Cambridgeshire Cats 0 Ouse Valley Eagles 7
The Eagles edged out divisional rivals the Cambridgeshire Cats in a tense and nervy affair at Coldhams Common yesterday afternoon.
A single touchdown pass from Enrique Alonso to former Cats player Nate Ashby late in the fourth quarter was the difference between the two sides, as both offenses struggled to pick up any meaningful momentum.
The Eagles won the toss and opted to receive the ball, which Chris Parr returned to the Eagles 44-yard line.
Following a two-yard run, five-yard penalty for a false start, a strong seven-yard run from Zak Henry and an incomplete pass, the Eagles went for it on fourth down but another incomplete pass resulted in a turnover on downs.
The Cats’ first possession resulted in a three-and-out following a sack from Defensive Tackle Andy Larwill. The punt was returned to the Eagles 47-yard line, and that set the tone for the rest of the first half, as both sides took it in turns trading possessions at around halfway.
Half time score: Cats 0 Eagles 0.
It was much the sae story throughout the third quarter. The Cats came closest to breaking the deadlock with a field goal that fell short of the mark, and as the game entered the fourth quarter the game still hung in the balance.
Eagles Linebacker Byron Chowles was taken to hospital treatment for a nasty-looking ankle injury which was later revealed to be a break in three places that requires surgery, and keep him out of action for the rest of the 2015 campaign.
As the game restarted the teams again took in turn exchanging possessions, but after a monstrous sack by rookie Brad Beveridge and a fumble recovered by the defense the Eagles took over deep in Cats territory.
Alonso connected with Ashby from 18-yards out to finally break the deadlock, and following a successful extra point the Eagles lead 7-0 with a little over three minutes to play.
The Cats were unable to move the ball on their final possession, and once the Eagles took over at around halfway with 55 seconds to play, saw out the clock to clinch a hard fought victory.
Final score: Cats 0 Eagles 7.
Attention now turns to the first home game of the season, next Sunday (12th April) against Hertfordshire Cheetahs.
Kick off is midday at Bedford International Athletics Stadium on Barkers Lane (MK41 8SB), with admission £2 each for adults or free for under-18s.