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Ipswich Cardinals

British American Football Team

Cardinals Win At The Mavericks

Match Report - 28th April 2019

East Kent Mavericks 6 - 16 Ipswich Cardinals

Cardinals Bring Home A Win From East Kent

Following the rather “hollow” tied game in Essex last week, the Cardinals raised their game and claimed a decent scalp against recently relegated, (from Division 1 in 2018), East Kent Mavericks in Canterbury this week.

Travelling without several big name players, the Suffolk side triumphed despite inclement weather, by playing at a high level throughout, never once letting the hosts get in stride.

The visitors kicked off and the hosts offense got to work. The scripted opening series was executed well, but was helped along several times by missed tackles that eventually led to the first score of the afternoon. Running back Andy Johnson caught a swing pass from quarterback Will Colthup and sprinted around the Cardinal defenders, taking full advantage of two missed tackles along the way. The two point attempt was thwarted but the travelling Suffolk men knew they had a battle ahead.

Starting at their own 20 following the touchback, it was a determined Cardinals offense that took the field. Having struggled the previous week, Matt Agate and company knew fully well that more was required. Two short run plays created Agate’s first passing attempt, and he connected with Ben Manning for a huge 40 yard play that immediately lifted the spirits of everyone on the Cardinals sideline. Moments later Brad Ling kicked a 22 yard field goal and the Cardinals were on the board, 3-6.

The defense gritted their teeth and, having shaken off the bus journey now, stepped up a gear. Oscar Spear notched another sack, while the impressive young linebacker Jon Harvey, who incidentally studies and plays at the University of Kent in Canterbury, intercepted Colthup when he was pressured aggressively by Gareth Verow.

Another excellent drive by the offense led to an 18 yard scamper from the elusive Johnny Rodgers for a touchdown and the visitors grabbed the lead. Into the second quarter and both sides of the ball were performing well. A Zian Mussington sack stalled the Mavericks going into the two minute warning and Ling grazed the wrong side of the upright with a field goal miss to end the half. The Cardinals were thrilled to lead by 9 points to 6 at the interval, but after being ahead at the same juncture the previous week, they all realised they were in a fight.

The third quarter began and the hosts had regrouped well. An impressive drive that culminated in a field goal attempt from John Ellender looked to have tied the game, but kicking into a stiff breeze his effort went wide. The quarter passed quickly as both sides traded punts thanks to good defending. The Cardinals have a really young secondary this season, and they performed admirably, chasing down much bigger running backs and defending passes like veterans at times. Angus Chisholm in particular looks a promising addition.

The quarter ended and the Cardinals offense knew they must take advantage of the wind at their backs. Before they had that chance, the defense had work to do. Alarmingly, Harvey went down with a knee injury, which reignited the Cardinals determination to win this game. Linebackers Andy Cook and DJ Stanway exemplified the effort, making tackle after tackle.

Fab Ortiz fielded a punt and the offense took over. Consecutive first downs advanced the pigskin and Agate dived forward on a key 3rd and 1 yard play to keep the drive alive. A pass play resulted in an athletic spin and run from Agate – amazing everyone present, and another first down close to the Mavericks endzone. Rodgers capped off a fine drive when he sprinted around the defense for his second touchdown of the day and a 9 point lead. Ling added the extra point to move the visitors 10 points ahead and the confidence generated by that score surged through the squad.

The Mavericks were getting desperate, needing to score twice. A completed pass on a fourth down play kept a promising drive going, but once inside the Cardinals 10 yard line, they were met by a brick wall as the Cardinal defenders refused to break. Forced into kicking a field goal, and with time running out, the game was effectively ended when Ellenders attempt missed again.

The offense assumed the victory formation to tick off the dying seconds and the final whistle was greeted with jubilation from the Suffolk supporters.

A lot of questions were answered in this game, new offensive linemen Craig Dawson and Luke Carr were outstanding, the young defensive backs looked full of potential, plus the squad can operate without all the big names present and compete at a high level.

With the entire month of May ahead and no fixtures to worry about, the Cardinals can feel proud of their unbeaten record thus far, concentrating on working hard in practice before the eagerly anticipated first home game against the old enemy, the Norwich Devils on Sunday 2nd June.

(Report By Ian Girling)

1AtMavs28thApril2018

Picture Courtesy Of Photography by Rachel

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Ipswich Cardinals 16 East Kent Mavericks 6

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