2001 - Adult kitted news

30th December 2001 - Capital Bowl to return in 2002?

Scottish American Football's grandest tournament, the Capital Bowl, could return in 2002. A proposed kitted tournament will be played in April 2002 at Edinburgh's Meadowbank Stadium. With a flourishing youth set-up now in Scotland, it is hoped that the senior kitted tournament will attract new teams to supplement the East Kilbride Pirates and Strathclyde Sheriffs who are currently the only two senior kitted sides in Scotland. The games will be played 8-a-side and any teams wishing to take part should contact their SGA rep.

10th December 2001 - Kent Exiles looking for a new head coach

The Kent Exiles are looking for a head coach for their youth teams, and are appealing for somebody to come forward and take the reins for them. "We have had a lot of enquiries from local children who want to play, but we have nobody to coach them as yet", said an Exiles spokesman, "we really want to do this properly, so we feel we must have somebody who can commit to coaching the youth teams, and not be involved in coaching the senior side". The Exiles are determined to get the team off the ground, and have everything in place except for a coach, "we have done a lot of promotion in the local area, in the local press, as well as going out to schools to spread the word about american football in the area", the spokesman added, "all we need to do now is get the team going". If you would like to coach the Exiles youth team, or play for them, please get in touch. The Exiles would also welcome anybody who would like to play for the senior squad in the 2002 campaign, training restarts on the 6th January. The Exiles play in Orpington, south east London, every Sunday between 11am
and 2pm, and can be contacted by phoning Martin on 07944 730634 or Dave on 01689 831207 or by e-mailing Kent.Exiles@BTInternet.com

2nd December 2001 - The Cats website

The Cats, who are based in Cambridge and plan to enter the BSL in 2002, have a brand new website which can be found at the following address http://uk.geocities.com/thecatsafc/

12th November 2001 - Dundee Storm expands

Dundee Storm have after winning the Scottish youth title in their first season in that division outlined ambitious plans to take the game to new levels in the area. The Storm who ran two sides last year, under 16 and under 18 ,will double the amount of sides to four. The new season will see for the first time ever an under 13 side in Dundee with two of the Storms senior players stepping into coaching roles to run that side. The under 16 side will continue with senior players again training for coaching positions to assist with the side.The new under 18 side will continue with the British title being the target for them. Perhaps the most ambitious move of all sees a senior team return to Dundee after an absence of some years with a British Second Division place being sought for them. The team returns to training at Dawson park on Sunday at 11.00 o'clock and trialists for any side would be welcome but you can call 01674-673958 for more information if you require.

9th November 2001 - Chiltern Cheetahs 15 year anniversary

The Chiltern Cheetahs have celebrated 15 years of the playing American Football in Chiltern Hills.  A get together which took place on Saturday 20th Oct. 2001 at their home ground of Amersham & Chiltern Rugby Club, that included many players and coaches that have been connected to the club since it was formed back in May 1986 as well as the current squad.  The clubs also awarded it's players awards for this season which are as follows:

Team MVP:                    Frank Mayo
Offensive MVP:               Kris Stephens
Defensive MVP:               John Phillips
Special Teams MVP:      Darren Whybrow
Lineman:                        Neil Bowles
Overseas Player:            Brendan Peek
Rookie:                           Tom Slowcombe
Most Points Scored:       Kris Stephens
Most Tackles:                 Nick Rockell
Commitment:                 Richard Barnes

MVP (Most Valuable Player) Frank Mayo also collected his Award for the most Interceptions in the "British Senior League, Division 2".

The club is also looking to set up both Youth Kitted and Junior Flag sides and have received some enquires already. To find out more information about the Cheetahs you can contact the club through it's newly set up web site at: www.geocities.com/chilterncheetahsafc or by telephoning: Richard Barnes on 01494 727933 or Giles Stevenson on 01494 728371

10th September 2001 - Britbowl Championship results

Div.1 - London O's 37-20 East Kilbride Pirates
Div.2 - Ipswich Cardinals 47-15 Norwich Devils

7th September 2001 - Cats announce training sessions

The Cats, who hope to enter the BSL in 2002, are holding their first two training sessions. They are: Sunday 30th September 2001 & Sunday 7th October 2001 14:00 to 15:30 - at Coldhams Common, Cambridge.

These training sessions will not be in kit and will just be an opportunity for the coaches to assess if they have the numbers necassary to enter the BSL for 2002. For more details if needed contact Chris Wallis at CATSFB33@aol.com or on 01480 393043.

6th September 2001 - Chiltern Cheetahs reunion

The Cheetahs are holding a team reunion in this the clubs 15th year of football and are trying to get in contact with as many people as possible that have been connected with the team. The evening will be held along with this years players awards night on Saturday 20th October 2001 at the Club home of Chiltern & Amersham Rugby Club. Please could any old players, Coaching staff, supporters etc getting in contact with the: Richard "Digger" Barnes www.chilterncheetahs@aol.com or Tel: 01494 727933 Giles Stevenson www.gilesstevenson@aol.com or Tel: 01494 728371. 

29th August 2001 - London O's 27-0 Birmingham Bulls

The London O’s booked their place at the 2001 British Senior League Final in Sheffield on 9 September with a shut out win over the Birmingham Bulls in unrelenting rain at Southwark Park. After the game, Coach Riq Ayub said, "Lots of people have strong opinions about the O’s. I hope they all come to Don Valley on 9 September to watch us in the final". Turning to the O’s performance against the Bulls, Coach Ayub was delighted with the manner of the win, in particular the score line, he said: "Our offense scored through the air and on the ground, even the D got a score, but better than that is the shut out."

General manager Steve McAlpine said of the game: "It’s great to beat the old rivals, it’s great to be going back to the final, and it’s great to see two rookies who last year were playing for our youth team make such an impression". Steve went on: "If anyone still doubts the value of having a youth development programme, they should have been here today!"

The O’s Senior team are now in their seventh final in six years, including the EuroCup in 1999.

Match report

The weather forecasters predicted a beautiful sunny day; instead we were submitted to continuous rain. The football forecasters predicted a close game; instead we got a one sided affair.

The Bulls and O’s rivalry is amongst the fiercest in Britball, yet the only dissent on the day was between the officials and the sidelines and amongst the Bulls offense.

First quarter

The O’s won the toss but went three and out on the opening drive. The Bulls could do no better and punted the ball away on fourth down.

Again the O’s went three and out. On the Bulls next possession they fumbled the wet ball for Tim Newton to hand the O’s offense the best field position of the game so far. Warren Keen was running the ball at this stage for the O’s and having made a first down the O’s passed. QB Stuart Franklin hit rookie Marvin Allen for the 34 yard score. A bad snap left the score:

London O’s 6 Birmingham Bulls 0

The Bulls again found offense difficult. The wet ball making handling errors commonplace. For the O’s defense Shola Goppy, Scott Rowe, Bola Aiyede making tackles.

Second quarter

Going into the second quarter the O’s again had the ball. Sonnel Baptiste ran for 8 yards before QB Franklin again leant back and this time he hit another rookie, Dwain Clarke, for a 52 yard TD. The two point conversion was made by Junior Price, who was nursing an injured shoulder.

London O’s 14 Birmingham Bulls 0

There was still plenty of time left for the Bulls, but their next drive was to prove decisive. Following a touch back the Bulls started on their 20 yard line. After a Paul Duncan run, QB Winter threw the ball to a grateful Francis Hatega who appeared to run the ball back for the score, but a block in the back penalty after the change of possession brought the O’s offense on to the field instead.

Finding themselves deep in Bulls territory it was simply a matter of time before the O’s scored. This time on the ground with Keen running in from 26 yards out after some great down field blocking by his team mates. A missed kick meant the scoreboard read

London O’s 20 Birmingham Bulls 0

Now the Bulls were in need of some rapid offense. However, the O’s defense was as mean as ever. Lance Knight, Scott Rowe and Wes Roach controlled the aerial routes; Sacha Conte, Tim Newton and Shola Goppy closed the rushing lanes; and Dave Glover, Kevin Newton, and Danny Berry manhandled the line, whilst Marco Fasulo and Gary Thomas harried the quarterback and anyone else who came near them. As a result of this pressure, Gary Thomas sacked the Bulls QB for a loss of 12 yards to end any chance of the Bulls scoring in the first half.

With very little time on the clock, the O’s managed to manouevre themselves into field goal range, but the conditions were not favourable and the 33 yard attempt went wide.

Third quarter

A scoreless period of play. With the rain at its heaviest, neither team could mount an effective drive. Roland Williams had joined the fray as running back, but he could not find the daylight he needs to get that open field speed of his working.

The O’s defense was still working hard, notably with Damian Anderson throwing himself head long into the tackle.

Fourth quarter

As the game clock and internal strife became factors as big as the O’s defense, the Bulls offense continued to struggle. Despite some individual successes, the Bulls could not sustain a drive. Forced to the air more and more, the inevitable happened and Scott Rowe ran his interception back 20 yards for the score. Andy Boyle’s kick was good to leave the score:

London O’s 27 Birmingham Bulls 0

This effectively ended the game and whilst neither team stopped trying their hardest, there was no further score.


A game in which the O’s never looked in trouble. Offensively, the O’s looked impressive. Against a class defense like the Bulls, the O’s coaches called a great game. The run set up the pass and vice versa. In conditions like those faced, the offense executed the basics and were patient enough to exploit the opportunities presented. After the game Coach Cliff Morgan was his happiest all season with the ball handling skills of his running backs, "Everyone seemed to fumble during the regular season. But today, despite the wet conditions, we held on to the ball well. It’s just getting the basics right."

On defense, the whole unit was outstanding. From the line, through the line backers to the secondary the defense were excellent. The Bulls managed less than 150 yards of total offense. The Bulls have some very large and experienced players, but athleticism, coaching and team spirit held sway.

Looking forward

The O’s are going to their fifth final in succession. On 9 September the O’s meet the East Kilbride Pirates in Sheffield. The Pirates secured their place in the final with a 22 - 0 win over Southern SunDevils.

The O’s last met the Pirates in the semi finals in 2000, when the O’s won 45 - 7.

Report courtesy of Stephen McAlpine, General Manager, London O's American Football Club

27th August 2001 - Senior kitted friendly

Ness Monsters 0-26 Dundee Storm

13th August 2001 - Senior Kitted playoff results

Division One

Birmingham Bulls 25-6 Gateshead Senators
Southern Sundevils 26-6 PA Knights

Division Two Quarter-Finals

Oxford Saints 24-14 Plymouth Admirals
Lancashire Wolverines 14-8 Sabres (OT)
Norwich Devils 17-0 Yorkshire Rams
AP Surge 6-30 Ipswich Cardinals

5th August 2001 - Bulls charge into playoffs

Birmingham Bulls 24-13 East Kilbride Pirates
London O's 43-5 London Mets

The Birmingham Bulls earned themselves a home clash with the Gateshead Senators in the playoffs, after a stunning 24-13 home victory against the East Kilbride Pirates. The Bulls win means that the PA Knights will now travel to the Southern Sundevils in the other first round playoff match. In the other game that affected the playoffs, the cancellation of the Merseyside/Strathclyde game means that Plymouth Admirals qualify for a quarter-finals show down with the Dominos Oxford Saints in Division 2.

29th July 2001 - O's shatter Sundevils hopes. Pirates take Northern Conference

BSL Division One

Southern Sundevils 14-42 London O's.
Gateshead Senators 14-18 East Kilbride Pirates
Birmingham Bulls 48-0 Redditch Arrows
PA Knights 26-0 London Blitz
London Mets w/o Essex Spartans

BSL Division Two

Norwich Devils 22-6 Sabres
Merseyside Nighthawks 0-6 Lancashire Wolverines
South Wales Warriors 14-24 Chiltern Cheetahs.
Yorkshire Rams 0-14 AP Surge.

The London O's ended the Southern Sundevils hopes of taking the Southern Conference title with a decisive 42-14 victory against the Portsmouth based side at the Mountbatten Centre this afternoon. The O's led 21-0 at half-time, helped in part by 5 interceptions.

The O's RB Warren Keen (right) evades the challenge of two Sundevils players on his way to the O's final TD of the game
Photo: BritballNow

After falling 28-0 behind straight after half-time, the Sundevils staged a mini-recovery with the outstanding Tony Stitt scoring twice to close the scoreline to 28-14. The O's, however, were not to be deneied and went on to score on two further occasions in the 4th quarter to run out convincing winners. For a full match report of the Sundevils/O's game click here. The East Kilbride Pirates took the Northern Conference with a narrow 18-14 away victory at Gateshead.

The PA Knights (5-3) qualified for the playoffs with a 26-0 home win against the London Blitz.The Birmingham Bulls (4-3) have virtually qualifed for the playoffs after thrashing the Redditch Arrows 48-0. The Arrows (3-5) are now eliminated from playoff contention.

In Division Two the Lancashire Wolverines defeated Merseyside Nighthawks 6-0 and will host the Sabres in the quarter-finals of the playoffs. Norwich Devils stayed unbeaten with a 22-6 victory over the Sabres. Norwich's quarter-final opponents (Who they will play at Eaton Park) will be the Yorkshire Rams who lost 14-0 to the AP Surge. The Surge finish the season with a 6-1-1 record and will host the Ipswich Cardinals in an intriguing encounter. In the other Division Two game, Chiltern Cheetahs defeated the South Wales Warriors 24-14 in Cardiff.

Match report - Southern Sundevils 14-42 London O's

The London O’s ended the Southern SunDevils undefeated season with an 42 -14 win at the Mountbatten Stadium, Portsmouth in punishing heat.

After the game, Coach Riq Ayub said "I hope people might start to give us some of the respect we deserve. We play 100mph football. We never slow down. We only have one pace. We’re going to come at you all day long and from all sides of the ball."

London O’s General manager, Steve McAlpine talking about the SunDevils, said "Coach Roberson has a great outfit here. Fine facilities, and fine disciplined young players. Before the season started I said Southern are a team to watch, and would be the surprise of the southern conference. They are not finished yet this year, but you wait until next year. I think they could push us very hard indeed."

First quarter

The SunDevils received the ball and returned it 19 yards. After a 5 yard off side penalty, QB Cliff Boddington started with a couple of completions for 11 yards before pitching outside to Anthony Stitt who was stopped by Shola Goppy before making a first down. The ensuing punt put the O’s back on their own 15 yard line.

Stuart Franklin started as QB, but the Offense went three and out, although with penalties the drive seemed longer.

Southern went to the run, Stitt making the first down after two runs tackled by Scott Rowe. A penalty made it first and fifteen and the following pass to MacMillan was defended by Goppy. Stitt got 11 before Tim Newton stopped him. Stitt again ran for 5, before Rowe did the honours. If the run is working, it was always tempting to go to the air. Unfortunately for many offensive co-ordinators playing the London O’s, this is a treacherous route, as Lance Knight proved by making a leaping interception. Unfortunately for the O’s offensive co-ordinator, Lance Knight failed to recognise his position on the field and with at least 10 clear yards in front of him, downed the ball on the 4 yard line believing himself to be in the end zone. Doh!

Warren Keen gave the O’s some breathing space with a 12 yard run. Further runs by Keen, Roland Williams, Stuart Franklin and Rob Scotland brought up 3 and 6 on the Southern 35 yard line. Franklin hit Clive Palumbo for a 16 yard reception. Keen again carried the ball, but this time for a 19 yard touchdown. Andy Boyle kicked the PAT.

Boyle kicked off through the end zone, so the SunDevils started on their own 20 yard line. When playing catch up, teams often go to the air (for the result of this against the O’s - see above). Scott Rowe made the interception returning it for 21 yards back to the SunDevils 20 yard line. The next three offensive plays netted nil yardage, so Boyle went on for the field goal which went wide left to end the quarter.


Second quarter

The SunDevils went three and out.The O’s continued to run the ball through Rob Scotland, Keen, and Franklin. With 100 yards rushing already and the ball on the 11 yard line, Franklin hit the wide open Adam Earle in the end zone for the score. The Boyle PAT was good.

The SunDevils did what they do best, Stitt ran, this time for 45 yards before Knight brought him down. Now on the O’s 8 yard line, the O’s defensive stiffened and Knight intercepted the Boddington pass, but this time Lance made some forward progress. Franklin hit Palumbo for 17 yards, but a fumble by Williams returned the ball to Southern on the O’s 40 yard line. After a couple of small gains, Dave Glover sacked Boddington for a 10 yard loss. Forced to pass, Boddington hit Rowe for his fourth interception of the half. The O’s sent Williams on a run for two yards which brought the clock down to the two minute warning. Keen ran for 18 yards on two plays. Franklin then lofted a ball which Marvin Allen caught for the 9 yard TD reception. The kick from Boyle PAT was good, so the half ended:

Third quarter

Dean Locke returned the low kick off 10 yards. Junior Price took the field as QB and immediately hit Earle for 27 yards. Keen ran the remaining 20 yards on the next play for his second TD of the game. Boyle’s kick was good

Boyle’s kick off went through the end zone for the touchback. After an incomplete pass defended by Tim Newton, the ground game of Southern garnered them a tough first down. The O’s defense were now made to work. Sacha Conte legally slam dunked the runner in a way that would have not been out of place in WWF Smackdown. Lawrence Reid hurried an incomplete pass out of QB Boddington, but the ball was deep in O’s territory. Despite tackles from Aden Durde, Danny Berry and others the SunDevils were on the O’s two yard line. The D could not repeat the heroics of last week against the Bulls and that man Stitt scored. The two point conversion failed.

Dean Locke returned his second kick off 8 yards following another low kick, but the O’s now went three and out. Stitt ran for 11 breaking tackles, then a further 8 yards to end the quarter deep in the O’s end of the field.

Fourth quarter

The opening play of the final period was a 20 yard touchdown run by Stitt. This time the two pointer did its job and the deficit was reduced to 14:London O’s 28 Southern SunDevils 14. Allen returned the ball 9 yards. Keen lost a couple and the O’s were second and 12 on their own 26 yard line. Price found Palumbo behind the defence, and he was off to the end zone. The Boyle PAT was good, restoring the 21 point cushion. Southern could not sustain the next drive, with a sack by Garry Thomas taking the ball back 20 yards. The London offense took the ball on Southern’s 28 yard line. Price found Boyle for a 13 yard reception before handing the ball off to Keen for his third score of the game, this one a 15 yard run. Andy Boyle’s kick was good. Another Boyle kick into the end zone, but this was returned for 20 yards. Stitt ran up the middle for 9, but the SunDevils now had three incomplete passes, the first of which was batted down by Manny Oyewole. Offensively the game was now opening up. Both teams made good plays for decent yardage, but neither team could keep a drive alive for very long. Eventually, the SunDevils fumbled the ball away on a bad snap, and Lawrence Reid gratefully landed on the ball as the two minute warning came up. The O’s sent in their third QB, Dominic Dearman. Sonnel Baptiste ran for 17 yards and with 50 seconds left on the clock, the O’s decided to practise a field goal. The kick missed leaving the final score:

Coach Messenger was delighted with his offense: "Today, we finally came alight, with 6 touchdowns (3 in the air and 3 on the ground) and over 400 yards of total offense, we started to show what we’re capable of".

Match report - Personal Assurance Knights 26 - 0 London Blitz

In an atmosphere of Deja-vu the Knights secured their entry into the top level play offs with a repeat of the previous weekends score.

The Blitz received the opening kick off and the Knights defense went to work stamping their authority on the game from the outset on their way to restricting the visitors to less than 100yds in Offense.

The home team offense took over and drove confidently and relentlessly to an opening score on a drive that was underpinned by excellent running from Rob Scruby and Keith Theobald. The drive was completed by a bullet pass from young QB Ashley Heath to WR Dayle Kirby from 5yds out. The extra point attempt failed and the Knights led 6-0.

The ensuing Knights kick off was fumbled by the visitors and recovered by Stephen Hollingdale giving the home team Offense another immediate chance to stretch the lead. The Knights were in no mood to spurn such a chance, realising a win would put them into the National Div1 play offs for the first time in their 17 year history. Adedayo Ashaye and Paul Wakeford supplied the running support but it was QB Heath who found paydirt again. Wide Receiver Jonny Allen, who has missed most of the season, was on the same wavelength as the young QB wriggled free from the Blitz Defense and found Allen diving at full stretch for a spectacular scoring catch from 19yds out. This time Andy Smythe nailed the extra point and the Knights led 13-0.

The second quarter saw the Knights defense turn on the style stopping the Blitz 3 times from close in (one attempt ended in a missed Blitz field goal attempt). Jez McLees led the tackling but it was often two or three Columbia blue shirts that swarmed to the ball carrier as the home team defenders pursued their fourth shut out of the season.

Turning around at 13-0 the Knights faced their nemises - the third quarter. In their Division 2 Championship season in 2000 the third period had been their most productive - and yet in this season they had failed to score a single point in the third period in 7 attempts. After the kick off the Knights took over on their own 21yd line. Punishing runs from Paul Wakeford, Pete Fulford and Keith Theobald saw them pound their way to the Blitz 20 yd line. Then it seemed that the jinx had hit
again as a penalty and a QB sack saw them facing a third down and long situation. A switch of formations in the Knights multi-set approach saw 4 Receivers on the field. QB Heath hit WR John Clarke with a perfect spiral from 34yds out to break the third quarter duck. The extra point failed and the Knights led 19-0.

The Blitz continued to make a game of it despite the heat and the scoreline against them. In the fourth quarter however Stephen Hollingdale made a diving interception to set up another Knights attack. The Knights ground game was in full swing with all 7 of the Knights running backs getting an opportunity to contribute. The drive was finished of by Senior Team rookie Paul Wakeford the young back has dominated Youth football for the past 2-3 years gaining honours with the
GB Youth squad. He opened his British Senior League account powering in from 1yd out behind the now rampant blocking of his backfield colleagues and the Knights Offensive line. Smythe again nailed the extra point and the score stood at 26-0 to the home team (co-incidentally the exact same score as the previous weeks meeting between these teams).

The Knights Defense kept control of the visitors and the Offense ran out the clock for a final 26-0 win.

Knights Head Coach Steve Rains said " As is traditional I got a good soaking from the water bucket at the end of the game and I have never been happier to take what was comimg to me. This team has done the Club, our Sponsors, the Surrey/Hants area and themselves proud. We came into this season as the new boys after winning Division 2 last year, we lost 27 names off that Championship squad and people generally wrote us off. They confirmed their views when we lost the first two games of theseason as we blended a mix of newly aquired players, returning players and youth/rookie players into a team. All credit to the players and my coaching staff - we built a team that has got stronger from week to week. We still  have room for improvement but we are now in the play-offs with a visit on 12th August to either Gateshead or Portsmouth - we will approach that game with relish its an unexpected bonus to us and we have nothing to lose or fear".

Assistant Head Coach Pete Vaughan added " This was another complete performance from the team - every department did its job. Its tough playing a team back to back but the players were disciplined and simply got down to work from the very first whistle"

Knights Supporters Club Chairman Andy Solstyak said " What can you say - this team have an air of awsomeness about them. They fulfilled our dreams last year with the National Div 2 title and less than a year later they are delivering post season play in their first year back in Division 1. We will be on the road for the play-offs but the people in the Guildford area can be proud of the team - lets get more people along to support the Knights (and the Youth team and University team) in

Stats :

Passing :- A Heath 4 of 13 for 81yds 3TD 1Int

Receiving :- J Clarke 1 for 34yds 1TD, R Ellis 1 for 23yds, J Allen 1
for 19yds 1TD, D Kirby 1 for 5yds 1TD

Rushing :- A Ashaye 10 for 80yds
                R Scruby 11 for 80yds
                P Wakeford 11 for 73yds 1TD
                K Theobald 4 for 18yds
                P Fulford 3 for 14yds
                A Smythe 4 for 12yds
                L Ouali 1 for 4yds

Defense :- J McLees 9 tackles, S Stonelake 8 tackles, M McMillan 6
tackles, S Hollingdale 1Int and 1 Fumble recovery.

Totals :-

Knights - Passing 4 of 13 for 81yds 3TD, Rushing 44 for 281yds 1TD

Blitz - Passing 5 of 19 for 22yds, Rushing 26 for 72yds.

Match report - Yorkshire Rams 0-14 AP Surge

Wide Receiver Neil Sullivan accounted for all the points, as the Surge matched the score in their earlier encounter with the Rams, to claim home field advantage in the playoffs. With both sides already qualified for post season action, there was mainly pride at stake, but a Yorkshire win would likely have set up a repeat encounter between the two teams in the quarter finals.

Scoring chances were hard to come by in the first quarter, as both defences restricted their opponents to three downs and out. After a scoreless first quarter, Yorkshire's offence moved the ball more fluently in the second. Running back Justin Lester produced some good runs and Quarterback Charlie Butler used the option to good effect, with John Burbridge particularly impressive on the line, but it was the Surge who created the first scoring chance. Richard Large picked out receiver Neil Sullivan in the end zone with a 17 yard pass, to cap the end of a 72 yard drive. Large hooked up again with Sullivan for the two extra points, and a half time score of 8-0 to the Surge.

In the third quarter the defences dominated, as the coaches made adjustments to ensure they gave little away. Neal Hannan and John Hamilton again produced solid performances for the Surge. Early in the fourth quarter, Richard Large twice linked up with Jack Garnsey to pull the Surge into scoring range, but a penalty looked to have killed off their chances. Forced to gamble on a 4th down attempt, Large found Neil Sullivan with a 14 yard pass for his second touchdown of the day, but the extra point attempt fell incomplete.

Jack Garnsey twice put the Surge in good field position with punt returns, and the Surge started to move the ball on the ground. Simon Mann took the snap and dodged the Rams pass rush for a 12 yard gain, but the drive stalled when Yorkshire linebacker Steve Goulden and lineman Richard Donaldson halted a Richard Large run. Yorkshire then produced their best chance of the game, as Paul Goodward took the pitch out from Charlie Butler and passed downfield to Lee Morton for a 42 yard gain. Ant Charles produced a touchdown saving tackle on the 20 yard line, and gave the Surge defence time to re group. A John Hamilton tackle restricted the Rams from making a first down, and Denis Caddy hit Goodward as the Rams went for a repeat halfback pass on 4th down and 1. Neal Hannan recovered the loose ball to ensure a shut out for the Surge defence. Runningback Paul Bona produced a 35 yard play on the Surge last drive, but time ran out with the ball on the Rams 4 yard line.

Both teams emerged from this hard fought game with some credit, and it will have served as good preparation for the tough ties both now face in the quarter finals.

Match report - South Wales Warriors 14-24 Chiltern Cheetahs

Chiltern travelled to Cardiff Sunday, with a much weakened squad due to injury & holidays but run out worthy winners in a see saw encounter. Chilterns first possession started brightly with Stewart May running for 38yds, which set up an 8yd pass from Rob Suttling to Brendan Peek to open the scoring (0-6) The Warriors took possession of the ball and moved it well but failed to find an opening and on Chilterns next possession Suttling once again found Peek, this time from 23yds out to increase the lead to 12. The second Qtr. was an exact opposite of the first with the Warriors in control, scoring first on a 3yd run and then with a 50yd interception return for a touchdown taking the half time score to 14-12 in their favour. Chilterns defence stepped up in the third Qtr. allowing the Warriors only 30yds offense and Frank Mayo took his first of 3 interceptions. This fired up the offense & they got their reward when Andy Cochrane got his first Touchdown of the day. This put the Warriors in to a catch-up game and on 2 occassions when they were threatening, were picked off by Mayo. Chiltern sealed the game inside the last 2 minutes, when Andy Cochrane ran in from 7yds. Notable performances were from Andy Cochrane, 81yds rushing & 2 T.D.s, Brendan Peek 55yds receiving on 3 catches with 2 T.D.s. On defence Jim Logdon with 11 tackles, Matt Brown 10 tackles & 2 sacks & Frank Mayo with 3 interceptions 

22nd July 2001 - Weekend round-up Wolverines and Saints take conference titles. Sundevils/O's set up the big one

BSL Division One

Bristol Aztecs 6-38 Southern Sundevils
Birmingham Bulls 7-14 London O's
London Blitz 0-26 PA Knights
Redditch Arrows w/o Nottingham Caesars

BSL Division Two

Ipswich Cardinals 31-14 Chiltern Cheetahs
Merseyside Nighthawks 20-0 Strathclyde Sheriffs
Lancashire Wolverines w/o Kingston Barbarians
Oxford Saints w/o South Wales Warriors

With Kingston Barbarians forfeiting their game against the Lancashire Wolverines, the Wolverines move to 6-0-1 and wrap up the Division Two Northern Conference. Likewise, in the Southern Conference, the Oxford Saints received a forfeit win against the South Wales Warriors. The Saints have finished the season 8-0 and will be strong favourites to take the Division Two championship. The Ipswich Cardinals booked their place in the Division Two playoffs with a tough 31-14 home win over the Chiltern Cheetahs, and the Merseyside Nighthawks improved to 2-3-1 with a 20-0 shut-out over the Strathclyde Sheriffs.

In Division One, the Southern Sundevils and the London O's have set up a massive clash next Sunday in Portsmouth to decide the Southern Conference. The Sundevils defeated the Bristol Aztecs 38-6, and the London O's did the double over the Birmingham Bulls with a tight 14-7 away victory against the Birmingham Bulls. Both sides kept their unbeaten records on the season. For a match report on the Birmingham vs. London game click here. BritballNow will be at the game next weekend, and will bring a game report and photos on Sunday night. The London Blitz were eliminated from playoff contention, as the PA Knights themselves stayed alive by winning their game 26-0.

Match report - Birmingham Bulls 7-14 London O's

Birmingham and London fought out a tight defensive battle that was in marked contrast to their free-scoring BSL Championship game match up last year and London's more comfortable win the first game between these old adversaries two weeks previously. The Bulls had been boosted by the previous weeks win over Gateshead and being awarded a victory over London Mets to boost their record to 3-2 prior to meeting the O's, but knew that their play-off place was by no means certain.

The first half ended scoreless, although Birmingham could feel they had the better of the play. London moved the ball into their opponents half only once, despite strong running from Warren Keen and Collis Seale-McConnie. The drive, mid way through the second quarter, began when Damien Anderson recovered a fumble, but London were unable to make a first down and asked Andy Boyle to attempt a 50yard field goal. The kick appeared to have length enough, but went left of the posts.

Birmingham, meanwhile had several chances to score in the opening half. The first real opportunity came early in the second quarter, QB Dave Winter making a big pass completion to Mark Cohen, then hard running from Paul Duncan moved the ball to the O's 4. The Bulls declined a chip-shot field goal on 4th and 1 at the 4, but Winter's attempted sneak was halted. However, the O's promptly found themselves in a deep hole, facing 3rd and 13 at their own 2 and there then followed the most controversial moment of the game. London QB Junior Price fumbled the snap and Bulls DE Spats Lewis apparently fell on the loose ball in the end zone. However he was ruled to have recovered the ball inside the 1-yard line. The Bulls obviously let the disputed call rattle their concentration and as the London defence dug in, 
the offence was moved back to the 10, from where Nick Burt missed a 27 yard field goal. As the half wound down, Birmingham again drove into London's red zone, Dave Winter completing 5 out of 6 passes on a 58-yard drive, that began with only 1.18 left on the clock. Nick Burt caught 3 passes on the drive, ending the day with 7 catches for 94 yards. As time expired, the Bulls had reached the 2 yard line, but Winter's final pass fell incomplete.

The second half started much as the first with neither team able to move the ball. The first real opening also proved to be the breakthrough. Warren Keen's run moved the ball to the Bulls 33, then Seale-McConnie took a hand-off and rumbled through the middle of the defence for the opening score, with 4.14 left in the quarter. Birmingham were unable to reply, and London took over the ball at the start of the final period. They seized their opportunity and mounted a 9-play, 73-yard drive that took over 7 minutes off the clock. They were aided by successive disputed personal foul calls and capped the drive when Keen scored from the 3. Boyle's kick made 
it 14-0 with 7.50 to play.

Birmingham's next drive ended when relief QB Doug Cotterell was sacked, but despite being forced to punt, the defence held behind Spats Lewis 2nd sack of Price. However Cotterell took over with only 1.04 remaining and although they managed to move the ball 72 yards downfield, the final 30 yard TD pass to Mark Cohen came as time was about to run out.

Although Birmingham held London to only 12 total yards passing,  the O's strong ground game and run defence had made the difference between the sides. While the Bulls defence had held their opponents to only 25 rushing yards in the first half, led by Matt Barrett's 10 tackles and Spats Lewis' 2 sacks, as the defence tired London were able to take the advantage. Birmingham now look to their local derby with Redditch Arrows, knowing they have to win both their remaining games to stand a real chance of progressing to the play-offs. The game takes place at their Norman Green venue this coming Sunday, kick-off 2.30.

Match report - Ipswich Cardinals 31-14 Chiltern Cheetahs

Chiltern travelled to Ipswich Sunday with their play-off hopes firmly in their own hands, a win, keeps them in contention with one game to go, defeat, and their season is over. Sadly it was the latter, as they were soundly beaten by the better team on the day. 

The day started badly enough with half the team arriving with less than an hour before kick-off after being held up in traffic on the way. So it was no surprise when Ipswich jumped in to  an early 17-0 lead after touchdowns from Mark Wallace and Paul Borstel. Right at the end of the 1st Qtr. Sandy Francis kicked a career high 47yd feild goal. Chiltern got moving in the second Qtr. and quickly found the scoreboard with an 8yd Kris Stephens run & a 14yd Brendan Peek catch from Rob Suttling. Just when it looked like Chiltern were getting back in to the game, Ipswich replied to further stretch their lead when Paul Borstel added his second 
score of the day, Sandy francis added the extra point to make it 24-12 at half time. The third Qtr. was totally dominated by both teams defences, more so by 
Chiltern as an Ipswich player was tackled in his own end zone by Kris Stephens for a 2pt Safety. Chiltern couldn't capitalise on this and fell to the sucker punch late in the fourth Qtr. when Matt Donaldson caught a 15yd pass from Ian Girling, Sandy Francis added the extra point to round of the scoring. (14-31) 

16th July 2001 - Bulls stay alive, Wolverines/Surge tie

BSL Division One

Birmingham Bulls 40-20 Gateshead Senators
Cheshire Romans 12-6 Redditch Arrows

BSL Division Two

Strathclyde Sheriffs 0-18 Yorkshire Rams
Lancashire Wolverines 12-12 AP Surge
Chiltern Cheetahs 32-40 Norwich Devils
Maidstone Pumas 0-32 Sabres
Plymouth Admirals 22-6 Kent Exiles

In BSL Division One on Sunday, the Birmingham Bulls (3-2) kept their hopes of a playoff place intact with a crucial 40-20 home victory over the Gateshead Senators (5-2). Four second half TD's proved the diference. Also in Division One, the Cheshire Romans (2-5) defeated the visiting Redditch Arrows (2-4) 12-6,

In Division Two, the game of the day saw the top two in the Northern Conference tie 12-12 with each other. The Lancashire Wolverines (5-0-1) let leads slip twice as the AP Surge (5-1-1) fought back to force the draw. The Wolverines are now just one game away from winning the Northern Conference. The Yorkshire Rams stayed in playoff contention with a 18-0 win at Strathclyde Sheriffs (1-4), and they move to 3-2-1. Chiltern Cheetahs (2-4) and Norwich Devils (5-0-1) scored 72 points between them, but it was the visiting Devils that won the game 40-32. Sabres (4-3) stayed alive with a 32-0 win at Maidstone Pumas (1-6). The Plymouth Admirals improved to a final regular season record of 3-4-1 with a 22-6 home victory against the Kent Exiles (0-6), and await results from other games to see if they have done enough to make the playoffs.


The Bulls played a home game for the first time in the 2001 BSL, when they improved to 3-2 by beating a hard-working but ultimately outgunned Senators side. The visitors ran the Bulls close, particularly in the first half, holding the Bulls to a slim 7-0 lead, but when QB Dave Winter found his range after the interval, Birmingham racked up 33 second half points, including two safeties and the winning margin eventually reflected the difference between the teams. Although the Senators drop to 5-2, they are still on course for the play-offs, whereas Birmingham still have work to do to secure a post-season place.

Gateshead made the better start and threatened when U.S. import Larry Mann found Ian Mullins on a half back option pass for 33 yards, but the Bulls defence held and forced the Senators into a 36-yard field goal attempt that Gary Marshall sliced wide right. The deadlock was broken near the end of the 1st quarter when Bulls fullback Will Powell drove in from 4 yards out. Nick Burt's PAT gave Birmingham a 7-0 lead. The 8-play, 69-yard drive was keyed by a 39-yard run around left end by Paul Duncan, whose 136 rushing yards on the day gave the Bulls a clear edge.

Powell's score was the only one of the first half, the second quarter being dominated by the respective defences. The Senators were held to only 8 offensive yards in the quarter, but Birmingham were unable to capitalise.

Although a long Bulls drive early in the second half petered out, a well-placed punt by Mark Cohen pinned Gateshead on their own 8-yard line. Veteran Ken 'Spats' Lewis sacked QB Lee Fraser on 1st Down, then Mark Connolly trapped Fraser in the endzone for the safety and a 9-0 lead. Birmingham took the free kick and, again using Paul Duncan's running, drove into Gateshead territory, where Duncan was rewarded by running in from 11 yards out. Now facing a 16-0 deficit, the Senators did themselves no favours by fumbling on their first offensive play after the score, RB Michael Thompson dropping Fraser's pitch-out. Connolly recovered to set up the Bulls on the Gateshead 13, from where Sharif Omar ran in untouched to begin the final quarter.

On their subsequent drive, Gateshead at last began to threaten. Mann returned the kick-off for 32 yards, then held a Fraser pass for 29 more. The drive appeared to stall when Fraser was sacked on successive plays, setting up 4th and 30, but a lofted Fraser pass was held by Mullins for a 1st down, and Fraser then hit his tight end from 6 yards to break the shut-out. Again, though, they slipped up when Marshall's kick-off drifted out of bounds. Bulls QB Dave Winter began to find his receivers, and first hit his tight end for 29 yards, then found Mark Cohen in stride for a 26 yard score. The Bulls defence stole the ball again on the Senators 
subsequent possession, Larry Mann being stripped of the ball as he ran out of running room, but the Bulls were unable to take advantage as Winter's pass was intercepted by Senators DB Mark Lindsey. However, this time Gateshead made another crucial error when a shotgun snap sailed over Fraser's head and through the End Zone for second Bulls safety.

Winter was again picked off on the Bulls next possession and this time Gateshead did take advantage, Fraser again finding his tight end for the score, cutting the Bulls lead to 32-12. This time the Bulls replied instantly, fielding Marshall's on-side kick, then allowing Winter to throw a perfect pass to Cohen for a 25 yard TD. Again the reply was immediate when Mann gained some reward for his tremendous play on the day by fielding Nick Burt's kickoff and returning it 70 yards to complete the scoring. During the game, Mann had caught 5 passes for 56 yards, thrown a pass for 33 yards, returned punts and gained 139 yards on kick returns, including his TD, giving him 225 all-purpose yards on the day. For the Bulls, Mark Cohen caught 3 passes for 60 yards and two scores, and Mark Connolly registered 2.5 sacks and a safety.

The win gets the Bulls season back on track after successive on-field defeats against East Kilbride and London O's. Their next game is the return against London this Sunday. The venue is a change from the Bulls usual home, the match taking place at Moor Lane Sports Centre, kicking off at 2.30.


In a must win game, Chiltern fell just short to a strong Norwich side. The game started brightly enough, with Chiltern taking an early lead through a Kris Stephens 1yd run. (6-0) Norwich replied almost immediately when Shaun Norris caught a 17yd pass from Darren Bailey & with Mike Howling adding the extra point it gave Norwich a slim lead (6-7), a lead they would keep throughout the game. Norwichs' 2nd score came at the start of the 2nd Qtr. when Alexander Scott caught a pass from Bailey and raced 76yds to the endzone leaving defenders trailing. Once again Howling added the extra point. (6-14) Chiltern replied to this almost straightaway with a Stewart May 9yd run (12-14) and everyone concerned felt a shoot out was on the cards. They would not be disappointed. Firstly Michael Wilson scored on a 1yd run with Howling tacking the extra point (12-21), then Shaun Norris bagged his second T.D. of the day with a 19yd reception from Bailey, once again Howling kicked the extra point. (12-28) Chiltern were not to be denied and with time running out in the half Kris Stephens got his 2nd T.D. of the day with a 43yd catch & run from Suttling. Brendan Peek hauled in the 2pt P.A.T. from Suttling to end the half with Chiltern trailing by 8. (20-28) 

The second half couldn't match the 2nd qtr. points fest but it came close with both teams scoring 12 points. Firstly Kris Stephens completed his hat trick with a 66yd catch & run from Suttling. (26-28) Norwich replied with two Mike Howling Field Goals 1 of 25yds (26-31) and 1 of 30yds (26-34). Not to be outdone Tony Ryan capped a fine running display with a 4yd T.D. (26-40) All scoring was complete when Kris Stephens got his 4th T.D. with another catch & run. (32-40) Although losing the game, Chiltern can hold their heads up after fine displays on both sides of the ball, Kris Stephens, 6 catches 174yds & 3 T.D.s, Rob Suttling completed 18 passes for 282yds & 3 T.D.s, on Defence, both John Phillips & Tony White had 9 tackles each. All in all some good displays to take to Ipswich next week. 

8th July 2001 - Weekend round-up. Pirates defeat Senators in Division One North, O's defeat Bulls in South

BSL Division One

East Kilbride Pirates 22-15 Gateshead Senators
London Mets 20-22 Southern Sundevils
London O's 34-15 Birmingham Bulls

BSL Division Two

AP Surge P-P Kingston Barbarians (Kingston's transport broke down)
Yorkshire Rams 18-12 Merseyside Nighthawks
Oxford Saints 30-13 Plymouth Admirals
Kent Exiles 6-49 Ipswich Cardinals
South Wales Warriors w/o Maidstone Pumas

The East Kilbride Pirates put themselves firmly in the Northern Conference driving seat, with a huge 22-15 home victory against the previously unbeaten Gateshead Senators. The Pirates move to 4-0, whilst the Senators drop to 5-1. The London O's improved to 4-0, after an impressive 34-15 home victory against the Birmingham Bulls, who drop to 1-2. The Bulls are going to have their work cut out on just making the playoffs. The Southern Sundevils continued their upbeaten start to the season, but they were made to work hard in their 22-20 away victory at the London Mets. The Sundevils are now 5-0, and the 29th July home clash with the London O's is looming large.

In Division Two, there was no repeat of the 0-0 tie of three weeks ago between Yorkshire and Merseyside. The Rams won this contest 18-12, and are moving into playoff contention with a 2-2-1 record. The Nighthawks drop to 1-3-1. The Oxford Saints maintained their stranglehold on the Southern Conference, by moving 7-0 after a 30-13 home victory against the Plymouth Admirals. The Kent Exiles scored a second TD of the season, as they lost 49-6 at home to the playoff bound Ipswich Cardinals. The Exiles didn't score a TD last season. 

2nd July 2001 - Weekend round-up - Saints take control of Div.2 South, Pirates/Senators/Devils maintain unbeaten records

BSL Division One

Redditch Arrows 12-26 East Kilbride Pirates
Cheshire Romans 7-37 Gateshead Senators
Essex Spartans 0-1 London O's (forfeit)

BSL Division Two

Oxford Saints 19-0 Ipswich Cardinals
Norwich Devils 40-0 Kent Exiles
Plymouth Admirals 13-13 South Wales Warriors
Sabres 20-6 Chiltern Cheetahs
Kingston Barbarians 0-1 Strathclyde Sheriffs (forfeit)

The Oxford Saints won their crucial match-up with Ipswich, with a convincing 19-0 home victory against the Cardinals. Their win takes them to 6-0 and also they take over the No.1 ranking in the BritballNow Division Two power rankings. Lancashire Wolverines were inactive this weekend. Also in Division Two, Norwich (4-0-1) remain unbeaten after they powered their way to a 40-0 win against the Kent Exiles. The Sabres scored a much-needed 20-6 home victory against the Chiltern Cheetahs, and the Plymouth Admirals and South Wales Warriors fought out a tough 13-13 tie.

In Division One, the East Kilbride Pirates travelled south to Redditch and didn't have things all their own way for the first time this season. They did win, but registered an unimpressive 26-12 victory against the Arrows. In the only other game in Division One this weekend, the Gateshead Senators maintained their own unbeaten start to the season, as they moved to 5-0 after a 37-7 away victory against the Cheshire Romans. For the latest BSL standings click here, and for the latest Power Rankings click here.

Match report - Sabres 20-6 Chiltern Cheetahs

Chiltern travelled to Southland on sunday for a must win for both side. Chiltern kicked-off and after a short drive by the Sabres offence they were forced to punt with went out of bounds on the 3 yard line and leaving the Cheetahs offence with work to do, but 5 plays in to the drive Chilterns Quarterback Rob Suttling was intercepted and the ball returned inside Chiltern 20 yard line.  This fired the defence into action and linebacker Tony White Intercepted Sabres QB Simon Jones. Neither side could got never to scoring again until late in the first quarter when Sabres Glen Crease run in his first Touchdown with Kevin Kirwan running in for the extra point (8 - 0). The second quater was much the same as the first, but Sabres were looking to add to their points and did so on an 8 Yard run by Crease for his second score of the day with the extra point no good (14 - 0).

Chiltern made some changes for the second half as Sabres kicked-off. Good running by Andy Cochrane and Kris Stephens with the later Scoring on a 15 yard run and the extra point no good (14 - 6).  But as the game went on Chiltern offence could not move the ball well enough and this was not help by penalties and fumbles. The Sabres made sure of their win and to leap over Chiltern in the conference table with a 22 yard touchdown reception by John Stott late in the fourth quarter, and the extra point was no good (20 - 6). Chiltern defensive captain Nick Rockell lead the tackles with 12 solo, with Darren Whybrow and Jim Logdon close behind on 9 & 8 Solo Tackles.   Chiltern next game is at Home to Norwich Devils on 15 July in what must be a win game for chance of the play-off.

26th June 2001 - Essex Spartans withdraw from BSL for remainder of season

The Essex Spartans have withdrawn from the BSL for the remainder of the 2001 season. A statement on their website stated that they were withdrawing from the the BSL as of Sunday 24th June. It went on to say, "This is simply as a result of players being injured and unable to complete the season. So as we only have in the region of 20 fit players we must do what is best for the club and withdraw. All players will be notified as to the future of the club in due course." The Spartans withdrawal is the third this season following the earlier withdrawals of the Sussex Thunder and the Herts Stags.

24th June 2001 - Weekend round-up - Wolverines take firm grip on Div.2 North, and Sundevils keep on winning

BSL Division One

East Kilbride Pirates P-P Cheshire Romans
Nottingham Caesars 8-34 Redditch Arrows
London Blitz 28-13 Bristol Aztecs
London Mets P-P Birmingham Bulls
Southern Sundevils 36-22 PA Knights

BSL Division Two

AP Surge 14-26 Lancashire Wolverines
Yorkshire Rams 32-0 Strathclyde Sheriffs

The Lancashire Wolverines defeated the AP Surge in the Division 2 game of the day 26-14, to stay top of the Northern Conference and take over the number 1 ranking in that division. The Yorkshire Rams won the other Division Two game by shutting out the Strathclyde Sheriffs 32-0.

In Division 1, the Southern Sundevils improved to 4-0 with a tough 36-22 victory of the PA Knights. Anthony Stitt ran for over 150 yards and three touchdowns as the Sundevils kept apace with the O's at the top of the Southern Conference.

The London Blitz improved to 2-3-1 wih a 28-13 home victory against the Bristol Aztecs who dropped to 3-3. Redditch Arrows won their second straight game in Division 1 with an impressive 34-8 away win at Nottingham. The games between the Mets/Bulls and Pirates/Romans were called off.

Match report - London Blitz 28-13 Bristol Aztecs

The London Blitz came from behind to beat the Bristol Aztecs, thanks largely to some excellent defensive and special teams work that consistently put the offense in good field position. Both teams struggled in the first quarter with London punting twice and turning the ball over on downs once, whilst Bristol fumbled on their first offensive play and missed a field goal from 43 yards out late in the quarter.

It was not until part way through the second quarter that Bristol capped a long drive with a 20 yard passing touchdown. The extra point gave them a 7 point lead. On the following London drive, quarterback Paul Waddington found Andy Falconer for a 44 yard touchdown. The extra point attempt failed and London were trailing by one point. Bristol bounced back with another long drive which ended with a 25 yard passing touchdown on 4th and 14. The extra point went wide and Bristol went into the half with a seven point lead.

Neither team did much offensively in the third quarter a combination of excellent punting by Mark Ward and an Ockee Ismael interception gave London the ball deep in Bristol territory. Tony Paul ran in from 20 yards out and Mark Ward kicked the extra point to level the score.

The London defence continued to shut Bristol down and early in the fourth quarter, the London special teams again giving the offense excellent field position and a quarterback sneak from the two saw Paul Waddington go in for his second rushing touchdown of the season. Paul Waddington found Rob Camplin in the end zone for two points to give London a nine point lead. Yet another excellent punt put Bristol deep inside their own half. The Bristol pass on fourth down was picked of by Jason Henry who ran it in to the end zone, but there was a holding penalty on the return nullified the score, but gave London the ball on the Bristol 34. Two plays later, Paul Waddington found Rob Camplin who was tackled on the four, but before he went down, he lateralled to Mike Dunne who took the ball into the end zone. Mark Ward kicked the extra point.

The Bristol offense which made 212 yards in the first half was limited to only 20 yards in the second half by a defence with five sacks, three interceptions and a fumble recovery to its credit.

Passing: Paul Waddington 4 of 19 for 86 yards, long 44 yards, 2 TD's, 1 Conv.
Receiving: Andy Falconer 1 for 44 yards, 1 TD, Rob Camplin 3 for 38 yards, long 23 yards
Rushing: Tony Paul 6 for 40 yards, long 20 yards, 1 TD
Paul Waddington 6 for 31 yards, long 12 yards, 1 TD
Tackles: Ockee Ismael 9 (5 unassist, 4 assist), Jason Henry 8 (2 unassist, 6 assist), Ralph Maynard 7 (5 unassist, 2 assist)
Sacks: Arron Cole 2.5 for 24 yards
Interception: Jason Henry 1 for 7 yards

Match report - Yorkshire Rams 32-0 Strathclyde Sheriffs

In very hot conditions both teams strived to serve up an entertaining match. The Rams opened the scoring towards the end of the opening quarter with a 10 yard run. The Extra point was added giving a 7-0 scoreline. In the second quarter the Home side extended their lead with a touchdown pass but the PAT failed. Later in the quarter they scored again following a Sheriffs fumble on their own 10 yard line to put the half time score at 20-0.

Both teams played solid football in the second half but the Rams Offense made the best of their opportunities and added a passing TD in the third and a rushing TD in the fourth quarter. This ended the scoring at 32-0 and left the Sheriffs with their 3rd straight defeat of the season. Despite this the Sheriffs Offense put together a few good drives but a combination of bad luck and dogged Rams Defending kept them out of the endzone despite the Sheriffs getting inside the Red zone 5 times in the game. Sheriffs best performances on the day came from Defensive MVP John Walkinshaw , 8 tackles 4 of them solo stops and two interceptions for 26 yards, and on offence from Malcolm May who made 118 yards on 17 carries.

Once again the Sheriffs were able to get all of their rookies into the game at some stage with Receiver Willie Wylie, Running back Andrew Stokes and Safety Stuart Smith all seeing some action.

On a sadder note Sheriffs Swedish safety Jonas Sorenson was lost for the season when he suffered a double break to his left leg during a Sheriffs punt. While the injury will keep him out for about 6 months everyone connected with the team hope Jonas can make a quick and full recovery.

22nd June 2001 - BritballNow BSL Power Rankings now on-line

To see the BritballNow BSL power rankings click here.

17th June 2001 - Weekend round-up - Gateshead, Oxford remain unbeaten. Nighthawks/Rams tie 0-0

BSL Division One

Gateshead Senators 32-8 Nottingham Caesars
London Mets 3-7 PA Knights

BSL Division Two

Merseyside Nighthawks 0-0 Yorkshire Rams
Chiltern Cheetahs 20-13 South Wales Warriors
Norwich Devils P-P Kent Exiles (no officials)
Plymouth Admirals 6-21 Oxford Saints

Gateshead Senators remain unbeaten this season after a 32-8 home victory against the Nottingham Caesars. Gateshead improved to 4-0. PA Knights improved to 3-2 after a tough 7-3 win against the disappointing London Mets. If defense is your thing, then Wallasey Rugby Club would have been your thing this afternoon. The Merseyside Nighthawks and the Yorkshire Rams fought out a 0-0 tie (possibly the first time this has ever happened in the BSL. Chiltern Cheetahs improved to 2-2 after a 20-13 win against South Wales Warriors, whilst the Oxford Saints continue to lead the way in Div.2 South with a 21-6 away win at Plymouth. Oxford move to 5-0, whilst Plymouth drop to 2-3. Problems continue with a shortage of referees as the Norwich Devils home clash with Kent Exiles had to be postponed.

Match report - Chiltern Cheetahs 20-13 South Wales Warriors

Chiltern bounced back to winning ways with a hard fought victory over the tough, Cardiff based Warriors. The first Quarter was stalemate with both teams failing to find any rhythm. On Chilterns first possession of the 2nd qtr. Q.B. Rob Suttling found receiver Brendan Peek who took the ball 19yds and with a lunging dive found the end zone. (6-0) This seemed to perk up both teams as good football was now being played. South Wales were moving the ball freely and inside the last 2 minutes 
of the half got their reward with a 6yd passing T.D. The extra point was good and they went in at half time with a slender 1 point lead (h/t 6-7) So far this season Chilterns offence have started the second half stronger than the first, but this week could do  nothing but watch as South Wales totally dominated the 3rd Qtr. They extended their lead with a 3yd run & once again Chiltern were playing catch-up football. (6-13) After watching most of the 3rd Qtr, Chilterns offence woke from their slumber and got about the task of reducing the deficit. With fine running from Stephens & Willi & receptions from Trayling Chiltern  capped the drive with a 1yd plunge from Stephens, Peek caught the 2pt conversion for the lead (14-13) The defence then did their bit forcing South Wales to punt. The offence took to the field once again, but, after a series of penalties found themselves facing a 1st & 36 on their own 12 yard line. Stephens took the ball, ran left, broke 3 tackles and ran 78yds for the deciding touchdown. (20-13)

14th June 2001 - Bulls vs. Pirates game rearranged

The Birmingham Bulls home clash with the East Kilbride Pirates, which had been postponed due to the European Championship quarter-final between GB & Spain this weekend, has been rearranged for Sunday 5th August. This game could potentially decide the Northern Conference.

11th June 2001 - Weekend round-up. Sundevils impress, Warriors surprise

BSL Division One

Redditch Arrows 27-6 Cheshire Romans
London Blitz 7-49 London O's
Southern Sundevils 34-8 London Mets

BSL Division Two

AP Staffordshire Surge 26-6 Merseyside Nighthawks
Norwich Devils 44-0 Maidstone Pumas
Plymouth Admirals 0-6 South Wales Warriors
Sabres 2-21 Ipswich Cardinals

In BSL Division One, Sunday, the Southern Sundevils improved to 3-0 after a convincing 34-8 victory against the London Mets at the Mountbatten Centre in Portsmouth. Anthony Stitt was again a star of the show as he caught a 75 yard TD pass from QB Cliff Boddington, ran another one in from 50 yards and also threw for a TD as the Sundevils opened up a 22-0 lead by half-time. The Mets pulled one TD back in the 3rd quarter on a QB sneak from the one yard line, but the Sundevils had the final word late in the game to secure another win. Elsewhere in Division One, the Redditch Arrows won their first game of the season with a 27-6 win over the Cheshire Romans, and the O's kept their unbeaten run going with a 49-7 victory against their rivals from London, the Blitz.

In BSL Division Two, the South Wales Warriors will have surprised many by travelling to Plymouth, and upsetting the Admirals 6-0. A Russ Wingfield QB sneak in the last few minutes sealed the win for the Warriors in a defensive battle. Norwich continued their winning ways with a 44-0 thrashing of Maidstone, and the Ipswich Cardinals overturned the Sabres 21-2. In the other game in Division Two, the AP Staffordshire Surge won again. This time 26-6 against the Merseyside Nighthawks.

Match report - AP Staffordshire Surge 26-6 Merseyside Nighthawks

Three second half touchdowns by Neil Sullivan, Paul Bona and Andy Calvert, were sufficient to power the Surge to a comfortable win over the Nighthawks, enabling the Surge to maintain their position at the top of the Division 2 Northern Conference. In the first half there was little to choose between the teams, and it was the Nighthawks who drew first blood.

On the very first play, Surge quarterback Richard Large was hit hard on the arm and Merseyside recovered the fumbled ball. The Surge defence stood firm and held Merseyside on 4th down, but the play was cancelled by a penalty. The Nighthawks took advantage of the mistake, scoring the first points the Surge have conceded this season with a 1 yard touchdown pass. The extra point kick was blocked, leaving Merseyside with a 6-0 lead.

Neither side were able to gain advantage, thanks to some sterling defensive performances, culminating in the defensive play of the game, late in the second quarter, when Denis Caddy recovered the ball after the Merseyside quarterback fumbled, and returned it 5 yards for a touchdown. Richard Large hooked up with Ziad Choueiri, playing his first game for the club, to add two extra points and give the Surge an 8-6 halftime lead.

In the third quarter the Surge moved the ball fluently, and extended their lead when Neil Sullivan got on the end of a 49 yard touchdown pass from Richard Large. Later in the same quarter, Richard Large found receiver Lee Taylor with a 5 yard pass. Taylor pitched the ball out to Paul Bona who carried the ball a further 38 yards for a touchdown, and a 14 point lead. Andy Calvert made the result safe for the Surge in the fourth quarter, when he ran home from 8 yards out. Richard Large made way for Warren Thomas at quarterback who guided his side safely to victory, completing his first passes for the club in the process.

The result sets up a top of the table clash in two weeks time when the Surge host Lancashire Wolverines.

3rd June 2001 - Weekend round-up

BSL Divison One

Cheshire Romans 6-12 Bristol Aztecs
East Kilbride Pirates 95-12 Nottingham Caesars
Redditch Arrows 0-12 Gateshead Senators
Essex Spartans 0-40 PA Knights

BSL Division Two

Kingston Barbarians vs. Yorkshire Rams - rescheduled for August 5th
Lancashire Wolverines 50-12 Strathclyde Sheriffs
Chiltern Cheetahs 26-33 Oxford Saints
Kent Exiles 0-13 Maidstone Pumas

East Kilbride Pirates made their intentions clear for the chasing pack in the Northern Conference of the BSL Division, as they put the Nottingham Caesars to the sword today with a massive 95-12 victory. Gateshead Senators stay unbeaten though, as they shut-out Redditch for the second time this season. This time 12-0. Bristol improved to 3-2 with a 12-6 win at Cheshire, and PA Knights dumped the Essex Spartans 40-0.

In Division Two, Lancashire Wolverines won again and extended their record to 4-0, as they dumped the Strathclyde Sheriffs 50-12. Another side to go 4-0, are the Oxford Saints who stay on top of the Division Two Southern Conference after a thrilling 33-26 away win at the Chiltern Cheetahs. Maidstone won the Kent derby, after a 13-0 away victory at the Kent Exiles.

Kent Exiles

Match report - Lancashire Wolverines 50-12 Strathclyde Sheriffs

In a hard fought 1st quarter both teams fumbled opposition away and an interception by Ian Cochrane ended an early Wolverine drive.Lancashire took the lead near the end of the quarter with a short passing touchdown. The two-point attempt failed.

In the 2nd quarter the Wolverines took a grip of the game and added two more passing touchdowns. With both two-point conversions added the half time score stood at 22-0.

Wolverines dominance continued in the second half and three further scores were added including a blocked punt recovered in the Sheriffs endzone. The Sheriffs offence did start to find its rhythm and QB Matt McCusker, who had 120 yds passing on the day, hit Receivers Paul Keys and Gareth Alexander for scores of 20 and 45 yards respectively but it was too little too late. Any linger hopes of a Sheriff comeback were dashed in the 4th quarter when the Wolverines defense returned a McCusker interception for a touchdown to end the scoring and the game as a contest.

28th May 2001 - Weekend round-up

In BSL Division One on Sunday, the Southern Sundevils remained unbeaten following a 48-8 victory over the Essex Spartans. Anthony Stitt continued his impressive season with a further 3 TD's, and Steve Shergold scored twice in the Sundevils win. The PA Knights scored their first win in BSL Division this season with a 30 point shut out of the Bristol Aztecs. The Knights Adedayo Ashaye scored two TD's the first quarter to put the Knights in front, which is where they stayed. Nottingham Caesars gained revenge for their defeat earlier in the season to the Cheshire Romans with a 34-24 home victory against the same opposition. The London O's/London Mets encounter was called off due to insufficient officials.

In BSL Division Two, the AP Staffordshire Surge improved to 3-0 with another shut-out victory, this time 14-0 at home to the Yorkshire Rams. Neil Sullivan caught a 79 yard pass from Richard Large to put the Surge on the board, and then Chris Ellis wrapped things up with a 9 yard interception return for the Surge's other TD. Plymouth Admirals lost their first game of the season, and how they must be kicking themselves. The Admirals led 21-6 with just over one minute left in the game. The Cheetahs scored two converted TD's in that space of time to sneak the victory. In the only other game of the day, it's congratulations to the Kent Exiles who scored their first TD in two years, but they still went down 28-6 to the Sabres from Southend.

Match report - Chiltern Cheetahs 22-21 Plymouth Admirals

Chiltern won their first home game of the season with a thrilling 4th Qtr. comeback, scoring 16 unanswered points to take victory with only 1.05 remaining. The game started with Plymouth taking a strong hold, scoring with their first possession when Chris Stenson ran in from 13 yds (0-6). Chilterns offence stumbled with their first possession, their drive finishing when Rob Suttling was intercepted. Plymouth took advantage of this increasing their lead when Glen Harland passed to Tom Wilding-Webb, & Jon Wyse tacked on the extra point. (0-13) The 2nd Qtr. was all Chiltern when their Offence finally got into gear and just before  half time got their reward when Rob Suttling passed to Brendan 
Peek. (h/t 6-13) 

The start of the second half was a re-run of the 2nd Qtr. with Chilterns Offence moving the ball, but just when they were threatening Suttling was intercepted by Jon Wyse, who ran the ball back 62 yds to score (6-19) The extra point attempt was broken but the holder pitched the ball to Jon Wyse who ran in for 2pts (6-21) The start of the 4th Qtr. was dominated by Plymouth, who were threatening to extend their lead until Nick Rockell knocked the ball from Q.B. Harlands grasp, Frank Mayo picked up the ball & ran 78yds to score (12-21) Kris Stephens ran in the 2pt. P.A.T. (14-21) With this score the momentum of the game switched to Chiltern, the Defence turned up the heat & forced Plymouth 
to punt. Chilterns Offence took to the field in what was to be a game winning drive. With completions to Peek & Stephens they moved the ball down the field, the drive was completed when Stephens ran in from 8yds (20-21) The 2pt attempt was successful when Suttling found Peek in the corner of the end-zone. (22-21) Plymouth had one last chance to score but were intercepted by Nick Rockell and Chiltern ran out the clock to win. They now look forward to next Sundays game where they are at home to the Oxford Saints, kick-off 2.30pm.

20th May 2001 - Weekend roundup - Sundevils open campaign with victory, Devils edge Cardinals in Div.2 match of the day

BSL Division One

PA Knights 22-44 Southern Sundevils

BSL Division Two

Merseyside Nighthawks P-P Kingston Barbarians
Strathclyde Sheriffs 0-18 AP Surge
Yorkshire Rams 12-24 Lancashire Wolverines 
Ipswich Cardinals 22-23 Norwich Devils
Maidstone Pumas P-P Kent Exiles
Sabres 8-27 Oxford Saints

The Southern Sundevils won their opening fixture of the 2001 season, with a confident 44-22 away victory at the PA Knights. In Division Two, the Norwich Devils hung on to a 23-22 away victory at their arch local rivals Ipswich. Oxford Saints continued their impressive opening to the season, registering their third consecutive victory with a 27-8 victory at the Sabres. Brian Myers rushed for over 100 yards and 3 TD's in the Saints win. Lancashire and the AP Surge also continued their good starts to the season with away victories at Yorkshire Rams and Strathclyde Sheriffs respectively.

Match reports

Strathclyde Sheriffs 0-18 AP Surge

The Sheriffs lost their season opener in a close fought match with the A.P.Surge but they did introduce ten new players to the game. With the Sheriffs Offense spluttering in the early stages the Surge took the lead. Following a Sheriffs punt Surge QB Richard Large found receiver Sollivan for 38yds and points. Sheriffs’ Defense stopped the two-point conversion. After another Three and out series by the Sheriffs the Surge increased their lead to 12-0 with Bona’s 6yard run. Again the two-point conversion failed.

At this point both defenses got to grips with the game and there was no further scoring until the fourth Quarter.

A fumbled snap on their own 10-yard line meant the Sheriffs handed their opponents a perfect opportunity to increase their lead once more. The Surge made the most of the opportunity and QB large ran the ball home from 7 yards out. For the third time in the game the Sheriffs Defense stopped the two-point conversion. This made the final score 18-0 in favour of the Surge.

Sheriffs Offence did start a promising drive late in the final quarter by were thwarted by a series of penalties.

Sheriffs QB Matt McCusker had a solid debut completing 10 of 27 attempts for 54yds and running back Malcolm May made 42 yards on 14 carries. On Defense John Walkinshaw had 8 solo tackles and 5 assists and Anthony Kilanowski added a fumble recovery to his 4 assisted tackles.

Ipswich Cardinals 22-23 Norwich Devils

Norwich Devils held on for a hard fought victory at old rivals Ipswich after dominating the early stages. The Devils started brightly and took the lead early in the first quarter when Steve Playford caught a 14-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Darren Bailey, Mike Howling kicking the extra point. Norwich extended their lead before the end of the quarter when Jermaine Ramsey hauled in a nine-yard pass in the endzone to cap a 90 yard drive. When Mike Wilson ran in from four yards the visitors were seemingly romping at 21-0. But thoughts of an easy win were quickly dispelled when Stuart Brereton returned a punt 60 yards for a score to reduce the lead to 21-7 at the interval.

Ipswich further cut the deficit with a 30 yard Sandy Francis field goal. And when Paul Borstel ran in from nine yards Devils were suddenly rocking. Sean Lockwood's blocking of the Francis' extra point would prove crucial, as would Mike Brown's sacking of the Ipswich QB for a two point safety on their next drive. Late in the game Borstel ran in from 10 yards to pull Cardinals within a point. But Dan Bowen blocked the kick and the Devils' defense held on to ensure victory.

13th May 2001 - Pirates send warning to BSL

East Kilbride Pirates fired a warning to all BSL sides this season, with a superb 13-0 victory against the fancied Birmingham Bulls. This is the first time in years that a team from North of the Border has beaten one of England's big two. In other games Gateshead Senators moved to 2-0 with a 20-0 victory against Redditch (who were making their debut in Division One). The Bristol Aztecs squeaked past the London Mets 14-12, and the London Blitz destroyed the Essex Spartans 40-8. In Division Two Norwich defeated the Sabres 34-12, and the Lancashire Wolverines thrashed newboys Kingston 76-0.

Match reports

East Kilbride Pirates 13-0 Birmingham Bulls

East Kilbride kicked off their 2001 campaign with a hard-earned win over the Birmingham Bulls. Games between these two sides are traditionally close encounters, and the early exchanges this time around indicated more of the same. Indeed, the first half came and went without any score, both defenses having the upper
hand. The Pirates managed to negate the running threat of Kofi Campbell, restricting him to a long of 13 yards. Similarly the Bulls were managing to contain Willie Brown, although his persistence did eventually see him total 73 yards on 17 carries.

Midway through the third period, with a 0-0 score line becoming more and more possible, the home side put together a decisive drive. QB Gary McNey had been connecting with Alan Street (6 catches for 84 yards) on a regular basis, and with the Pirates on 2nd & Goal at the Bulls' 8 yard line, he used Street as a decoy then found David Mooney in the endzone for the go-ahead score. This was not only Mooney's first TD for the club, but was also his first reception. McNey tagged on the extra point.

Going into the final quarter a 7-0 lead looked like it might prove to be enough, given the way the home defense was playing. However, when cornerback, Ivor Clark picked off a wayward Bulls' pass and returned it 60 yards for the score, the writing was on the wall for Birmingham. McNey pushed the PAT attempt wide right, leaving the score at 13-0 to East Kilbride. The Bulls almost came straight back into the game when Kofi Campbell returned the ensuing kick-off 49 yards. He had looked set to go all the way until one of his own team mates ran into him and knocked him over. The Bulls' last glimmer of hope soon disappeared when on 2nd and Goal at the 1 yard line, East Kilbride's Jim Dorman ripped the ball loose and Ian Nelson recovered the fumble. The Pirates then tried to run down the clock but
Birmingham had one last chance to score late in the game. Their final drive came to an end when Stuart McNeill pulled in the Pirates' third interception via the fingertips of Ross Templeton (proving that contrary to public opinion, they DO have a pair of hands between them!). With Birmingham having used all their time-outs, the clock ran out without another snap being taken, and the Pirates had a memorable victory in the bag.

Cheshire Romans 13-12 Nottingham Caesars

Report supplied by Cheshire Romans

Both teams looked forward to this clash as a chance to open their league account, and 60 minutes of hard football later, 1 point was all that could separate them.

The Caesars appeared with a small squad, but came ready to play, Edwards picking off Scott Irwin on the first drive deep in Roman territory. The Chester defense entered the fray with a bang, forcing a three and out and setting a hard-hitting precedent for the rest of the afternoon. On Cheshire’s next drive, Nottingham again picked off a pass, Edwards returning his second INT 20 yds into the paint. He then appeared at TB for the conversion, but was buried by ILB Steve Toye, to leave the score at 0-6.

This seemed to wake the Roman O, and they began to generate positive yardage with the contrasting running styles of Stu Archer and Guy Bingham. Archer darted for a first down, and Bingham punched up the middle for another, and Chester moved into Caesar territory. The Notts defense stiffened, filling the box with 8 men, and the Roman passing D came close to breaking them down, but was stopped.

The remainder of the first half became an attritional battle, with both offenses making small amounts of yardage, but unable to maintain a drive. The interior of the Chester D getting to grips with the inside running attack of the Caesars; DT’s Biscuit Capper and Marbles Blakemore (7solos, D MVP), supported by ILB’s Steve Toye (5 solos 4 assists) and Tony Aldersley forcing several 3rd and long situations.

Chester came close to tying the game up as half time approached, Irwin firing a completion to Dave McHugh, then Bingham barrelled up field on a screen that ended up yards from the goal line. Unable to force the ball over, and following a sack, Cheshire attempted a FG, but Phil Rowe’s kick went inches right to maintain the Caesars’ lead.

Nottingham opened the second half with a personnel change, RB/WR Thompson entering the game. His entrance had an almost immediate effect. On 3rd and long inside the 20, he pulled in a perfect spiral over near perfect coverage and took it 81 yds to extend the lead. Again the Caesars went for two, and the FB appeared to have broken the plane, but crucially lost the ball at the one, where Adam Yates pounced for the recovery.

0-13 down, the Roman O stirred, Archer and Bingham pounding into Notts territory. After a powerful 8yd surge from Bingham, Archer raced off tackle behind Brian Buckley and John Anderson, then cut to the sideline and outran the D for an electrifying 38 yd score. Rowe kicked a solid PAT to make it 7-13. The Caesars responded with a kick return to half way, and looked menacing, until FS Mike Cosgrove pounced, diving in front of the TE for an interception. Unable to execute, the Romans punted again, and the Caesars moved past midfield. On 3rddown at the 40, the Notts QB fired a bullet downfield. Unable to field it, the Caesar WR batted the ball upwards, where Jason Wilcock raced under it and set off downfield. Only excellent pursuit stopped him from taking it back all the way. Defense again came to the fore to end the quarter.

Trailing 7-13 at the start of the 4th, the Romans knew that a single TD, and the reliable boot of Rowe, could prove enough to win the game. O coordinator Gaz Fuller asked the D for one more turnover, and deep in their half with the Caesars threatening, they delivered. Another perfect pass to Thompson brought the ball inside the twenty, where the Notts’ QB, succumbing to constant pressure from Lee Rose and Simon Wainwright, forced a pass into the end zone, where Dale Walsh stepped in front at the goal line and raced up field. Again, desperate pursuit stopped him scoring after a 34 yd scamper. With barely four minutes remaining, the Romans knew it was time to do or die. Behind Brett Metcalfe and Will Sargent, the O pounded downfield. As the gun approached, tempers became frayed in the afternoon heat, and the Caesars were assessed for two 15 yd penalties which moved the Romans closer to their goal. Finally, the Notts’ D broke, and offensive MVP Stu Archer twisted in from the 4 for the go ahead score. The 2pt conversion failed, and the Caesars knew a FG would be enough.

The Caesars QB returned the kickoff well past midfield, giving his offense new hope. A quick dive brought them inside the thirty, and the roman D knew it had to step up again to preserve the victory. An incomplete pass on 1st down was followed by a sack by Toye and Capper on 2nd down, leaving the Caesars long yardage to convert. On 3rd down, Rose and Aldersley combined to knock away a deep corner, and with the game on the line, a speculative bomb into the end zone was safely defused by Wainwright to give Coach Nick Clifford his first league victory of the year.

The game was a hard fought and sporting encounter, played in hot and testing conditions. Both sides will be looking forward to the return fixture in Nottingham on the 28th of May.

Essex Spartans 8-40 London Blitz

Report supplied by the London Bltiz


1st Qtr

2nd Qtr

3rd Qtr

4th Qtr


London Blitz






Essex Spartans






All three Essex drives in the first quarter went three and out thanks to a solid Blitz defence including sacks by Sasha Lewis & Jason Henry, and a tackle four yards behind the line of scrimmage by Guy Robbins.

Mistakes forced the Blitz to punt the ball away on their first drive, but on their second, Ian Musgrave capped a drive on the ground with a 6 yard run for his first touchdown of the season. On the next Blitz drive, Andy Falconer combined with quarterback Paul Waddington pass for a 21 yard touchdown reception. This was followed by a two point conversion run by Ian Musgrave.

A short way into the second quarter, a Blitz fumble was recovered by Essex, but again they were forced to go three and out again by a solid Blitz defence. However, the punt was downed on the three yard line. On third and seven from the six, Paul Waddington was sacked in the end zone for a safety. The Blitz kicked off form the twenty to give Essex the ball close to mid field, but four plays later, Guy Robbins recovered an Essex fumble.

On the next Blitz drive, Andy Falconer caught his second touchdown pass of the game, this time from 25 yards out. This time, Tony Paul ran in for the two point conversion. Little happened for the remainder of the half.

An Essex fumble inside their own ten yard line, forced by Guy Robbins was picked up by Craig Harden. This gave the Blitz offence little to do and on fourth down, Paul Waddington ran it in from the one. Another three and out by Essex, gave the Blitz the ball in good field position and five plays later, Primo Pini made his first touchdown reception of the season from six yards out. The third touchdown of the quarter and the fourth TD pass by Paul Waddington, went to Rob Camplin from eight yards out.

The Blitz did little offensively in the fourth quarter, with drives ending in a punt, a fumble and an interception. Essex went for it on fourth and one on their first drive of the quarter. With most of the Blitz defence committed to stopping this short gain run, there was little to stop Essex runner Shulba Hunt when he bounced out of the pile and ran 69 yard into the Blitz end zone.

The Essex special teams deserve a mention, forcing the Blitz to start two drives inside the five yard line.

Mark Ward kicked off eight times for a total of 417 yards, the longest being 61 yards, whilst punting only three times for 102 yards. Meanwhile, six punts were returned for a total of 71 yards.

The Blitz passing defence only allowed 3 completions from 18 attempts for 20 yards whilst inflicting six sacks for a total of 48 yards. 16 Essex rushes went for 112 yards, 69 of which were on one play.

London Bltiz Game Statistics


Paul Waddington

6 of 13 for 85 yards, long 25 yards, 4 TD's


Andy Falconer

3 for 58 yards, long 25 yards, 2 TD's


Rob Camplin

6 for 77 yards, long 29 yards


Tony Paul

10 for 47 yards, long 15 yards, 1 Conv


Ian Musgrave

8 for 45 yards, long 15 yards, 1 TD, 1 Conv.


Paul Waddington

6 for 14 yards, long 5 yards, 1 TD


Mick Lyons

4 (2 unassisted, 2 assisted)


Jason Henry

1.5 for 7 yards

BSL Division One

Cheshire Romans 13-12 Nottingham Caesars
East Kilbride Pirates 13-0 Birmingham Bulls
Gateshead Senators 20-0 Redditch Arrows
Bristol Aztecs 14-12 London Mets
Essex Spartans 8-40 London Blitz

BSL Division Two

Lancashire Wolverines 76-0 Kingston Barbarians
Ipswich Cardinals 34-12 Sabres

6th May 2001 - O's and Bulls win big

BSL Division One

PA Knights 0-31 London O's
Bristol Aztecs 14-12 London Blitz
Nottingham Caesars 0-36 Birmingham Bulls

BSL Division Two

Dominos Oxford Saints 35-20 South Wales Warriors
Maidstone Pumas P-P Kent Exiles

The London O's and the Birmingham Bulls both registered big victories today in BSL Division One. In a battle of last season's divisional winners, the O's defeated the PA Knights 31-0. The Bulls, in their first game of the season, defeated Nottingham 36-0. The Bristol Axtecs scraped their first win of the season with a 14-12 victory against the London Blitz. In Division Two, the Oxford Saints won their second game of the season with a 35-20 win against the South Wales Warriors, whilst the Maidstone/Kent clash was called off.

PA Knights 0-31 London O's

The Knights found out early that life in Division one is tough. From the opening kick off the London O's held the Guildford based team deep in their own territory. The Knights defense were on good form and forced turnovers when it seemed certain the National Champions would score. The O's special teams and their own Defense however had the Knights pinned down and it was only a matter of time until that field position advantage paid off.

The opening score came late in the first quarter as Knights QB Steve Donlevy tried to find a receiver open - the ball was tipped and the O's ran the interception back 40yds to score. Andy Boyle then slotted the PAT and the O's led 7-0 at the end of the quarter.

There may not be an Elm Street in Guildford but for the second quarter the Varsity Centre made a good substitute - it was certainly a nightmare for the Knights. Having given up the ball on a highly disputed fumble the home team then compounded the situation with a 15yd penalty. The O's needed no second invitation and a 10yd run backed by Boyles PAT made it 14-0 O's.

It got worse for the home team as another Donlevy interception saw the visitors take over deep in Knights territory. Stuart Franklin starting at QB for the O's found an open receiver from 10yds out and Andy Boyle again obliged to make it 21-0 to the visitors.

Things can only get better?? Not in this quarter for the Knights. Nick Preece made an impressive return to the offensive backfield on his first run - the second one however saw a swarming O's defense strip the ball and return it 29yds for another score  - almost inevitably Boyle struck the extra point,  28-0 to London.

The Knights defense were called upon again as the Offense gave up the ball on a fumble. This time they rose to the challenge forcing the O's to kick a field goal from 39yds out - yes it was that man Boyle again. London led 31-0.

Half time saw the Knights coaching staff go to work and it was clear that it was a different team that came out for the second half. Young QB Ashley Heath had taken over and the Knights offense suddenly found the ability to gain yards through tough running from Paul Wakeford, Rob Scruby. Adedayo Ashaye and Zizwani Mhango.

Heath's mobility was also a factor as he scrambled for vital yardage to keep the home team alive. The O's defense matched their home team counterparts and both offenses were struggling to make a significant impact. At one point the Knights Offense found another gear and drove to the O's 20yd line before giving up the ball on downs.

Nick Preece found himself leading the Knights Defense after his brief appearance on the offense and they continued to force errors from the slightly understrengh  London team. Neither offense could find paydirt - and if anything it certainly looked like the Heath led Knights were more likely to break the second half deadlock.

The scoring for the day was however complete and the half time 0-31 scoreline remained as the final result when the game ended.Neither passing attack could have been satisfied but the O's ground game, and the Knights errors, proved to be the difference between the teams.

Bright spots for the Knights were the performances from some of the younger players notably Heath at QB and Paul "Benny" Wakeford at running back in his first Senior League game having moved up from the youth team.

Knights Head Coach Steve Rains said " We didn't get the breaks in the first half - and certainly did not help ourselves with some of the errors. We will use the excellent second half performance as the springboard for the next game - the O's are the top team in the country and they showed it today in taking full advantage of the opportunities we gave them".

29th April 2001 - Weekend Week 4 - Two matches tied!

EuroBowl XV

La Courneuve Flash 41-13 London O's 
(Flash win 63-13 on aggregate)

British Senior League Week 4 - Sunday 29th April

Division 1 South - London Blitz 14-14 Essex Spartans
Division 2 North - Kingston Barbarians 0-22 AP Surge
Division 2 North - Lancashire Wolverines 24-12 Merseyside Nighthawks
Division 2 South - Oxford Saints 35-27 Chiltern Cheetahs
Division 2 South - Norwich Devils 15-15 Ipswich Cardinals
Division 2 South - Plymouth Admirals 33-0 Maidstone Pumas
Division 2 South - Sabres 26-2 Kent Exiles

London Blitz and Essex Spartans tied 14-14 in their BSL Division One game earlier today at the Linford Christie Stadium. The Blitz improve to 0-1-1, whilst that was the Spartans first game of the season. There were 4 matches in BSL Division Two. Game of the day was undoutedly at Eaton Park, where the host Norwich Devils took on their local rivals, the Ipswich Cardinals. Remarkably, this game was finished in the second tie of the day as the two sides fought out a 15-15 draw!

The Kingston Barbarians took on the AP Surge in their first ever BSL game. The visiting Surge ran out 22-0 victors, but the Barbs will have learnt a lot from the defeat. The Lancashire Wolverines defeated the Merseyside Nighthawks 24-12, whilst in a high-scoring affair the hometown Oxford Saints beat the Chiltern Cheetahs 35-27. The Plymouth Admirals recorded their second victory of the season with a convincing 33-0 shut-out of the Maidstone Pumas, whilst the Sabres defeated the Kent Exiles 26-2.

29th April 2001 - OXFORD SAINTS 34 CHILTERN CHEETAHS 27  ( H/T  14-13 ) 

The Cheetahs kicked off their 2001 season away to the Oxford Saints. The Saints, who are being tipped as one of the favourites for the Div. 2 Title were given a stern test by both Chilterns Offence & Defence. First possession of the game went to Oxford who moved the ball with ease against a cold Chiltern defence & scored with a 3yd Brian Myers run, the extra point attempt by Steve Belcher was good, Just, with the ball hitting both uprights before falling over. The teams then exchanged possessions before Chiltern got into the groove with a scoring drive of their own, when, Kris Stephens caught a 6yd pass from Rob Suttling, Mark Spittle made the extra point & the game was tied. The remainder of the first half continued in much the same way until Oxford broke the deadlock with a Brian Myers 6yd scoring run, Steve Belcher made the extra point. With 14 seconds left in the first half Kris Stephens bagged his 2nd T.D. with a 1yd plunge, the 2pt attempt was no good. (H/T 14-13) The second half was much the same as the first, with both teams exchanging possession, until Wayne Mayers scrambled for 8yds to paydirt & Steve Belcher 
made the extra point. The Cheetahs replied immediately with a scoring drive of their own, when Rob Suttling found Brendan Peek with a 30yd pass, the 2pt conversion attempt was good when Suttling passed to Kris Stephens to tie the game once again (21-21). But with the last play of the 3rd quarter, Oxford took the lead once again on Steve Belcher 43 yard fake punt attempt, but his kick was wide left, (27-21). With all to play for in the final quarter, Oxford scored on Brian Myers 2 yard run, his third of day, Belcher kick make the score 34 - 21. Chiltern gave their all and with the clock running down Kris Stephens also completed his hatrick of touchdowns with a 3 yard run with Spittle's kick wide right and with under 2 minutes of play remaining Oxford run out the clock making the final score 34 - 27. 
Chiltern now have 4 weeks to prepare for their next game which is at home to Plymouth Admirals on Sunday 27 May 2001 at Amersham & Chiltern Rugby Club, 
Kick off 2.30pm. Chiltern are also planning a grand reunion dinner in this, their 15th season. Anyone who has been connected with the club in any way are being invited to contact Richard Barnes on 01494 727933 or chilterncheetahs@aol.com

24th April 2001 - Pre-season result

Nottingham Caesars 20-26 Yorkshire Rams

22nd April 2001 - Hurricanes defeat Storm in Dundee derby

Sunday saw the first ever American football derby played in Dundee.The newly formed Hurricanes included several experienced players in this match that saw the club's first competitive action prior to their entry in the UK seven a side league. The Storm play Harrowgate over two legs next month and this game gave some of their younger players some much needed match experience. The game was very even for most of the first half with defenses dominating the game. The Hurricanes opened the scoring just before half time with a TD and the score remained 6-0 at the half. The second half stayed a defense dominated affair but the experience of the Hurricanes players led to mistakes by the Storm who fell 14-0 behind. The Storm kept working away and reduced the deficit to 14-6, but as they pressed, the Hurricanes scoreed against the run of play to take a 20 - 6 lead. The Storm came back and reduced the score to 20-12 but the clock ran out with a victory for the Hurricanes.

22nd April 2001 - Mets, Devils and Admirals all win in BSL Week 2

The London Mets strolled to a 24-3 victory against the London Blitz today in BSL Division One. Trailing 3-0 at half-time, Joe St.Louis's 65 yard run was the key in a 16 point 3rd quarter as the Mets rallied in the second half to score 24 unanswered points.

In Division Two, Norwich scored an impressive 26-0 away win at Maidstone, with the Devils scoring 4 rushing TD's (Ryan with 2, Hoskings and Wilson with one a-piece).

Plymouth opened their campaign with a 12-0 shutout of newboys South Wales Warriors in Cardiff. Admirals took the lead in the first quarter through RB Chris Renshaw to go 6-0 up. They extended their lead in the 4th quarter with Renshaw's second TD  from 9 yards out to seal the match. Renshaw finished with over 100 yards rushing.

20th April 2001 - Kingston Barbarians first league game called off - again!

The Kingston Barbarians first league game of the season this Sunday against the Strathclyde Sheriffs has been postponed for a second time, due to Strathclyde having transportation problems. The game will be re-scheduled later in the summer.

19th April 2001 - BritballNow readers have their say - it's the O's for Div.1 and Barbarians for Div.2

After a couple of weeks of voting on who you think will win the BSL Division One and Division Two championship's this season, the results show that you think that the London O's will win BSL Division One, and the newcomer Kingston Barbarians will win Division Two. Over 100 votes were received on each poll, and the top three for each Divison were as follows:

BSL Division One - London O's 44%, Birmingham Bulls 16%, East Kilbride Pirates 10%, PA Knights 7%, Bristol Aztecs 7%, London Blitz 6%, Cheshire Romans 3%, Southern Sundevils 2%, Nottingham Caesars 1%, London Mets 1%, Redditch Arrows 1%. Essex Spartans and Gateshead Senators received no votes.

BSL Division Two - Kingston Barbarians 23%, Oxford Saints 15%, Ipswich Cardinals 12%, Lancashire Wolverines 8%, AP Surge 6%, Norwich Devils 6%, Kent Exiles 6%, Plymouth Admirals 5%, Yorkshire Rams 5%, Strathclyde Sheriffs 4%, South Wales Warriors 3%, Chiltern Cheetahs 3%, Herts Stags 3% (alas not competing in 2001 now), Sabres 1%. Merseyside Nighthawks and Maidstone Pumas received no votes.

Thank you to all who voted. Let's see how right you are at the end of the season!

17th April 2001 - Herts Stags decide to take a year out

The Hertfordshire Stags of the BSL Division Two have reluctantly decided to pull the side out of competition for 2001. After a full pre-season campaign they were left with a squad of 16 of which 6 were rookies. The team aims to build during the year so that they can compete in 2002.

13th April 2001 - Kingston Barbarians first league game called off

Due to a waterlogged playing field, the Kingston Barbarians first league game of the season this Sunday against the Strathclyde Sheriffs has been postponed. It is hoped that the game will be played the following Sunday.

11th April 2001 - BSL Week 1 results

London O's 62-0 Bristol Aztecs
Gateshead Senators 28-5 Cheshire Romans

9th April 2001 - London O's 62-0 Bristol Aztecs

The London O’s opened their season at Southwark Park with a 62 point shut out against the Bristol Aztecs.

Afterwards, Coach Riq Ayub said, "It was great to start with a win. It was great to put those stories that we are slow starters behind us. Bristol kept their heads up and never gave up. They showed us a lot of different stuff, and all credit to them for their performance." Looking ahead to the game next week against La Courneuve Flash, Coach Ayub went on to say: "Taking nothing away from the Aztecs, but we have got to work a lot harder than that to beat our opponents next week."

First quarter

The O’s scoring started four plays into the game. Warren Keen running 26 yards to open the season for the O’s. Andy Boyle, starting his first game as a senior for the O’s, against his old team mates, slotted the PAT. Watch out for young Mr Boyle, you are going read his name often.

London O’s 7 Bristol Aztecs 0

The teams swaped three and outs before Bristol found themselves deep in their own half and punting for the second time in the game. Marco Fasulo burst through the line to knock the ball high in the air. So high that only one man was likely to catch it, Gary Thomas. Not only did Thomas catch the ball, he returned it for the five remaining yards of the field for the score. Andy Boyle kicked the PAT.

London O’s 14 Bristol Aztecs 0

Bristol struggled to sustain a drive in the face of fearsome hits from Tim Newton and Gary Thomas. After the punt, Junior Price passed to another debutante in an O’s senior jersey, Marvin Allen for the 37 yard TD reception. This was the first game for the former London O’s junior with footballing blood coursing through his veins, and his first catch for a TD is not a bad way to start. Andy Boyle kicked the PAT.

London O’s 21 Bristol Aztecs 0

Bristol now dug themselves deeper in the mire. Their next pass was picked off by the 2000 BritBowl MVP, Shola Goppy. Warren Keen ran strongly on the O’s subsequent drive leaving the O’s in good field position to end the quarter.

Second quarter

To open the quarter, another former O’s Junior, Aden Durde ran the 12 yards needed to trouble the scoreboard attendant. Andy Boyle kicked the PAT.

London O’s 28 Bristol Aztecs 0

It was not long before the O’s offense took to the field again following tough tackles by Collis Seale-McConnie, switching to the dark side of the ball this year, and stand out Damien Anderson. Junior Price kept his impressive afternoon going with passes to Tight End Adam Earle, returning to the O’s this year. A 15 yard Price scramble (in which he probably ran ten times that far), another more orthodox run by Roland Williams also of 15 yards and the team was within range of the end zone again. Junior Price hit Andy Boyle for a 25 yard Touchdown, which he calmly kicked through the uprights. Mutterings on the side line about "Mr Automatic" started to become more audible.

London O’s 35 Bristol Aztecs 0

The end of the half could not have come too quickly for the visitors. For Junior Price it could have gone on all afternoon as he was 100% complete for 82 yards from 5 passes including two TDs.

Third quarter

Bristol received the opening kick off, but a fumble forced by Damien Anderson and its recovery by former England Monarch, Francis Hatega gave the ball back to the O’s offense.

Junior Price had given way at QB to Stuart Franklin. A variety of plays was finished off by Roland Williams running for 27 yards and six points. Andy Boyle kicked the PAT. Was it too early for the growing whispers of "Mr Automatic" on the sideline?

London O’s 42 Bristol Aztecs 0

As Bristol tried to pass their way back into the game, the inevitable happened, Lance Knight intercepted a pass returning it 15 yards. The O’s offense took the field again and after a completion to Clive Palumbo and a runs from Warren Keen and Justin Oke, Stuart Franklin hit Clive Palumbo for the 9 yard scoring pass. A degree of boisterous celebrating put the kick back 15 yards and that was enough for us to write for the first time all afternoon, the kick failed.

London O’s 48 Bristol Aztecs 0

Effective pass defense by Lance Knight, and tackles by Sacha Conte and Max Ume-Ezeoke, saw Bristol still trying to mount a drive as the third quarter expired.

Fourth quarter

Bristol returned to the air and it did not pay off as Scott Rowe intercepted a pass returning it 30 yards. As if to emphasise their depth, the O’s third QB of the game took the field in the person of Dominic Dearman. With Justin Oke at running back, and with Dearman passing for 77 yards on 10 attempts, the O’s offense did not look too shabby. Unfortunately, by this time the effort was beginning to tell on the Aztecs. Aden Durde was the first to benefit, with a 10 yard run, Andy Boyle’s kick was good.

London O’s 55 Bristol Aztecs 0

When the O’s next had the ball, they played two of their rookies at running back, Robert Scotland and Alex Lee. Then Dominic Dearman hit veteran receiver Clive Palumbo for 23 yards and his second score of the game. The Andy Boyle kick was good.

London O’s 62 Bristol Aztecs 0

Report from www.londonos.org.uk. If you want your club's report to be published on Britballnow then send it to us atreports@britballnow.co.uk

8th April 2001 - O's and Senators get off to fliers

The London O's comprehensively defeated the Bristol Aztecs today 62-0 in a one-sided match up. The O's led 35-0 at the break and piled on the points in the second half with 4 further TD's.

In the day's other game at the Gateshead International Stadium, the Senators opened the scoring against the Cheshire Romans in the second quarter on a pass from Fraser to Nimmins to go 7-0 up. Fraser put the Senators 14-0 up on another pass, this time to Hartley. Cheshire reduced the deficit on a field-goal late in the second quarter to go into the break 14-3 down. The game was put away by the Senators in the 3rd quarter when Wilson returned an interception for the Senators to put them 22-3 ahead. The final score finished 28-5.

7th April 2001 - Maidstone/Plymouth clash postponed

Tomorrow's Division Two match-up between Maidstone Pumas and the Plymouth Admirals has been called off and will be re-arranged for later in the year.

6th April 2001 - BSL pre-season friendly results

Cheshire Romans 12-10 Yorkshire Rams
PA Knights 12-10 Oxford Saints

2nd April 2001 - Gateshead defeat Kingston in pre-season scrimmage

The Gateshead International Senators narrowly defeated the Kingston Barbarians, Sunday, 6-0 in a pre-season scrimmage at Hull University.

A somewhat under strength Barbarians side, faced the Senators this afternoon, and put up a solid display with many players having to play out of position as both offense and defense suffered from a chronic lack of regular players. Those that did play enjoyed a good afternoon, holding the Senators until the closing moments of the game.
The Senators squad of 22, were has expected, well drilled, and efficient. But their offense seemed to have no answer to the dogged defense provided by the Barbs squad of just 12 players, until the tired defense seemed to falter late in this pre-season, controlled scrimmage. Any one wishing to play or come along and watch then please contact Pete Scorah on 01482 835502 or Chris Evers on 01482 470136.

31st March 2001 - Norwich defeat Nottingham in pre-season friendly

The Norwich Devils defeated Nottingham Caesars 20-18 in an entertaining pre-season match at Eaton Park. Tony Ryan scored the first TD of the game with a 4 yard run in the first quarter. Norwich went 14-0 ahead in the second quarter when Shaun Norris caught a pass from Darren Bailey. The Caesars came back into it with a score before the break, but QB Darren Bailey extend Norwich's lead to 20-6 before half-time on a QB sneak. Nottingham scored twice after the break but failed to convert their PAT's to leave the score at 20-18.

27th March 2001 - UK Coaches visit NFL Europe training camp

Coaches from England and Scotland are among those observing NFL Europe League Training Camp in Tampa this month, picking up coaching tips to enhance their programmes back home.

Alan Wilson, head coach of the Glasgow Tigers and running backs coach with the Scottish Junior national team, and Birmingham Bulls head coach Jeremy Wood are two of 24 Europeans taking part in the annual NFLEL Coaches Observation Programme.

"It's superb," said Wilson. "We're all learning a lot of new drills to take home and help the boys improve.

"We're discovering all sorts of different things and it's great just to be able to rub shoulders with the players and coaches, who are very approachable. They take time to talk to you and explain things. We're invited to team meetings and have taken reams of notes and I have plenty of new drills, especially for the running backs of the Scottish youth team."

Wood, entering his first season in charge of the Bulls, is similarly enthusiastic. "It's a great experience to reinforce that you're doing things along the right lines to help players and your team improve," he said. "It's a chance to learn from the best in the game.

"Football comes down to fundamentals and you can pick up the smallest tip here and make a big difference at home when you pass it on to players. In England we need to learn how to practice again, how to rediscover that work ethic, get to training and practice over and over.

"It's no use saying you've done it once and remembered, there's always room for improvement and for learning. I stand on the sidelines in the British Senior League opposite coaches like Rik Ayub and Jim Messenger and still learn things from what they do."

Wood will step up from the role of defensive coordinator to lead the Bulls' charge having lost the Britball 2000 final to the London Os. "We've got our systems in place with the Bulls and have gone a lot of change in the off-season," he added.

"We can adapt many of the things I'm seeing here to improve what we're doing, but you might not quite see the Claymores defensive front at the Bulls. We do operate with a three-four though, just as the Claymores do."

While Wood will be working with experienced veterans and senior newcomers, Wilson has the task of helping youngsters make the step from first picking up a ball and playing flag football to moving on to the junior ranks.

"We can take this experience and help youngsters improve at every level, not just kitted," he added. "The drills, the work ethic, the hand-eye coordination are all useful for flag football too.

"We're getting a lot of new young players in Scotland, a lot of talent coming through and we're looking forward to playing the Dutch soon and a return game against England in the north of England after we beat them in Glasgow last year.

"We have five junior teams in Scotland now and have a very healthy flag programme. The enthusiasm among the kids is superb. The future is certainly looking bright for us and as long as programmes like this continue we can benefit enormously."

Learning from past mistakes that saw the talent pool dry up and halt the progress of youngsters through the ranks, the Bulls have revived their youth team for the forthcoming season.

"The Bulls, thanks to Dave Cotterell, are developing a good youth programme and that's where everything starts," explained Wood. "There have to be youngsters playing the game and they also have to enrol in a weight programme. Teams in England don't lift and don't build up muscle and that's where players fall down against the Americans. Some of our lads may have size and technique, but they have to lift weights and get into that mentality."

Wood and Wilson return to their domestic duties armed with new ideas and techniques that they hope will benefit the Tiger, Bulls and their national programmes and help develop the skills of players in England and Scotland.

20th March 2001 - Kingston Barbarians defeat Chester Romans in friendly

In this friendly controlled scrimmage the Barbarians put up a good show to finish the day 12 points to 6 ahead of the Romans.

The Barbarians played host on Sunday to division one Chester Romans, and the second division new boys gave a good performance of their capabilities.

Barbarians, QB Andy Crawforth led the Barbarians like a veteran, passing 60 yards to WR Andy Bradey, who finished off their first drive with a 20 yard run into pay dirt.  QB Crawforth, who was instrumental and inspirational in the position, today played his first ever competitive game as QB.  He showed insight and courage in leading the Barbs after they went behind early in the controlled scrimmage.

The Barbarians second score of the game was a 20 yard quarterback scramble. Full back,  Mark Plaxton, who had waited 9 years to play in a competitive game, made yards with some good strong running.  The offensive line received the offensive MVP because they had never played together and played remarkable, in the circumstances.  Both guards, Tim Lees and Peter Scorah, along with centre, Gareth Cree, controlled the middle of the line making big gaps for the RB's to make some big yardage. 

Defensive MVP went to Lee Bennett. He played outstanding for his first ever game breaking up several passes which if completed would have lead to TD's. He also made several tackles. Other players making outstanding efforts where DL Adrian Hirst and James Berrimen. Also LB Alan Wilson had a fantastic day making several tackles for losses and standing his ground against any one who confronted him. 

The Barbarians performed remarkably well for their first ever competitive game and showed good signs for the oncoming season, and team manager Peter Scorah, commented:

"If we can hold our own against a well drilled team like the Romans, and come back even after going behind, the way the Barbarians responded was very pleasing to watch and gives me much encouragement for our future within Britball."

The Barbarians now prepare for their toughest opposition yet, the Gateshead International Senators, also of Division one, in another controlled scrimmage game.  The Senators finished  their 2000 season with a won 5, lost 3 record, or a 63 % standing.  They reached the playoffs for the championship. Unfortunately they fell at the first hurdle to Sussex Thunder losing 20 - 45.  The Barbs will meet the Senators on Sunday, April 1st.  For more information telephone either 01482 470136 and ask for Chris or 01482 835502 and ask for Pete.

12th March 2001 - London O's pre-season fixture ends in farce

The London O's pre-season fixture against Team USA was called off in the 3rd quarter on Sunday. A waterlogged pitch meant that neither side could do anything offensively. Each team ended up fumbling constantly run running the ball, and a passing game was impossible. The game was abandoned with the score at 0-0!

12th March 2001 - Nottingham Hoods set to return?

Nottingham Hoods are set to make a comeback to the game after many years in the wilderness. Bink Marshall, who owns Hoods Promotions Limited, has been assessing the state of the game in this country for the last five years and believes now is the time to try to resurrect the Hoods (who were one of the biggest names in Britball in the late 80's). Marshall owned the team during that time, and is keen to lead the Hoods back to the top flight. The Hoods are on the lookout for coaches. If you're interested contact Bink on 0973 814758.

9th March 2001 - Dates confirmed for London O's European clash

The London O's return to competition next month in a 2 legged Eurobowl clash with the French champions, La Courneuve Flash who are based in northern Paris. The first leg is to be played on Sunday April 15th at the O's ground (2.30pm kick-off), with the return a couple of weeks later on Saturday 28th April in Paris (20.00pm kick-off).

7th March 2001 - Sussex Thunder press release

Report supplied by the Sussex Thunder

The Sussex Thunder American Football Club reports that, regretfully, they will not now be competing in the BSL 2001 Season.

The Committee met two weeks ago and agreed unanimously that the Club would not enter a team due to uncertainties relating to Coaching and player
strength, and the availability of a suitable venue.

Head Coach Lew Gittens has notified the Club that he has retired. Unfortunately Coach Gittens received serious injuries in a road accident last year
and has decided to call it a day.

With a high average age last season it was known that many of the playing squad would retire this year. The hoped for influx of new young players was
not realised however, primarily because the step from youth football to Division One competition was too great and too daunting.

The management of Withdean Stadium, Thunder's home ground, has still not notified the Club if they will be allowed to play there in 2001 because of
damage to the pitch caused by the recent bad weather.

Approaches have been made to many other arenas in Sussex without success, often for the same reason, the need for pitches to recover from soccer and
rugby use.

Taking in to account, also, the safety risks when playing with a small squad and the duty to provide entertaining and competitive football for the supporters the Committee took the sensible decision to withdraw Thunder from the coming season.

They felt that it was in the interests of maintaining a long term future for American Football in Sussex to drop out for a rebuilding year and come
back into the fray for Season 2002. League rules would require them to return in Division 2 and satisfy certain basic requirements. This would also make for an easier transition for young players kitting up for the first time.

This year out will also enable time to create youth and junior sections to ensure the current situation did not occur again. Hopefully the Club can
construct a young senior team, with a mix of experience, that would be a foundation for the coming years.

With American Football being played in Sussex since the early 1980's the Committee see 2001 as being just a hiccup and 2002 will see not only the
Seniors back in action again, but also youth and junior squads.

"Having to withdraw from the league is a sad decision," said a club spokesman, "but the 2002 Season starts now! We have a year to get things right,
to build the squad and to find a new ground. We intend to turn this into an opportunity to strengthen our sport for the future"

Any senior, youth or junior players, experienced or not, who are interested in playing, are asked to contact the Club Secretary, Trevor Nicholson(
01903 763839)

Thunder are only taking a timeout.

25th February 2001 - Team USA Force defeat Essex 28-0

Team USA Force followed up their win against England with a 28-0 victory against the BSL Division One side Essex Spartans on Sunday.

15th January 2001 - BSL announce league alignments

The BSL have announced their alignments for Division One and Two. The league starts on Sunday 8th April and finishes with Britbowl 2001 (date to be confirmed).

Div. 1 Northern Conference

East Kilbride Pirates
Gateshead Senators
Nottingham Caesars
Redditch Arrows
Chester Romans
Birmingham Bulls

Div. 1 Southern Conference

London O's
London Blitz
London Mets
Sussex Thunder (withdrew 5th March)
Essex Spartans
Southern Sundevils
PA Knights
Bristol Aztecs

In the North, the Yorkshire Rams have dropped into Division Two, being replaced by surprisingly the Redditch Arrows. In the South, no sides are demoted and the Division Two champions, the PA Knights have been promoted. Surprisingly, the Division Two runners-up have stayed in Division Two.

Div.2 Northern Conferece

AP Surge
Kingston Barbarians
Lancashire Wolverines
Merseyside Nighthawks
Strathclyde Sheriffs
Yorkshire Rams

Div.2 Southern Conference

Chiltern Cheetahs
Dominos Oxford Saints
Herts Stags
Ipswich Cardinals
Kent Exiles
Maidstone Pumas
Norwich Devils
Plymouth Admirals
South Wales Warriors

Alas the Wolverhampton Vipers are no more, and they have dropped out of the league, but they are replaced by two sides - the South Wales Warriors and the Kingston Barbarians from Hull.

8th January 2001 - Torbay Trojans look to the future

One of British American Football's oldest clubs, the Torbay Trojans, have had been out of league action since the 1998 season with the fall in player numbers being the problem. Now the club is looking to build a base for the future by restarting its successful junior section.

The Trojans are looking for young players (aged 16+) in the south Devon area to come and join in and help rebuild the club. A team spokesman said "Many of the members of the senior squad had come through the junior set-up and we believe that this is the best way for the club to continue. What we are looking for first and foremost is enthusiasm and commitment, players will be able to develop the skills they need over time with the help of our coaches so we are looking for people who want to play American football. All experienced players whether they are from college teams and especially former Trojans would be welcomed with open arms." 

The club is already in the process of looking for potential sponsors and looking at other ways of getting money such as lottery funding or Sportsmatch¹ into the club to give it the best chance of continued success. A number of senior players will also be training as coaches to help the head coach Sean Richardson and to gain BAFCA accreditation.    

If you're interested in playing for the Trojans and you'd like more information then call Jon McMullen on (01803) 322934 Alan Denby on (01803) 323704 or e-mail adenby@talk21.com

17th December 2000 - Monsters burnt by Phoenix

Ness Monsters 0 Fort William Phoenix 50

It was like a script from one of the great ancient greek blockbuster films. The Fort William Phoenix rising from the ashes coming through to Inverness to take on the might of the mythical Ness Monsters. Both the Monsters and the Phoenix once great teams in the past are hoping to rekindle the spirit of American Football that was so popular back in the eighties and early nineties. Players from Inverness's first kitted youth team, the Moray Firth Dolphins, were on hand to referee the game. The Monsters and Phoenix are both 8-man gridiron teams as opposed to the normal 11-man teams, this makes for a much faster and more fluid game, and it certainly showed. The game got off to an explosive start with Phoenix returning the Monster's kick-off all the way back for a touchdown. This was a sign of things to come as a very reduced Monster squad struggled to hold back Fort William. Fort William showed their dominance particularly in the running game with some spectacular runs straight through the heart of the Monster's defence. Perhaps Inverness's best opportunity was when wide receiver Marc Caldwell caught a 20 yard pass from quarterback Martin Devlin and was stopped just inches short of the endzone only to have the play called back on a holding penalty. While the scoreline implies a one sided game there was some consistent drives by the Monsters using a mixture of running and passing plays Some determined running by tailback Brian Macrae kept the ball advancing up field and some great catches by Marc Caldwell from quarterback Martin Devlin kept the passing game alive. On kick-off return Robbie Mather broke several tackles and picked up blockers on a play that took him across the field several times, setting the Monsters up in good field position at the start of the second half. The Phoenix rock solid defence under the leadership of Glen Liddell, a former Monster, proved too much for the novice Ness Monsters and managed to shut them out for the entire game, final score Ness Monsters 0 Fort William Phoenix 50

With a return match booked for the 28th January 2001, Super Bowl Sunday, in Fort William the Monster's are out for revenge.

It is hoped to start a third team in the Highlands based in the Wick/Thurso area, anyone interested in joining any of the teams should contact David Paulin 0n 01463 242431

29th October 2000 - Gateshead defeat Dutch opposition in friendly

Hilversum Hurricanes 0 Gateshead Senators 3

The Dutch champions, Hilversum Hurricanes, travelled to Gateshead this weekend to take on yet again the 1999 UK Division one Champion Gateshead Senators.  Having always been just beaten by Gateshead in successive tournaments in Holland, the visitors were determined to defeat Gateshead on their own territory.

In the event, the game often resembled mud wrestling as much as American football.  In heavy rain showers the centre of the Blaydon field became churned to a grassless brown quagmire, and to make it worse, such was the even balance of the two teams, that most of the play took place in the midfield area.

David Nimmins kicked off for Gateshead and the Senator's 'D' held Hilversum to 4 and out, with the Dutch punting.  The Senators' possession also ended with a Gary Marshall punt.  The two teams spent the rest of the first quarter trading punts, except for two attempts by Hilversum of fourth down, both of which were unsuccessful. Marshall at QB for the Senators was unable to probe any weakness in the determined Dutch defense.

In the second quarter, play at last got away from midfield when Hilversum recovered a Gateshead fumble and drove to the Senators' 5 yard line.  But Mark Sloan scooped a vital fumble recovery and stopped the Dutch drive dead.  A later Hilversum threat was also stopped by a fumble recovery of the wet ball by Mikey Rumney before the half.

The third quarter was dominated by rain and strong winds, neither team able to progress the ball beyond the mudbath of midfield.

The final quarter continued in much the same vein as the as the third, until the weather cleared.  Inside the two minute warning, Marshall's punt pushed Hilversum back to their own 10 yard line, But their drive from danger got nowhere when Mark Sloan again came up trumps with a fumble recovery to give Gateshead the ball just ten yards out.  But Gary Marshall looking for the six points was intercepted in the end zone.  Returning upfield, the Dutch defender 
was met by a swarm of Senators and in the melee, Gateshead recovered the ensuing fumble, again at the ten yard line.  On the next play, Marshall faked, dumped the ball to Lee Fraser, playing in the backfield for the day, who used his passing skill to find Kev Ramsay at the back of the endzone.  But Geordie jubilation was cut short when the catch was disallowed and on fourth down, with only seconds on the clock, Marshall set for a 27 yard field goal attempt.  Snap and hold were good, and Marshall's kick was cleanly through the uprights for three points as time expired.

Once again, Gateshead had beaten Hilversum, once again by the narrowest of margins and once again with little or no time to spare.

Gary Marshall, as Senators Head Coach, paid to tribute the way the team had played as well as to the Dutch opponents who so nearly had broken their duck against Gateshead.

© BritballNow 2014