London Blitz focus on British title bid after European adventure ends in Belgrade
- Credit: Archant
London Blitz will redirect their energy towards becoming British champions after falling narrowly short of a European final in Belgrade last weekend.
The Finsbury Park side fought back from 35-14 down in the final quarter of their IFAF European Champions League semi-final against home team Vukovi Beograd to narrow the gap to just seven points.
But the Serbian outfit held on to reach the final – and Blitz must now regroup as they prepare for their key domestic battle with London Warriors on August 9.
“I’m proud of the team, the players and coaching staff in what we have achieved, but we aren’t happy with leaving at this stage,” said Blitz offensive co-ordinator Stuart Miller.
“It was really either side of the half where we lost the game. But, like in other European games this year, we really worked hard on both sides of the ball, and changed the momentum in the fourth quarter through a team effort.
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“It was hard losing the game. We have things to reflect on and to work on, with the goal of ending the year as British champions.”
Vukovi opened the scoring with a quarterback scramble in their semi-final clash, but the Londoners responded quickly when wide receiver Andrew Copper hauled in Joe Thompson’s touchdown pass to level.
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The home side retaliated with a run up the middle to lead 14-7 but, in the second quarter, defensive back Dave Jennison recovered a Vukovi fumble to set his side up with a short field and Temi Oduyemi broke off a 14-yard run to equalise.
Blitz’s secondary continued to make big plays, but disaster struck in the third quarter as a tipped touchdown pass landed in the hands of a Vukovi receiver – and, after some poor Blitz tackling, two further scores followed.
The tide turned in the fourth and Sam Joseph narrowed the gap before Jack Daley recovered his own onside kick, allowing quarterback Josh Adamson to scramble into the end zone – but it was not enough as Vukovi ran down the clock to reach the final.