Bowl game glory for unbeaten Devils

Norwich Devils 26, Dundee Hurricanes 12: Norwich Devils clinched their return to the top level of British gridiron by completing a season of unbroken success with victory in the Division Two Bowl game at Don Valley Stadium in Sheffield.

Norwich Devils 26, Dundee Hurricanes 12: Norwich Devils clinched their return to the top level of British gridiron by completing a season of unbroken success with victory in the Division Two Bowl game at Don Valley Stadium in Sheffield.

They held off a late rally by Dundee Hurricanes - who trailed 26-0 early in the second half - to complete a season unbeaten for the second time in their history.

The Hurricanes did well to come back after a start which suggested they would be blown away. Devils were quickly on the scoreboard when quarterback Darren Bailey hit running back Jason Osborn with a 33 yard scoring strike.

Ben Green's kick went narrowly wide but, on their next possession, the Devils put together a 61 yard drive which culminated in a one yard Bailey sneak for the second score. This time Green's kick split the uprights to give Norwich a 13-0 lead.

In the second quarter Devils were again driving hard and got to the Hurricanes' 22 yard line before Bailey was intercepted to finish the drive.

However, it wasn't long before the Devils were again in the endzone when Bailey capped a 64-yard drive with a 16-yard scoring pass to receiver Green. Green's own kick was good and the Devils led 20-0 with under six minutes left in the half.

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The Dundee offense had been stifled throughout the half by an excellent hard-tackling Devils defense.

But they were given a great chance as half-time approached when a fumbled exchange by Norwich presented them with the ball at the Devils' 29-yard line.

Devils looked to have overcome the problem when linebacker Tom Lyons came up with an interception - but a pass interference call ruled it out and moved the Hurricanes to the Devils' 14. Still the defense wouldn't break - and Dundee remained scoreless at the break.

Devils continued to move the ball in the second half, and midway through the third quarter Bailey had his third touchdown pass, this time from 34 yards out, when receiver Nick Welsh came up with a spectacular catch in the endzone. Green's kick was blocked to leave the score at 26-0.

Norwich had a further chance to extend their lead following cornerback Bobby Kerr's interception, which he returned to the Dundee six-yard line. A sack on Bailey forced the Norwich quarterback temporarily out of the game, but his replacement, Troy Schmidgall looked to have scored on a 16 yard run, only to see it ruled out on an illegal motion call.

The let-off seemed to spark the Hurricanes into life and, when a 27-yard completion from quarterback Bruce Thomson to Fraser Thomson moved them to the Norwich nine-yard line, they at last got on the scoreboard when Thomson threw to Gregory Ekatah for a touchdown.

The Hurricanes went for a two-point conversion, but running back Niakate Mahamadou was stopped short by a crunching tackle from James May.

Dundee's attempted onside kick was snared by Welsh, but as the match ran inside the two minute warning, the Hurricanes' two Thomsons combined for a second score, this time from two yards out.

Again the conversion was stopped short. The Hurricanes again tried the onside kick but again Welsh recovered for Norwich - who then successfully saw the game to its conclusion.

To cap a memorable day for the men from Norfolk, quarterback Darren Bailey was awarded the 'most valuable player' trophy.