|April 12, 2015||2:30 pm||BAFA NL II South||2015|
19 - 14Full Time
Essex Spartans fell painfully short of a Hollywood style comeback as they fought back from 19-0 down at the end of the first half, to lose 14-19 in their season opener against Bury Saints.
Spartans kicked off and spent the first quarter camped in Bury’s half due to good defence but struggled to make much headway on offense.
Bury established their running game and got a drive going at the start of the second half, helped by a personal foul penalty on the Spartans, culminating in an 8 yard run into the end-zone for the opening TD. The PAT was successful to give the visitors a 7-0 lead.
The visitors’ lead was quickly extended when, on the ensuing drive, a fumbled hand off of the ball resulted in the Saints recovering and running untouched into the end-zone for the second TD. Their two-point conversion attempt was unsuccessful, maintaining their lead at 16-0.
The Spartans failed to move the ball on their next drive and Bury capitalised on good field position to run in for a third TD in the quarter making the lead 19-0.
The Spartans kick- off return team did provide a spark just before half time when Ernest Owusu had a 45 yard return, but the Spartans couldn’t capitalise and left the field with no score.
The second half started with line backer Lawrence Reid taking the kick off 40 yards but both teams continued to struggle to move the ball. The Spartans offence suddenly sprang into life when a trick running play saw receiver Felix Olusanya run clear and sprint 97 yards into the end zone to make the score 19-6.
Momentum continued to shift towards the Spartans when some hard tackling caused a Bury fumble and defensive lineman Ash Goring picked up the ball and ran 50 yards to the end zone. Dwayne Ferdinand scored the only successful 2-point run conversion of the day, to make the score 19-14.
The Spartans had another turnover when line backer Harry Shelton intercepted, but ran out of time and left the Spartans within inches of a mighty comeback.