23rd September 2001 - British Senior Flag League Finals

The London Gators proved themselves the BSFL's best team in 2001, as they maintained their unbeaten record by clinching the BSFL trophy Sunday with two hard fought victories. QB Brett Barash was again their star throwing for 5 TD's and running for another himself on the day,  in the Gators 22-8 semi-final win over the defending champion Fen Harriers and then in the 22-14 win over Canterbury in the final. The Canterbury Coyotes (in their first season in the league) did themselves proud, as they made it a Southern Conference one-two, after walloping the Northern Conference champion team UCLA Renegades 34-0 in the other semi-final.

Semi-Final 1 - London Gators 22-8 Fen Harriers

The London Gators, the only undefeated side in the BSFL in 2001,  took on the defending champion Fen Harriers in an eagerly awaited clash of styles. The Harriers with an effective ground game up against the aerial attack Gators offense led by QB Brett Barash.

The Gators came out passing, as expected, with Barash throwing a brace of TD's early on to WR's Mike Keefe and Todd Johnstone. Barash then ran for another himself as the Gators built up an impressive lead. The Harriers responded with a Martin Brown strike to Gordon Wright (Wright also added the 2 PAT kick) to pull themselves back into the game before half-time.

The Harriers' defense managed to shutdown the Gators in the second half with some excellent coverage and good defensive line pressure, but the damage had been done early on, and the Gators held onto their 22-8 lead for the remainder of the game.

Semi-Final 2 - UCLA Renegades 0-34 Canterbury Coyotes

The Northern Conference champions, UCLA Renegades took on the Southern Conference runners-up Canterbury Coyotes, in a game that was expected to be very tight. In the event, the Coyotes impressive offense (led competently by QB Dan Dart) scored four rushing TD's, as they blew away the Renegades in what turned out to be an easy victory.

The Coyotes opened with a 62 yard run from HB Bob Kalman, and the Coyotes soon took a 6-0 lead on Dan Dart's 1 yard run. The UCLA Renegades responded with an impressive drive, but a crucial sack on 3rd and 10 in the Coyotes red zone by LB James Robson held the Renegades at bay. The Coyotes extended their lead to 12-0 just before half-time on a 17 yard pass to WR Colin Hubbuck from Dart.

After the interval, a 15 yard TD run by Kalman extended the Coyotes lead to 18, and then TB Glenn Lindley's 9-yard run eased the Coyotes to an unassailable 26-0 lead (with the 2 PAT being added on a Jack Garnsey catch from Dart).

Despite the tremendous efforts of the Renegades QB Matt Dean, they just couldn't move the ball effectively enough, as the Coyotes impressive defensive line tightened their grip, with DE's Rory O'Toole grabbing two second half sacks.

Stuart Skinner wrapped up the scoring for the Coyotes on a 14 yard run, with Hubbuck grabbing the 2 PAT pass from Dart, to make the final score 34-0.


BSFL Final - London Gators 22-14 Canterbury Coyotes

In a cracking final, it was the Gators who edged the Coyotes for the BSFL title with a 22-14 win. In a hard fought first half, it was the Gators who went in at the break leading 8-0 through Brett Barash's TD strike to Mike Keefe.

After the break, the Coyotes struck. Dan Dart fired a 10 yard scoring pass to Glenn Lindley, and Jack Garnsey caught the 2 PAT from Dart to level things up at 8-8. The crucial phase of the match followed straight after as the Gators responded with their impressive passing attack. Two TD's on successive drives put just enough distance between the sides. Firstly Barash linked up with Todd Johnstone for a score, and then with Gary Crock on a post pattern as they moved into a 22-8 lead with two minutes to go.

With time running out, the Coyotes made one final attempt to close the gap. Colin Hubbuck's 60 yard catch and run moved the Coyotes to the Gators 11 yard line, and on the next play Dan Dart connected with Hubbuck again to close the gap to 22-14 as time expired.