The 2008-09 was to see a major restructure to offensive scheme due to the graduation of the “Air Sheffield” core which had combined for over 200 points through the air alone over 3 years. The Sabres were a whole different ‘animal’ and were aiming to re brand themselves as a relentless ground and pound outfit. The transition was less than seamless.
The season followed a similar pattern, going into the Christmas break undefeated, with a notable victory over Leeds. The Sabres now went into the second half of the season with a packed run up to the playoffs. A heart wrenching loss to Sheffield Hallam left for an interesting finish to the season. The Sabres managed to fulfil all four remaining fixtures to finish the season 7-1 and this time to clinch the division title over Leeds based on head to head record.
Once again the Sabres fell at the same hurdle. This time to a well prepared and drill Loughborough Aces outfit.
-BUAFL Conference 2 North Division Champions
-University of Sheffield Club Sport of the Year
-University of Sheffield Club Sport International Sportsman of the Year – Wojciec Stec
-University of Sheffield Club Sport Outstanding Contribution Award – Elliott Josypenko
-University of Sheffield Club Sport Colours –
Admin : Euan Paterson, Elliott Josypenko, Kirk Mavraki
Club : Elliott Josypenko, Andrew Cropper,
Half : Chris Shaw, Simon Buckley, Kirk Mavraki
Full : Robin Toone
–Head Coach Simon Dwyer is hand picked as MVP North Head Coach
-Coach Will Hunting – MVP North Linebackers Coach
-Coach Adam Liley – MVP North Defensive Lineman Coach
-Coach Tim Mulliner – MVP North Offensive Lineman Coach
-Coach Simon Vardy – MVP North Defensive Backs Coach
|Away Team||Home Team|
|Liverpool Fury||P-P||Sheffield Sabres|
|Nottingham Outlaws||2-13||Sheffield Sabres|
|Sheffield Sabres||14-0||Derby Braves|
|Sheffield Sabres||14-0||Leeds Celtics|
|Sheffield Hallam Warriors||21-14||Sheffield Sabres|
|Sheffield Sabres||P-P||Lancaster Bombers|
|UCH Sharks||P-P||Sheffield Sabres|
|Sheffield Sabres||46-0||Huddersfield Hawks|
|UCH Hawks||0-30||Sheffield Sabres|
|Sheffield Sabres||30-0||Lancaster Bombers|
|Liverpool Fury||6-10||Sheffield Sabres|
|Loughborough Aces||21-7||Sheffield Sabres|
|Sabres Oldboys||21-12||Sheffield Sabres|
|BUAFL Conference 2 – North Division|
|Sheffield Hallam Warriors||6||2||0||0.750||197||60|
|6||RETIRED- DAMIAN MARSHALL|
|28||RETIRED- JAKE TREEN|
|33||Robin Toone III||LB|
|40||Wei Hong Tay||LB|
|Nottingham Outlaws 2 – 13 Sheffield Sabres|
|The University of Sheffield Sabres took on last season’s playoff contenders, the Nottingham Outlaws in their first match of the 08/09 season, under the floodlights at a cold Bawtry Road on Sunday.
The Sabres started solidly, with an 80 yard drive on their first possession, rounded off with runningback Colin Williams storming into the endzone, putting the home side up 7-0 after just 4 minutes.
The rest of the game became a war of attrition between two solid defences, neither willing to budge an inch. After a fine Nottingham punt in the second quarter, Sheffield started a drive on their 1 yard line, and a strong blitz through the hole sent Sheffield runningback Jamie Mordue back into his own endzone, conceding a safety for 2 points, making the score at the half 7-2.
The third quarter started brightly for the home team, with linebacker Luke Shackleton recovering a fumble and safety Ali Veitch picking a Nottingham pass to give the Sheffield offence fine field position. The offence duly accepted their task, and runningback Colin Williams ploughed into the endzone for his second score, making it 13-2 to Sheffield.
The game once again deteriorated, but it was always comfortable for the Sabres defence, with strong tackles up the middle from rookie nosetackle Phill Rowbottom and veteran linebacker George Pollard. Safety Ali Veitch ended his day with 3 interceptions for a total of 65 yards, and Colin Williams leads the team with 85 rushing yards.
|Sheffield Sabres 14 – 0 Derby Braves|
|The Sheffield Sabres travelled to Derby, to take on the 1-2 Braves. With a blizzard forecast, a dry, windless day pleased both offenses, as they looked forward to the Barti-Bowl.
Derby started on offense, and started confidently with 3 completions from QB Josh Bartimus. However, an impressive stand and a turnover on downs allowed the Sheffield offense to take the field.
In the first drive, QB Andrew Cropper completed his first ever pass, a 50 yard bomb to WR Alessandro Sidoli, but eventually the drive stalled, and P Kieran Rieley gave the ball to Derby.
Unfortunately, this would prove to be a regular occurance for the Sheffield offence, which would regularly gain significant yards through RBs Mark Maguire and Colin Williams, before stalling and finding themselves in a 3rd and long situation against a strong and aggressive defense.
The Derby offense was experiencing much of the same treatment, with both defenses coming out on top. However, the Sheffield D managed to trump their East Midlands opponents forcing 5 turnovers on the day, including 3 more picks for S Ali Veitch and one for CB Stuart Boor.
The play of the day however was a sack and forced fumble from LB Kieran Reiley, with DE Jon Gladwin recovering the ball in the endzone for a touchdown. The extra point was missed by Ale Sidoli.
In the second half, the Sabres offense started to roll a little more, and through Mark Maguire, secured a 14 point win, racking up a touchdown, and running in the 2 point conversion to complete the days scoring.
|Sheffield Sabres 14 – 0 Leeds Celtics|
|Sheffield Hallam Warriors 21 – 14 Sheffield Sabres|
|Sheffield Sabres 46 – 0 Huddersfield Hawks|
|Hull Sharks 0 – 30 Sheffield Sabres|
|Liverpool Fury 6 – 10 Sheffield Sabres
Sheffield Sabres 30 – 0 Lancaster Bombers
|Double header game held at Lancaster|
|Loughborough Aces 21 – 7 Sheffield Sabres (Playoffs)|