Spartans suffer heavy loss

PUBLISHED: 08:17 12 August 2013 | UPDATED: 08:17 12 August 2013

Action from the game between the Essex Spartans and Colchster Gladiators (Pic: Mikey Cartwright)

Action from the game between the Essex Spartans and Colchster Gladiators (Pic: Mikey Cartwright)

Mikey Cartwright |

Colchester Gladiators 55 Essex Spartans 6

Essex Spartans saw their last away game of the season end with a tough loss to county rivals Colchester Gladiators yesterday.

The Billericay-based Spartans had nothing but pride to play for going into their game with the undefeated Gladiators, and despite a severely depleted squad, they put in perhaps their best team performance of the year.

Quarterback Brandon Slieker connected with receiver James Thompson for the rookie’s first touchdown of his career as the visitors took a surprising 6-0 lead early in the game.

But from then on, it was all Colchester and two rushing touchdowns with successful conversions meant the hosts ended the first quarter 14-6 up.

Spartans were holding their own against superior opposition and forced turnovers through Kieron Goymer and Nick Mayer in the second quarter.

Slieker and the rest of the Spartans offense were in good form, but were unable to add to their opening score and another touchdown for the Gladiators meant they went into half-time 21-6 ahead.

The second half saw the heat and the physical nature of the game take its toll on the Spartans and the home team racked up four more touchdowns to enter the final quarter with a commanding 48-6 advantage.

One more touchdown completed the scoring as Spartans fell to one of the national title favourites.

Head coach Marc Saunders said: “The Spartan few who faced the Gladiators were worthy of the name Spartan.

“Our lowest turnout of the year produced one of our best performances to date, regardless of the scoreline.”

Spartans end their disappointing 2013 campaign with a home game against Bedfordshire Blue Raiders at Hannakins Farm on Sunday (August 18) with a 2.30pm start.

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