The Essex Spartans suffered defeat again this weekend after a disastrous unravelling of a one-score deficit away at the London Hornets.
A touchdown from Felix Olu, a kick conversion from Tom Kitchen and a rare safety from Aaron Millar was little comfort as the Hornets achieved three interceptions in the first quarter, and polished off four touchdowns in the final ten minutes of the game.
The Spartans seemed to open with strength and confidence as Dexter Awoyemi blocked the first attempt at yardage by the Hornets. It was only a matter of minutes, however, before Pascal Kränzlein ran the ball for the first TD of the game which was successfully converted, leaving the Spartans trailing 8-0 as the game had barely begun.
Essex seemed to wake up to the threat as a solid defense held back a persistent Offensive Line, but after conceding considerable yardage they couldn’t hold on and the Hornets scored a second time, and converted for the 16-0 lead.
The second quarter began much in the same vein as the Hornets ran a third TD almost straight on the whistle, which was flagged and disallowed for offensive pass interference. The Spartans were able to take advantage of the disappointment by running 15 yards clear into the end zone by Felix Olu, followed by a successful kick conversion from Tom Kitchen, narrowing the deficit to 16 – 7.
London began to disintegrate as they were award two fifteen-yard penalties for unsportsmanlike behaviour, including a count of verbal abuse. The half came to a close as Aaron Millar achieved a Safety, leaving the game at half-time a reasonable 16 – 9 in favour of the home side.
The Essex Spartans appeared rejuvenated as they put up a solid front against clearly shaken Hornets at the start of the second half. Again this was short-lived as Peter Kaminski for the Hornets inched past a fierce Spartan defense and another conversion saw them fall behind to 24 – 9.
From early in the third quarter the Hornets began to run away with the game as the visitors conceded yet again to extend their lead to 30 – 9, but mercifully missed the conversion on that occasion. To add insult to injury, Spartans Norris Owusu tried to recover a fumble over the line and awarded a further six points to the opposition, extending the lead even further to 36 – 9.
Essex fell completely out of the game as they tried to recover what was left, but as interception after interception went against them from a massively elated Hornets side, two more touchdowns were conceded before the end to finish the game a disappointing 48 – 9.
The Essex Spartans return to training this Sunday, and will face 2-0 Wembley Stallions at home on Saturday 7th May under the lights at Thurrock Rugby Club.