NEWS | Eagles 2018 Schedule Released

06 Mar

The Eagles’ 2018 regular season schedule has been confirmed, and sees the team kicking off at home in SFC1 Central to last season’s division champions Sussex Thunder on Sunday 22nd April.

That is followed three weeks later with the return game on the South Coast, before a first ever meeting with the Berkshire Renegades the following week.

After a week of practice we then have games on four successive weeks vs Bristol Apache (H), Berkshire Renegades (H), Oxford Saints (A) and Solent Thrashers (H).

There then follows back-to-back games in July against the Thrashers (A) and Saints (H), before the regular season comes to a close on 12th August with a trip west to face Bristol Apache.

Ouse Valley Eagles 2018 Regular Season Schedule
  • Sunday 22nd April vs Sussex Thunder
  • Sunday 13th May @ Sussex Thunder
  • Sunday 20th May @ Berkshire Renegades
  • Sunday 3rd June vs Bristol Apache
  • Sunday 10th June vs Berkshire Renegades
  • Sunday 17th June @ Oxford Saints
  • Sunday 24th June vs Solent Thrashers
  • Sunday 15th July @ Solent Thrashers (3pm)
  • Sunday 22nd July vs Oxford Saints
  • Sunday 12th August @ Bristol Apache

All home games will take place at Bedford International Athletics Stadium and kick-off at 1pm. All away games will kick-off at 2.30pm unless otherwise stated.

2018 Play-Off Structure

As per the 2017 season eight teams in Division 1 will progress to the play-offs, consisting of the top two teams in each of the four conferences (NFC1 North, NFC1 South, SFC1 Central and SFC1 East).

The first round of the play-offs will see the #1 seed in the SFC/NFC face and #4 seed, and the #2 seed meet the #3 ranked team.

The Division 1 Championship will be decided between the NFC1 and SFC1 winners.

Join the Eagles!

The Ouse Valley Eagles were formed in 2013 with the aim of becoming one of the leading lights for American Football in the UK.

Members of our club come from a wide range of backgrounds and over a large geographical area to be part of one of our four teams:

  • Ouse Valley Eagles (Adult Kitted, age 18+)
  • Bedford Blackhawks (Adult Flag, age 16+)
  • Bedford Blackhawks (Youth Contact, U17)
  • Milton Keynes Redwings (Youth Contact, U17)

Despite being a relatively new Club, the Eagles are made up of an experienced team of coaching and backroom staff, with more players registering to join each month.

The goal set by our founding committee was to have a club here still winning games in 25 years time, and for our children to be able to play for the same team we did.

That remains the goal today, and we are working every day to make the club bigger and stronger. To register your interest in joining any of the teams under the Ouse Valley banner please complete the form below:

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PREVIEW | Eagles ready to renew Solent rivalry

28 Apr

The Eagles are back in SFC1 Central action this weekend when they travel to the South Coast to meet the Solent Thrashers on Sunday (12.30pm).

It is the fourth meeting between the two sides, with the Thrashers running out winners in each of the first three contests – including eliminating the Eagles from the play-offs in 2014 and 2015.

In the first game of the season three weeks ago an under strength Eagles side ran out 14-12 winners in a competitive game away to South Wales Warriors.

The Thrashers meanwhile went down 23-0 at home to early pace-setters Sussex Thunder last weekend, and will be looking to bounce back in what is their second of three games in successive weeks.

Team News

Head Coach Neale McMaster reported no new injury concerns following the opening-day victory over the Warriors. A number of players who missed the Warriors game are set to make their first appearance of the season, including linebackers Gareth Pullen, Fabrizio Gargiulo and Paul Mountford, and wide receivers Troy Mayer, Ryan Bowtell, Chris Gains and Rich Batten.

Andrew Oliver and Gareth Thomas will be late decisions, but longer term absentees Peter Howgego, Raul Fernández, Oliver Latimer, Jack Noblest, John Rudgard and Darren Willison are still out.

Head Coach Neale McMaster

“Really excited to renew what has been a bit of a one-sided rivalry with Solent over the past few years. Given the changes both teams have gone through since we last played it’ll be interesting to see how teams have changed and improved.

“I’m excited by the improvements we’ve made ourselves since the South Wales game – continually focusing on developing our players – and I think we’re in a good position to get a ‘W’ for the first time against the Thrashers, although as is the case with all Steve Rains-coached teams I’m expecting it to be a tough fight.”


The Thrashers play their home games at Test Park, Lower Brownhill Road, Southampton SO16 9BP:

Game Coverage

If you can’t make it to Southampton to watch the games, we will be providing live play-by-play updates via our Twitter page.

REPORT | Eagles edge out Warriors in opener

13 Apr

The Eagles opened their 2017 BAFA National League campaign with a determined and gutsy 14-12 victory over the South Wales Warriors on Sunday afternoon.

Whilst the rest of the UK enjoyed BBQ weather, South Wales was overcast and windy which did not help either offence settle in their first outing this year. An uneventful first quarter was scoreless.

The Eagles offence established a foothold with their running game in the second quarter, but were frustrated by a spirited goal-line stand by the hosts when looking likely to score.

The breakthrough finally came after a Byron Chowles interception gave the Eagles great field position, and running back Ben Cockin was able to convert from five yards. Mike Turner added the extra-point to give the visitors the half-time lead.

True to form the Warriors opened the second half in determined fashion and soon replied with a rushing touchdown of their own. The extra point conversion attempt was blocked – crucially as it would turn out – so the Eagles retained a slender advantage.

The key offensive moment for Ouse Valley took place on the next drive when QB Justin LaRoda found wide-out Bob Benney in the corner of the end zone from 36-yards for a spectacular diving catch. Turner again converted the extra point to put the visitors up 14-6.

The Eagles then appeared to be content to keep their opponents at arm’s length playing ‘bend but not break’ defence. Spirited tackling from Harry Rackham and sacks by Ross Hubbard and Garvin Yarde continued to contain Warriors offence.

This effort was exemplified by Linebacker Kase Chibwe chasing down the opposing running back and tackling him inside the five-yard line when he looked certain to score. South Wales were unable to convert and were pushed back out of field goal range by an Eagles goal-line stand.

The fourth quarter was played out with both sides exchanging possession until the Warriors drove in the last two minutes. The Eagles may have thought they had closed it out with their opponents facing fourth down with one second of the game left, however the hosts brilliantly converted a scrambling play to score in the corner as time expired.

The Warriors’ ensuing two-point conversion attempt was snuffed out by a gang of Eagles tacklers leaving them to edge a close one by 14-12 and take the win back east.

Both teams should take credit for producing an exciting game played in a great spirit. The Eagles will be glad to get that one out of the way and will look forward to hosting the game five return in Bedford on Sunday 11 June.

The next challenge is another road trip, this time to Southampton to face the Solent Thrashers, on Sunday 30th April.

Photo courtesy of Daria Urban.

PREVIEW | Eagles go west for season opener

06 Apr

The Eagles kick off the 2017 season with a long trip west to take on the South Wales Warriors this Sunday afternoon in SFC1 Central (2.30pm).

It is the first ever meeting between the two sides, and the Warriors’ first game since making the difficult decision to accept a voluntary relegation from the Premiership at the end of last season.

The Eagles meanwhile head into the game on the back of posting a disappointing 4-6 regular season record in 2016, but with a new coaching staff and a strong group of rookies looking to leave their mark.

Head Coach Neale McMaster

“I’m incredibly excited to get this season kicked off and I feel the trip down the Wales is the perfect opportunity for us to start this campaign off the right way.

“Having just came down from the Premiership last season, the Warriors will pose a great test for us to kick off our season. They have the experience of the higher level, both mentally and physically, and will test us in both departments.

“With the league schedule coming out so late we’ll be travelling with a pretty depleted squad to kick off the season, but I firmly believe the guys have it in them to go out and execute to the best of our ability and come away with a win.

“The thing I’m most looking forward to is seeing our Special Teams units be unleashed on an opponent.

“In our two pre-season games we’ve not really been able to rep them due to our opponents, so seeing them live will be exciting. I’m absolutely positive they will make a difference in the game.”


The Warriors play their home games at Llanharan Rugby Club on Bridgend Road, Llanharan CF72 9RD:

Title picture copyright Rob Dummer 2016.