Gladiators find it tough against Cobras

Colchester Gladiators 0 London Cobras 34BAFL Division Two THIS hurt but the Gladiators will take heart that the beating was not as bad as the humiliating scoreline suggests.

Derek Davis

Colchester Gladiators 0 London Cobras 34

BAFL Division Two

THIS hurt but the Gladiators will take heart that the beating was not as bad as the humiliating scoreline suggests.

The Gladiators are celebrating their 25th anniversary this year. While off the field that are making huge strides, including being the only American football team awarded the prestigious Sport England Club Mark, on the pitch they are clearly struggling - especially on offence.

For long periods Matt Roberts' side matched the newcomers to the BAFL and even star running back Duncan Flack could not make much yardage against a sturdy Cobras line.

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Quarterback Daniel Singer never got his passing game and found himself under pressure.

The Gladiators defence pressed and special teams closed down the cumbersome kicker with alacrity.

The warning signs were apparent from the first drive when safety Nick Foxley made three solo tackles, and an assist, and went on to make 19 in a bruising afternoon when the D were on the pitch for far too long.

Foxley also made sacked the QB in an attempted two point conversion attempt.

Phil Moreton, Matt Selby and Ricky Bacon also sacked Jerome Allen. Bacon and Phil Pearson weighed in with five tackles apiece while Tom Clarke recovered a Cobras fumble and made good yards before being halted.

The Mayor of Colchester, Ray Gamble, was guest of honour among a crowd of almost 150 on a boiling hot day at Wivenhoe's Broad Lane ground, for game delayed by half an hour by an accident on the A12.

It took until the half-time two minute warning before the Cobras struck and when they did it was a venomous two touchdown flurry both ran down Colchester's throat.

The first stemmed from a cleverly worked drive by the Londoners inspired by NFL Europe coach Gerry Anderson as London stretched the gladiators defence with sweeps before going down the middle.

The second touchdown followed swiftly and again the Cobras running backs followed the blocks to gallop into the end zone.

The Cobras yanked up the pressure in the third quarter with a couple more scores and took advantage of a tiring defence to run in a 60-yard pass, which made up a big chunk of the 300 yards gained on the day, while also scoring from a fumble recovery.

The Gladiators go to Essex Spartans next Sunday looking to get back on track.

The Spartans, based in Billericay have just been twinned with Billericay Memorial High School in Massachusetts.

Colchester's next home game is against the Cambridge Cats on July 13 at Wivenhoe's Broad Lane.

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