OXFORD CLAIM FIRST WIN OF 2018
Date: 10th June 2018
Location: Tilsley Park, Abingdon
Final Score: Oxford 52 – 22 Bristol
Statistics: PDF Download
Following last week’s heavy defeat, the Oxford Saints bounced back in style with a dominating 52-22 victory over the Bristol Apache.
With both teams hunting for their first win of the season, the Saints had numerical advantage with a larger squad and were playing at their home ground Tilsley Park in Abingdon.
Bristol started on offense with Oxford’s defense forcing a fumble on the opening play. The visiting team maintained possession but suffered a 3 yard loss after the tackle by Jonny Little.
On the next play, the Apache runner broke free for a substantial 46 yard run. To cap off their opening drive, quarterback Andy Watts kept the ball himself and ran into the endzone for a 8 yard touchdown. Adding an extra 2 points, Watts passed the ball into the hands of Freddy Marshall for the conversion. 8-0 Bristol.
Despite strong running on Oxford’s opening drive by Shaun Griffin, the Saints were unable to keep it going when a bad snap saw quarterback James Sharples having to react quick, running into the backfield to recover the loose ball but for a loss of 14 yards.
On their next drive, the Saints marched the length of the field in just five plays. Keeping the ball on the ground, big runs came from Tony Glover who picked up 28 yards and rookie Isa Mohammed storming through for a touchdown on a 31 yard run. Sam Fielden’s extra point kick missed it’s target to the left. 8-7 Bristol.
During the 2nd quarter, the Saints offense with a number of dangerous running backs proved too much for Bristol’s defense to handle. Griffin entered the endzone and the extra kick was good, giving Oxford a 13-8 lead. Another scoring drive would soon follow with Glover picking up multiple first downs, along with a 16 yard pass from Sharples to Sam Armstrong. Claiming his 2nd touchdown of the day, Mohammed ran through for a 27 yard score. Another kick from Fielden pushed the Saints ahead 20-8.
Beginning the 2nd half with the lead and possession of the ball, the Saints quickly put together another scoring drive. Connor Day and Griffin picked up first downs on back to back runs. Glover finished the drive punching the ball in from 1 yard out, with another accurate kick from Fielden. 27-8 Oxford.
The Saints continued to dominate the game throughout the 3rd quarter with their defense holding Bristol to minimal gains. Meanwhile Oxford moved the ball with ease on the ground from a variety of running backs, with Mohammed, Griffin, Glover and Matthew Powell all making yards.
Saints veteran Michael Oluwole claimed the next score, running straight up the middle from 3 yards out. Fielden added the extra point. 34-8
Another sustained drive saw the Saints reach Bristol’s 2 yard line, with Armstrong crossing over for the next touchdown and Fielden remaining consistent. 41-8.
In the 4th quarter, a chance for Bristol to find the endzone was abruptly stopped when Oxford’s Simeon Stoodley intercepted the pass in the endzone, forcing a change of possession. Capitalising on the switch, the Saints marched down the field but only came away with a field goal as Fielden put it through the uprights from 30 yards out. 44-8
Late in the 4th quarter, Bristol’s offense picked up a 50 yard gain on a pass play, followed by Andy Watts throwing the ball into the corner of the endzone with Jim Powell-Cullingford catching the touchdown pass. The 2 point conversion is good, with Sam Leale-Green catching the pass for the additional score. 44-16
On the following kick off, Bristol managed to force a change of possession when they recovered a live ball, bringing their offense back out onto the field on Oxford’s 19 yard line. In just one play, Watts connected with Powell-Cullingford again for 19 yard touchdown pass. Attempting to pass the ball in for a 2 point conversion, it fell incomplete. 44-22.
Frustrated that Bristol were able to score twice in quick succession, the Saints would have the final say of the game with Sharples spreading the ball around well to multiple receivers. Jason Williams caught a first down pass for a 11 yard gain and Sharples connected with Jeremie Leonard on a 14 yard touchdown.
To wrap things up, Oxford used the opportunity to practice a trick play on the extra point kick, with Fielden faking his kick as Ian Hiscock passed the ball to Armstrong instead, securing 2 further points.
Final score 52-22
Oxford have no time off as they are back in action again this Sunday at home against the Ouse Valley Eagles.