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First published in Sport

Essex Spartans 26

Bury Saints 28

AMERICAN FOOTBALL: The curtain came down on the Essex Spartans 2014 season with a tight 28-26 loss to the Bury Saints, but over £350 was raised for charity.

Having lost a narrow contest to the Saints in the season-opener, the Spartans were seeking revenge in the season-ending home game, and started in the best possible fashion, scoring early in the first quarter through running back Anthony Yeboah. Two second quarter touchdowns for the Bury Saints sandwiched another rushing touchdown for the Spartans, this time for Norris Owusu, and the game went to half-time 13-13.

It was the Saints who struck first in the second half, capitalising on some sloppy Spartan play to score two more touchdowns of their own to fall 28-13 behind. In previous seasons, this might have signalled something of a collapse, but the 2014 Spartans are made of sterner stuff, and roared on by an excitable crowd scored two more touchdowns of their own in the fourth quarter. Anthony Yeboah scored again after running back Craig Willis had brought them back into the game.

Despite both teams having scored 4 touchdowns, the Saints still led 28-26 through the additional points teams score by kicking the ball between the posts after a touchdown - the Spartans needed to score again. With the remaining minutes ticking away, the Spartans edged closer to scoring, but fell agonisingly short, losing possession of the ball just 15 yards short of a game-winning score with less than 30 seconds remaining.

After two seasons winning one game in ten, the Spartans end the season with an encouraging four from ten record, and to cap it off after the final whistle it was confirmed £364.16 had been raised for Breast Cancer Awareness. The club had been selling charity merchandise and themed cake to supporters, whilst players from both sides wore shocking pink clothing for the occasion.

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