The Colchester Gladiators host the Cambridgeshire Cats on Sunday, their first home game of the new season, and their first at the top level of American football in the UK since 1992.
The Gladiators’ home games will be at Colchester Rugby Club and will kick off at 2.30pm, after the first game of the double header, the 12noon kick off between Colchester Gladiators Juniors and their Watford Cheetah counterparts.
The Gladiators senior team will be fresh from their thrilling win in Kent last weekend, when they defeated the East Kent Mavericks by scoring a touchdown on the game’s final second, to squeeze out a 40-37 win.
After trailing at half time by 16-9, the Gladiators had a terrific third quarter, scoring three touchdowns in the quarter and a fourth unanswered at the start of the final period to establish a 34-16 lead. However, a late meltdown let the Mavs back in the game with three touchdowns of their own and the home team thought they had won it before a dramatic last second scoring throw from Gladiators QB Curtis Bourke to rookie receiver Andy Clarke, snatched the win with the final play of the game.
The Cats are old foes of the Gladiators, having played each other many times over the years. In 2006 the Gladiators broke the Cats’ hearts twice with similarly dramatic comebacks, the first overturning a 17 point deficit in the first quarter and nine points in the game’s final minute, winning the game 27-23.
A few weeks later, the Cats were hoping for revenge in their own back yard and they meant business early on, opening up a 19-0 lead before the Gladiators closed the gap to 19-12 at half time and eventually ran out 26-25 winners.
The Cats were promoted to the Premier Division in 2011 and boast a large number of Americans in their ranks after the restrictions to roster places were lifted and they will be confident in beating the division’s newcomers.
The game kicks off at 2.30pm and admission is free.
The Gladiators juniors are also fresh from a good win, defeating The Cats juniors last week by 17-6. Head Coach Tim Rowe has his team well prepared for this week’s opponent, the Watford Cheetahs, in a game that could help decide playoff places at the end of the year.
The juniors kick off at 12noon, also at the rugby club so come and support both Gladiators teams this Sunday 25th May.
Further information about the Club and contact details for all sections can be found at www.colchestergladiators.com.