British American Football League: Herts Cheetahs get set for historic final after shock semi-final success
- Credit: Archant
A stunning and somewhat shock victory has put the Hertfordshire Cheetahs on the verge of a massive national title.
The American football side, who are based at St Albans Rugby Club in Oaklands Lane, face Portsmouth Dreadnoughts in the British American Football League SFC Division Two final on Sunday.
They reached the championship game thanks to a 44-32 win over London Blitz at Finsbury Park.
It is a sign of how well they have done this year that they went into the game in north London as underdogs, the first time this year they have wore that moniker.
But they started perfectly with Adam Adeniji scoring the game’s opening touchdown.
A pass breakup from Josh Dunnet stalled a Blitz drive, then tackles for a loss from Patrick Armstrong and Jordan Legge paved the way for a sliced punt and a safety for the Cheetahs.
Another punt attempt was squashed and from the ensuing good field position quarterback Martin Brown found Tom McQuillin for the next TD.
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Rowan Huggins got the third after another turnover, Tirell Jeffers getting the interception, and the cheetahs weren’t done, adding a fourth before half-time through an interception from Legge that was returned to the endzone.
Leading 30-6 at the break it seemed as if the Cheetahs had one foot in the final but the blitz came back and narrowed the gap to 30-24 in the third quarter.
But Adeniji burst through to settle any nerves and completed his hat-trick a few drives later and despite one back for the Blitz late on, the Cheetahs held on to set-up the final showdown at Leicester.
Head coach Craig Barnes said: “It was a memorable victory for the team and the club. To take on an unbeaten team in their own back yard and win like that is a tribute to our players.”
“When the defence wobbled a bit in the second half, the offence went up a gear to keep us in front.
“Jordan Legge was amazing for us on D, just top class.
“We are obviously very proud to have made the SFC2 Championship Game and the Dreadnoughts will once again provide a very stern test.
“We will need to be at our very best to win the title but we will prepare harder then ever and I can guarantee that we will give our absolute all to win.
“We can’t wait.”