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Sapphire Tournament: Oxford Hosts Round 3 This Saturday

On Saturday 25th March, the Oxford Saints are hosting round 3 of the 2017 Sapphire Series Tournament

UPDATE: Unfortunately the Iceni Spears have had to withdraw from Saturday’s tournament

Playing their inaugural season of contact football, the Oxford Saints Women currently have 2 wins and 2 losses in the first two rounds of the tournament.

Picking up wins against the Iceni Spears and the Peterborough Royals, whilst taking defeats from the Portsmouth Dreadnoughts and Wembley Stallions.

With the usual home of the Oxford Saints unavailable (Tilsley Park), the event will be taking place at the excellent Harwell Science & Innovation Campus.


Set 1 = 13:00
Set 2 = 14:00
Set 3 = 15:00
End of Tournament = 16:00


Sports Pavilion
Thompson Avenue
Harwell Science and Innovation Campus
OX11 0QB

Photo by P&M Photography

The Saints are excited to host and support the growing number of women’s teams in the UK and we’re sure Saturday will be another great round of the tournament.

Competing on Saturday will be the Oxford Saints, Wembley Stallions, Cardiff Valkyries and Portsmouth Dreadnoughts.

Information for visiting teams

– Games are played on grass
– Changing room access from 11:00
– Field access from 12:00
– Changing rooms are not locked so all equipment should be taken outside

All visitors are required to avoid walking over the croquet and cricket pitches and to take care to avoid other sports events happening on the day.

Please enter via the Curie entrance and look for further signage to direct you to the changing facilities and playing area.


Food will be available from The Wandering Kitchen alongside hot drinks from Deux Chavaux Espresso.


Sapphire Tournament: Round 2 Recap

On Saturday 11th March, the Oxford Saints Women TRAVELED to Peterborough for Round 2 of the 2017 Sapphire Series 5 vs 5 Tournament

Following a 1-1 record in the opening round at Portsmouth, the Saints faced the Peterborough Royals and the Wembley Stallions in their next contest.

Travelling with a small team due to some injuries and absences, Oxford had around 8 healthy players who did a great job at performing on both offense and defense.

The smaller squad size meant there was less relief available on the sideline, but it awarded participating players with lots of game time and valuable experience.

Wide receiver Laura White – By P & M Photography

In the practices leading up to round 2, Head Coach Adam Baker along with Offensive Coaches Luke Fry & Tony Glover prepared the team for their next challenge.

Oxford 26 – 19 Peterborough

First up was the Peterborough Royals, another new team to Women’s Football like the Saints. As the host team, they had a number of supporters in attendance along with a larger squad size.

The Saints opened the scoring quickly with wide receiver Laura White running a reverse up the sideline and nearly the whole length of the field, bringing some Peterborough defenders over the goal line with her.

Quarterback Harriet Henshall

A small Saints squad engaged in a back and forth with the Royals during the first half, with strong running from new player Heather Bignell and under leadership from the composed quarterback Harriet Henshall.

With Bignell and McInerney posing a a constant threat, Henshall stayed cool whilst looking for receivers, often waiting until the last possible minute to release the ball to allow her teammates to find space, supported by blocking from center Lou Robbins.

Running back Heather Bignell – By P & M Photography

The Royals added a touchdown of their own but overall the Saints maintained the upper hand with a group effort from all involved. Defensive captain Megan Brown continued to be a dominant part of the unit contributing her solid tackling skills.

McInerney displayed her outstanding ability to find space and out-pursue her defenders, often changing direction in a heartbeat and sprinting the length of the field. This included a role on defense where she performed an unorthodox but very successful tackle!

Josie McIinerney – By P & M Photography

Despite carrying an injury, Bignell proved to be a cannon ball as she charged up the field with no hesitation as she smashed into the Royals. Also playing defense, she brought pressure as she rushed the Peterborough quarter back with her dangerous acceleration.

After more back and forth, the Saints had the lead in the closing minutes of the game and claimed a 25-19 win.

Megan Brown – By P & M Photography

Oxford 25 – 60 Wembley

The Saints went straight into their 2nd game with just a short break and were up against the talented Wembley Stallions, with double a squad size.

The feisty Oxford side had a good start but McInerney was taken down before she could take off. It wasn’t long before the Stallions got a score on the board but the Saints put up a fight and kept the scores low.

Josie McInerney – By P & M Photography

Both sides struggled with fumbles and possession was constantly switching. The deadlock broke when the Saints recovered a fumble for a touchdown. Stallions struck back fast with a touchdown but a holding call nullified their efforts.

Wembley found their rhythm and were quick to add 2 touchdowns to the scoreboard whilst the Saints struggled against the hungry Stallions defense. Henshall continued to stay calm in the pocket and looked for options but the girls in blue were unable to make considerable gains down the field.

Laura White tackling – By P & M Photography

Megan Brown stepped in on offense and was close to breaking out for a touchdown run before being tackled.

With Wembley maintaining control throughout the 2nd half of the game, there were still solid performances across the board with most the players playing both ways on offense and defense.

The Saints added another score when Henshall connected with McInerney who made her away across the field and up the sideline with speed that the Stallions couldn’t match.

The game finished with a decisive victory for Wembley but the Saints are pleased that they stayed tough throughout the game and added 4 of their own scores.

Comment from Head Coach

The women showed real grit and toughness. We played well for a team in which every player played both sides of the ball. I am excited to expand the squad and see what we can do with a larger team and the future of the Saints is to become a contender. I am proud of our 2-2 record for now but i can see a brighter future – Head Coach Adam Baker

By P & M Photography


– Megan Brown Defense MVP
– Heather Bignell Offense MVP
– Josie McInerney Team MVP

Next Round

The Saints are hosting round 3 of the Sapphire Tournament on Saturday 25th March. More details coming soon.

Saints Women Claim Their First Win | Sapphire Tournament Update

Saints Women Claimed their first victory in round 1 of the Sapphire Series

On Saturday 25th February, the newly formed Oxford Saints Women’s team traveled to Portsmouth for their first encounter with full contact football. .

The Saints played two games, the first being against the Iceni Spears. The Saints made big plays with quarterback Harriet Henshall and running back Josie McInerney, resulted in the Saints taking an 18-14 victory.

With this game being between two of the smaller teams at the tournament, most players on the field played on offense and defense, making it a tricky game for both teams. However, with a well drilled Saints defense and the Iceni receivers not quite getting to where they needed to be, the Saints earned their first win and were rewarded with massive confidence boost.

The Saints stayed focused in the break between games, running routes and getting feedback from their coaches for the performance against the Spears. The Saints were confident going into the second game against the Portsmouth Dreadnoughts, despite their opponent having about 25 more players.

Unfortunately the Dreadnoughts came out with a bang and ended up putting some early points on the scoreboard. Despite their best efforts, the Saints were not able to recover and conceded a 43-0 loss. 

A mixed day for the Saints but an invaluable learning experience and a great achievement to get a win in their first contact game. Josie McInerney was named the Offensive MVP for her performance. The Defensive MVP award was giving to the entire defense unit and Team MVP went to Megan Brown.


The Saints have been working hard to develop their skills and prepare for the 2nd round of the tournament, which takes place on Saturday 11th March in Peterborough.

Head coach Adam Baker and Offensive Coordinator Luke Fry have studied the game film from round 1 and helped player pinpoint key areas for improvements. In the build up to round 2, work has been very playbook orientated, whilst ensuring players are capable of taking on roles on both offense and defense.

To help further, the coaches have increased the amount of time at practice given to full contact scrimmage, allowing the players to practice game scenarios. Additional sessions for the offense and lots of tackling drills were also included. 

The Saints will go into the next games optimistic and excited to display their hard work.

Set 1: Portsmouth v Iceni + Oxford v Peterborough (13:00 PM)
Set 2: Wembley v Oxford (14:00 PM)
Set 3: Peterborough v Portsmouth + Iceni v Wembley (15:00 PM)

2017 Game Dates | Read Full Details Here

The schedule for the 2017 regular season has been released

The British American Football Association (BAFA) have now confirmed all game dates for the Saints. The season will begin on 16th April with a home opener against the Sussex Thunder.

Following promotion to Division I at the end of the 2016 season, the Saints are placed in Southern Football Conference Central I (SFC1) for 2017. The conference includes the Ouse Valley Eagles, Solent Thrashers, South Wales Warriors and Sussex Thunder.

Regular Season:

16/4 – Oxford VS Sussex
23/4 – Oxford @ South Wales
7/5 – Oxford VS Ouse Valley
21/5 – Oxford @ Sussex
4/6 – Oxford @ Sussex
11/6 – Oxford VS Solent
25/6 – Oxford VS South Wales
9/7 – Oxford @ Ouse Valley
23/7 – Oxford VS Solent
30/7 – Oxford VS Ouse Valley

Each of the 5 teams will have a full 10 game season, with all games being played within the conference rather then cross-conference games.

This means the Saints will face 2 of their opponents 3 times, with Ouse Valley and Sussex being selected by BAFA.

Season Opener

The Saints will host the Sussex Thunder on 16th April to begin the regular season. The game will take place at Tilsley Park with a 14:30 kick-off.

Fans at the games can expect an exciting show, alongside covered seating, music, commentary, bar and BBQ food.

There is plenty of free parking and the venue is within short distance of a main road.

Training Update | Player Transfers | Preseason Games


The Saints were among the first of the adult teams to return to regular training in 2017. Two warm-up sessions were held in November & December at Tilsley Park before weekly training resumed on Sunday 8th January.

Every Sunday since, the Saints staff have been preparing rookies and veterans alike for the upcoming challenge in Division I.

Nick Bob-manuel – Sussex Linebacker

Follow the successful structure of recent years, preseason training began with 2 sessions primarily aimed at new recruits. These sessions allowed the coaches and some veteran players to introduce the fresh faces to the club and teach them the basics of American Football.

With lots of promising talent on show, the Saints reconvened in early January after the festive break. The first 6-7 weeks were held indoors using the 3G dome at the Oxford Academy.

Luiz De Almeida – Rookie

This has proved a vital part of the preseason strategy, allowing the team to install fundamental techniques and playbook knowledge without any concerns of rain, wind or cold weather to affect their focus.

Training sessions continue to have strong attendance with 60 participating players on average each week. As training progressed, players moved into full contact drills in mid February.

On 19th February, the team moved outdoors to their main training ground at Abingdon Rugby Club. This allows the team more space for drills and special teams preparation.


With a large number of returning veterans from 2016, the team is strengthened further with several transfers from other senior clubs.

Two experienced offensive lineman from the Cornish Sharks and a tight end from Coventry Jets will boost the Saints offense. The defense will gain a linebacker from Sussex Thunder and a defensive lineman from the Sharks.

  • Nick Bob-manuel (Sussex Thunder – Linebacker)
  • Jake Mayo (Cornish Sharks – Defensive lineman)
  • Ashley Huggins (Cornish Sharks – Offensive lineman)
  • Karl Friston (Cornish Sharks – Offensive lineman)
  • Ady Simons (Coventry Jets – Tight end)


Training in the 3G dome – Oxford Academy


The Saints have another week of training before a preseason friendly against the premiership Farnham Knights on 19th March. This will be followed by a 2nd preseason game when the Saints host the Leicester Falcons, who were the Division II North champions in 2016.

The squad currently has 82 registered players and a dedicated coach staff ready to lead them into the 2017 season.

You can view the full 2017 schedule here.

The Saints are currently looking for gameday volunteers and businesses who are interested in sponsorship. Contact us for more information.

Preseason #1: Oxford Saints @ Farnham Knights


The knights are a competitive team in the Premier division, the UK’s highest tier. It’s been a few years since the two sides met so this will prove a good opportunity for Head Coach Andrew Day to see his side in action against a top team.

Saints vs Knights in 2013

Oxford last met Farnham in 2013 when the league was split into 2 divisions, Premier and National. Competing in the National Division, the Saints took a 26-2 loss against the Knights at home but clinched a narrow 8-6 victory on the road.

In 2016, the Knights competed against the likes of the London Warriors & London Blitz, widely considered to be the top 2 teams in the UK. The Knights ended the 2016 season with a 4-6 record.

The preseason friendly will kick off at 14:00 pm on Sunday 19th March at Farnham RUFC, Monkton Lane, Surrey, GU9 9ND.

Following a championship season for Oxford in 2016, the Saints have now been promoted to Division 1 and will be facing a tough test against the premiership Knights, but it will demonstrate the level that players need to aspire to if they wish to compete in their new division.

Saints defeat Cambridge in 2016 Div 2 Final

With much of the team returning for 2017, the Saints are further strengthened with another large intake of new players. Some of them have experience at either senior or university level, along with a number of other promising rookies. Keep a look out for a progress report on preseason training soon.


After the Farnham game, the team will have 2 weeks to review and analyse the footage in preparation for the 2nd presason game. On 2nd April, the Saints will host the 2016 Division II North Champions, the Leicester Falcons.

The game will be held at Oxford’s home ground Tilsley Park with a 14:30 Kick-off. More details will be shared closer to the event.

The regular season schedule will be available here soon.

Saints vs Falcons in 2013