THE reformed St Helens Cardinals have celebrated their first victory in match since the team's comeback.

The Star reported last summer when the Cardinals reformed following a more than 20-year hiatus.

The revived Cardinals team play eight on eight American Football rules within the British Gridiron League (BGL).

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The team welcomed the Nuneaton Jaguars, who travelled more than 100 miles for a friendly match at Haresfinch Community Club.

Touchdowns from Gareth McBride-Roberts, Adam Rogers and James Heyes (twice), plus a safety from Luke Waring earned the Cardinals their first hard-earned 26-6 victory.

Praise was given to the team's commitment in defence and the strength of the Cardinals' full offensive line which allowed time to pick out scoring passes and runs.

St Helens Star:

St Helens Cardinals

Ste Crehan, of the Cardinals, said: "We would like to say a huge thank you to the Nuneaton jaguars for helping to make the day so enjoyable for all and playing the game in a great spirit and contribute to the community event.

"We look forward to the sides meeting again soon."

It was team's second of three pre-season friendlies having already faced Wigan.

The original St Helens Cardinals were founded in the 1980s and played at Sutton High School sports field, with spells also at Liverpool-St Helens and Haresfinch rugby club.

In 1987 the team enjoyed its finest hour, winning the UK AFL Championship, defeating the Ipswich Cardinals 28-26 in the Steel Bowl game at the Alexandra Stadium in Birmingham, going unbeaten in the season.

The team continued until its eventual demise in 1998.

St Helens Star:

The original Cardinals after their title win of 1987

The team will next play Warwickshire Bears on Sunday, January 19 before their first league game away at Black Country Storm.

The Cardinals also made the Nuneaton game free to enter with donations of food, drinks and toiletries as admission to the game which were given to Teardrops Homeless Hub.

For more about the St Helens Cardinals, see the Facebook page.