Category: Game Previews & Reports

FINAL: Game Preview – Oxford VS Cambridgeshire

#UndefeatedOrDeath

Following victories against Cornwall and Bristol, Oxford find themselves in another national final.

This is the third time in the team’s long history that Oxford have made the final, and both of the previous occasions have seen the Saints carry the trophy off the field (1995, 2006).

So on Sunday they’ll take the field in Charles Lee stadium in Leeds to try and make it three-for-three.

Their opponents on the day will be the Cambridgeshire Cats, who came in to the playoffs seeded #6 with a 7-3 record, managed to collect the scalps of the Berkshire Renegades and their conference rivals the London Hornets on their way to the final.

Both teams manged to conceded less than 100 points throughout the regular season, showing just how important a solid defense is in this sport.

Highlight reels might be filled with spectacular offensive performances, but both teams have shown the importance of a solid defense on the way to the final.

Oxford and Cambridge have conceded less than 100 points through the regular season (with the Cats even shutting out the #1 seeded Hornets in the Semi-final).

With the Saints looking to close out a perfect season, this matchup reminds of Superbowl XLII where the New England Patriots perfect season.

As many NFL fans know, this was ended by the New York Giants, a team that had come in to the playoffs as a low seeded wildcard…

The Saints can be confident that they have prepared well for the game and will come out on to the field ready to face a tough opponent. Only one outcome will be on the Saints minds…

Remaining undefeated.

Chairman Andrew Peart Reflects On 2016 Season

Sunday 11th September sees the Saints travel to Leeds for what is the biggest game for the club in a decade…

Written by Chairman Andrew Peart

Being lucky enough to serve as Chairman during such exciting times is a massive honour for me & one I think about with a great deal of humility.

I feel humbled by the amount of hard work & dedication that has gone into the club, both on and off the field in all the years prior to (and during) my appointment.

Reaching a championship game is not a short term project, it takes years of work to create the right atmosphere and culture to achieve long term, sustainable success.

It is for these reasons that I think a great deal about those who laid the groundwork for this year.

A year that all of us lucky enough to be part of this organization are enjoying and will be able to remember for the rest of our lives.

Linebacker Sam Stancombe tackles a Shark receiver

The Saints are a club whose history is incredibly important to us & many people throughout many years are equally (much more so, in several cases) responsible.

We would not be in this final were it not for the late Roger Hedges, our former general manager. Roger’s, dedication and enthusiasm over many years set the foundations for a culture of football in Oxfordshire that we continue to reap the benefits of today.

We’re delighted that Roger’s memory lives on at the club through an award in his name and through the presence of our long time supporters and friends, Kelly and Pam Hedges.

BY JAMIE STANCOMBE - James Walter dives over the line for a touchdown

We would not be in this final were it not for Chris Janes. Chris, our former player, coordinator, head coach and now team photographer, has played an immense role in the building and maintaining of this club.

Without Chris, the past & present of this club would look dramatically different & we thank him for his contribution over so many years that gives us the opportunity to do what we’re about to do on Sunday.

We would not be in this final were it not for the exceptional people currently working at the club. We’re incredibly lucky to have such a knowledgeable, passionate and selfless coaching staff.

We fully appreciate the time, energy and sacrifice made by Andrew Day, Nick Wykes, Greg Kennedy, Michael Price, Toby Durant, Gordon Cutting & Chris Warren.

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An unbeaten (so far!) season is no coincidence & these coaches have given their all in attempting to achieve it.

The back room staff at the Saints go through a phenomenal amount of work in order to provide the optimal conditions for players to play, coaches to coach and games to go ahead.

Without James Dunstan, Graeme Taylor, George Wright, Sam Armstrong, Luke Fry, Chris Roberts, Peter Holtom, Michael Parker, Naomi Maycock and many others helping behind the scenes, we would not be in this final. Most crucially of course, to on-field success is the work of the players.

To reach a championship final requires a championship mentality, championship level training, championship preparation and championship talent.

With a roster close to 90 players, I’ll avoid name checking everyone, but we’re incredibly lucky to see the level of impact from players such as Dean Bryan, Stuart Cribbes, Ali Galbraith, James Walter, Ben Denton, Destin Maulding and countless others.

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So many people, over so many years, too numerous to mention, have contributed to us reaching this final on Sunday. We go into this game fully aware that we’re “Standing on the Shoulder of Giants”.

So for those mentioned above, others such as Steve Abbott, Steve Connor, John Farley, Martin Fitzpatrick, all those supporters who come week in, week out and everyone else who has put us in this incredible position & we would not be in this final without.. ..this game is for you.

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The Saints will face the Cambridgeshire Cats in the Division II South Final, on Sunday 11th September at John Charles Stadium, Leeds.

VICTORY: Saints Advance To Final With 40-19 Win

Score

Team1234TotalOutcome
Oxford Saints21071240Win
Bristol Apache0013619Loss

Game Statistics
Photography courtesy of Gareth Brown. Featured photo by Jamie Stancombe.

 

Sponsored By:

JTs

Semi Final: Oxford Saints VS Bristol Apache
Venue: Tilsley Park, Abingdon
Date: 28 August 2016

The perfect season continues as the Saints extend their winning streak to 12-0, with a 40-19 semi final victory over the Bristol Apache.

The decisive win on Sunday at Tilsley Park advances Oxford to the Division II Southern Final, making their first appearance in a final since the Saints were crowned champions back in 2006.

By reaching the final, the Saints have also secured automatic promotion and will be playing division I football in 2017..

The Saints will now face the Cambridgeshire Cats for the title on 11th September at John Charles Stadium, Leeds.

1st Quarter

The Apache received the opening kick off and began with their offense out on the field. Led by quarterback Simon Harris, the Apache struggled on their opening drive as the formidable Oxford defense set the tone for the game.

Unable to pick up a first down, the visitors were forced to send the ball to the Saints but a short punt meant that Oxford’s offense would start with good field position.

Starting on Bristol’s 38 yard line, quarterback Destin Maulding handed the ball to running back Tony Glover, who charged through the Apache defenders for 9 yards before Luke Fry picked up a 1st down on a 2 yard carry.

More strong running from Glover and a penalty against the Apache set up Glover to claim his first score of the day, with an 11 yard touchdown run.

Sam Fielden kicked the ball through the uprights to add on the extra point.

7-0 Oxford

RB Tony Glover - Photo by Gareth Brown
RB Tony Glover – Photo by Gareth Brown

The Apache hoped for better success on their next drive and called upon running back Jon Walters to carry the load. Often a key threat in Bristol’s offense, Walters picked up a 1st down Simon Harris threw another 1st down pass.

The Apache were starting to move down the field but 2 incomplete passes and a tackle for a 4 yard loss by Spencer Duffy, halted their progress.

The Saints meanwhile continued to look in top form, with Glover picking up another 1st down. A 15 yard penalty against Oxford set them back, however Kev Brooks ran for 10 yards which was followed by a spectacular play from James Walter who ran for 17 yards and dived across the goal line for the score.

Fielden remained on target and added the extra point.

14-0 Oxford

 

James Walter 17 Yard Touchdown Run


Still in the 1st quarter, Oxford’s defense continued to shut down the Apache, with Dean Bryan, George Wright and Sam Stancombe holding the line.

With Maulding and the offense back on the field, a deep pass was caught by veteran receiver Ali Galbraith who made one of the best plays in the clubs recent history, diving out and securing the ball for a 40 yard gain to celebrations by teammates and spectators.

Not wanting to be outshined, teammate James Walter then made another great grab in the endzone, catching the pass from Maulding for a 21 yard score.

With Fielden adding the extra point, the Saints were riding high with a big 3 score lead over the Apache at the end of the 1st quarter.

Fielden added the extra point.

21-0 Oxford

 

Ali Galbraith 40 Yard Reception

In the 2nd quarter, the Saints offense picked up a 1st down from Rob Johnson but quarterback Destin Maulding fumbled the ball for a 6 yard loss, but recovered the possession.

A penalty against the Apache gave the Saints a fresh set of downs but they were unable to capitalise on the following plays.

On 4th down, they punted the ball away for the first time.

For the remainder of the 2nd quarter, both teams exchanged blows but neither team found the endzone. The Saints defense continued to be the dominating factor, forcing the Apache to punt the ball away after minimal gains.

The Saints offense were able to move the ball well, including a 17 yard run for a first down by Kev Brooks but the Apache defense were starting to catch up, claiming 2 sacks for a loss of yards on Destin Maulding.

21-0 at Half Time

Saints Defense - Photo by Gareth Brown
Saints Defense – Photo by Gareth Brown

The Saints had a bumpy start to begin the 2nd half, when a fumbled ball was recovered by the Apache for a 15 yard gain, before being brought down for a touchdown-saving tackle by Maulding.

With good field position, Apache quarterback Simon Harris soon connected with receiver Chris Jones in the endzone for their first score. Jones also lined up to kick the extra point, leaving the score at 21-7 Oxford.

Looking to retaliate, Maulding passed to Walter for a 21 yard gain and a 1st down, then to Sam Armstrong for a 17 yard catch and another 1st down.

Glover charged through from 15 yards out to claim his 2nd touchdown of the day as he outran his pursuers.

Fielden’s kicking remained on form.

28-7 Oxford

With Oxford’s defense back on the field, George Wright sacked quarterback Simon Harris for a 3 yard loss.

When attempting to throw the ball, good coverage by Oxford’s pass defenders prevented any progress in the air. Another punt on 4th down sent the ball back to Oxford.

At the end of the 3rd quarter, the Apache had good field position following a completed pass from Simon Harris for 26 yards and a 1st down. From 2 yards out, Harris handed the ball to Jon Walters who punched it in for the score.

Jones was unable to add the extra point but the Apache narrowed the gap, 28-13 Oxford.

Tony Glover 42 Yard Touchdown Run


In the 4th quarter, the Saints continued to limit the passing threat with coverage from Jonny Dover. Further shots downfield were incomplete and Apache struggled to pick up much needed 1st downs.

Oxford continued to enjoy success on the ground, with Tony Glover running in for a big 42 yard touchdown on the first play of the drive.

The Saints attempted a 2 point conversion but Maulding was unable to pass the ball in for the extra score.

34-14 Oxford

RB James Walter - Photo by Gareth Brown
RB James Walter – Photo by Gareth Brown

The Apache showed a revival and began moving the ball well, with first downs in the air and on the ground. A long drive brought them close to the endzone and Max Gallagher ran in from 1 yard out for their 2nd score.

Gallagher attempted to cross over again for the extra 2 points but was brought down by the Saints defense.

The Saints struck back to seal the game on their next drive, with strong running from James Walter, Tony Glover and Rob Johnson, each converting for 1st downs.

From 3 yards out, Walter ran in for his 3rd score of the day and gave the Saints a clear 40-19 lead.

Another 2 point conversion attempt was unsuccessful.

With the game out of reach, the Apache picked up a big 1st down on a 27 yard run, but numerous injuries were starting to add up. The Saints defense kept their foot on the pedal and David Anthony landing a big sack on the quarterback for a 7 yard loss.

Unable to make any further progress, the Apache turned the ball over when they failed to convert on 4th down.

FINAL 40-19 OXFORD

The Saints dominated the game in all areas, with their explosive offense moving the ball in the air and on the ground.

The damage was done by running backs Tony Glover and James Walter, who each claimed a hat-trick of scores and were a constant threat that the Apache couldn’t match.

Oxford ended the day with 355 rushing yards, whilst their defense kept Bristol to just 69.

The Apache took the lead in the air with 145 passing yards to Oxford’s 104, but the Saints defended many more pass attempts and forced multiple incompletions.

Total yards on offense for Oxford were 439 and 194 for Bristol.

Oxford’s Tony Glover alone ran for 190 yards.

The Saints will now advance to their first division final since their championship season in 2006. The Saints also keep their undefeated record for 2016 and are one more victory away from the perfect season.

Oxford have also guaranteed promotion to Division I, with both finalists being automatically promoted to the tier above.

Sponsor The Saints

If you want to connect your business to a successful club and an exciting sport, get in touch with us for more information.

Email us at [email protected] and we’ll be in touch.

Preview: Oxford VS Bristol This Sunday At Tilsley Park

Watch The Teaser:

[youtube id=”qrApwLQnQX0″ align=”center” mode=”normal” autoplay=”no”]
 

Undefeated Saints To Host Bristol Apache On 28 August For Semi Final

Venue: Tilsley Park

Last Sunday the Saints claimed their first playoff win in years and advanced to the semi finals. After dispatching the Cornish Sharks in a 40-3 scoreline, the Saints will now face a sterner test.

Not only are Oxford and Bristol conference rivals, but the Apache have run the Saints close in both regular season meetings this season.

In 2015, the Apache went on to the final and lost out to the Bury Saints. If Oxford are able to defeat them this weekend, the Saints will be going to their first final since their championship season in 2006.

Due to being the #2 seed in the division (#1 is still held by the London Hornets) the Saints have the coveted prize of home field advantage.

SEMI FINAL GAME SPONSORS:

We’re delighted to announce that JT’s Cocktail Bar & AHC Autos, operated by Jayson Lyon, have partnered with the Oxford Saints to be the Gameday Sponsors for the semi final on 28th August.

Jayson Lyon of the AHC Group of Companies, said:
 
“It’s a great opportunity for The Oxford Saints and our Group of companies to join together. The recent re-structure of the club presented a brilliant opportunity for local businesses to get involved in sponsorship.

I’m keen to see how we can support each other in the coming future, hopefully our partnership will encourage other local businesses to engage in sponsorship opportunities across various sports”.

The Semi Final

With a win secured in the first week of Playoff Football, the Saints players and staff will be looking ahead to their next opponents, the Bristol Apache.

Oxford will face Bristol in the Semi-finals this bank holiday Sunday on 28th August at Tilsey Park, and this will be the third time that these two teams have met in the 2016 season.

The way the playoff seeding has worked out this year has meant that the #1 and #2 seeds will have only played opponents they have previously faced in the regular season for the quarter finals and semi finals.

Oxford Saints v Bristol Apache

Oxford hosted Bristol at Tilsey on 3rd July for a nail biting game that ended 29-26 in Oxfords favour, a game that was kept within a score for almost the full 60 minutes and the lead changing hands throughout the match.

The Saints and Apache are two evenly matched teams with strong offenses, the Saints “pounding the rock” on the ground and the Apache exploiting the quick strike aerial attack.

Both teams had comprehensive wins in their respective quarter final stage, so should be coming in to this game with high spirits and that all important momentum.

Last Game VS Bristol

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PREVIOUS GAMES

 

Saints @ Apache- 24th April 2016

Score

Team1234TotalOutcome
Bristol Apache760215Loss
Oxford Saints00141226Win

Game report: http://www.oxfordsaints.com/game-2-oxford-dominate-in-comeback-win-over-bristol/

Apache @ Saints- 3rd July 2016

Score

Team1234TotalOutcome
Oxford Saints01401529Win
Bristol Apache686626Loss

Game report: http://www.oxfordsaints.com/game-6-oxford-gain-crucial-win-over-bristol/

 

Sponsor The Saints

If you want to connect your business to a successful club and an exciting sport, get in touch with us for more information.

Email us at [email protected] and we’ll be in touch.

VICTORY: Saints Defeat Sharks 40-3 in Quarter Final

Score

Team1234TotalOutcome
Oxford Saints6188840Win
Cornish Sharks00033Loss

Game Statistics
Photography courtesy of Gareth Brown

Watch The Highlights:

[youtube id=”yQLA3-bDsuc” align=”center” mode=”normal” autoplay=”no” aspect_ratio=”16:9″]

 

Sponsored By:

NOPS Professional

Quarter Final: Oxford Saints VS Cornish Sharks
Venue: Tilsley Park, Abingdon
Date: 21 August 2016

The perfect season continues as the Saints extend their winning streak to 11-0, with a quarter final victory over the Cornish Sharks.

The decisive win on Sunday at Tilsley Park advances Oxford to the semi final.

Conference rivals the Bristol Apache also claimed a win in their quarter final against the East Kent Mavericks, setting up a semi final battle between Oxford and Bristol.

With home advantage, the Saints will be hosting the Apache at Tilsley Park on Sunday 28th August.

A victory in the semi will send Oxford to the Division II Southern Final, marking their first appearance in a final since their 2006 championship season.

Watch The Pregame Hype:

[youtube id=”BtNH4_M-iT4″ align=”center” mode=”normal” autoplay=”no”]

1st Quarter

The Saints won the coin toss and began with the ball. Running from Tony Glover and Ryan Kingshott gained a 1st down for Oxford but the Sharks defense only allowed small gains.

An incomplete pass on third down intended for James Walter forced the Saints to punt the ball away on fourth down.

With the Sharks offense on the field for the first time, their opening drive was cut short with tackles from defensive end George Wright and a penalty against the Sharks. Failing to gain a 1st down, the visitors punted the ball back to the Saints.

Oxford moved the ball down the field with a big pass from quarterback Destin Maulding to veteran receiver Sam Armstrong, who hauled in the catch for a 22 yard gain.

QB Destin Maulding - Photo by Gareth Brown
QB Destin Maulding – Photo by Gareth Brown

Picking up additional yards on the ground from Glover and Walter, it was Maulding who sprinted up the sideline for 24 yards and attempted to dive into the endzone.

What looked to be a stunning score was declared unsuccessful, with the officials signalling that Maulding was down at the 1 yard line. The ball was instead given to Glover to finish things off, who hammered it in for the 1 yard touchdown run.

Sam Fielden attempted to add the extra point but his kick was blocked.

6-0 Oxford

Oxford Saints v Cornish Sharks Quarter Final match.
Sam Stancombe LB – Photo by Gareth Brown

The Sharks looked to retaliate but faced a tough Oxford defense, with pressure from linebacker Sam Stancombe who nearly intercepted the ball. George Wright continued to be a problem for the Sharks, who brought down the runner for a loss of 2 yards.

A 44 yard field goal attempt by Sharks David Kriehn on 4th down was unsuccessful.

2nd Quarter

In the 2nd quarter, Maulding connected with receiver Ali Galbraith on one of the biggest plays of the day, throwing a deep pass for 35 yards which was caught by Galbraith for a 1st down and great field position.

Within short scoring distance, running back Kev Brooks moved the ball to the 2 yard line and Walter punched it in for a 2 yard touchdown run. Going for the 2 point conversion, the ball was handed to Glover who charged through the middle for the extra points.

Tony Glover RB - Photo by Gareth Brown
Tony Glover RB – Photo by Gareth Brown

14-0 Oxford

Still in the 2nd quarter, the Saints were advancing again following with a 1st down run from Kingshott for 16 yards. On 2nd down, the Sharks defenders got through to Maulding and brought him to the floor for a 12 yard sack and a loss of yards.

The Saints recovered the lost yards on the next play when a short pass to Glover allowed him to charge through for 26 yards and another 1st down.

Glover claimed his 2nd touchdown of the game when as he smashed his way into the endzone from 7 yards out.

Fielden successfully kicked the extra point, 21-0 Oxford.

Before the first half expired, the Saints reached field goal range and decided to take the 3 points, with a good kick from Fielden from 23 yards out.

24-0

o1
Oxford Offense – Photo by Gareth Brown

3rd Quarter

In the 3rd quarter, the Saints defense continued to pressure the Sharks who were only making short gains but were able to claim a 1st down. A sack by George Wright for a 5 yard loss pushed the Sharks back and were left to punt again.

The visitors landed another big sack on Oxford’s Destin Maulding when he scrambled deep into the backfield looking for space and was chased down by defenders for a 28 yard loss.

Despite the setback, the Saints were able to claw back the yards through running from Walter and Glover, along with a 15 yard penalty by the Sharks which gave Oxford an automatic 1st down.

After the bumpy start to the drive, Oxford were rolling again with a 20 yard run by Walter for another first. Glover hammered the ball in for his 3rd touchdown of the day from 7 yards out.

Going for the 2 point conversion, Maulding passed the ball into tight end Richard Bloomer, securing the catch for the extra score.

32-0 Oxford

Tony Glover RB – Photo by Gareth Brown

4th Quarter

In the 4th quarter, the Sharks were making progress and picked up several 1st downs but were unable to reach the endzone.

Tackles from George Wright and Sion Evans on 3rd down left the Sharks with the decision to attempt a field goal, being keen to come away from the quarter final with some points.

David Kriehn made the kick for a 30 yard field goal, claiming their only points of the game.

32-3 Oxford

As the game approached it’s conclusion, the Saints continued to wear down the Sharks defense who travelled with a far smaller squad compared to Oxford’s 60-strong roster.

Kev Brooks and Maulding both claimed 1st downs on the ground, with Walter adding a 15 yard carry for another just short of the endzone.

On the 1 yard line, Kingshott cross over for Oxford’s final score and Walter ran in the extra 2 points to make it 40-3 Oxford.

The game was closed out with a final defensive display by the Saints, with Chris Garland sacking the quarterback for a 4 yard loss.

FINAL 40-3 Oxford

Linebacker Sam Stancombe tackles a Shark receiver
Sam Stancombe LB – Photo by Gareth Brown

Game Statistics

Next Game

On Sunday 28th August, the Saints will host the Bristol Apache at Tilsley Park in the semi finals.


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Sponsor The Saints

If you want to connect your business to a successful club and an exciting sport, get in touch with us for more information.

Email us at [email protected] and we’ll be in touch.

Quarter Final: Oxford Saints VS Cornish Sharks

Watch The Teaser:

Saints To Host Cornish Sharks On 21 August For Quarter Final

Venue: Tilsley Park

 
Last Sunday the Saints completed a perfect season, 10 wins no ties no losses, and will enter the Southern Conference Division II playoffs as the #2 seed.

Our first round opponents the Cornish Sharks, finished their 7-3 campaign with a surprise win over the favoured Bristol Apache.

The 2016 campaign kicked off in April with the Saints and Sharks facing off at Tilsey Park, and for one of these teams the season will crash to a halt there too.

More than 4 months have passed since then and both teams have grown stronger, as the closer scoreline when they met a month ago in Newquay showed.

The Sharks defense were able to hold the Saints to their 2nd lowest score of the season, and will be looking to improve on that once again in this winner takes all match up.

Sponsored By:

NOPS Professional
 

Previous Games

 

Sharks @ Saints – 10th April 2016

Score

Team1234TotalOutcome
Oxford Saints1577736Win
Cornish Sharks600612Loss

Game report: http://www.oxfordsaints.com/game-1-saints-christen-new-home-with-a-win/

 

Saints @ Sharks – 10th July 2016

Score

Team1234TotalOutcome
Cornish Sharks300710Loss
Oxford Saints3619028Win

Game report: http://www.oxfordsaints.com/game-7-saints-defeat-the-sharks-in-own-waters/

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Gameday Sponsor

We’re delighted to announce that North Oxford Property Services (NOPS) have partnered with the Oxford Saints to be the Gameday Sponsor for the quarter final on 21st August.

The Oxford Saints are growing at a fantastic rate, with success on the field being matched with unprecedented player recruitment, superb new facilities and a rapidly growing fan base.

 

playoff banner 2

 

To sustain and build on this growth, our organisation will need to rely on the help and support of local Oxfordshire businesses, keen to partner with us and join us in representing our county.

North Oxford Property Services have been an absolute pleasure to work with and we’ll be doing our utmost to represent them in style by earning victory on 21 August.

NOPS Professional

 

Sponsor The Saints

If you want to connect your business to a successful club and an exciting sport, get in touch with us for more information.

Email us at [email protected] and we’ll be in touch.