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Cardiff Cobras bring Swansea Titans down to size

The Cardiff Cobras never like to take the easy road to victory, especially when there's a more dramatic one just waiting to be played out. With a mixed start to the season they won games against Bristol Barracuda by a landslide 46-6 only to have to scrape through in the final moments to beat Plymouth Blitz by a score. The Cobras owe their only loss this season to a lax performance against the underdog team Exeter Demons, a unit specialised in causing upsets after their win over the league leaders UWE Bullets last weekend. However, with a commanding away win at the Swansea Titans the Cobras showed that they are back on track to the playoffs and thirsty for glory once more.

Both Swansea and Cardiff are teams full of rich history, huge pride and between them a deep and unyielding enmity stretching back long years to the foundation of both clubs. With Cardiff already one up on the Titans this season, courtesy of a pre-season 'friendly', the atmosphere was ferocious as Cardiff set to receive Swansea's opening kick-off; the play didn't last long though as the Titans tried to get the drop on the Cobras with an onside (very short) kick. Always prepared Ryan Davies was able to recover the ball and storm nearly halfway up the pitch before being bought down by the swarming defenders leaving Cardiff with great field position to start their offensive drive toward the Titans endzone, the first of many for the men in red.

The game of American Football is at its weakest moments a hugely physical contest whilst at its best a fierce and unrelenting battle, at Swansea, the Cobras made it a brutal, personal and ferociously fast paced grudge match. With Offensive Captain Alex Brew hammering through the centre of Swansea's defence and running back Ben Fowle streaking around their edges Swansea were hard pressed to keep the Cobras from their line and the only thing stopping Cardiff from humiliating Swansea in their own back yard were themselves as they gave away cheap penalty after penalty to lose themselves scoring opportunities.

With the offence having trouble finding their winning stride it fell to the defence to keep Swansea at bay. They may be named the Titans, but the Swansea offence stood in the shadows of the Cardiff linebackers; with great pressure coming through Cardiff's experienced D-Line there was little the Titans could do except clear their lines with a punt, lick their wounds and hand the ball back to Cardiff after 3 failed attempts at a first down.

After a brief pep talk from the coaches the Cobras were back out on the field and taking the game straight to Swansea once more. With great strength and depth at running back they elected to keep the ball in hand and stormed up, over, through and around the Titans, beating the heart out of them with some well time hits so that RB Alex Brew could cross the line for a score to put them 6-0 up.

Games can turn on a moment. One score is all that is needed for victory, and one score is all that is needed to take it away. The game was starting to edge in Swansea's favour as they made steadily more yards against the Cardiff D and were able to hold the Cobras offence to no further score. Cardiff needed a game changer, fast.

Rookie Quarterback Rich Gardener was making his first start for the Cobras after the loss of QB Tom Williams however he rose undaunted despite a wall of Swansea players crashing down toward him and slotted his first Touchdown pass to rookie receiver Stefan Pollitt, 30 yards away deep in the endzone to take Cardiff 2 scores clear, and with only a single quarter of the game remaining.

Swansea were able to hit back and snatched 6 points due to a mis-communication from the Cardiff D, however it was too little too late as the Cobras beat the Titans for the second time this season to put themselves in with a shot at League Champions, an honour not bestowed on a Cardiff team for a VERY long time, if they beat the UWE bullets this weekend then the title is almost in their grasp.

With one last chance to play Cardiff before the end of the year the Titans will be throwing everything they have into this year's varsity match, it's not one to be missed, especially if the Cobras can keep this winning streak up through the coming weeks.

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