Category: Game Previews & Reports

Oxford 24 – 22 Ouse Valley | Game Summary

GAME HIGHLIGHTS

OXFORD END SEASON WITH THRILLING WIN

On Sunday 30th July the Oxford Saints closed their Division 1 season in style with a 24-22 home victory over the Ouse Valley Eagles.

The Saints and Eagles faced each other three times this season, with Oxford coming out on top in two of those contests.

They gained a decisive 35-14 win on 7th May at home, then stumbled to a 20-6 loss on the road in a surprising defeat, but avenged it with the win last Sunday at Tilsley Park.

A exciting game from start to finish, the Saints began with the ball and drove into Eagles territory before quarterback Kyle Swann was intercepted.

QB Kyle Swann – By Gareth Brown

The Ouse Valley offense took over but faced a tough defensive front from Oxford, with Spencer Duffy and Conor Whitehouse sacking quarterback Nick Tilbury for a loss of yards. On 4th down, the Eagles attempted to punt but the ball was not set in place and was eventually downed for a further loss of 8 yards.

Swann and the Saints offense took over on the 3 yard line and running back Tony Glover charged up the middle for the opening score. Sam Fielden kicked the extra point to give Oxford a early 7-0 lead.

With Jamahl Watson moving the ball on the ground for the Eagles, the visiting team found the scoreboard in the 2nd quarter with a 28 yard field goal from Mike Turner.

7-3 Oxford

RB Tony Glover – By Gareth Brown

The Saints hit back immediately and marched steadily across the field.

Good running from Glover and Sam Armstrong brought them close to the endzone, with Armstrong entering from 7 yards out on a reverse play for the touchdown. Fielden’s kick went through for the extra point.

14-3 Oxford

On offense, the Eagles were making progress in the air with back to back grabs from Ryan Bowtell but they were unable to get into scoring distance before the end of the half.

QB Nick Tilbury hands the ball to Jacob Givens – By Gareth Brown

HALF TIME

The visitors began with the ball in the 3rd quarter but a tackle for a loss of yards by George Wright and another stop from Martin Fitzpatrick brought on the Eagles punt team on 4th down.

Oxford added a quick score on just the 2nd play of the next drive when Glover escaped up the sideline and out paced the Ouse Valley defenders for a 54 yard touchdown run. Another good kick from Fielden gave the Saints a 21-3 advantage.

21-3 Oxford

RB Tony Glover – By Gareth Brown

The Eagles made changes in their offense with Kase Chibwe and Jacob Givens getting the bulk of the work, including some direct snaps to Chibwe. They progressed to the Saints endzone with Chibwe running in for the score. A 2 point conversion attempt failed.

21-9 Oxford

More running from Chibwe and Givens kept the offense moving and Chibwe broke through defenders for a 27 yard touchdown run to narrow the gap. Mike Turner attempted to add a extra point but the ball was not set in place.

21-15 Oxford

A short drive from the Saints saw them having to punt the ball away on 4th down, after picking up minimal gains from Glover and a incomplete pass intended for Dre Kays. A short punt however gave the Eagles good field position, starting on the Saints 28 yard line.

Oxford looked set to make a defensive stand after tackles from George Wright and Dean Bryan, but on 4th down Tilbury threw a pass to Akintunde Adewale over the middle for a 24 yard touchdown. This time Turner was able to kick the extra point and the Eagles took the lead.

22-21 Ouse Valley

RB Kase Chibwe – By Gareth Brown

Deep in the 4th quarter, it was vital for Oxford to maintain possession of the football but their next drive stalled and they were forced to punt again.

With the Eagles offense back on the field, they were stopped in the backfield with a tackle from Monica Lewinska for a loss of 2 yards and then a fumbled ball was recovered by Michael Bearman, giving the Saints possession again.

Taking over on the Eagles 21 yard line, Oxford faced a tough defense and on 3rd down Glover was tackled for a loss of 2 yards. Attempting to take back the lead, head coach Andrew Day called for a field goal and Sam Fielden kicked the ball through straight through from 34 yards out.

24-22 Oxford

WR/K Sam Fielden makes a 34 yd field goal to win the game – By Gareth Brown

With everything riding on the final drive for Ouse Valley, they picked up 18 yards and a first down but struggled to make gains in the air with Misha Brookes breaking up the pass.

On 3rd down, Sam Stancombe tackled the ball carrier for a loss and a 4th down pass attempt to Adewale was batted down in the air by Martin Fitzpatrick.

With under 2 minutes remaining, the Saints played it safe and ran down the clock with Kyle Swann taking a knee to see out the game.

24-22 Oxford – FINAL SCORE

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After a unexpected heavy defeat to the Solent Thrashers on 23rd July, the Saints were on the back foot in the playoff race and needed two things to happen to stay on track. Firstly, a victory over the Eagles and for the 0-9 South Wales Warriors to pull off a win over Solent.

Whilst Oxford beat the Eagles, the Warriors fell to the Thrashers in a earlier kickoff on the same day and the game between the Saints and Eagles was to determine who would be 3rd in the conference.

Oxford 21 – 40 Solent | Game Summary

OXFORD SUFFER 2ND HEAVY LOSS IN 3 WEEKS

On Sunday 23rd July the Saints hope for playoff football took a blow when they were on the wrong side of a 40-21 scoreline in Southampton.

With QB/RB James Walter unavailable for the game and running back Tony Glover in a limited capacity, the Saints were without their two main weapons on offense and the difference showed.

Oxford struck first despite having to punt on their opening drive when a Solent player touched the ball, making it available to be claimed by either team. With the Saints diving on the ball, the offense came back out with improved field position.

Rookie receiver Dominic Johnson – By Chris Janes

With 2nd year quarterback Kyle Swann leading the unit, he connected with veteran receiver Sam Armstrong for a 24 yard gain and just short of the goal line.

The ball was then handed to Antonios Athanasiou who ran it in for the touchdown from 1 yard out. Sam Fielden kicked the extra point to give the Saints the early lead.

7-0 OXFORD

Oxford’s defense claimed a 1 yard sack on Solent’s drive as Conor Whitehouse brought down quarterback Bradley Sawyers behind the line.

On the next play however, a mis-aligned coverage resulted in Sawyers completing a deep pass to Dayle Greenfield for a 63 yard touchdown. Samuel Scott attempted to run the ball in for a 2 point conversion but failed.

7-6 OXFORD

Receiver Dayle Greenfield – By Jamie Stancombe

The Thrashers moved the ball well and in the 2nd quarter Sawyers connected with Greenfield again, this time for a 45 yard touchdown. Scott ran through to add the extra 2 points.

On their next drive, they kept the ball on the ground and picked up several first downs as they approached the endzone. Tom Borsay added their next score running in from 1 yard out, with another failed 2 point conversion.

HALF TIME 20-7 SOLENT

With Oxford down by two scores at the half, the Saints defense were struggling to stop the big passing plays from Sawyers and Greenfield, along with their own offense being slow to make gains.

The Saints defenders made a stop at the beginning of the 3rd quarter with Whitehouse tackling the ball carrier for a loss on 4th down.

Both teams exchanged possession of the ball but it remained on the Saints half of the field, with the Thrashers unable to score and the Saints unable to make consistent yards.

A 23 yard run from Solent took them to the goal line and Borsay broke the deadlock. The ball was not put in place for the extra point kick and the attempt was no good.

26-7 SOLENT

By Jamie Stancombe

The Saints found relief early in the 4th quarter with Swann completing a 27 yard pass to rookie receiver Dre Kays. Tony Glover came onto the field for the first time in the game and combined with Luke Fry for first downs.

On 4th down, Swann completed a quick pass to Charlie Day for a 12 yard gain and the offense gained a crucial first down.

From 6 yards out, Richard Bloomer received the ball on a reverse play and ran into the endzone for Oxford’s first score since the first quarter. Glover added the extra 2 points.

26-15 SOLENT

Despite the Saints touchdown, the Thrashers continued to move the ball well against the defense and Adam Bowley scored on a 28 yard touchdown run on their next drive. Bowley also attempted the 2 point conversion but was unable to cross the line.

Oxford responded quickly with penalties against Solent giving the Saints improved field position. On 3rd down, Glover entered the endzone from 7 yards out but Fielden’s kick was blocked.

32-21 SOLENT

Jonny Dover – By Jamie Stancombe

The Thrashers showed their efficiency in the air with Sawyers completing another deep pass to Greenfield on the first play of the drive, who ran into the endzone for a 58 yard score and his 3rd of the day. Scott added the 2 points.

40-21 SOLENT FINAL SCORE

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With back to back losses against teams the Saints swiftly beat earlier in the season, Oxford are now at risk of missing the Division 1 playoffs.

To reclaim their spot, the Saints will need a win against the Eagles on Sunday 30th July and for the 0-9 South Wales Warriors to pull of a victory over the Thrashers on the same day.

Despite a disappointing 2nd half of the season, the Saints will be pleased that they were competitive in their first season back in Division 1 which included two close games against the undefeated conference champions, Sussex Thunder.

NEXT GAME:

Oxford’s final game of the regular season is at Tilsley Park on Sunday 30th July against the Ouse Valley Eagles. Kick off is 14:30 PM.

Oxford 6 – 20 Ouse Valley | Game Summary

Oxford CAUGHT OFF GUARD BY RESURGENT EAGLES

On Sunday 9th July, the Saints travelled to Bedfordshire for the 8th game of the regular season. Taking on the Eagles, the Saints were confident after a 2 game winning streak and a 35-14 victory over their opponent earlier in the year.

The Eagles however have found a burst of energy towards the end of their season with their squad bolstered by several new players. Running back Jamahl Watson amongst others have joined their roster and made an immediate impact.

Meanwhile, the Saints gained over 350 offensive yards and dominated possession of the football, but were unable to turn it into points on the scoreboard when it mattered.

QB/RB James Walter – By Chris Janes

With Oxford receiving the opening kickoff, both sides exchanged blows in the blistering heat with neither making any gains on their first drives and having to punt the ball away. A pass attempt on 3rd down from Eagles quarterback Nick Tilbury saw his receiver getting hit hard by defender Martin Fitzpatrick, breaking up the play.

The Saints with quarterback James Walter at the helm got a first down on their next drive but were unable to keep it going, resulting in another punt.

Oxford’s defense put pressure on the Eagles with linebacker Sam Stancombe bringing down Tilbury behind the line for a 8 yard sack.

Still in the first quarter, the Saints offense were making progress with running backs Ryan Kingshott and Tony Glover. A completed pass to Sam Armstrong on 4th down kept the drive alive. Oxford looked to get on the scoreboard first with a field goal attempt from 34 yards out, but the kick from Sam Fielden went wide right.

Now in the second quarter, the Eagles struck back immediately when Watson ran straight through the Saints defense. The towering player shrugged off would-be tacklers for a 80 yard touchdown run and showed good speed.

Mike Turner added the extra point, giving the home team a 7-0 lead.

7-0 Ouse Valley

The Saints responded with a drive across the field and big runs from Glover and Kingshott. From 2 yards out, Glover ran the ball in for the score but the 2 point conversion attempt failed.

Sam Armstrong makes the catch – by Chris Janes

7-6 Ouse Valley

Jamahl Watson caused panic again on the Eagles next drive, charging through for a 55 yard gain before going down with a apparent hamstring injury. Close to the Saints endzone, the defense made a stand with a tackle for a loss of yards from Spencer Duffy, bringing up 4th down.

The Eagles attempted a field goal from Mike Turner but it fell short of his target, forcing a turnover of possession.

The Saints had a shot at gaining the lead in the final moments of the first half but James Walter’s pass into the endzone was intercepted, bringing up the game interval.

Head Coach Andrew Day addresses the offense – By Chris Janes

Early in the 3rd quarter, a good punt from Oxford pinned the ball on the Eagles 9 yard line. With their offense on the field, they picked up a first down but faced pressure from the Saints defensive line with George Wright sacking Tilbury for a 8 yard loss.

Desperate to claim a lead, the Saints attempted another field goal at the beginning on the 4th quarter but Fielden’s kick from 26 yards out went wide right.

Later in the 4th, the Eagles approached the Saints goalline and Watson ran through for his 2nd touchdown of the day, this time from 12 yards out. Turner added the extra point.

14-6 Ouse Valley

Saints defense – By Chris Janes

A pass attempt on the next drive from Walter was intercepted by Akintunde Adewale, who made a great play and returned the ball 51 yards into the endzone for the score. Turner’s kick was blocked.

20-6 Ouse Valley

The Saints offense tried to increase the tempo with Walter switched to running back and Kyle Swann in at quarterback. Walter was gaining yards on the ground but with time running out, they were unable to get into the endzone.

A final attempt for a consolation score saw a pass from Swann intercepted, ending the game.

Saints defensive line engages the Eagles – By Chris Janes

Final score 20-6 Ouse Valley

A disappointing performance by the Saints who were heavy favourites to secure the win. On paper, the Oxford side seemed to be dominating as they gained 340 offensive yards compared to the 223 by the Eagles.

The Saints also had more first downs and had several scoring opportunities, including 2 missed field goals. They brought good pressure on defense with 2 sacks and a interception, but gave up 2 big runs to Watson.

With both the Saints and the Eagles on a tied record of 4-4, the last two games for both teams will be crucial in determining playoff eligibility. The Saints will be looking to avenge the loss when they travel to the Solent Thrashers on 23rd July. Meanwhile the Eagles will be hosting the undefeated Sussex Thunder, who have clinched the conference title.

The final game of the regular season will see Oxford host the Eagles for the 3rd time this year on 30th July.

The Saints will need to pick up wins against both Solent and Ouse Valley to secure a spot in the Division 1 Playoffs.

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View the full 2017 schedule and standings.

Oxford 42 – 0 South Wales | Game Summary

GAME HIGHLIGHTS

Oxford win big with 42-0 display over South Wales

Following a victory against the Solent Thrashers, the Saints put on a strong display at Tilsley Park and dispatched the South Wales Warriors.

Following a narrow 13-6 victory against the Warriors in week 2, the return fixture was decisive. With South Wales dropping to 0-8, they will be relegated to Division II in 2018.

The Saints started with the ball and showed their strength immediately. Good running from James Walter and Antonious Athanasiou brought Oxford to the endzone on their opening drive, with Walter going in for a 2 yard touchdown. Sam Fielden kicked the extra point.

7-0 Oxford

QB/RB James Walter – By Gareth Brown

The Welsh side had a disastrous start when on their 3rd play, defensive end Conor Whitehouse sacked quarterback Dean Jackson for a loss of 9 yards. Jackson suffered a knee injury and was unable to return to the game.

A short punt in windy weather gave the Saints offense the ball at the Warriors 15 yard line. With just a short distance to go, Athanasiou ran the ball in for a 9 yard touchdown. Fielden converted again and the Saints extended their lead early.

14-0 Oxford

RB Antonious Athanasiou – By Gareth Brown

The Warriors caught a break when they intercepted a pass from James Walter and returned it up the sideline for 14 yards.

The visiting team were unable to capitalise however, with a high snap sending the ball deep into the backfield and defensive end George Wright chasing down the play for a 17 yard loss.

Straight after, quarterback Stuart Bicker (in for the injured Dean Jackson) was intercepted by linebacker Sam Stancombe, returning the ball 9 yards and forcing the turnover.

Oxford win big with 42-0 display over South Wales

The Saints offense continued to dominate in their run game with Ryan Kingshott and Connor Day picking up first downs, followed by Kingshott for the score.

21-0 Oxford

Before the end of the first half, the Saints defense added another sack, again from Conor Whitehouse, along with Graeme Taylor recovering a fumble. The Saints also found the endzone for the 4th time with Walter running in for his 2nd touchdown.

In the final seconds of the half, Fielden attempted a field goal to add 3 more points but his kick missed the target.

28-0 OXFORD – HALF TIME

RB Tony Glover – By Gareth Brown

The 2nd half was a quieter affair with the Saints maintaining their comfortable lead, but also missing opportunities to add further scores against a tiring Warriors defense.

A key player for South Wales was defensive back Dan Dacey, making tackles across the field and often being the one to bring down Oxford’s runners.

Their offense however struggled and were unable to put together sustained drives, hampered further by penalty flags.

Photo by Gareth Brown

At the beginning of the 4th quarter, Walter crossed into the endzone for the 3rd time, pushing the Saints ahead to a 34-0 lead. Fielden remained on form, adding the extra point through the uprights.

35-0 Oxford

The Saints sealed the deal with veteran tight end Richard Bloomer running into the endzone from 23 yards out for the touchdown, with Fielden adding his final point of the game.

42-0 OXFORD – FINAL SCORE

TE Rich Bloomer – By Gareth Brown

With Oxford now at 4-3, they are 2nd place in the SFC1 Central and will travel to Bedfordshire on 9th July to take on the Ouse Valley Eagles.

With two games against Ouse Valley and another against Solent remaining, Oxford will be hoping to finish the regular season on a winning streak and prepare for the playoffs.

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View the full 2017 schedule and standings.

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.