... a bit Suffolk
After the ARU Rhinos (that's Cambridge) lost 33 to 2 against the Essex Blades at the season start we were expecting more of the same today in Colchester but on the very first play the Blades offensive centre snapped so enthusiastically that the ball went straight through the end zone for a two point safety. Shortly after (possibly the next play) the Rhinos intercepted and ran in a touch down but normality returned with a comfortable 32-14 Blades win assisted by impressive scrambling from the Blades quarterback Will Molyneux. Despite a penetrating wind and repetitive rain there were supporters and encouragingly at least three women players. Congrats to the Blades for winning their division.
|th 7 Feb|
Women's american football gets its own Facebook album.
|su 3 Feb|
We arrived yesterday in Thorpe St Andrew in time for the lunch break (impressive catering) to be told it had tried to snow earlier but thankfully the rain had held off. Women's american football team Iceni Spears were hosting the Peterborough Royals and Essex Hellcats for joint training followed by a seven a side tournament. In the event there weren't enough players to make two seven sides so empty slots were filled by coaches and as one player observed We've learnt more this afternoon than we would from three practices.
|mo 28 Jan|
Yesterday in Norwich we noted that the UEA Pirates impressively had (rather like Country and Western) both kinds of running backs, big and bulling plus small and slippery. In the second quarter with the score 12-06 to UEA very regrettably #27 Jonas Eschenfelder for the visitors Imperial Immortals received a sufficient injury he couldn't be moved. After what must have been around an hour and no ambulance the game was abandoned. We've been told Jonas' injuries are soft tissue and he should be fine in a couple of days.
|mo 21 Jan|
We found French director Céline Sciamma's film Tomboy highly involving and rewarding not least because it made the Parisian suburbs look idyllic. So very gratifying to find a sealed copy of her later film Girlhood in the Framlingham EACH chazza. Here the banlieue is relentlessly gritty and though Vic essentially remains trapped in her situation the opening sequence is women's american football from team Les Molosses.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|su 14 Aug|
Last month we saw the Saints beat the Colchester Gladiators to win home field advantage. On the adjacent pitch there was a motor bike show and such a scorcher that the visiting bench briefly run out of water.
Three weeks later we saw Bury beat the Yorkshire Rams 35-00 in the quarter-finals on another roasting day but this time a black van was serving chicken wings and fries.
Today we saw the Bury Saints beat the Sandwell Stealers 42-13 achieving promotion to the Premiership and progression to the Division One final in Leeds on the 28th.
|tu 7 Jun|
Six hours of British American football at Colchester Rugby Club Sunday. A very rewarding tuck stall, a scoreboard (we do find it hard keeping up with the score especially when it's not clear whether a point after at the other end was good or not) and half time entertainment from twirlers carrying as many injuries as a roller derby league. Hosts Colchester Gladiator's defence started strongly but the very short handed team faded to a 40-00 whitewash from the Bury Saints. In the second game Kent Exiles came from behind for a 28-14 win over Herts Cheetahs. Enjoyed it all and thankfully no overtime.