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Birmingham Bulls 36 - 0 Oxford Saints
After the previous weeks positive showing the Saints were brought down to earth with a rude bump by a strong and disciplined Birmingham Bulls side.
With their defence missing it’s heartbeat middle linebacker Stephen Bentley it was always going to take a committed effort to hold off a Bulls team bristling with confidence and shooting for the division crown. And for three quarters that is exactly what they produced.
The Bulls took the lead on a short run midway through the first quarter as the Saints tried to defend a very short field but from there the Oxford defenders gave up nothing but a couple of first downs. It was midway through the second quarter when the Saints offence embarked on the most significant action of the game.
QB Scott Gallen fumbled the ball inside his own 8 yard line to gift the Bulls 6 points on a fumble recovery which was walked back into the endzone but it was their response to the setback that would prove most telling. Gallen recovered his composure and led his offence on a 54 yard drive encompassing 4 first downs, 2 third down conversions and a 4th down conversion to boot. The drive finally stalled at the Bulls 10 yard line leaving Jonny Dover at FG to bring the Saints back into the game. The Saints kicking game, which has struggled all year from a lack of consistency, folded in the face of a concerted rush and Dover’s kick was easily blocked.
Unfortunately for the Saints their offence could add only 16 yards total offence to their impressive second quarter drive in the entire rest of the game and the pressure was bound to tell.
Sure enough a hugely impressive drive from the Bulls in the third quarter saw them extend their lead to 20 points and as the Saints began to wilt the heroics of Harry, Fitzpatrick and Bryan in the first half began to look a distant memory. To compound the tired bodies of the Saints D a sequence of tired decision from the Saints sideline presented Birmingham with 2 straightforward scores as the game wound down.
With their record now standing at 2-6 the Saints suffer their worst season since 2002 and require at least one more win to avoid the ignominy of the worst season in team history
Published: 10-07-2011 by nw