Ipswich Cardinals 17 – 24 East Essex Sabres

Sabres register first triumph of campaign

EAST Essex Sabres secured their first win of the season after overcoming Ipswich Cardinals.

The Sabres went into the clash having lost their opening five games of the British American Football Association Division Two East campaign.

But Lee Joseph’s side claimed a 24-17 win to move off the bottom of the standings and leapfrog their hosts.

And quarterback and receivers coach Mike Muldoon was delighted with the victory.

Joseph is delighted to pick up the points

EAST Essex Sabres head coach Lee Joseph was delighted to lead his side to their first win of the British American Football Association League Division Two East season.

The Sabres are currently enjoying their first campaign at this level.

And Joseph admitted that the 24-17 victory over Ipswich Cardinals, which saw them move off the foot of the league table, was a special moment.

Joseph said: “This win was pretty big for me.

“The main reason is that most of the guys are new to the sport and 90 per cent of the team had never played league football before.

“So for these guys to learn their individual role, work together as a team, learn the game and deal with injuries in such a short space of time is amazing.

“To put this team together, gain entry into the league, compete and narrowly lose a couple of games within the final minute on the last play, keep working hard and win in our first few games is huge.

“All the credit for the win and the growth of the team must go to the players themselves and the coaching staff I have working with them.

“They are the people that are driving this team forward.”

The Sabres travelled to Ipswich having lost their first five games of the season.

But Joseph confirmed that he did not worry about his players losing confidence during the winless run.

The head coach added: “We lost the first two games of the season inside the final minute and felt robbed.

“Since those two games we felt very frustrated with how our season has progressed but we kept working hard and tried to stay focused on getting that first win.

“I have to say that although we suffered two big losses as far as the scoreline was concerned, we never felt completely dominated by those teams.

“In American Football, one player could make an error and it could cost the team by conceding eight points in a heartbeat.

“This is something the players have to learn, but they are working hard in each practice session.

“I didn’t have to worry if their heads would go down because every player on this team wants to win.”

Quarterback and receivers coach Mike Muldoon was delighted with the victory. Muldoon said: “It was a complete team effort on all three fronts – offence, defence and special teams.

“On offence the wide receivers showed how explosive they could be, as they accumulated close to 300 yards through the air.

“However, it’s important to point out the fantastic play of the offensive lead by Matt Doughty, Llynus Caldwell, Greg Crease, Lawrence Craven, Harrison Childs and Alex Abineri, who created wide running lanes and stellar passing performance.

“Mitchell Waters was a beast in the run game. He was absolutely unstoppable, rushing for over 100 yards and scoring two touchdowns, including the game winner, with less than one minute left in the game.”

Defensive co-ordinator Kirk Beacham was also pleased to see the Sabres’ hard work pay off.

Beacham said: “It was a tremendous day for the players and the team, getting your first win under your belts is a big stepping stone.

“I couldn’t be more proud of how the whole team came together to get us this win.

“Now they should truly understand what it takes to win in this league.”

Federico Tiritera opened the scoring with a field goal, before Kyle Bury caught a 10 yard pass from quarterback Muldoon to run the ball into the end zone from five yards out.

Tight end Roderick Inglis scored the two point conversion to allow the Sabres to go in at the break 11-0 up.

The Sabres returned for the second half full of confidence and Waters soon extended the away side’s lead by notching the first of his two touchdowns.

The extra point was registered, but the Cardinals clawed their way back into the game and managed to tie the game at 17-17.

But the Sabres were not to be denied as Waters helped himself to a second touchdown with time running out for the home side.

The Cardinals had one last chance to get something out of the game as their quarterback opted to go for a Hail Mary.

But Tiritera, who had opened the scoring in the early exchanges, ended the Cardinals’ hopes and started the Sabres celebrations by registering an interception.

The Sabres were able to celebrate a 24-17 triumph and their first success since joining the division at the start of the campaign.
Joseph’s side have now moved up to fifth in the standings ahead of their clash with London Blitz B.

By Danny Rust, Echo Sports Correspondent.



BAFA SFC Division 2 Standings
  Pld W L D PF PA Pts
Wembley Stallions*** 10 10 0 0 354 65 30
East Kent Mavericks** 10 7 3 0 192 153 21
Essex Spartans 10 5 5 0 111 126 15*
London Blitz B 10 5 5 0 284 232 15
East Essex Sabres 10 2 8 0 81 320 6*
Ipswich Cardinals 10 1 9 0 118 329 3

***League Champions
** Clinched Playoff Place

* Game was not played and the sabres will be awarded the game in due course.