... a bit Suffolk
|tu 15 Jan|
The Bury Saints have moved over the county line from Thetford to play at Red Lodge Sports Pavilion in Suffolk this year .... appropriate eh?
|we 26 Dec|
|we 12 Dec|
CORRECTION: We originally reported that the CCU Chargers' honoury captain last Sunday was Ken Matcham. The honoury captain was in fact Joe Waller who is being treated for cancer, our apologies to both gentlemen.
|tu 11 Dec|
Sunday we arrived in Norwich too late for the shaking of hands at UEA Pirates v CCU Chargers but not too late for a Charger to be ejected for illegal use of the helmet. Erin Jones 51 (one the Chargers' two women players) left injured in the first half and we think we saw she'd taken her pads off but she returned later to play offensive guard and was getting close up and personal ... impressive. A Pirates 37-00 Chargers whitewash but the Chargers stuck at it cheerfully in support of their player and honourary captain for the day Joe Waller who is being treated for cancer.
|mo 3 Dec|
Yesterday we arrived untypically early in Cambridge for Anglia Ruskin Uni Rhinos v Essex Blades to be told it would be a late start as the key to unlock the game equipment was still on it's way. In the event as is the way recently the medic arrived fashionably ten minutes late and the game started 20 mins late. ARU were stalling getting their run game going and being intercepted on the pass. Towards the match end ARU got to first and goal but penalties and finally a snap fumble ended the drive. An impressive Blades 33-02 win and perhaps disheartening for the so many Rhinos first timers but they will get better.
|fr 12 Oct|
East Anglian american football in 2016, 2015 and 2014.
|mo 10 Oct|
Some changes at the Iceni Spears in Norwich; Vicki Ware is training with the GB national team and Craig Thompson is the new head coach moonlighting from Norwich Devils' offensive coordinator. Last weekend on a surprisingly pleasant Sunday after a filthy Saturday the Spears were training in Thorpe St Andrew followed by classroom work on the play book. New no contact flag and contact players plus total newbies always welcome.
|mo 20 Aug|
Yesterday for the first time this season the Bury Saints outnumbered (if only by a few) their opposition the Bristol Aztecs. The Saints had a promising start but as the game progressed tiredness led to injuries, a rolling clock and a 56-13 loss. The players were sufficiently engrossed in play that a visit by a World War II Lancaster bomber prompted only casual glances. Big props to all the coaches, helpers and especially youthful waterpersons and best wishes for a rewarding season on return to Division One next year.
|mo 13 Aug|
Yesterday's Bury Saints v London Olympians in Thetford was full of incident including starting 45 minutes late because the medic couldn't find the venue. The refs ended the game early because an injured player on the field couldn't be moved until an ambulance arrived so we're uncertain of the score but certainly an Olympians win.
|tu 5 Jun|
Before Sunday's Bury Saints v London Warriors american football game in Thetford there was a minutes silence for Cambridge Cat player Charles Mack who passed away in hospital after a heart attack during training. Donations to his family can be made at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/c-mack.
|we 23 May|
Major rule changes for NFL kickoffs and Sunday the Ipswich Cardinals won the re-scheduled away match against the East Essex Sabres 54-48.
|th 26 Apr|
Sunday we counted 23 starters including newbs and at least one coach doubling up for the Bury Saints season starter. 23 clearly made a steep hill to climb against opponents London Blitz. Subsequent injuries reduced the 23 but the Saints determinedly stuck at it preventing the tsunami that might have been expected. Sadly no Saints Cheerleaders this year but the pizza outside the clubhouse smelt wonderful. Pix on that there Facebook.
|fr 6 Apr|
|tu 27 Feb|
Women's american football in Peterborough Saturday was five a side but with multiple substitution hosts the Peterborough Royals with eight players and the Staffordshire Saxons with just six had a difficult job. The rules are pretty much those for flag football but with contact from kitted players, we were soon understanding and enjoying play.
|su 4 Feb|
Despite the cold and some snow the Iceni Spears womens american football had turned out in Thorpe St Mary for training. Some new faces and much hilarity during tackle practice because it's not easy to get up from squashy crash mats plus the pergola tried to blow away. This year the Spears aren't competing in either league contact or flag so as to develop their newer players but will be playing some friendlies in the spring.
|th 28 Dec|
The comedy Gridiron UK about the formation of the Crewe Railroaders american football team in 1985 includes ex-NFL running back Dorsey Levens as the coach. It was clearly made with a minimal budget reflected in the lengthy thank yous in the credits with rather nicely the Norwich Devils thanked for the equipment loan.
|fr 8 Sep|
Sunday in Thorpe St Andrew Norwich the Iceni Spears were flag training. We were pleased to see new faces including a Norwich Devils coach moonlighting. He told us the Devils are 4-0 on the season and pretty much guaranteed to join the league next year. Visiting website Brit Blitz joined in the training and a mixed ten minute each way game to finish the morning.
|mo 10 Jul|
Bury Saints v Bristol Aztecs Sunday in Thetford was the Saints' last home game of their first season the Premiership and only their fourth season since formation. The Premiership has been a big bite for the Saints and not helped by losing their starting quarterback, a running back and they are short one lineman. This year no relegation in the Premiership so they will be back next year and we're looking forward to it.
|we 24 May|
After three years of watching UK gridiron we've finally realised it's college rules not NFL ... thought some of those decisions were a bit odd.
|mo 22 May|
It was the London Warriors' high completion passing game that did for the Bury Saints yesterday in Thetford ... we had a sweet jerk sauce on our chicken wings.
|tu 16 May|
Yesterday the Bury Saints had their first win in their first season in the Premiership.
|we 10 May|
The Bury Saints played London Blitz Sunday as the Saints' first home game in the Premiership . They were on a different pitch with a decent sized scoreboard, tiered seating, an announcer/commentator, programmes and the black van of True Wings who had a permanent queue until they sold out though a mercy dash soon restocked them. The Saints scored first with a converted touch down but eventually lost 36-07. For us the difference was the running game with the Saints RBs often being stopped at the line of scrimmage whilst the opposing backs found holes. The Saints are at home again this coming Sunday, a bit of a drive from near the coast but an excellent free day out.
|mo 24 Apr|
Sunday near Norwich the Iceni Spears were training for the autumn's Opal flag football series. Flag football is no (hopefully) contact American football where you're tackled if an opponent can grab a flag from your waist. The flags can be just football socks tucked into your waistband or like the Spears yellow streamers held in place by plastic poppers. The Spears have an everybody welcome flag rookie day next month.
|th 23 Mar|
|mo 6 Mar|
Yesterday near Norwich we watched Iceni Spears women's American football walk through some plays in the changing room and then go outside to practice in icy rain ... that's commitment. The season long Sapphire series for women is five or seven a side. We couldn't imagine how a sport that normally has eleven (twelve in Canada) on the pitch players per team could work with five but watching the Spears routine a play we saw that with just five everybody really has to know what they should be doing. Looking forward to seeing these impressive ladies compete this coming weekend in Peterborough.