Cardinals fired up for finale

PUBLISHED: 13:51 21 July 2001 | UPDATED: 10:21 03 March 2010

TOMORROW sees the play-off bound Ipswich Cardinals hosting the Chiltern Cheetahs in their final league fixture of the 2001 regular season.

TOMORROW sees the play-off bound Ipswich Cardinals hosting the Chiltern Cheetahs in their final league fixture of the 2001 regular season.

Still smarting at the non-appearance of the Maidstone Pumas in the previous scheduled home match at Northgate Sports Centre, Cardinals general manager Ralph Alexander hopes to see a sizeable crowd to support his team and has had written confirmations from the Cheetahs administration stating their intent to not only turn up, but upset their East Anglian hosts by spoiling the end-of-season party by winning the game.

Having missed out on the play-off picture with an indifferent record, there was immense surprise around the country when the Cheetahs just lost out to the Norwich Devils in a 32-40 thriller last week.

Obviously the Chiltern side are improving as the season nears its climax, but with nothing to play

for one wonders if all the talk will be enough to dent the home-field advantage for which the Cardinals will be playing.

The Ipswich-based Cardinals, on the other hand, have been training hard this week, preparing

themselves for a tough match against Chiltern, while enjoying the knowledge that this Sunday not only marks the end of the regular season but also the beginning of the post season knock out stages.

Having lost out in the Britbowl final at Sheffield last year, this squad – under the guidance of

coaches James Mitchell and Chris Cantrill – knows only too well the pain of defeat and are determined not to feel it again.

While this season's record hasn't matched last years, the playing squad is building nicely for the play-off assault. Players are returning fully rested from holidays, injuries sustained earlier in the campaign are recovering in the nick of time and some new players are being drafted in to replace those unable to continue. Coach Mitchell is introducing numerous new offensive plays to undermine any preconceptions the other play-off teams' coaches have or can watch on game films.

Tomorrow is definitely the start of something big. The Cardinals are going for it all again this year, with the Chiltern Cheetahs first up in the firing line.

Kick-off at the Northgate Sports Centre, Sidegate Lane, Ipswich is at 2.30pm. Further details can be found by telephoning Mr Alexander on Ipswich 410887.

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Ipswich Star. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Ipswich Star