American Football: Monarchs make winning start

London Monarchs 14 Frankfurt Galaxy 7

Bright sunshine, dancing girls and a crowd in shirtsleeves and shades, American football made a characteristically brash, full volume return yesterday when the London Monarchs entertained the Frankfurt Galaxy at Stamford Bridge. Having seen Chelsea dispose of Wimbledon in the round ball semi-final earlier in the day, Ken Bates' tenants believed the omens for a winning start were encouraging.

The Monarchs have not enjoyed the luxury of a successful campaign since 1991, the year they won the World Bowl. Attendances have dwindled since the massively hyped 40,000 gates which were a feature of that inaugural campaign. Inevitably, given the twin attractions of cup football and the marathon, yesterday's gate was 10,718, not a runaway success, but confirmation of a solid base from which to build.

Monarchs fans' have become accustomed to seeing their team struggle, so the early stages of the action will have come as little surprise. On the third play from scrimmage, the quarterback Stan White was intercepted by Frankfurt's Greg Evans. White, allocated by the New York Giants, is regarded as one of the game's most promising young talents but he made a shaky start to his World League career, completing just seven of his first 17 passes for 42 yards.

His early interception was duly punished by the Galaxy, Bobby Phillips giving the visitors a first quarter lead on a one-yard run. But while their offense struggled, London's defense and special teams were in dominant mood. The cornerback Kenny McEntyre, back in the United Kingdom for his third tour of duty, intercepted an errant pass from Frankfurt's Chad May, returning it 51 yards for a touchdown.

The stage was set for Clive Allen, the former soccer player who had played for just about every London club, to try his hand at gridiron. Allen learned at first hand that kicking an extra point is not a simple affair, his attempt sailing wide.

Meanwhile, May was having an increasingly uncomfortable afternoon as London's defensive line ran riot. May, another NFL quarterback with a promising future, was badly let down by his offensive line with Monarchs defenders pouring through at will. He was sacked eight times, three of them coming from the linebacker Rick Newbill, and the most costly coming late in the game when he was felled in his own end zone by Malcolm Showell for a Monarchs safety.

Earlier, a blocked Frankfurt punt led to London's other score in the third quarter. The ball was recovered at the Galaxy's nine-yard line, and a few plays later White claimed his first World League touchdown, a four-yard pass to the tight end Mike Titley. The 14-7 final scoreline barely reflected a second half of almost total London dominance.

"This was the worst game I've seen offensively in all the years I've been in football," said Frankfurt's veteran coach, Ernie Stautner, whose playing days began in the 1940s. "I cannot believe that a team could make so many mistakes in one game."

"It was a good win, and our defense played well," said his opposite number Lionel Taylor. "We made some mistakes on offense and we have to correct those. I must admit I was too conservative today. We need to diversify a little."

The league's other British team, the Scottish Claymores, also enjoyed a winning opening, with a hard-fought 16-3 triumph over the Amsterdam Admirals in the Netherlands on Saturday night. Touchdown runs from the running backs Jared Kaaiohelo and Ron Dickerson sealed the win.

Sport
England's women celebrate after their 3rd place play-off win against Germany
Women's World CupFara Williams converts penalty to secure victory and bronze medals
Arts and Entertainment
Ricardo by Edward Sutcliffe, 2014
artPortraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb go on display
News
newsHillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Spanish Speaking

£17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - German Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Japanese Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are fluent in Japanese a...

Recruitment Genius: Graphic Designer - Immediate Start

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'