Eagles season ends in defeat against the Bulls

04 Aug

The Eagles’ 2016 season came to a disappointing end with a 41-28 defeat away to the Birmingham Bulls on Sunday, thanks in no small part to a disastrous third quarter.

The Bulls received the opening kick off and after a strong drive that included successfully converting a 4th and 6 attempt on the Eagles 15-yard line, opened the scoring following a complete pass from one-yard out.

On the Eagles’ first possession a big pass completion and gain from Ross Hubbard took the offense to the Bulls 37 but the drive stalled, and the hosts were backed up inside their five-yard line following the punt.

Birmingham managed to drive to around halfway before being forced to punt, and it was the Eagles’ turn to start inside their own five.

Strong running from Kase Chibwe and a catch from Alex Smith took the Eagles to up to their 41 at the end of the first quarter, and another catch from Hubbard to start the second period moved the ball into Bulls territory.

Another completed pass to Smith took the Eagles to the 36 but a fumble on the next play was recovered by the Bulls and returned to the Eagles 28, where only a last-ditch tackle from QB Zach Wodaege prevented the lead being extended.

The Bulls got as far as the 14 before having to settle for a field goal attempt, but after the snap was fumbled the Eagles regained possession on halfway thanks to Mal Stevenson.

More strong running eventually resulted in first and goal on the four, and Chibwe crossed the line to reduce the deficit to 7-6 after the unsuccessful PAT attempt.

Andy Larwill’s fumble recovery got the Eagles the ball back quickly just inside the Bulls half, and when Wodaege connected with Smith from 36 yards out – running backwards – the Eagles had the lead.

The Bulls drove to halfway at the two-minute warning and down to the 18-yard line soon after, but Tony Ledger’s interception killed the momentum and the Eagles were unable to capitalise before the half, despite several quick first downs.

Half-Time: Bulls 7 Eagles 12

The Eagles received the kick off to start the second half but the drive stalled in the Bulls half and they regained possession on their ten-yard line after Ross Hubbard’s punt.

A 23-yard run and 14-yard pass took the Bulls to midfield, and a 53-yard pass over the top unlocked the Eagles secondary to regain the lead, the PAT attempt making the score 14-12.

The Bulls forced a fumble on the kick return and returned it for a touchdown, converted a two-point attempt to extend their lead to 22-12, and capitalised on another fumble on fourth and short on the Eagles’ next possession to take the score to 28-12 after an unsuccessful two-point attempt.

When the Eagles fumbled another kick off return to hand the ball back to the Bulls they wasted no time in punching the ball in again to make it 27 unanswered points in a horrific third period from an Eagles perspective.

The fourth quarter started with a strong offensive drive from the Eagles that was ended by a five-yard touchdown run by Chibwe and two-point conversion to cut the score to 34-20, but any chances of an unlikely comeback were put to bed on the Bulls’ next possession (41-20).

The final touchdown of the game came from departing QB Wodaege who ran the ball in for the Eagles from inside the five, and Gareth “Tish” Pullen trundled across the line for the two-point conversion to make the final score 41-28 to the Bulls.

After the game Interim Head Coach Darren Hill informed the team that he would not be putting himself forward for the position on a regular basis. Further details will be announced in due course.

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Bulls hold on to deny Eagles last-gasp win

06 Jun

The Eagles went down swinging 13-12 in a thrilling encounter with the Birmingham Bulls at Bedford International Athletics Stadium yesterday.

Birmingham returned the opening kick-off to their 45-yard line and eventually opened the scoring with a pass from 17-yards out on a drive that used up almost half of the opening quarter.

The Eagles drove into opposition territory but a fumble by running back Richard Thompson gave the ball back to the Bulls on around halfway.

Despite a number of penalties the Bull’s next possession looked threatening until line backer Bryan Mullally forced and recovered a fumble to regain possession, and that gave the Eagles offense the impetus it needed to spark into life.

Completions to Ross Hubbard and Ryan Bowtell gave the Eagles first and goal on the five, and on second and goal Zach Wodaege ran the ball into the end zone to reduce the deficit although the extra point attempt was blocked – a missed opportunity that would prove very costly come the end of the game.

More offensive penalties delayed the Bulls on their next possession to open up the second quarter although they eventually made it into the red zone, but when Mullally sacked the QB on third and long the Bulls were forced to punt from the Eagles 39.

Dom Taylor’s interception for Birmingham gave them the ball back on the 21 soon afterwards and after yet more penalties gave them fourth and very long once again the hosts had another chance to try and strike back before the end of the half, only for Taylor to make another, very impressive interception deep in Eagles territory.

Birmingham soon had first and goal at the two-yard line which became second and goal on the three after the run attempt was stopped in the back field at the two-minute warning, and when Joey Foggan picked off the pass on third down the Eagles had gotten away with one.

The offense was able to drive to halfway before going four and out, and the half finished with Birmingham unable to capitalise.

Half-Time: Eagles 6 Bulls 7

The third quarter was a cagey affair as both teams exchanged possession, the only real action of note being Oliver Latimer’s fumble recovery for the Eagles and the Bulls missing a 35-yard field goal attempt, but the game sprang into life at the start of the fourth quarter.

Latimer forced another fumble which was recovered by Foggan to give the Eagles the ball back on their own 30-yard line, and a completed pass to Vasquez took them into Birmingham territory before the drive stalled, and the Bulls took over on downs.

The Bulls were also unable to make the most of their next possession and following a flag on the play during the punt the Eagles started again on their 7.

A twenty-yard completion to Alex Smith followed but the drive again stalled, but possession was regained following a huge hit by Kevin Vasquez on the punt returner.

The Eagles went four and out and the Bulls responded in the perfect way, driving down the field and extending their lead with a 20-yard run. Importantly for the hosts the PAT was blocked, keeping it a one-score game with three minutes to play.

Starting again on the 20 following the kick off, Wodaege connected with a bomb to Smith to take offense all the way to the Bulls 32-yard line, and had second and short at the two-minute warning.

Another big pass completed to Smith gave the Eagles first and goal on the one-yard line, and after an incomplete pass Wodaege ran it in himself to take it to 13-12 with 50 seconds to play.

The coaches had a big decision to make – a successful PAT would tie the game and most-likely lead to overtime or a successful two-point attempt would most-likely win it, whereas if either were to fail the Bulls would almost certainly take the win.

They decided to go for two but as Wodaege rolled out to his right his deflected pass fell incomplete, and after successfully fielding an onside kick attempt Birmingham took a knee to seal their first win of the season and deny the Eagles what would have been a remarkable victory.

The Eagles are back in BAFANL action this Sunday (12th June) away to the Nottingham Caesars.

Picture courtesy of Steve Guy.

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PREVIEW | Birmingham Bulls (H)

02 Jun

The Eagles’ third home game of the 2016 season takes place this weekend as we welcome the Birmingham Bulls to Bedford International Athletics Stadium in the Midlands Football Conference.

The Bulls were founded in 1983 and played their first competitive games a year later.

They won their first Conference in 1985 after going 12-0 in the AFL Midlands Division, and in 1986 won their first of four National Championships (1988, 1991, 1995).

The Bulls have made the play-offs 21 out of 31 times in their history – although only once since 2006 – and have been BritBowl runners up five times (1989, 1994, 1996, 1999 and 2000).

Last season they went 4-6 in Southern Football Conference 1 which included two defeats against the Eagles: 21-14 at Erin Go Bragh in April and 23-18 in the return game at BIAS in July.

They lost their season opener this year away from home against the Sandwell Steelers (18-14) on 17th April and also went down 20-13 against the Doncaster Mustangs at home two weeks later.

In their most recent game they lost 37-34 in a thriller against the Nottingham Caesars in which they lead until the closing stages. Following the Saxons forfeiting their season they have had a few weeks off to prepare for today’s game, as they look to pick up their first win of the season.

The Eagles meanwhile come into the game on the back of a 14-0 home defeat against the Steelers a fortnight ago to slip to 3-3 for the season so far, and need a win to keep alive any faint hope of a making a late charge for a play-off place.

Team News

The Eagles have no new injury concerns heading into the game, so will only be without long-term injury victims defensive back Vasco Dias (knee), offensive lineman James Busby (leg) and defensive lineman Anthony Ogunleye (shoulder).


In this week’s Programme

This week’s programme cover features Interim Head Coach Darren Hill.

Inside we hear from Chairman Neale McMaster, Coach Hill, Offensive Captain Ross Hubbard and Rookie of the Week Joey Foggan.

We also have a feature on our visitors the Birmingham Bulls, a Spectator Guide and more.

The programme is free with admission (£2 each for adults or free for under-18s).


Our home games are played at Bedford International Athletics Stadium, Barkers Lane, Bedford MK41 9SB:

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Focus On | Birmingham Bulls

28 Mar

In the fifth and final part of our series taking a closer look at 2016’s MFC1 (Midland Football Conference 1) opponents we concentrate on the Birmingham Bulls…

The Birmingham Bulls were founded in 1983 and played their first competitive games a year later.

They won their first Conference in 1985 after going 12-0 in the AFL Midlands Division, and in 1986 won their first of four National Championships (1988, 1991, 1995).

The Bulls have made the play-offs 21 out of 31 times in their history – although only once since 2006 – and have been BritBowl runners up five times (1989, 1994, 1996, 1999 and 2000).

Last season they went 4-6 in Southern Football Conference 1 which included two defeats against the Eagles.

2015 Schedule

Sun 26th April vs Ouse Valley Eagles LOST 21-14
Sun 3rd May @ Cambridgeshire Cats WON 34-12
Sun 10th May vs Hertfordshire Cheetahs WON 17-9
Sun 17th May @ Farnham Knights WON 28-26
Sun 31st May vs Colchester Gladiators LOST 9-7
Sun 14th June vs Solent Thrashers LOST 10-7
Sun 28th June @ East Kent Mavericks LOST 14-0
Sun 19th July @ Hertfordshire Cheetahs LOST 28-8
Sun 26th July @ Ouse Valley Eagles LOST 23-18
Sun August 9th vs Cambridgeshire Cats WON 50-0

Contact Details
Club Colours

The Bulls club colours are black, white and red. They wear white helmets with black face cages, black jerseys and white pants.

Dates for the Diary

Sunday 5th June, Birmingham Bulls @ Ouse Valley Eagles
Sunday 31st July, Ouse Valley Eagles @ Birmingham Bulls

Home Ground & How to Get There

The Bulls play their home games at Erin Go Bragh, Holly Lane, Erdington, Birmingham, B24 9LH.

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BAFA NL Expansion and 2016 Opponents Announced

29 Nov

The British American Football Association (BAFA) have announced an expansion of Division 1 of the National League from 16 to 18 teams, and the creation of MFC1 (Midland Football Conference 1).

The Eagles have been placed in MFC1 along with 2015 opponents Birmingham Bulls, as well Doncaster Mustangs, Nottingham Caesars, Peterborough Saxons and Sandwell Steelers.

Each team will face each conference opponent home and away to make up a ten-game regular season schedule, meaning that unlike in 2015 there will be no inter-conference games.

2015 opponents Hertfordshire Cheetahs, Colchester Gladiators and Hampshire Thrashers have all been placed in South Football Conference 1.

The provisional 2016 regular season schedule is expected to be announced early in the New Year.

2016 Play-Off Structure

For the 2016 season the top eight teams in Division 1 will progress to the play-offs, which will consist of the top two teams in each of the three conferences (NFC1, MFC1, SFC1) plus the two third-placed teams with the best record.

These play-offs will be ranked nationally, and in the first round will see:

#1 hosting #8
#2 hosting #7
#3 hosting #6
#4 hosting #5

The National Bowl finalists will both be promoted to the Premier Division, and will be inserted on a regional basis. This permits two teams from the same conference being promoted if they are able to earn a Bowl spot.

BAFA have also announced that the structure for Division 2 will not be confirmed until the Associate process for 2016 entry is completed next month, however it was confirmed that Cambridgeshire Cats, Chester Romans, East Kent Mavericks and Shropshire Revolution will be competing in Division 2 next season.

2016 BAFA NL Structure (Division 1 Expansion)

North Football Conference 1 (NFC1)
– Clyde Valley Blackhawks
– Edinburgh Wolves
– Gateshead Senators
– Manchester Titans
– West Coast Trojans
– Yorkshire Rams

Midlands Football Conference 1 (MFC1)
– Birmingham Bulls
– Doncaster Mustangs
– Nottingham Caesars
– Ouse Valley Eagles
– Peterborough Saxons
– Sandwell Steelers

South Football Conference 1 (SFC1)
– Bury Saints
– Colchester Gladiators
– Hertfordshire Cheetahs
– Kent Exiles
– Solent Thrashers
– Sussex Thunder

Check back for a closer look at the Eagles’ 2016 opponents on oveagles.com in the coming days.

2015 Highlights

29 Sep

2015 was a good year for the Eagles, and you can re-live some of the key moments in our Highlight Reel video below.

If you want to be part of the 2016 Ouse Valley Eagles, come on down to one of our rookie sessions taking place throughout October.

Open to those wanting to play for the Youth Team (aged 14+) or the Senior Team (18+), the first two sessions take place in St Neots on Sunday 4th and Sunday 11th October respectively.

We then move to Luton on Sunday 18th October at Lealands High School, before finishing in Milton Keynes a week later at Stantonbury Campus.

Each session takes place between 11am and 1pm. All you need to bring with you is football/rugby boots, some water, appropriate clothing to be out running in the weather and a valid form of photo ID.

To register your interest, please visit the relevant Event Page on Facebook or feel free to turn up on the day of the session:

Session 1 – St Neots
Session 2 – St Neots
Session 3 – Luton
Session 4 – Milton Keynes

Visitor Information: Bulls (A)

25 Apr

If you are travelling to Birmingham for the game on Sunday against the Bulls, the address you will need for your Sat Nav is:

Holly Lane Sports and Social Club
Holly Lane
West Midlands
B24 9LH
Telephone: (0121) 384 4732

Admission is free, and there is a licensed bar and hot food available.

If you are unable to make it to the game we will be providing live, play-by-play coverage via our Twitter channel from 2.30pm.