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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Eagles Beat Oxford to Maintain Title Hopes

Table-topping Ruislip Eagles secured a 37-25 win over Oxford on Sunday as their bid for the English National League’s southern title continued.

The match had all the attributes of a trap for the Eagles. The weather and driving conditions to reach Northampton where the game took place were difficult, and a few key missing players could have proven detrimental for a game that Oxford badly needed to win to boost their chances of qualifying for the play offs.

However, Ruislip players were ready to make the efforts and showed it right at the start of the game. Defence was solid despite Oxford scoring a few strong nine-metre goals, and attacking movements were played with good confidence.

Despite a man-marking defence on Ruislip playmaker Max Rebelle, the Eagles increased the tempo and Oxford could not stop the likes of in-form Fredrik Charpentier and Xavier Burin (top scorer for the Eagles with 7 goals). Andrius Rinkevicius produced several saves and could find Yohann Lucas for the fast breaks allowing Ruislip to reach halftime with a 5 goal lead (18-13).

The Eagles kept the same commanding attitude in second half making the efforts in the defensive moves symbolized by a great defensive retreat from Azzedine Messis that lifted the spirit of the players. Ruislip could then seize every Oxford attacking mistakes to punish them with several fast break goals which meant a comfortable 12-goal lead at the end of the game.

In other action, reigning champions London GD scraped a narrow 32-31 win over Cambridge.

This Sunday, Ruislip and London GD will play each other at Leyton SCORE Centre in a battle to decide who wins the southern section.

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