Heartbreak continued for the Essex Spartans on Sunday as they went 0-6 at a feisty Cambridgeshire Cats side.
Only a field goal from #52 Tom Kitchen put points on the board for the visitors, as what was a narrow lead of 0-3 at the half unravelled with three touchdowns scored against in the final quarter.
Both teams displayed a shaky start as each team was awarded a 15-yard and a 5-yard penalty on alternating downs and struggled to get the game off the ground. Cats looked likely after an interception from #45 and a touchdown scored from a snap on the 10-yard line, but was called back for a false start and Spartans held them.
After losing #87 Joe Parsons to a knee injury, Kitchen’s field goal rejuvenated the visitors somewhat and as the Cats missed their attempt at field goal, the Spartans led by three points at the half.
The home side quickly made up for the miss by scoring a field goal early in the third, levelling the field to 3-3, after the Spartans had held off conceding for 18 drives. The Cats piled on the pressure but lost considerable grounding with a 15-yard penalty for unnecessary roughness and a 5-yard for a false start, ending the third quarter an unusual 3-3.
As the final fifteen minutes counted down the Cats took no prisoners with an early TD at the start of the quarter, a convincing conversion and an interception very soon after to retain their dominance. Defensive coverage slipped on the part of the Spartans and Cats ran it home with a successful kick conversion just shy of the two-minute warning.
A deeply disheartened visiting side lost control of the red zone at the close and a final touchdown for the Cats in the dying seconds finished up the game 24-3.
The Essex Spartans now sit bottom of the table without a win, and take on equally 0-6 Ipswich Cardinals this Sunday in a desperate battle on both sides for that first victory.