Match report by Jack Stodel.
Sunday saw another great game for the Hertfordshire Cheetahs Junior Squad as they travelled up to Birmingham in the early hours of the morning for a match-up with the winless Black Country Vipers.
Despite the almost opposite ends of the table, the Cheetahs had no doubt in their minds that the Vipers were here for the win. Playing in an unfamiliar red, the Cheetahs set up on defense after a fantastic kick from James Abegglen and, after a successful drive from the defense including a tackle for loss from Linebacker Francois Earp, the Vipers were forced to punt. After a great return from Tom Best, the Cheetahs offense took the field. Upon the first touch of the ball, Running Back Jack Stodel took the ball around 25 yards for the touchdown. After a successful PAT from Abegglen, the defense took the field for a second time. After a quick shut-out, the Vipers were forced into another punt.
After another couple of successful drives for both units, a highlight reel play sprang from nowhere. QB Ollie Mulcahy threw a short ball to Stodel, who caught the ball one-handed and, having secured it, followed a wave of red a full 80 yards for the touchdown. After the half, the offense took the field and RB Will Feaver had a fantastic drive running the ball before Stodel was put in on the goal-line set, taking it in for his fifth of the day. Shortly afterwards, a fantastic drive from the defense saw Earp record a strip-sack before Abegglen picked up the ball and ran it back for a touchdown. Unfortunately, after another big stop from the Cheetahs’ defense, the Vipers’ defense showed some pressure and forced a safety, resulting in their only score of the day. Another drive saw the offense make some more good yards before Francois Earp came in on the goal line and carried it in for the defensive touchdown. This marked the end of a fantastic day for the Cheetahs and then can now focus on their upcoming fixture against the undefeated Birmingham Lions. Unfortunately this was Junior captain Fab Hayward’s last game as he will now undergo surgery ahead of next season. As a sign of respect to Fab, the No. 39 has been retired for the remainder of the Junior season. We want to thank Fab for all he has done for the team and wish him good luck on the surgery and for next year.
Final: Cheetahs 47-2 Vipers
Best of luck to the Black Country Vipers for their next game against the Solent Seahawks and a big thank you for hosting us on Sunday.