Category: 2017

Oxford 33 – 14 Solent | Game Summary | 11 June 2017

PLAY OF THE GAME – jAMES WALTER 45 yard touchdown

Oxford bounce back with a strong 33-14 win over Solent Thrashers

Following a narrow 13-12 defeat from the conference leaders Sussex Thunder, the Saints hit back at home with a convincing 33-14 display against Solent.

With the Thrashers being the only opponent the Saints hadn’t yet faced this season, the coaches had used game film exchanged from other teams to prepare the squad.

On their opening drive, Solent’s quarterback Bradley Sawyers passed the ball for a 36 yard completion but Oxford’s defense prevented any further gains. On 4th down, they attempted to get a early lead with a 38 yard field goal attempt from William Elgeti but the ball fell short.

QB/RB James Walter – By Jason Brown

Starting at quarterback for his 2nd straight game was James Walter, switched up from his usual running back position.

This new-look offense proved to be formidable once again and at the end of the 1st quarter, the Saints drove the length of the field with strong running from American Tony Glover.

To finish off the drive, Walter passed the ball in to tight end Sam Armstrong for a 16 yard touchdown, marking Oxford’s first touchdown pass of the season.

Returning kicker Sam Fielden added the extra point, after missing the previous games this season due to injury.

TE/WR Sam Armstrong – By Jamie Stancombe

7-0 Oxford

The Saints defense stayed on form and held the Thrashers to minimal gains with Dean Bryan, Calvin Holmes and Spencer Duffy putting pressure on their opponents.

Half way through the 2nd quarter, another long drive from the Saints saw them crossing the length of the field with more running from Glover and Antonios Athanasiou.

Another pass to Armstrong brought them to the 2 yard line with Glover charging through for the touchdown.

Fielden kicked the extra point, giving the Saints a two score lead.

RB Tony Glover – By Jamie Stancombe

14-0 Oxford

The Saints defense continued to be unmovable and forced Solent to punt the ball away after failing to pick up a first down.

With Walter and the offense back on the field, running back Rob Johnson picked up 18 yards on a carry followed by a 24 yard touchdown pass to Armstrong, hauling in his 2nd score of the day.

Fielden’s kick was blocked.

20-0 OXFORD – HALF TIME

The Saints defense opened the 3rd quarter in style with linebacker Calvin Holmes delivering a hard tackle on the running back and throwing him to the ground.

Later in the 3rd quarter with Walter now returned to running back and Kyle Swann in at quarterback, Walter made his way through multiple defenders and followed blocks for a 45 yard touchdown run.

Fielden’s kick missed it’s target.

James Walter 45-yd touchdown – By Jason Brown

26-0 Oxford

With a comfortable lead, the Saints added further pressure with defensive lineman Jonny Little bringing down Sawyers behind the line for a 7 yard sack.

However on 2nd down, a quick pass from Sawyers to Dayle Greenfield saw him escape up the sideline in a foot race for a 82 yard touchdown.

Elgeti added the extra point, giving Solent their first score of the day.

WR Dayle Greenfield – By Jason Brown

26-7 Oxford

The Saints struck back quickly on their next drive as Swann handed the ball to Walter for a 37 yard gain. Further rushing from Glover brought them to the endzone with Walter going across for a 4 yard touchdown run.

Fielden added the extra point.

33-7 Oxford

Now in the 4th quarter, Solent opened up their passing game and looked to move the ball quickly in the air to make up the large deficit. Sawyers found success with completed passes for 27 yards, 25 yards and 10 yards, each giving the Thrashers a first down.

With the endzone in sight, Sawyers next pass was intercepted by linebacker Graeme Taylor, forcing a change of possession.

Late in the 4th, Solent picked up considerable gains on the ground with Dean Bryan bringing down the ball carrier on back to back plays. After reaching the goalline, Adam Bowley ran the ball through for a 1 yard touchdown.

Elgeti’s kick was good.

Oxford defense – By Jamie Stancombe

33-14 OXFORD – FINAL SCORE

After suffering two losses in a row to conference leaders Sussex Thunder, the Saints got back on track with a strong display at home against the Thrashers.

They are at Tilsley Park again on the 25th June to take on the South Wales Warriors, as they continue to work towards a playoff spot.

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View the full 2017 schedule and standings.

Oxford 12 – 13 Sussex | 4th June Game Summary

GAME HIGHLIGHTS – provided by sussex thunder

THRILLER AGAINST CONFERENCE LEADER SUSSEX THUNDER SEES OXFORD LOSE BY 1 POINT

The rematch between Oxford (2-3) and Sussex (6-0) saw a game that was extremely close throughout, with the Saints hitting the scoreboard first but falling to a 13-12 loss.

On 4th June the Saints travelled to take on the Sussex Thunder for the 2nd time in 3 weeks. Competing in Division 1 following promotion at the end of 2016, Oxford have been holding their own with their only losses coming from Sussex, who sit at the top of the Division 1 Southern Football Conference Central.

RB Ben Chukwu-onu – Photo by Jamie Stancombe

With James Walter under centre as the quarterback for this game, he immediately went for the deep pass on the opening play with receiver Charlie Day making the catch for a 45-yard gain. What looked like a strong opening statement against Sussex was unfortunately overturned, as it was ruled that Day fumbled the ball upon being tackled and it was recovered by the Thunder.

The first quarter remained a stalemate with both teams trying to find a way through their opponent’s defenses. When Oxford and Sussex previously met, the Thunder took a 19-0 runaway lead before the end of the half but there was to be no repeat this time.

Although a flurry of penalty flags hampered both teams progress, the Saints defense were performing strongly forcing the Sussex offense to punt the ball multiple times.

At the beginning of the 2nd quarter, George Wright and Travis Folkes landed a 10-yard sack on Thunder quarterback Eber Kington, bringing him down for a loss of yards. Despite this, their offense were moving towards the endzone and looked poised to score, before a goalline stand on the 1-yard line caused a fumble with Dean Bryan recovering for Oxford.

Veteran QB Eber Kington – Photo by Jamie Stancombe

Towards the end of the 2nd quarter, Oxford continued to pressure Kington who was sacked on back-to-back plays. Firstly by Conor Whitehouse and Calvin Holmes for a 3-yard loss, followed by another from Martin Fitzpatrick for a 8-yard loss. Both teams were hit by further penalties in this very intense contest.

Keen to enter the 2nd half with a lead, Sussex attempted a field goal on the final play of their drive. Andrew Stone lined up to take the 32-yard kick but it fell short.

0-0 HALF TIME

With Sussex being a high scoring team, the Oxford players and supporters celebrated the 0-0 half time result, given their opponents had a 19-0 lead at this point in the previous match.

Kington and the Thunder offense began with the ball in the 3rd quarter, but momentum shifted when defender Misha Brookes intercepted a pass for a 4-yard return. The turnover gave the Saints good field position with their offense taking over with just 18 yards to the endzone.

QB/RB James Walter – Photo by Jamie Stancombe

Walter added a first down on the ground before running the ball in himself from the 1-yard line for the first touchdown. The Saints went for a 2-point conversion as kicker Dean Fuller suffered a injury earlier in the game, but running back Rob Johnson was unable to get into the endzone.

6-0 OXFORD

On the following kickoff with Spencer Duffy stepping in for the injured Dean Fuller, Sussex returned the ball 58 yards and set up great field position for their next drive. Kington moved their offense towards the endzone but the Saints defense held firm again, forcing a turnover on 4th down at the 3-yard line.

Disaster struck for Oxford on their next play when the ball was fumbled and recovered by Sussex. With Kington back on, the Saints attempted another goalline stand but a penalty flag against the defense on 3rd down gave Sussex a first. On the next play, Kington ran the ball in for a 1-yard score. Kicker Danny Wallace attempted the extra point but hit the left goal post, leaving the score tied at 6-6.

RB Tony Glover – Photo by Jamie Stancombe

6-6 TIE

At the end of the 3rd quarter, the Saints punted the ball away and it rolled out off the field on the 2-yard line and gave Sussex a difficult starting position for their offense. On their first play, the ball was fumbled and George Wright recovered it forcing the change of possession.

The Thunder defense were unable to keep the Saints out of the endzone and Luke Fry ran up the middle for a 4-yard score, giving Oxford the lead again. Going for 2 points, Walter threw the ball intended for tight end Sam Armstrong but it was incomplete.

12-6 OXFORD

Kington looked to strike back in the air and a completed pass for 38 yards gave them a big gain. On the following plays, Travis Folkes put pressure on the quarterback and 2 pass attempts down field were broken up by Martin Fitzpatrick and Misha Brookes, forcing a turnover.

DB Misha Brookes- Photo by Jamie Stancombe

Late in the 4th quarter, the Thunder were on the attack again and put together a sustained drive taking them across the field. With a combination of passing and running, Kington and the Sussex offense picked up much-needed first downs. On 3rd down, Kington delivered a strike to receiver Chris Evans for a 8-yard touchdown.

Andrew Stone kicked the crucial extra point, giving Sussex a 1 point lead over Oxford with less than 2 minutes remaining in the game.

13-12 SUSSEX

On their final drive of the game, the Saints were unable to make the yards they needed. Walter looked to take a shot deep down field but was under pressure from the Sussex defense and the pass fell incomplete.

Sussex score the crucial touchdown near the end of the game – Photo by Jamie Stancombe

13-12 SUSSEX – FINAL SCORE

After a strong performance all game long, especially from the defense, the Saints lost by a margin of just 1 point to conference leaders Sussex Thunder.

Although a tough loss, the Saints can take solace in the fact they pushed the top team right to the final moments of the game and have proved they are a force to be reckoned with in Division 1 football.

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NEXT GAME

The Saints go straight into their next game hosting the Solent Thrashers at Tilsley Park on 11th June.

View the full 2017 schedule.

 

Oxford 14 – 26 Sussex Thunder | Game Summary

GAME HIGHLIGHTS – provided by sussex thunder

Saints show comeback spirit but unable to overcome the tough Sussex Thunder

The rematch between Oxford (2-2) and Sussex (5-0) saw a much more contested game than the previous one, but the Saints failed to overcome a 0-19 deficit at half time.

Kickoff

Following the kickoff, the Saints started with the ball close to their own endzone. With quarterback Kyle Swann under centre for Oxford, disaster struck in the opening play of the game when a pass was tipped up at the line and intercepted by Sussex, just a few yards out from the goalline.

Desperate to avoid giving up an early lead, Saints linebacker Sam Stancombe put pressure on veteran quarterback Eber Kington and on 3rd down, Kington attempted a pass into the endzone but was intercepted by defensive back Sam Crowther, forcing the change of possession.

For the 1st quarter the score remained 0-0 with defenses for both teams holding strong. The Sussex offense with their powerful passing game kept the Saints on guard, but Oxford’s offense struggled to gain momentum.

Oxford had a chance to open the scoring but a touchdown pass to rookie receiver Dre Kays was nullified after a penalty by the Saints offense brought it back.

Sussex eventually struck first in the 2nd quarter with a pass from Kington to Chris Evans who sprinted into the endzone on a 39 yard touchdown.

Andrew Stone kicked the extra point, giving the Thunder a 7-0 lead.

7-0 SUSSEX

Photo from season opener against Sussex – By Chris Janes

Later in the 2nd quarter, Oxford’s Misha Brooks intercepted Kington and returned it 14 yards, bringing the Saints offense back onto the field. Unable to capitalise, quarterback Kyle Swann was tackled for a loss of 4 yards and then intercepted by Samuel Oldfield for Sussex on 2nd down, returning it 13 yards.

Back to back penalties against Oxford added to the damage and gave the Thunder good field position for their next drive.

On 1st down Kington handed the ball to running back Vince Valentine, who ran straight into the endzone for a 26 yard score.

Stone’s extra point kick missed to the right.

13-0 Sussex

With Oxford’s offense still struggling to move the ball, Sussex got another drive before the end of the first half. Kington passed the ball to Adam Fishlock, catching it over the top of the Saints defender and adding their 3rd touchdown in quick succession.

Stone added the extra point and the Saints found themselves going into the 2nd half with a sudden 0-19 deficit.

END OF HALF

Throwback – Photo from a previous game against Sussex

Early in the 3rd quarter, the Thunder extended their lead on 2nd down with Ben Chukwu-onu running up the sideline for a 35 yard touchdown.

Stone kicked the extra point through the uprights.

26-0 SUSSEX

Sam Crowther gave the team a boost intercepting Kington for a 2nd time, forcing a change of possession. With the offense back on the field and James Walter at quarterback, they kept the ball on the ground and moved it well against the Sussex defense.

Good running from Tony Glover, Rob Johnson and Antonious Athanasiou gave the Saints several first downs. Walter charged through from 6 yards out to give Oxford their first touchdown. Rookie kicker Dean Fuller added the extra point.

26-7 SUSSEX

The Saints defense slowed down the Thunder on their next drive, with Dean Fuller breaking up a pass on 3rd down, forcing Sussex to punt the ball away.

Another march by the offense took Oxford across the field with Glover getting the brunt of the work. From 4 yards out, Walter ran in for his 2nd touchdown and Fuller kicked the extra point.

26-14 Sussex

Oxford’s defense continued to be a strong force throughout the rest of the game, only allowing one score in the 2nd half and forcing Sussex to punt the ball away on back to back possessions.

The Saints were striving to make a comeback and on their next drive, Walter completed a 30 yard pass to Sam Armstrong but they were unable to convert for another first down. On 4th down, Walter attempted a pass into the endzone but it was intercepted and returned for 20 yards.

Sussex’s offense took a knee on their final drive to run down the remaining clock time, securing their 5th win of the season.

26-14 SUSSEX – FULL TIME

RB Antonious Athanasiou in previous game against Sussex – Photo by Jamie Stancombe

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SUMMARY

With a competitive 1st quarter, the Saints fell behind when Sussex scored three touchdowns in quick succession and Oxford were unable to respond with any of their own.

Although a loss, the Saints can find positives in their performance with the defense holding Sussex to just one touchdown in the 2nd half. The defense delivered momentum swings with 3 interceptions and forced the high-powered Sussex offense to punt multiple times.

The offense showed their power once again with the running game, crossing the length of the field on back to back drives and adding 2 touchdowns from James Walter. Despite the surge in the 4th quarter, the Saints were unable to get out of the 0-26 hole.

The special teams unit were on form once again, with rookie Dean Fuller hitting both extra points and good kickoffs. Travis Folkes delivered more key tackles on special teams to limit returns by Sussex.

NEXT GAME

The Saints have a week for training and then travel back to Brighton for round 3 against the Sussex Thunder on 4th June.

View the full 2017 schedule.

 

Game Preview: Oxford Saints @ Sussex Thunder – 21 May 17

Saints travel to conference leaders Sussex Thunder in rematch

This Sunday, the Oxford Saints (2-1) will take on the high flying Sussex Thunder (4-0) at Brighton Rugby Club.

The teams last met in Oxford’s season opener at Tilsley Park, where the Thunder claimed a decisive 35-8 victory. The Saints have since bounced back with a 13-6 win against the former premier side South Wales Warriors and a strong 35-14 showing against the Ouse Valley Eagles.

RB James Walter – Photo by Gareth Brown

The Thunder meanwhile have not yet lost a game in the 2017 season, but have been run close in their two clashes with the South Wales Warriors. Both games saw Sussex eventually pulling ahead in the 2nd half.

With their 14-8 and 17-6 wins against the Warriors, the Saints will be seeing this as a sign that they can be beaten and will look to avoid another one-sided affair like the season opener…

Alongside preparations for Sussex, the Saints have also added additional players to their roster including returning veterans Mike Oluwole (RB) and Jonny Dover (DB).

Oluwole will fit back in with Oxford’s strong variety of running backs whilst Dover will provide a much needed boost to the defensive backs, especially against the pass-heavy Sussex Thunder.

LB Sam Stancombe – By Chris Janes

The game this weekend will be the 1st of two consecutive games against the Thunder, with another visit to Brighton taking place on Sunday 4th June.

Due to the five team conference structure, the Saints are playing Sussex and Ouse Valley three times instead of the usual two. Sussex are currently #1 in the SFC Central with Oxford sitting at #2. With both teams aiming for the playoffs, a win for Oxford in either of these upcoming games would be significant.

Game Details

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Brighton Rugby Football Club
Waterhall Road
Brighton
BN1 8YR

Kick off 14:30 PM

Oxford 35 – 14 Ouse Valley | Game Summary

GAME HIGHLIGHTS

SAINTS BRING DOWN THE EAGLES

On Sunday 7th May the Oxford Saints claimed a 35-14 victory against the Ouse Valley Eagles. A dominant display, the Saints entertained their home crowd with a much needed win at Tilsley Park.

Defenses for both teams opened the game strong, with George Wright and Martin Fitzpatrick tackling the Eagles behind the line for a loss of yards. With neither the Saints or Eagles able to pick up a 1st down on offense, both sides exchanged punts in their opening drives.
Oxford were first to strike with running back James Walter sprinting across the field on 3rd down for a 44-yard touchdown run. Dean Fuller’s extra point kick was deflected, but the Saints took an early 6-0 lead.

James Walter 44-yard TD Rush

6-0 OXFORD

Oxford kicked the ball back to the Eagles after the score and veteran Jonny Dover tackled the kick returner on their own 11-yard line, forcing the Eagles to have a long distance to go for a score of their own.

A veteran player for the Saints who had missed the previous games this season, Dover fitted seamlessly back into the game plan.

Jonny Dover kickoff tackle – Photo by Gareth Brown

On 1st down, the Ouse Valley quarterback Jacob Corbett passed the ball over the middle and was intercepted by linebacker Calvin Holmes, forcing a change of possession and bringing the Saints offense back onto the field.

With good field position, the Saints seemed poised to score until quarterback Ben Denton was chased down from behind for a sack and loss of 14 yards. Another tackle for a loss and a 5-yard penalty against Oxford hampered them further, followed by the Eagles’ Harry Rackham intercepting a pass and returning it a huge 51 yards before being brought down.

With the Eagles back on offense, the Saints needed to hold strong and were aided with 2 tackles from Spencer Duffy for minimal gains.

On 4th down, Corbett looked to the air and hit receiver Richard Batten over the middle for a 28-yard touchdown pass. Mike Turner kicked the extra point through the uprights.

Quarterback Jacob Corbett – Photo by Gareth Brown

7-6 OUSE VALLEY

The Eagles defense continued to put pressure on the Saints with Ben Denton taking his second sack, this time for a 4-yard loss.

A pass attempt on 3rd down intended for Sam Armstrong was tipped up into the air and snatched by former Saints player Mike Turner, returning it 24 yards and just short of the endzone. Corbett handed the ball off to running back Kalaba Chibwe who charged through the middle for the touchdown from 5 yards out.

Another kick from Turner extended the visitors lead to 14-6.

With Denton side-lined with a possible concussion, 2nd year quarterback Kyle Swann took over. Runs by Walter and Tony Glover combined for a 1st down, but a pitch to Glover was off target and the fumbled ball was recovered by Ouse Valley for a 12-yard loss and change of possession.

Running back Tony Glover – Photo by Gareth Brown

With the Eagles in scoring distance following the turnover, they were unable to take advantage and find the endzone. The Oxford defensive-line continued to be a formidable force with Conor Whitehouse and George Wright landing tackles for a loss of yards on back to back plays.

On 4th down, the Eagles attempted a field goal but Turner’s kick missed to the left of his target.

Oxford’s coaching staff sent in a different formation on their next drive and put Walter at quarterback. The Saints kept the ball on the ground and alternated between runs from Walter, Antonious Athanasiou and Glover.

This was evidently wearing down the Eagles defense and they struggling to find an answer. Picking up multiple first downs, the Saints drove the length of the field before Glover ran over the line for a 22-yard touchdown.

RB James Walter – Photo by Gareth Brown

Looking to tie up the game before the end of the half, the Saints went for a 2 point conversion. Walter passed the ball to tight end Richard Bloomer, who hauled in the catch and kept his feet in bounds for a successful score.

14-14 HALF TIME

Oxford came out strong to open the 2nd half with another sustained drive across the field. The Saints run game continued to impress and brought them to the 2 yard line, with Glover punching the ball in for his 2nd touchdown of the day.

Fuller added the extra point and the Saints reclaimed the lead.

Kicker Dean Fuller – Photo by Gareth Brown

21-14 OXFORD

The Eagles suffered another setback when the ball was fumbled on the first play of their drive and recovered by Oxford’s Spencer Duffy. Close to their opponents endzone, the Saints had another chance to add a quick score but a pass from Swann was intercepted by Turner, making a one handed grab to reel the ball in before he hit the ground.

Despite the much needed turnover, the Eagles continued to struggle on offense and had made little progress throughout the game so far with most of their big plays coming from turnovers by their defense. The Saints defense meanwhile remained unmovable, with tackles from Wright, Duffy and Dean Bryan.

QB Kyle Swann – Photo by Gareth Brown

Oxford hit back again with their powerful run game as Walter, Glover and Athanasiou moved the ball down the field. After picking up a fresh set of downs, Glover added his 3rd touchdown of the day from 3 yards out.

Fuller’s kick extended the margin.

28-14 OXFORD

With the game now in the 4th quarter, time was running out for the Eagles but the Oxford defense stayed on form. Defensive tackle Johnny Little sacked Corbett for a 2-yard loss followed by Wright and Holmes bringing down Chibwe for another 6-yard loss.

Oxford’s defensive line struck again on their next drive with Great Britain Women’s player Monica Lewinska forcing the ball carrier to fumble in the backfield, which was quickly recovered by Duffy for the turnover.

Calvin Holmes & George Wright – Photo by Gareth Brown

The efforts from the defense gifted the Saints offense great field position again and Swann connected with Walter for a 17-yard gain and another 1st down.

Glover finished off the drive with a 2-yard touchdown run for his 3rd score of the day with Fuller remaining solid adding the extra point.

Running back Tony Glover – Photo by Gareth Brown

35-14 OXFORD

With the game closing out, last ditch attempts by the Eagles to get their offense moving and add a consolation score were shut down.

Rookie linebacker Mark Wilkinson gained his first career sack, dropping the quarterback for a 5-yard loss and on their final drive, pass attempts for the Eagles fell incomplete with rookie Leon Byfield narrowly missing an interception.

FINAL SCORE 35-14 OXFORD

Summary

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A strong performance from the offense, defense and special teams unit saw the Saints claim a much needed win over the Eagles. With Sundays victory, Oxford jump into 2nd place in the conference with a 2-1 record, behind the 3-0 Sussex Thunder.

With miscues in the first half leading to two interceptions, this gave the Eagles good field position and put the pressure on the Saints defense who put on a dominating show. The offense came out firing in the 2nd half with 21 unanswered points.

OFFENSE

The offensive unit showed their power with 250 yards and another strong display in their ground game, utilising a range of runners to wear down the Eagles defense. James Walter continued his streak of 100+ yard games and claimed 147 yards with 1 touchdown.

Fellow runner Tony Glover looked on top form and added 3 touchdowns, with full back Antonious Athanasiou also picking up a score.

Tight end Richard Bloomer hauled in a crucial grab for a 2 point conversion to tie the game before the end of the first half.

DEFENSE

The defensive unit were the stars this week, with the defensive line continuing to wreak havoc against Oxford’s opponents.

With 2 sacks, 1 interception and 2 fumble recoveries, the defense only conceded 10 rushing yards and 44 passing yards.

Oxford defensive line coach Toby Durant praised the defensive unit’s performance:

The defense were electric all day and but for one play were flawless. We knew we’d have a tough job pressuring the Ouse Valley passing game but we were able to create chaos up front with the play-calling and some strong performances across the defensive line

By holding their ground game in check we really forced their hand, and once they became one dimensional it was a lot easier for our guys to tee off on the quarterback

SPECIAL TEAMS

The special teams unit made it a long day for the Eagles with rookie Dean Fuller repeatedly kicking the ball deep out the back of the endzone several times. Jonny Dover and Travis Folkes delivered key tackles on kickoff to limit return attempts by the Eagles.

Next game

The Saints have a week for training and then travel to the Sussex Thunder on 21st May.

View the full 2017 schedule.

Game Preview: Oxford Saints VS Ouse Valley Eagles – 7th May

Saints Face The Eagles For first time on 7th May

With Oxford playing American Football since 1983, the relatively new Eagles were formed through the merger of the Milton Keynes Pathfinders and the Bedfordshire Blue Raiders in 2013.

In 2016 they ended the season with a 4-6 record in the Division 1 Midlands conference. They were then relocated to the recently created Division 1 Central conference alongside Oxford for 2017.

Season so far

Ouse Valley have had a strong start to the year with wins on the road against both South Wales Warriors and Solent Thrashers.

They claimed a narrow 14-12 win over the Warriors to open their season and then followed it with a 27-19 win against the Thrashers.

Photo from ovfootball.com

Oxford meanwhile suffered a 35-8 defeat at the hands of the Sussex Thunder in their first game, who are sitting comfortably at the top of the table with a 3-0 record.

The Saints earned their first victory in a 13-6 contest against South Wales, in a game where defenses dominated and Oxford’s powerful run game secured the win.

This Sunday

Welcoming the Eagles to Tilsley Park, the Saints will be looking to move to 2-1 for the season and give Ouse Valley their first loss.

With Oxford’s coaching staff analysing footage from the Eagles, stopping their spread offense will be a major factor and the Saints defense will likely be tested in the air all day long.

Defensive line coach Toby Durant said:

“It was a long preseason, with a lot of adjustments to make, but I think we’ve got a really good chance of going far this season”

“The first two games were a big test of just how far we’ve come from last season, and while the Sussex game was humbling I think it was exactly what we needed. This season won’t be easy, but we got a good win in Wales and I am confident going into the game with Ouse Valley that we can do it again”

“The players are adjusting well to the step up in competition. There are no more weeks off and easy games. No walkovers. We go to work every Sunday and get a little bit better”

Turner & Dover

Featuring on the Eagle’s roster for 2017 is Saints veteran Mike Turner, being utilised as a kicker and defensive back. Turner had played for Oxford for several years and caught an interception in 2016’s Division II Final against Cambridge, where the Saints completed their undefeated season.

Meanwhile, Oxford’s defense is being bolstered with the return of veteran defender Jonny Dover. A player with many talents, Dover has previously been used at defensive back, kick returner and running back.

Jonny Dover – Photo By Chris Janes

Tilsley Park

Beginning the 2nd year of their partnership with Tilsley Park, the Saints have one of the best venues for American Football in the UK. There will be music, commentary, covered seating and a licensed bar.

The team are also pleased to confirm the return of Buffalo Grill, providing hot food before during and after the contest.

Admission for this game is free, with a 14:30 kick-off.

Tilsley Park
Dunmore Road
Abingdon
OX14 1PU

Saints Home Venue – Photo by Tilsley Park