The Darlington based Tees Valley Cougars American Football team hosted their first ever home fixture at the Eastbourne Sports Complex on Sunday and the pressure was not only from the opposition, but also from the coaching team, who have put their side through a vigorous training regime recently in a quest for winning results.

It didn't take long for the home supporters and head coach Craig Buttery to reap the training rewards as both Ben McQueeny and Peter Rogers ran in touch downs against the Merseyside Nighthawks which were followed by converting the points.

The second quarter then saw the Cougars Quarterback Rogers take to his passing plays, as wide receiver Greg Beswick caught his first touchdown and then Ian Maith, McQueeny and Quarterback Rogers ran in further touchdowns, but the Nighthawks did manage to pull some points back leaving the first half scores Cougars 42, Nighthawks 16.

At the start of the third Quarter it was clear the Nighthawks were fired up as they tried to turn the game in their favour, but despite this the Cougars' Quarterback Rogers took to the air again and wide receivers Andy Ellis and once more Greg Beswick scored touchdowns, but these points were clawed back as the Nighthawks scored on each attacking drive, before time ran out and a final fourth Quarter touchdown by Cougars' Derek Blewitt saw an exciting and entertaining game finish Cougars 62, Nighthawks 32, with the Cougars rushing 218 yards and passing 181 yards.

Head coach Craig Butterey said: "It's good to win, but we have to look at our next game.

"I'm proud of the team, we lost it a bit in the second half but did enough overall."

The Cougars now face their stiffest test as they take on a Tees-Tyne Derby when the ex-North Division One side the Gateshead Senators, now playing in Division Two and currently undefeated, visit the Eastbourne Sports Complex this Sunday, kick off 2.30pm.