Claymores triumph is fitting finale
Monday 24 June 1996
The crowd far exceeded even the most optimistic expectations of World League executives, who had fretted about the prospect of wide open spaces at Murrayfield. Instead, they had to open up new sections of seating to meet the additional interest.
The Claymores averaged 13,398 for their five home games this season, a 50 per cent increase on last year's disappointing inaugural campaign. The Galaxy continued to lead the way with average crowds of more than 33,000, while the London Monarchs maintained their rehabilitation with gates of 12,564, up from a 1995 average of 10,000.
Overall, attendances rose by 18 per cent, and with satisfactory television ratings in key European markets, the League's president, Oliver Luck, has already announced the return of operations next year, with the addition of two new franchises planned for 1998.
"We're hoping to make similar strides as well next year," he said. "With more players from the National Football League promised for 1997, things should continue to improve."
The action on the field began dramatically, Mario Bailey fumbling the opening kick-off and Markus Thomas returning it 24 yards to put the Claymores ahead with just 11 seconds gone.
However, the Galaxy responded. Jay Kearney scored on a reverse, and the quarterback Steve Pelluer threw a two-yard touchdown to Bailey to put the Germans ahead. Scotland then lost their most productive player, Sean LaChapelle, who limped out of the game with a groin strain, but Yo Murphy filled the void with a game-winning contribution. Murphy - real name Llewellyn - pulled in seven catches for 163 yards and three touchdowns, all World Bowl records.
The Galaxy reduced the deficit to five points, but thanks to Murphy and the quarterback Jim Ballard, the Claymores had done enough to complete a remarkable transformation. The worst team in the league in 1995, they will return next year as defending champions.
Mountain goats miraculously survive avalanche in the Alps
Skyfall's Ben Whishaw confirmed for Freddie Mercury film
A cautionary tale for ambitious would-be authors
Latest in Sport
Roy Keane omits Paul Scholes, Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs from 'greatest' Manchester United team
Ashes 2013-14 comment: England need to learn from Australia and master art of avoiding 'the creep'
Roy Keane and Patrick Vieira relive rivalry - after the former Manchester United and Arsenal captains shared ice cream in Warsaw
Ashes 2013-14 match report: Alastair Cook future in jeopardy after another woeful display sees England lose to Australia by 218 runs to go down 2-0
Manchester United player ratings: The best (and worst) performers for David Moyes during the season so far
- 1 Gurdwaras-turned-food banks: Sikh temples are catering for rise in Britain’s hungry
- 2 TK Maxx and discount stores: If it looks too good to be true, it probably is
- 3 Teenage girl convicted of robbery after taking pre-crime selfie wielding knife
- 4 Government delays EU immigration report because it is too positive
- 5 'I'm experiencing austerity as well', says Princess Michael of Kent
£40000 - £50000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: Technica...
£23000 - £27000 per annum + Award-Winning Benefits: Round The World Experts: L...
£23000 - £27000 per annum + (£16K Base + Uncapped Commission): Flight Centre L...
£400 - £475 per day: PCR Recruitment Limited: Global retail and consumer produ...