American football: Monarchs' season fizzles out
Monday 16 June 1997
The World League regular season came to a disappointing conclusion for London Monarchs yesterday afternoon.
Their offense lacked the consistency necessary to upset the team which finished with the league's best overall record. After losing their first game of the season, the Dusseldorf-based franchise have won seven of their last nine games and are favoured to beat Barcelona Dragons in the World Bowl next week.
However, the Monarchs' defense made life awkward for them and their quarterback, TJ Rubley, completed just three of 12 passes. "It was an ugly game, but you have to give credit to their defense," he said. "We had a lot of distractions this week, but today showed us we have to take care of business next weekend."
Rubley gave up an early interception to London's Mario Bradley, and his replacement Josh LaRocca was picked off by Reggie Holt and Claudius Wright. However, the Fire defense was also in dominant mood, intercepting the London quarterback, Charles Puleri, on three occasions.
The only surprise was that the Monarchs failed to add to their season's tally of sacks. Having made 38 in the first nine games, London's defensive front was unable to bring down either Rubley or LaRocca.
Fire opened the scoring in the second quarter when their Norwegian kicker Atle Larsen made a 45-yard field goal after Puleri had been intercepted by John Anderson. The Monarchs hit back when Puleri fired a 38-yard touchdown to the tight end Mike Titley. However, the Fire scored the game-winner in the third quarter, Derrick Clark's two-yard run giving him his ninth touchdown of the season.
So, for the third year in a row, the Monarchs finished with four wins from 10 games. In five World League seasons they have had three homes and four head coaches, although the team's general manager, Alton Byrd, confirmed that Lionel Taylor will return next year.
There will be plenty of other adjustments during the off-season, as the Monarchs continue their search for a successful formula. Yesterday's game encapsulated their season: close, but never quite good enough.
Latest in Sport
Arsenal vs Aston Villa preview: I need to prove myself again at Villa, says Scott Sinclair
Transfer news and rumours LIVE: Juan Cuadrado to Chelsea, Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester City, United want Gareth Bale
Chelsea vs Manchester City player ratings: David Silva saves the day but which City star stole the show at Stamford Bridge?
Arsene Wenger photobombs Arsenal photo shoot - manages to look like famous 'Bigfoot' picture
Serena Williams wins Australia Open 2015: American beats Maria Sharapova in straight sets to claim a sixth title in Melbourne
- 1 Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
- 2 Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 5 Canadian woman suing police who locked her in van with sex offender who then raped her
Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
Hard line on immigration could cost Tories the election
£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Now our rapidly expanding and A...
£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about great ...
£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...
£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...