The East Kent Mavericks played the Colchester Gladiators for the second time in two weeks
The East Kent Mavericks played the Colchester Gladiators for the second time in two weeks. The Mavericks entered the fixture after a heavy loss to the Colchester side previously, as well as Colchester already being confirmed in the play offs with pundits predicting a 6 score difference between the 2 sides in Colchester's favour. This placed the Maverick side as the underdogs of the game. The rain held out as the game began
Colchester returned the kick-off to the 40 yard line and began the first drive of the day. It didn't take long for the Mavericks' defence to get their first turnover after they forced a fumble, which was then recovered, only a couple of plays in. The Mavericks offence began their drive with a couple of short passes, before QB Luke Jones found Rob Mcdonold for a 35 yard end-zone pass. The 2 point conversion was successful as Luke Jones found Receiver Chris Lacey open in the end-zone. Colchester were quick to respond with some good running play and effective fakes. They drove down the field, eventually passing in to the end-zone from 8 yards out which put the scores to 8-6 after the conversion was missed. The score remained this way until the end of the quarter.
The 2nd quarter began in Colchester's favour as the rain began to fall. With the pass conditions worsening, the Mavericks began to struggle to drive down the field. Colchester pushed on downfield, finding the end-zone again from a short pass. The 2 point conversion was successful, which gave Colchester a 14-8 lead. The only other points came when the Mavericks were caught in the backfield forcing a safety. With the wet conditions making the pass game less effective the Mavericks changed their tactics, focusing instead on their run game. This risk paid off as the run began to help build effective driving force down the field whilst freeing up their Receiver. The score remained 16-8 until the end of the half.
The Mavericks continued to pressure the Colchester defence throughout the 3rd quarter until, eventually, they broke through with a 25 yard pass from QB Luke Jones to Alex Conyers, before he skipped out a tackle and into the end-zone. The 2 point conversion was held out short, which allowed Colchester to hold a 2 point lead going into the 4th quarter.
The Colchester defence found some driving energy after they charged down a kick and turnover possession just 25 yards out. The following drive was successful, finished off by a 6 yard run into the end-zone. The 2 point conversion was missed, leaving the Mavericks 8 points (1 touchdown and a 2 point conversion) behind. With the final 2 minutes on the clock they drove down the field stringing together several good passes. With 4 seconds remaining, they found themselves 25 yards out from the Colchester end-zone. With their last play, the Mavericks launched the ball towards their Receiver. Although the football was off-target, knocked down by a DB, ending what turned out to be a closely fought fixture. The final score was 22-14 to the Colchester Gladiators.
With the season all but over a victory would have done little to affect the position of the East Kent Mavericks. Although a match played with such heart, even when simply fighting for dignity, must be worth much more than points at this stage for the Mavericks. Let's hope they can keep this improved form as they build towards the future.