passed
for 2 TD's
The resultant two-point conversion
attempt to fullback Collis Seale-McConnie was broken up, leaving the O's with a six point
Ex-Monarchs tight end Gerry Anderson,
introduced to the defense, produced the first sack of the day on Oslo's next drive for a
loss of five, forcing the Vikings to punt from their own 25.
Anderson could only juggle Hewitt's pass
on third and six on the O's next possession, thus maintaining the see-saw nature of the
contest; this, after an earlier penalty against the Vikings for a hit on Palumbo out of
bounds had kept the drive alive.
Oslo then went 51 yards on nine carries
and into O's territory before Simon Newnham's sack on Dennis Johanson pushed them back
four yards and when Nanhed found himself being swarmed by defenders on the ensuing fourth
down it appeared, finally, that this was to the London's day.
Hutchinson failed to run the clock out,
but Viera's stuff on fourth-and-two sealed the victory for the south London outfit.