Vinson sparks London revival

American football
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The Independent Online
The London Monarchs retained their interest in the World League season with a 27-7 victory over the Frankfurt Galaxy at White Hart Lane yesterday.

After losing four of their first five games, the Monarchs boas- ted the poorest offense in the League. They had failed to score a rushing touchdown, and none of their wide receivers had managed a scoring reception. Even worse, their running game had been dreadful, averaging a meagre 65 yards per outing.

All that changed yesterday, with the Monarchs trebling their previous average output. The running back Tony Vinson, allocated to the Monarchs by the NFL's Atlanta Falcons, scored on touchdown runs of 44 and three yards, finishing with a total of 140 yards in the process. Earlier, the quarterback, Preston Jones, had thrown touchdown passes to the receivers Willie Hinchcliff and Linzy Collins to give the home side an early 14- point advantage.

Hinchcliff, a New Zealander who represented his country as a long jumper at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, continues to improve. The fastest player in the league, Hinchcliff has caught eight passes in his last two games, giving the Monarchs an additional attacking dimension. "Today we needed to dig deep and find out what sort of people we really are," Hinchcliff said.

For Frankfurt, things are looking bleak. Against Scotland last week, the defending champions failed to register a point, and their only touchdown yesterday, Steve Pelluer's one-yard run, came too late to effect the outcome. Pelluer, the former Dallas Cowboys quarterback, suffered the indignity of seven sacks, three of them by London's defensive end, Horace Morris.

After winning their first four games in style, the Galaxy have been dragged back into the chasing pack. Even London can still reach next month's World Bowl against the Scottish Claymores - a win against the Amsterdam Admirals next week could yet lead to a remarkable change in their fortunes. The only negatives were a disappointing kicking game - an extra point and two field goals missed - and knee injuries to the centre Damon Baldwin and the linebacker Andre Allen.

If Vinson continues to show this kind of form, the Monarchs cannot be ruled out of contention. Yesterday he had the perfect incentive. "My fiancee graduated from college this weekend, and I couldn't be there because of the game," he said. "So this is dedicated to her."