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Kings of Anglia Issue 10 Magazine Offer

Cardinals facing injury crisis

PUBLISHED: 14:07 22 June 2002 | UPDATED: 12:08 03 March 2010

AMERICAN FOOTBALL: The Cardinals have been struck by an injury and availability crisis ahead of this Sunday's rematch against the Bristol Aztecs.

Having dispatched the west country side at Northgate last week in convincing 39 - 6 fashion, the Suffolk men find themselves travelling light for the return game, their sixth fixture in the league campaign.

AMERICAN FOOTBALL

The Cardinals have been struck by an injury and availability crisis ahead of this Sunday's rematch against the Bristol Aztecs.

Having dispatched the west country side at Northgate last week in convincing 39 - 6 fashion, the Suffolk men find themselves travelling light for the return game, their sixth fixture in the league campaign.

No fewer than eight members of the unbeaten squad are out, a fact that will hearten the gutsy home side as they look to win their first game in a difficult season.

Offensive linemen Simon Cousins and Mel Kauffman are unavailable due to work commitments, while injuries rule out fellow linemen Nick Smith, Willie Farrow and Dominic Gordon. Three defensive players; Gary Gonzalves, Brian Petterway and John Melrose are also out hurt, leaving the coaching staff a real headache about who to play where and when.

Club owner and GM Ralph Alexander is hoping the Cardinals excellent team spirit will prevail after a 5 hour or so journey to the Aztec's Filton ground, just out of the city.

Should the Ipswich side overcome their hurdles this week, a play-off berth will be assured in the southern half of the BSL Division One title chase, a fact that has surely surprised many people throughout the country after Ipswich's promotion from Division Two last year.

Their unbeaten record is a testament to Head coach James Mitchell and his staff, who have been supremely professional in their approach to this amateur sport. Blending a team of individuals into a coherent, workmanlike and ultimately, successful group of athletes is never easy but this years crop have responded in the best possible way.

Built around the stingiest defense in the league, with good special teams support and an offense that improves with every game, the 2002 Ipswich Cardinals look every inch the worthy contender in British American footballs elite.

Tomorrow's road trip will be another test of their character, and hopefully, come 6pm, another W in the win/loss column.

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