Wembley Stallions travelled to tricky opponents Ouse Valley Eagles and withstood the onslaught of the run game to win 12-21.
The Stallions defence started well, keeping the Eagles to a quick three-and-out, but a fumble on offence put the home side back on the field. Unable to gain ground Ouse Valley could not take advantage. Wembley started their next drive inside the Eagles half thanks to a good punt return by Sam Fraser. The Stallions took advantage with solid runs by Geraldas Kastauna and a catch by Granit Uka to put the visitors at the one-yard line. Lawrence Wild starting at quarterback snuck in for his first touchdown of the season, Nick Glenday added the extra to put Wembley into the lead at 0-7.
Ouse Valley responded quickly as their running back found the seam to get 62-yard touchdown run. The Eagles were unable to level the scores as Joe Reynolds blocked the conversion attempt to put the score at 6-7.
The visitors continued to play well and increased their lead on the next drive. More solid runs from Kastauna and Carl James and just toes in catch by Glenday put the Stallions in a good position. Kastauna was rewarded for his patience as he ran in his first ever touchdown, Glenday added the extra to put the score at 6-14.
The Eagles were unable to move the ball as time expired on the first quarter and put the Stallions back on the field. Wembley looked set to add another score as they moved downfield with more runs from Kastauna, but a pass was intercepted giving procession to the home side at midfield. More tackles from Pietro Pastorelli, Jerome Klein and Paul Fergus kept the Eagles from taking advantage.
Neither side gained much ground in the second quarter. Ouse Valley gave themselves a chance to make it a one-score game after intercepting another pass. But again, were unable to take advantage against a strong tackling defence as time expired on the second quarter.
Ouse Valley came out the stronger in the third quarter, keeping the Stallions to a quick three-and-out. Followed by the home side gaining their first first-down of the game but, were unable to get into the red zone with tackles from Chris Middlemas and Glenn Trafford-Smith stopping the drive.
Wembley continued to be kept at little to no gains, but with the away side’s defence playing well, the Eagles didn’t look like scoring again as the game moved into the final quarter. More tackles from Klein and Andis Mema stopped the home side midway in their own half. Fraser broke out another good run on punt return to give the Stallions’ offence excellent field position.
The away side took advantage as rushes from Kastauna put the Stallions just outside the red zone. A pass to Uka in the end zone, followed by Glenday adding the extras extended Wembley’s lead to 6-21.
The Eagles heads didn’t drop as they continued to fight and were rewarded with another rushing touchdown to narrow the score. Klein prevent the two conversion as Ouse Valley tried to make it a one-score game, putting the score at 12-21.
The Eagles tried to regain position quickly with an on-side kick, but Reynolds stood firm and caught the ball to put the Stallions on and finish the game.
The Stallions now hold a 3-3 record and stay in the hunt for a playoff position. With the remaining four games all at home, it should be an exciting end to the season. Next up are Colchester Gladiators on Sunday after the Juniors’ face South East Legion.