On Saturday evening both Ipswich Cardinals Seniors and Ipswich Cardinals Junior Team had their Annual Awards Evening at our home base – Ipswich YM Rugby Club.


We used this evening as a chance to celebrate the highs of both teams during this strange last year. Please see the link here for both Coaches reports of the 2021 Season. (www.ipswichcardinals.co.uk/reflection-of-the-2021-season/)


The Senior Award winners are as follows – Offensive MVP - Mitchell Melanaphy #87 WR


Defensive MVP - Haydon Clark #55 MLB


Offensive Rookie - Jonathan Balshaw #84


Defensive Rookie - Daniel Spink #44 DE


Coaches Player - Angus Chisholm #27 SS


Most Improved Ryan Caley #32 CB

Players Player - Chris Daniels #43 OLB


Overall MVP - Chris Daniels #43 OLB


Turnover Leaders - Ryan Caley & Haydon Clark


On behalf of the club we would like to say a big thank you to all the supporters, friends and family members of the players and volunteers as well as our sponsors Cardinal Creative, Ipswich Buses, Hopsters Ipswich, who have come to watch us this year at both our Home and Away games. We greatly appreciate all the support and look forward to seeing you next year. Another massive thank you to our Senior Coaches Ian, Kyle, Dominic, Kris, Stefan as well as our Junior Coaches who stepped up to help the Seniors - Liam and Peter.


Junior Award photos to follow......


Thankyou to Cardinal Creative, Chewbroccoli Photography, nearthecoast.com, and Players family members for providing the photos and graphics.

#ipswichcardinals #ALLIN # 2021completed

Igs -2021 : The Covid Season

Having played 8 Senior games in a shortened season, there were many positive aspects to the current Cardinals squad.

With a full team the campaign began well with back to back wins over Ouse Valley, but injuries soon took their toll on a small squad.Inconsistent performances hurt us, but nobody will forget that W over Norwich that highlighted the year!Off the field our new ground is a welcome move, and the new committee approach can only be a good thing.

The Junior section is growing and is in great hands, which all equals a successful year for the Cardinals. 

Thanks for all the hard work everyone ❤️


Pete -U19 Season Review 2021:


On return from a very uncertain 2020 due the Covid -19 pandemic, the 2021 U19 Junior Ipswich Cardinals made up of mainly rookie players with a small sprinkling of veteran leadership, were back playing ball again, successfully completing their Covid shortened season compiling a winning record of 4 -2, with the only losses coming from the Northants Knights.Plenty to learn from and build upon, as we try and take the next step on our journey towards a National Championship.


There were some standout performances this season which need to be honoured spearheaded by team captains veteran Quarterback Ethan Turner and Linebacker Gavin Idleman accompanied by the impressive rookie class showings from Kieran Edwards, Omer Mendes, George Barrett and Will Prowse to name just a few, they all played a massive part in making 2021 a very successful season.


A massive thank you all who supported the team this season, from parents/supporters to Jan & both Senior/Junior coaches. Without your commitment and support their would not of been a Junior season. 


I feel as a whole with the strides that have been made by the Junior program on and off the field, the future of the Ipswich Cardinals organisation looks real bright moving forward.

Due to lack of field availability, our game against Colchester Gladiators has been changed to a Cardinals home game. Kick off is still 2PM, back at Alexander Field, IP5 1DG.

Entrance fees £2 per adult, U16s free. Programme and BBQ TBC.

The Ipswich Cardinals bounced back from a disappointing loss to Cambridge last week, and in some style as they defeated the auld enemy from Norwich by the slimmest of margins!

A terrific display of grit and unity, sadly missing the previous week, proved this Suffolk side are, indeed capable of great things.

The Devils began well, with Quarterback Jeremy Mapolo orchestrating a drive that led to the huge defensive lineman Liam Lane crashing forward from close range for the opening touchdown.

Adam Jones, previously a big thorn in the Ipswich side, kicked the conversion, 0-7.

After a promising opening drive of their own, with Fab Ortiz at quarterback in the absence of the injured Matt Agate, the hosts were forced to punt.

Brad Ling is getting quite the reputation for his excellent punting skills, and his precision effort was stopped at the Devils 1 yard line. This would become a theme for the entire afternoon.

The Devils passing attack was now backed up and throwing from inside their own end zone, that pressure led to an interception by Ryan Caley who dashed the ball back for an Ipswich TD. Ling equalised seconds later, 7-7.

Norwich’s next scoring opportunity failed when Jones’ attempt at a 51 yard field goal fell short.

However, Coach Starlings side didn’t have to wait much longer to claim possession as the Cardinals fumbled the ball away. This time Lewis Truman capped the short drive with a TD run as the second quarter began. Jones added the extra, 7-14.

The Cardinals defense is designed to bend, rather than break, but the players do their fair share of breaking as well as the Devils injury count mounted. This is a solid group with no stand out star, meaning they play a gang oriented brand of football thats exciting to watch.

Into the two minute warning for the half and it looked vital the hosts drew level. A beautiful pass from Ortiz into the hands of Mitchell Melanaphy in the Devils end zone did just that, with Ling converting for a tied game at the interval, 14-14.

The second half began disastrously with a fumble on the very first Cardinals play, and just three plays later the big US running back Tim Johnson scored a third Norwich TD. Crucially however, Jones missed the extra point.

A theme developed for the rest of the match, as the Ipswich offence stuttered. Lings punting ensured the Devils were constantly beginning drives way back in their own half, and both defences forced turnovers. One of those, an interception by Ipswich linebacker Tyler Corn led to his sides third TD. Henri Clements, the bruising running back avoided tacklers and enjoyed some great blocking to level things at 20 apiece, then Ling converted the extra point to finally give his side their first lead of the game!

The fourth quarter was a nail biting affair as both sides gave it their all. Caley intercepted a pass from Mapolo, Daniel Hewitt intercepted a pass from Ortiz, there were fumble recoveries as momentum swung repeatedly. A second interception by Corn, from a pass by Chris Wilkinson this time, finally brought proceedings to an end, with Ortiz taking a knee to the sounds of gleeful Suffolk supporters cheers.

It was a hugely rewarding win for the Rushmere based side, particularly following the previous weeks capitulation, and one that will live long in the memories of those that attended.

Ian Girling

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A full gallery of photographs taken are provided here by Chewbroccoli Photography

COPYRIGHT DISCLAIMER - The photos in this album are solely for the use of Chewbroccoli Photography and the Ipswich Cardinals. If you wish to use any of the selected images please credit the photographer appropriately. If found to have used any photos without proper accreditation you will be asked politely to credit Chewbroccoli Photography accordingly. The photos must not be used for promotional purposes for anyone outside of the two above named parties without consulting Chewbroccoli Photography first. If this is not adhered to you will be asked to delete any material used and albums will in the future be shared privately instead of publicly.

The challenge of playing a higher league opponent was an exciting prospect for the Cardinals on Sunday, but they failed to reproduce the energy they displayed against earlier rivals, and the Cats of Cambridgeshire proved too strong.

Cats Quarterback Mark Rivett was able to dissect the Cardinals for two touchdown passes, to receivers Ben Bingham and Thabiso Mpofu, while kicker William Browning converted two field goals. Running back Zellie Dow jr ran in another score in the second half, and an interception was run back for final cous de gras late on.

Frustratingly it was the Cardinals lack of firepower that led to their demise. Whilst the offensive line blocked well, the Ipswich skill position players all seemed to have an off day on the same day!

Costly errors or drops resulted in poor field position for the defense to work with as drives ended after just one or two first downs.

Hopefully the loss can be chalked up as just a bad day at the office, and the players have no time to lick their wounds as the Old Farm derby looms! Yes, it's the Norfolk Suffolk big bash this week, and the chance to show local support that the Cardinals really are improving - another exciting opportunity

Written by Ian Girling

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A full gallery of photographs taken are provided here by Chewbroccoli Photography

COPYRIGHT DISCLAIMER - The photos in this album are solely for the use of Chewbroccoli Photography and the Ipswich Cardinals. If you wish to use any of the selected images please credit the photographer appropriately. If found to have used any photos without proper accreditation you will be asked politely to credit Chewbroccoli Photography accordingly. The photos must not be used for promotional purposes for anyone outside of the two above named parties without consulting Chewbroccoli Photography first. If this is not adhered to you will be asked to delete any material used and albums will in the future be shared privately instead of publicly.

Having dispatched the Eagles in our home town, the trip to Bedford for the reverse rubber was looked upon with relish by one and all in the Cardinals camp. Unfortunately, that meant the depleted travelling squad took their opponents far too lightly, and the proud Ouse Valley team had revenge in mind.

Playing their first home game, and sitting at 0-2 after being pipped by Norwich the weekend before, the Eagles numbers were bolstered and they looked far from battle weary. As in the first match, the early exchanges were sloppy, with penalties on both sides. The hosts settled quickest and took a 6-0 lead early in the second quarter. A long pass down the sidelines result into the endzone resulted in a touchdown. That lead was doubled when an incomplete lateral pass was scooped up and run back for a second touchdown on the next series. Both extra point attempts failed, but there was fire in the bellies of the hosts. The teams exchanged possessions as halftime approached, with interceptions from both sides quarterbacks. Veteran Nate Hamer set up the Cardinals with a fine return that was capitalised on when Jordan "Red" Vaughan scored his first ever TD from close range.

6-12 at halftime and the Cardinals were only one score behind, however injuries to the offensive line began causing disruption and the game was in the balance. Having begun so poorly, the travelling Suffolk men regrouped, and the second half improved. Hayden Clark recovered a fumble as the defence flexed their muscles. That set up the offence and QB Matt Agate threw a beautiful long ball to Rico Balshaw to level things at 12 apiece. The attempted PAT was blocked, and even worse, returned for an Eagles two point score!

Both sides game it their all now, and repeatedly went for glory on 4th down plays. Stand in running back Mitch Melanaphy sprinted around the left end for the Cardinals go ahead score, and the defence resolutely held off any thoughts of a comeback - racking up no fewer than eleven QB sacks along the way!!!

It was a lesson learned for the Cardinals, underestimating any opponent can be a costly mistake, but on this occasion the team showed guts and heart to wrestle back the victory - it is with some relief the Cardinals are 2-0 and now look to improve against higher league opposition.

Written by Ian Girling

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  • 217693739_4251237788256484_922650034653824646_n
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A full gallery of photographs taken are provided here by Chewbroccoli Photography

COPYRIGHT DISCLAIMER - The photos in this album are solely for the use of Chewbroccoli Photography and the Ipswich Cardinals. If you wish to use any of the selected images please credit the photographer appropriately. If found to have used any photos without proper accreditation you will be asked politely to credit Chewbroccoli Photography accordingly. The photos must not be used for promotional purposes for anyone outside of the two above named parties without consulting Chewbroccoli Photography first. If this is not adhered to you will be asked to delete any material used and albums will in the future be shared privately instead of publicly.

On the 10th of July, the Ipswich Cardinals Junior Team welcome Northants Knights and the Leicester Falcons junior teams in a 7v7 tournament.

This will be held at the Ipswich YM Rugby Club with first game kicking off at 11AM. Parents/supporters are all welcome and the bar will be open for refreshments throughout.

Look forward to seeing you all there.

We are pleased to announce our BAFA fixture schedule for the upcoming 2021 season.

Starting with our first home game to Ouse Valley Eagles on 27th June (2pm K/O). Followed by the returned fixture on the 11th July (2pm K/O)

Head to our social media pages for more information!

Please see the Schedule page for full details on the dates and locations of all upcoming fixtures.

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