|April 17, 2016||12:00 pm||BAFA NL SFC II East||2016|
|London Blitz B||6||6||0||6||18||Win|
14 - 18Full Time
The season opener was all frustrations for the Essex Spartans as they lost a two-point lead in the final play of the game to London Blitz B.
Touchdowns from Tom Kitchen and Ashton Lord, with two successful conversions from Kitchen, was not enough to earn the Spartans the win after a hearty and spirited performance that saw them come back from a 12 – 0 deficit at half time.
The Spartans put pressure on the Blitz straight from kick-off with a confident and convincing 30-yard drive from #13 Felix Olu. Shortly after #90 Aaron Millar was able to block an attempt at field goal and then recover the fumble to re-open the door for the Spartan offense.
The glory was short-lived after a contentious touchdown was achieved by the Blitz, which was argued may have been subject to a fifteen-yard penalty. Spartans #99 Eugene Tangney blocked the attempt at conversion to keep the deficit at 6-0 in favour of the home side.
The second quarter was all in Spartan favour as the Blitz B quarterback passed the ball straight into the hands of Spartans #77 Ricky Pease, achieving the pick for the visitors. An invigorated Spartans side provided solid defensive coverage for some time before conceding again to the Blitz B running back.
Spartans #44 Ernest Owusu blocked the conversion and the half finished with the visiting Spartans trailing 12-0.
The third quarter belonged to Spartans linebacker Tom Kitchen, after a pick brought the Spartans back in for a run of downs. He then caught a second pick, ran it home for the first Spartans touchdown of the game and kicked the conversion over the bar for the seventh point.
Drama was abound in the final fifteen as #19 Ashton Lord, who had struggled to fight off a determined Blitz B defense all game, finally broke free and ran fifty yards for the touchdown. A second conversion from Kitchen left the Spartans with a precarious two-point lead over a shaky but determined home side with ten minutes still to go of the quarter.
The Blitz ran home a third touchdown with a few minutes to go on the clock, but was disallowed for holding. Spartans Oli Page provided outstanding blocking in the Blitz end to hang on to the lead until the dying moments, before a determined Blitz B achieved considerable yardage on consecutive penalties and went for the touchdown with just four seconds remaining on the clock, ending the game 18 – 14.
The Essex Spartans return to the field again this Sunday 24th April away at the London Hornets.