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Ipswich Cardinals

British American Football Team

Cardinals Defeat The Sabres

Match Report - 30th June 2019

Ipswich Cardinals 21 East Essex Sabres 7

Cardinals Unbeaten Run Continues

The Ipswich Cardinals moved up to second place in the ultra competitive BAFANL SFC 2 Eastern division with a hard fought 21 - 7 victory over the East Essex Sabres on Sunday. Having tied the opening game of the season against the Orangemen, this home fixture at Northgate Stadium was a must win for the hosts, with a play-off berth up for grabs.

Both sides showed early nerves, mistakes marring the opening Cardinals offensive series. The Sabres went a step further, when their punter fielded a high snap and was swallowed up by Cardinal rushers at his own 1 yard line. This absolute gift was reciprocated just moments later when the ball was fumbled away by the hosts, giving possession back to the Essex side.

Struggling to advance the ball against a busy Ipswich defense, the Sabres were forced to punt again. Unbelievably, another high snap was this time palmed up into the air for Angus Chisholm to drop on for a Cardinals touchdown. The rookie defensive back that played university football at Plymouth is part of an exciting young group that make up the Cardinals secondary. 6 - 0 to the hosts.

The Cardinals kicked off to the Sabres and they upped their game. Still struggling to advance the ball, they faked a punt by snapping the ball straight to the Up back, who rushed for the first down. Smart thinking led to a smart touchdown when quarterback Adam Bristow lofted a pass to big Joel Senford in the Cardinals end zone. The conversion attempt was successful and the visitors had the lead.

Into the second quarter and the Ipswich defense stiffened once more. Tendai Aphiri made a big tackle for a loss, and he was part of a trio that smashed Bristow back into his own end zone, along with Oscar Spear and Haydon Clark, for a two point safety - and the lead again.

The Cardinals offense came to life with Chris Cheek gaining excellent ground from a Matt Agate pass, and when Fabian Ortiz held onto another Agate throw under the posts for a touchdown, the home town crowd really had something to cheer about.

The Sabres changed QB's, wily veteran Jimmy Dawson taking over from Bristow. He only had moments to work with however, and the half ended with score in favour of the hosts by 14 points to 7.

At halftime Head Coach Sandy Francis asked for more from his squad, knowing a one score lead wouldn't be enough with so much on the line. Away from the team talk the excellent Ipswich based singer / songwriter Connor Adams entertained the Northgate Stadium crowd.

Early in the third quarter an Agate pass was intercepted and things looked ominous. Bristow was back under centre, and Alex Davis for the Sabres looked quick and dangerous with ball in hand. Haydon Clark is another that has benefited from playing university football, and the Essex alumni changed the game when he intercepted Bristow, denying a tying score.

Into the fourth quarter and the Cardinals needed breathing space. Cue Mr Johnny Rodgers and a lung bursting 65 yard sprint to the endzone. Cheers of relief greeted that score, Chisholm converted and all of a sudden it was a two score lead.

Again Dawson replaced Bristow and he converted several pass attempts as the Sabres tried desperately to hit back. It was all in vain however and the Cardinals ran out the clock.

Momentum is clearly swinging the way of the Suffolk side and the auld enemy are up next. Norwich lost to the top of the table Essex Spartans this week, so dropped below the Cardinals with 1 loss. In the last derby game, it was an absolute thriller ending in a 31-31 tie - it's a winner takes all game 'north of the border' on Sunday.

(Report By Ian Girling)

2Vs Sabres 30th June 2019
1Vs Sabres 30th June 2019

Pictures Courtesy Of Photography by Rachel

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