Saxons pull off a shock raid north of the border to reach semi-finals

Natel Malero scored a touchdown for Saxons.

Natel Malero scored a touchdown for Saxons.

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Peterborough Saxons pulled off a shock win north of the border at the weekend to advance to the semi-finals of the British League Division Two play-offs for only the second time in their history.

The city side, who reached the play-offs after clinching second place in National Conference Two South behind Sandwell Steelers, travelled to Glasgow to take on convincing National Conference Two North champions West Coast Trojans in the first round of the play-offs.

The powerful Scottish outfit, ranked three for the play-offs, were red-hot favourites to advance to the semi-finals at the expense of sixth-ranked Saxons.

But against all the odds, Saxons made the 640-mile round trip a fruitful one by taking the honours 28-26 to inflict only a second defeat of the season on the Glaswegians.

Saxons got off to a superb start when receiving the first kick-off and proceeding to score a touchdown with Chris Dahl running hard down the middle of the field.

Trojans quickly levelled on their second offensive play of the game.

The teams then exchanged a few punts before the Saxons scored again with quarterback Cameron Field running the ball into the end zone.

Trojans again managed to bring the score back even at 14-14 at half-time.

Trojans made a lightning start to the second half with two quick scores to open up a lead of 26-14 and the game seemed to be slipping away from the Saxons.

But just before the end of the third quarter, a 70-yard pass to Jason Bradshaw put the Saxons back within a score.

The Saxons defence then forced a punt which Natel Malero, a youth team graduate, ran back for a touchdown and the Saxons had edged ahead 28-26.

And despite strong pressure from Trojans, the Saxons defence stood firm with Kevin Cunningham defending a last-minute pass as time ran out.

It meant Saxons, who were one of only two teams to win away from home in the first round of the play-offs, had earned a trip to Manchester for a semi-final showdown with National Conference Two West champions Manchester Titans - the number one seeds - on September 6.

National Conference Two is the third tier of the British American Football League.