Dragons exploit errors

American Football
Sunday 30 April 1995 23:02
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The London Monarchs suffered another defeat, 39-24 by the Barcelona Dragons at White Hart Lane yesterday afternoon, but there were some encouraging signs in the stands. After drawing less than 9,000 for the defeat by Amsterdam last week, the Monarchs attracted a five-figure crowd, although the attendance of 10,287 leaves little room for complacency.

The final score flattered the Dragons, who have now won four regular- season games in succession against the Monarchs. London failed to help their own cause, and they were undone by penalties, a number of dropped balls and, most damaging of all, four turnovers.

Both London quarterbacks, Brad Johnson and Jim Ballard, threw interceptions. Johnson and the running back Tony Brooks also gave up costly fumbles. "I thought Brad did some good things today, but young quarterbacks will make mistakes and we have to be patient about that," Bobby Hammond, the Monarchs coach, said.

"A lot of the guys were disappointed but we must not get despondent. We have the building blocks for a winning franchise here, although the process is taking time."

Despite taking a 7-6 lead on Brooks's two-yard run, the Monarchs never looked capable of claiming their second win of the season. Shortly after Ballard threw an interception, the Barcelona running-back Ricky Blake scored on a 29-yard run - a Barcelona record - to give the visitors a lead they did not lose.

The Dragons led 12-10 at half-time and two big plays in the third quarter ensured their win. First, Casey Weldon threw a 69-yard touchdown to Tyree Davis. Then, after a Brooks fumble, Jay Walker, a replacement for Weldon, who went off with bruised ribs after being hit by Carlton Lance, completed a 43-yard scoring pass to Mario Henry.

Despite a second touchdown from Brooks and Johnson's spectacular 45-yard strike to Alan Allen, the Monarchs had left themselves too much to do.

A scoring run from Lindsey Chapman inside the final minute confirmed Barcelona's superiority, leaving the Monarchs with plenty to think about in the second half of the season.

n The Scottish Claymores lost 31-0 to the Amsterdam Admirals at Murrayfield, the heaviest defeat of any World League team this season. The Claymores were punished for a series of mistakes and, at the end, were jeered by sections of the 9,306 crowd.

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