If you’re just joining us, make sure you check out the first half of the season in Part One!
In a battle for the top spot of the SFC I East, the Cats travelled to the Kent Exiles. With both teams only having lost a single game, this game had the potential for playoff implications later in the year. Travelling with a small squad and on a bakingly hot day, the Cats were aware that this game would be decided by the team that would make the least mistakes. Cambridgeshire were able to open the scoring with a field goal in the first half, but the Exiles pulled level with their own field goal before the half. A strong defensive showing by both sides meant that neither offence could build up a sustained drive. Late in the fourth quarter a busted coverage on the back side left an Exiles receiver open, and the Cats found themselves down 10-3. Although the Cats launched a furious counter attack, they were unable to secure any points and the Exiles took the victory and the top spot in the division. This would mean that the Exiles held the Head to Head tie breaker over the Cats.
The next two games that the Cats would play would be against a long-time rival the London Hornets, first at home and then two weeks later away.
During the home game emotions were running high and the Cats found themselves penalised by the officiating crew whenever they lost their cool. Having made their job harder for themselves than it needed to be the Cats did all they could to reply with a score and kept the score close, 20-21 to the Hornets in the third quarter. The Hornets were able to stretch the lead to 20-28 and the Cats couldn’t keep pace down the stretch. This meant the Cats had slipped from the top spot to third in the division over the last two games.
Needing to win the next game if they were to be in any chance of finishing in the top two, and therefore eligible for playoffs, the Cats travelled to the Hornets. An early rushing touchdown by Walter Townsend of the Cats put them ahead 0-7. An exchange of drives followed where neither side could capitalise on opportunities for points in the first quarter. To start the second quarter the Hornets took a shot downfield and connected for a touchdown and tied the game up at 7-7. On the Cats next drive a tipped pass from Mark Rivett was intercepted by the Hornets and they managed to take over the ball with great field position. The Hornets were able to turn this in to points and move ahead 13-7. The Cats were able to march down the field and put Scott Spearink in a position to pick up another running touchdown and the Cats had the lead 13-14. Inside the 2 minute warning the Cats had possession and put themselves in position to kick a field goal to stretch the lead to 13-17. After the break the Cats found themselves allowing the Hornets to make a deep pass down the sideline for a touchdown and the Hornets took the lead 21-17 after a successful 2 point conversion. Late in the 3rd quarter, Mark Rivett found an open Kay Dennis who scored his first touchdown for the Cats, giving them the lead 21-25. Although the Hornets were able drive the ball down to the Cats 18 yard line, hard work by defenders Orin Hemple and Juan Houlihan deflecting passes in to the endzone caused a turnover on downs and this would be the end of the scoring in this game. Unfortunately the score difference between the two games meant the Hornets held the Head to Head over the Cats.
After making a long trip down to face the East Kent Mavericks in Canterbury, the Cats started slow. Although they took the lead with a field goal they quickly slipped behind sitting at 14-3 before half time. Not willing to be the first team to lose to EKM in 2018, the Cats rallied and finished the game with a victory at 21-33.
In the final game of the season the Cats would host the Colchester Gladiators. At the start of the game, the Cats knew that they would make the playoffs if they could win and if the Hornets would lose to the Kent Exiles. The Cats took charge of the only part of that they could influence and took revenge for the loss they had suffered earlier in the year. The Cats held the Gladiators to zero points whilst loading up 27 points on their opponents. When the final whistle went, there would be three teams that finished the season on a 7-3 record. The Cambridgeshire Cats, the London Hornets, and the Kent Exiles. Due to the head to head tie breaker, the Cats would miss out on playoffs for the second season in a row.
Cambridgeshire Cats 2018 Fixtures
|15 Apr 2018||Cambridgeshire Cats||17||Kent Exiles||16|
|22 Apr 2018||Colchester Gladiators||15||Cambridgeshire Cats||12|
|29 Apr 2018||Cambridgeshire Cats||22||East Kent Mavericks||7|
|13 May 2018||Wembley Stallions||26||Cambridgeshire Cats||37|
|17 Jun 2018||Cambridgeshire Cats||40||Wembley Stallions||0|
|24 Jun 2018||Kent Exiles||10||Cambridgeshire Cats||3|
|01 Jul 2018||Cambridgeshire Cats||20||London Hornets||28|
|15 Jul 2018||London Hornets||21||Cambridgeshire Cats||25|
|22 Jul 2018||East Kent Mavericks||21||Cambridgeshire Cats||33|
|12 Aug 2018||Cambridgeshire Cats||27||Colchester Gladiators||0|
BAFA NL SFC I East Standings
|East Kent Mavericks||0||10||0||112||337||0.000|