|May 30, 2010||2:30 pm||BAFL II South East||2010|
|Bedfordshire Blue Raiders||0||0||0||6||6||Loss|
6 - 23Full Time
Essex Spartans recorded their second win in succession by winning a crucial match at home to Bedforshire Blue Raiders.
A great defensive display with some key offense maneuvers saw the Spartans win comfortably 23-6. Tempers flared towards the end but the home side kept their cool impressing without head coach Cyrill Weems.
The task of coach was handed to Offensive coach Brenden Bride as the Spartans kicked off and stopped the Blue Raiders on their first drive. After the good start Spartans offense had to start right from their own one yard line after Raiders punt did not go for the touchback and a twenty yard start. This did not face the Spartans, however, as they produced the longest drive of the match from the off. On the drive the home side gained five first downs and only had to face a fourth down twice in nineteen plays that led them to the three yard line. But after impressive runs from Steven Hull and Marc Saunders, including a 24 yard run from his own 4 yard line. But they would come up short twice having penalties against them for five men in the backfield.
The defense held up once again, despite Raiders getting their first first down, before the end of the first quarter and retrieved the ball from their own punt. After three runs failed to make the ten yards from Craig Willis, Sebastian Tindall’s punt was dropped and pounced on by Minto.
This piece of luck triggered a great drive down the field in the second quarter Hull again bursting through the Raiders defence with a further 22 yards in two plays before quarterback James Dawson threw a thirty three yard pass to the n-zone where it was caught by Jon Tottman for the opening score. Seb Tindall converted for the extra point.
The Spartans soon had the ball again as from the first down the Blue Raiders pass was picked off by Minto. The ball changed to both offenses without much happening apart from a sack with Lee Millar and Hartley teaming up to bring down the quarterback.
The second half didn’t start as great as the first for the Spartans who received the ball but only managed the one first down with Dawson getting sacked twice before a punt upfield. Again the defense proved tough to get through and Minto was on hand to receive the punt and run to the 23 yard line. This drive would prove more successful. Three first downs in succession including a 23 yard run by Hull to get his side into the opposition half as the Spartans edged towards the red zone. As they hit the twenty yard line they could not get any further and went for the field goal, grabbing the three points with a dipping kick by Tindall to make the score 10-0.
The Bedfordshire team could not get past the first down again with Minto adding to a touchdown to his good performance intercepting a pass at the 30 and running the whole field for a score as the third quarter ended.
With the game petering out Spartans didn’t manage to get another shut out conceding a touchdown late on but they did manage to stop the visitors gaining a two point conversion.
Spartans responded superbly coming back with another touchdown and conversion. Running the clock down it didn’t look like happening when they lost ten yards and were faced with 2nd and 17 but on fourth down Hull was in great form again rushing fifteen yards to the 9 yard line before Willis ran in for the final touchdown.
It was a huge win against a side they will want to beat in the overall table and improve on performances against the ‘top two’ of Norwich Devils and London Olympians. Next up for the Spartans, old rivals Maidstone Pumas.