London Blitz reach first European Cup final
London Blitz 23 Sollerod Gold Diggers 7
London Blitz are through to their first European final after they defeated Sollerod Gold Diggers in the semi-final of the EFAF Cup.
In front of a record crowd at Finsbury Park Stadium on Saturday, the champions of England and Denmark produced a thrilling spectacle – and it was the Blitz, in only their second ever season of European competition, who progressed to face Serbian outfit Wild Boars in the final in July.
The hosts had to come through a difficult opening period, with Sollerod’s high-powered offence sending them quickly downfield to score the game’s first touchdown, and the kicker added the extra point to give the Danes an early lead.
The Blitz offence seemed likely to cancel out that deficit as they also marched downfield effectively, with quarterback Fred Boyle making key passes to wide receivers Clive Palumbo and Rod Bradley.
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However, the drive stalled on the Gold Diggers’ two-yard line, where Blitz fumbled and Sollerod eventually recovered.
Thereafter, both offences struggled for momentum, although Blitz gained a foothold when Aaron Sanders-Percival intercepted a deep pass and returned the ball to the 20-yard line – but Boyle threw his first interception of the game.
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The Blitz defence remained stout, forcing the Gold Diggers to punt, but on the ensuing possession the offence failed to get going as quarterback Boyle threw his second interception.
The home side’s fortunes changed in the second quarter, however, with running back Temi Oduyemi carrying the load for the Blitz on the ground and Boyle finding veteran wide receiver Palumbo on a 36-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown.
A Jimmy Wyat field goal before half-time gave the Blitz a 9-7 lead – and it was an advantage they built upon in the third quarter.
Oduyemi, who enjoyed a great game, capped off the Blitz’s opening drive of the second half by skipping into the end zone for a touchdown, and Wyatt added the extra point to extend the lead to 16-7.
More stellar blocking from the Blitz backline allowed the hosts to secure the win, but Oduyemi was the man of the moment, galloping 36 yards into the end zone for another touchdown, while Wyatt again added the extra point to send Blitz storming into the final.