|May 18, 2014||2:30 pm||BAFA NL II South Central||2014|
6 - 37Full Time
The Essex Spartans lost the “Battle of the Bridge” rivalry game to cross-river neighbours Kent Exiles.
The Exiles, who qualified for last season’s play-offs, started strongly and raced into a 14-0 lead by the end of the first quarter. However the Spartans fought back, a first passing touchdown of the season thrown 39 yards by James Dawson and caught by Norris Owusu, who outpaced the Exiles defence. This proved to be the last play of the first half, and the Spartans went in facing a 14-6 half-time deficit.
Plans for a comeback however were not to be. On surprisingly hot May day, the Exiles found an extra gear in the second half, and three additional touchdowns plus a safety were scored without reply. The Exiles defended well against the Spartans usually strong running game, and their own passing game came up with a few big plays to widen the scoreline. There were however strong performances as ever from Ernest Owusu who made 2 interceptions and Aaron Miller who made 2 sacks and 4 tackles for loss.
Head Coach Sean Benton said “whilst it is disappointing to lose, the Exiles are a good football team and I am proud of how our players fought. We are a developing side and I am confident that we can work on improving aspects of our game in the weeks ahead before the rematch in the summer.”
The weekend saw much better news for the Spartan Youth (age 14-16). In their first tournament since being reformed, the young Spartans found their inexperience showing as they lost the opening game 33-6 to the London Warriors. However they found their feet quickly, beating the Colchester Gladiators 27-25 in their second game before pushing last year’s regional champions the Kent Exiles all the way in a 13-6 defeat.
The Spartans Juniors (age 16-19) are in action next Sunday (25th) in a rearranged match against East Kent Mavericks; and the senior team return to action on Saturday 31st May against unbeaten Watford Cheetahs, in a 7pm floodlit game at Hannakins Farm.