SFC 1 East

COLCHESTER Gladiators' season finished in defeat after they were beaten at Cambridgeshire Cats.

They were hoping to even their record at 5-5 but were never in the game, unable to consistently move the ball.

With their place in division one secure for next year, the Gladiators will be glad to see the off-season, enabling them to get healthy and recruit for next year.

Their season was derailed early in the season with a devastating run of injuries including QB Rob Wickham, and they picked up several more with defensive ends Curtis Bourke and Josh Milgate, linebacker Matt Selby, and cornerback Dave Kerr all leaving the game.

The Cats, who still had hopes of making the play-offs if other results went their way, took an early lead.

They drove 55 yards in just six plays, culminating in a nine-yard run and the extra point was good for a 7-0 lead.

After forcing the Gladiators to punt, the home side took over again but Adrian Gilson forced a fumble but the Cats were able to recover.

They moved the ball into field goal range and attempted a 40-yard field goal but the kick was wide.

The Gladiators' anaemic offence was not threatening the Cats while the hosts' running game was giving the Colchester defence real problems.

Early in the second quarter, the Cats extended their lead with a short run and although the point after was wide, the score was 13-0.

The Gladiators responded and Byron Smith caught QB Jake Wickham's 28-yard pass but they couldn't maintain the drive and they had to punt.

A sack by Ian Hardy forced the Cats to kick the ball away but neither side could add to the score and the home side took a 13-0 lead into half-time.

The Gladiators received the ball to start the second half and Sam Morton ran for a first down and Tom Clarke caught a Wickham pass for 15 yards to move the chains but a sack of Wickham forced another punt.

The strong Cats running backs were too much for the Gladiators' defence and they made easy work of the long field.

The home side went further ahead when a receiver made a great catch in the end zone.

The two-point conversion attempt was good to make the score 21-0.

A lost fumble gave the ball back to the Cats and they added to their tally with a 39-yard TD run.

The two point attempt failed but the score was now 27-0.

The Gladiators again failed to pick up a first down but the game was brought to a halt due to a serious injury to a Cambridge running back.

Andy Cairns forced a fumble and Mark Gilbranch recovered the ball but the stricken Cat could not be moved due to a broken ankle.

With a severe delay and the result not in doubt, the officials took the decision to call the game early, leaving the Cats awaiting the result of the Hornets-Exiles result.

The Hornets took the win to leave the Cats missing out on the play-offs.


Team W L T PF PA Pct

Kent Exiles 7 3 0 256 79 0.700

London Hornets 7 3 0 208 141 0.700

Cambridgeshire Cats 7 3 0 236 144 0.700

Wembley Stallions 5 5 0 212 207 0.500

Colchester Gladiators 4 6 0 121 238 0.400

East Kent Mavericks 0 10 0 112 337 0.000

Further information can be found on the Gladiators’ website at