The London Monarchs' hopes of qualifying for the World Bowl have effectively been ended after a disappointing 31-7 loss at the hands of the Frankfurt Galaxy in Germany on Saturday.
Since the World League relaunched in 1995, Frankfurt's Waldstadion has proved an unhappy ground for the Monarchs: after last year's 37-3 humiliation their head coach, Bobbie Hammond, was dismissed. His successor, Lionel Taylor, is unlikely to suffer a similar fate, but the manner of this reverse puts the Monarchs' recent revival into its correct perspective.
Deprived of Stan White and Preston Jones, London entrusted their offense to Kerry Joseph. The hero of last week's win in Barcelona, Joseph was less effective this time, unable to find receivers, constantly under pressure and forced into mistakes.
He threw three interceptions and fumbled twice near his own line. Frankfurt were able to convert those mistakes into 21 points.
Bobbie Phillips, the League's leading running back, pounded away for 115 yards, with two touchdowns, including a 66-yard sprint late in the first half.
Galaxy's quarterback, Chad May, was removed in favour of Steve Pelluer and the former Dallas Cowboy threw touchdowns passes to Vince Marrow and Travis Hannah.
In contrast, the Monarchs were unable to offer much in response, other than a 30-yard touchdown from Ron Dickerson late in the first half which reduced the deficit to 14-7. The Monarchs have managed just two touchdowns in the last 14 quarters of play.
n Scott Couper, a Scot, caught a 14-yard pass with 15 seconds remaining yesterday to secure a 32-20 victory for the Scottish Claymores against the Rhein Fire. The comeback, from 20-7 down in the final quarter, takes the Claymores' record to 4-3.