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Archives 2005 [Archives]

Week 2 - 6/3/05 | Connecticut Wildcats @ Northern Raiders at Milford, CT

Friday Night Lights: The Northern Raiders certainly put their stamp on the 2005 AMNRL campaign with a convincing win in week one over reigning Champion Glen Mills Bulls, but they were sent crashing back down to earth Friday Night by a Wildcats outfit that was ready to re-establish its territory. The controversial split in 2004 saw the then champion Wildcats severed into two clubs, but there was no doubt as to where the strength in the AMNRL lies, when the two teams clashed at the Raiders new field turf stadium Friday night. The Cats struck first from an Andrew Webster goose-step off the left foot from 15 out. Webster then carried two defenders to the two-meter line, where he stretched out and stamped the line with the game ball. (Roeske©-Wildcats 6-0) The Raiders broke the visitors' relentless pressure 15 minutes in, when Brock Thompson re-gathered his own chip-chase off 5th tackle from 50 meters plus, to score in the corner. (Thompson© 6-6) The Wildcats suffered a scare early on, as Damien O'Malveney went down with a knee injury that appeared to be season ending. "Pervey" will be evaluated by Wildcats' team doctor and USA Tomahawks Orthopedic Surgeon Andrew Levy on Wednesday, according to team officials. The score-line felt like it was deadlocked for ages, when Mark Brandon broke through the Raiders defense from 10 meters out to nudge the Cats in front (Roeske©-Wildcats 12-6), but the match was for the taking as the half-time whistle blew. Early on, Murray Roeske was put deftly into a gap at the Raiders' 45 meter line. Roeske broke two tackles, outpaced Ben Kelly to the corner and converted himself to extend the lead. (Roeske©-Wildcats 18-6). As the battle resumed, Danny Bull strolled in untouched from over the halfway-line, as he does every week. (Roeske©-Wildcats 24-6) The Wildcats kept on coming and were in for another, but debutant winger Curtis Cunz stepped on the dead-ball line after crossing over out wide. Cunz had a cracker in debut and left many to wonder just how far he can go in this game.... So the score remained, until the Raiders began to crawl back into it, with a spectacular individual effort by former St. George Dragon Danny Sutton, to draw the Raiders to within two converted tries. (Thompson©-Wildcats 24-12) Roeske then wisely slotted a penalty right in front to put the Wildcats up 3 scores 26-12, with 20 to go. Col Manners bowled over under the opposition posts to give the Raiders one last chance, but Wildcats' Mark Brandon crossed for his second with 5 minutes left and the die was cast. (Thompson, Roeske©-Wildcats 32-18) Jako Ah-hoy drew the Raiders to within 8 just before full-time, as they battled valiantly into the night, but were only able to muster one point on the ladder, with the Wildcats taking 5. Andrew Webster was the Players' player that night, he was clearly the glue that kept the Wildcats stuck into it, shocking several Raider ball-carriers with his patented iron shoulder. Mark Brandon, though, appeared to be the fans' favorite and he was crowned MVP at the pitch, by field announcer Duncan Forsyth a/k/a Grandpa Raider. Also playing well for the Cats were Kevin Black, Gareth Gibbs and Rene Abdalah. Brock Thompson and the tireless trio of Ben Kelly, Joel Venables and Blair Wards led the Raiders go-forward. The Lincoln Conference stands as follows after 2 weeks of play: Wildcats-10, Raiders-6, Knights-5, Bulls-3. Round 3 sees inter-conference play with the Wildcats hosting the Slayers @ Jack Casagrande Stadium, the Knights hosting the Sharks at the "Castle", and the Raiders hosting the Matarays.

Week 4 - 6/18/05 | Northern Raiders @ New York Knights 4:30 pm at Pier 40

The Castle was "Raided, with the Raiders beating the Knights 46-14 in New York. The New York Knights ended a two game winning streak yesterday losing to the Northern Raiders 46-14 at the Castle. The Knights were never able to stop the hard charging Raiders, led by Captain Ben Kelly, who seemingly made line break after line break throughout the game. With sloppy defense and a quick Raider backline, the Knights were forced to play off their back foot all afternoon! Part of the reason for the Knights poor performance was due to the fact that they took the field with 5 of their starters on the sideline nursing injuries. While all of the injuries were considered to be "minor", team management felt that it was prudent to sit the players out of yesterday's game. The injury list included captain Matt Astill (groin), Ryan Rogers (ankle), Craig Smith (ankle), Chris Noonan (knee), and Matt Pritchard (hamstring). "It was a tough decision because we certainly did not want to lose this game at home to the Raiders, but I think that it was important to get everyone healthy for the second half of the season" claimed Knights CEO Robert Balachandran. Despite the missing starters, the Knights had a few moments of brilliance during the game with several long offensive runs and two goal line defensive stances. The Knights efforts were led by starters Gareth Baxendale and Knights MVP Sean Horan both of who had strong defensive games as well as trys during the second half. Good efforts were also put in by the Knights reserve bench players including: Nathan Gooley, Joe Huges, and Jay Thomas. The Knights will practice this week in preparation for their game against Glen Mills this Saturday at Glen Mills.

Week 5 - 6/25/05 | Northern Raiders @ Connecticut Wildcats at Andrews Field

The Connecticut Wildcats moved one step closer to clinching the top of the AMNRL table with a convincing 36-6 win over 2nd place Northern Raiders at Andrews Field. With the temperature sitting around 90 degrees, the match proved to be a heated battle between the two Connecticut rivals. The match was a dead heat until Wildcats drew first blood in the 16th minute through Andrew Webster, who went through 2 raider defenders to scurry from five out to put the first points on the board (6-0 Murray Roeske conversion). The Raiders took advantage of some costly missed tackles to quickly answer back and draw the scores even at 6-6. But the Wildcats stuck the ball right back up the gut thru winger Gareth Gibbs, who linked up off Christian Rahui and proceeded to dissect the defense over the next 60 meters, to put the Wildcats out in front (12-6 Roeske conversion). The Wildcats took advantage of a penalty from right in front, opting to go for goal with Murray Roeske successfully converting to go into half time with a 14-6 lead. In the 2nd half the Wildcats proved to strong for the Raiders with centre Mark Whitney crossing 5 minutes in, to push the score line to 20-6 (Luke Collins Conversion). The Wildcats scored again through Whitney, with a display of quick hands to put winger Curtis Cunz over in the corner to make it 24-6. But on the next kick-off, USA Tomahawk forward Will Brazier broke the defense single-handedly and linked up with Murray Roeske who sprinted the rest of the 50 meters to go in and make it 30-6 (Roeske Conversion) The Raiders played 2 man short the rest of the game with centre Danny Sutton and Prop Steve Bullock given the marching orders by referee Rob Irwin. The Wildcats took full advantage and with a serious of inside balls, created a hole for hooker David Lloyd slide through and link up with Lock Danny Bull who touched down with 1 minute to go in the game. Luke Collins successfully converted to make the final score 36-6 pushing the Wildcats out to a 9 point lead on the Conference ladder, with three games remaining in the regular season. Next week, the Wildcats travel to the Castle to battle the Knights, who are coming off back-to-back losses to the Bulls and Raiders. The Raiders play the Bulls at Glen Mills next, in a battle for second place in the Conference.

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