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Gloucester Gladiators make history in reaching American football's Challenge Trophy play-offs

By Sportsnews  |  Posted: February 27, 2013

The Gloucester Gladiators who are in the Challenge Trophy play-offs

The Gloucester Gladiators who are in the Challenge Trophy play-offs

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Gloucester Gladiators 34

Bristol Barracuda 0

The Gladiators finished their regular eight-game season with a resounding win over Bristol to complete a fairy tale ending to a remarkable year for the Gladiators.

History was created by the team, gaining a place in the Challenge Trophy play-offs.

The game itself was, as the score suggests, a pretty one-sided affair. 

Nevertheless there were star performances from some unexpected areas of the team, no more so than that of Dele Ayodele.

With Bristol receiving the ball from the kick off, the Gladiators made their intentions clear from the first play when good work by Ayodele set up the first score by Armah.

Bristol, shellshocked, never recovered and a further star performance by the Gladiator defence with an interception by James Grady, once again got the offence in play and Rhodri Williams rounded off the first quarter with a touchdown.

In the second quarter Bristol tried all the tricks in their playbook to break through but just before half-time they crumbled Dele Ayodele intercepted a Barracuda pass, showing a turn of speed and running 20 yards for a touchdown in the corner as the Gladiators led 20-0 at half time.

In the third and fourth quarters, with the Barracuda defence spent and their offence having no answers in penetrating the steel ring of the Gladiator's defence, further scores from Dawid Lowe and Silas Miller completed the rout.

The final whistle sounded relief for the  visitors and head coach Steve Suddell, not for the first time this season, had nothing but praise for his young charges.

"No matter what happened today, we had to win to make the play-offs. 

"Once again our defence had a great game, which saw us through to the final whistle," he said. 

"This win has put us in the Challenge Trophy playoffs for the first time in Gladiator history. 

"What a super way to round off the season - I'm proud of every single member of this team".

The Gladiators will now compete in their first round play-off game, at home, against  the BNU Buccaneers from High  Wycombe this weekend.

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