... a bit Suffolk
|mo 9 Dec|
Early start in Colney Lane Norwich yesterday for visitors Swansea Titans. A perishing side wind so unsurprisingly no place kicking from either team, lots of daft penalties and both teams recovered onside kicks. Swansea's quarterback #7 was effectively mobile and receiver #18 regularly completed (if the BUCS website had players' numbers we could tell you their names) but despite this a 26-12 Pirates win. It was UEA's last home game of the regular season so we'll be looking out for the Essex Blades and ARU Rhinos who have home games next year.
|mo 2 Dec|
There were so many Birmingham Lions on UEA's visitor sideline yesterday that we feared the Earth's rotational axis might be disturbed. A poor start for the Pirates giving up a safety on the second play of the game. UEA were holding Birmingham at 15-00 in the third quarter when the game was abandoned for injured Pirate Cody Harris on the pitch. An ambulance arrived surprisingly promptly compared to our previous experience and thankfully Cody's injuries were limited to concussion though no fun for him.
|mo 25 Nov|
On a miserable yesterday the UEA Pirates had their first premiership win beating Hertfordshire Hurricanes 24-00. It could have been at least 30-00 but a pick six deep in the Pirates own half was called back for two penalties, one apparently after the play, though the Pirates did retain possession. No place kicking by either team on a pitch slippery enough to prompt much boot stamping by the visitors on the tarmac footpath behind them. The Pirates are at home again next Sunday meeting the Birmingham Lions.
|su 17 Nov|
The UEA Pirates knew that promotion to the premiership was going to be a leap and last Sunday for their first home game of this season they were shut out by University of West of England Bullets 36-00. UWE had running backs who broke multiple tackles and were as fleet as a wide out. Intriguing moment when a Pirate recovered the ball in his own end zone with a foot out of bounds echoing (possibly unintentionally) Ty Morgan. Pirates at home again next weekend versus the Hertfordshire Hurricanes.
|mo 30 Sep|
UEA Prospects Saturday in Norwich had an impressive turnout of some 60 rookies including a woman player. (Last season several visitors had one or more women players.) Everybody was trying hard and it was encouraging afterwards to see kicking being practiced, Britball kicking often makes Vinatieri on a slump look good. The Pirates first game is away at Swansea next month ... as so often a price of promotion is more travel.
|tu 11 Mar|
Sunday in Norwich the first quarter of UEA Pirates v Exeter Demons whizzed past and no score in the half but a dramatic hailstorm with the wind blowing into the faces of the visitors' sideline. In the third quarter WR Ben Borthwick grabbed a long one and fighting the defender all the way got in for six. A second touchdown run in by Cornelius Walters and nice to see both kicked tries complete though an attempted field goal wasn't blocked it just never got up. Exeter had some excellent trick plays with a fake punt working beautifully and a hook and ladder/flea flicker that didn't work a second time. Finally Pirates 14-08 Demons with a very tense ending as the Demons had possession and seconds to go. The Pirates are now promoted to the Premiership and play in Loughborough for the championship final the Sunday after next.
|su 10 Mar|
Despite initially an impressively completing pass game from visitors the Bath Killer Bees there was no first quarter score in Norwich today. With touchdowns in both the second and fourth quarters the UEA Pirates won 14-00 assisted by running back #90 Cornelius Walters' impression of a double decker bus. The Pirates now progress to the semi-finals playing at home to we think the Exeter Demons.
|su 3 Mar|
Today in Norwich and the playoffs the UEA Pirates beat the Queen Mary Vipers 14-06 and so progress to the quarter finals.
|mo 18 Feb|
Yesterday's UEA Pirates v Kent Falcons american football in Norwich looked like it was going to be a native American game ... four quarters and no squaw ... sorry. In the fourth quarter with very little time left the Pirate's punter was hassled into not kicking but responded with a splendid 20/30 yard run (one for the brand) followed by two decent running back bulls and eventually in for six. That left Kent with maybe 47 seconds and despite a couple of very decent Hail Marys failed to return score. Joy was definitely unconfined on the Pirates' sideline. If UEA beat Queen Mary Uni away in London next Sunday unlike last year they will have home field advantage when they meet the Falcons again in the playoffs.
|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.
|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 5 Nov|
In Norwich yesterday the uni american football season started with the UEA Pirates having a comfortable(ish) 39-15 win over the newly promoted Queen Mary Vipers ... despite the Pirates struggling to convert touchdowns. If anything the Vipers had the better passing game and both teams suffered from interceptions. Lots happening on the sidelines with some cheer leader UEA Angels gently stunting, Iceni Spears player Louise moonlighting as a Pirates coach and some Norwich Devils part of the reasonable lump of spectators.
|sa 29 Sep|
As with last year's UAE Pirates rookies day in Norwich the gridiron newbs were rather outnumbered by women's lacrosse but there was still some 40 rookies. Even our eye could see significant differences in co-ordination and a widespread problem following direction/coaching but virtually all rookies could catch the ball and bags of commitment. Looking forward to the new season.
UEA Derby Day will happen again next year and a sort of similar Alumni Day is planned when past students return to play the present undergraduates.
Heartbreaking for UEA Pirates last Sunday in the quarter final playoffs away against the season undefeated Kent Falcons in Canterbury. No score in the first half and as we've noted in uni football before no field goal attempts. Third quarter UEA got in for a touchdown but the kick after was blocked. Fourth quarter UEA returned an interception for a touchdown but heartbreakingly had it called back reportedly for taunting. With not long to go Kent scored and converted to make it 7-6 ... we set off back for Suffolk in continual downpours and having learnt that road surfaces are knackered just about everywhere.
|we 6 Feb|
Sunday in Norwich the very bent chain stick from the last home game was still very bent but that didn't stop UEA Pirates beating visitors the Cambridge Pythons 45-00 and so progress to the playoffs. It may have been a shut out for the Pythons but they impressively stayed plugging away including wide receiver 19.
|mo 22 Jan|
Postponed from last year yesterday's UEA Pirates v Imperial Immortals in Norwich was full of minor incident. The already bent chain stick got seriously more bent when play spilled over a sideline, the pitch needed attention, a UEA Angel was optimistically wearing shorts (though she changed for the second half), very fine snow, and when the chain became detached from a stick the chain gang ref Alisha Darkins produced a cable tie to fix it! In the third quarter a Pirates field goal made the score 36-00 triggering a rolling clock (the clock runs continuously shortening the game) and prompting the Imperial coach who had only five players left on the sideline to call it off ... full credit to everyone eh?
|fr 8 Dec|
Sunday morning an offside tyre was flat, the car wouldn't go into reverse and nearby the Dennington Queen's Head there were ducks in the road so we missed the UEA Pirates going six nil up against the visiting Kent Falcons. Despite a second Pirates' touchdown in the end they lost 20-12 but encouragingly the Pirates' game ending hurry up offence seemed to slightly bemuse the Falcons, we especially liked the hook and ladder which may have been the first lateral we've seen in British american football ... like our first apex jump in roller derby ... you never forget your first time.
|su 1 Oct|
Like the Ipswich Cardinals and unlike the Bury Saints most of the newbs at yesterday's UEA Pirates rookies day in Norwich were first timers. On adjacent pitches impressive turn outs for men and women's lacrosse made the apparent handful for american football look depressing but it soon swelled to 30-40 players and they could all catch the ball. Looking forward to seeing a fixture list for this winter.
|mo 6 Nov|
A comfortable american football 31-00 win in Norwich yesterday for UEA Pirates against Canterbury Christ Church Chargers. Though distinctly cold when the sun went in more spectators than we recall last season. Neither team showed much interest in punting early on to both their disadvantages and we can't recall a field goal attempt for the entire game. Impressively Canterbury's woman number three (probably not her real number as the Chargers were in borrowed Mavericks shirts) played on special teams and took a turn at quarterbacking. Pirates next home game is December against Kent Falcons.
|th 9 Feb|
The UEA Pirates lost 6-9 to the Cambridge Pythons in Norwich Sunday as their last home game in the BUCS South East. A not entirely satisfactory game but the Pirates single touchdown was a high bomb to a wide receiver dramatically at a flying full stretch ... and we didn't snap it ...
|we 14 Dec|
Over the past couple of weekends we've seen in Norwich our first university American football. Weekend before last the UEA Pirates hosted the Kent Falcons and we were surprised how much the pass featured, were impressed by the commitment of the Falcons' two woman cheer team and noted wayward long snapping. Sunday we again noted wayward long snapping in the close UEA Pirates 07-12 Imperial Immortals match and learnt two new penalties we didn't know existed. We'll be back in February for the Pirates next home game.