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One Down, Two To Go!

Kent Exiles 30-16 South Wales Warriors


The unbeaten Kent Exiles faced their toughest challenge so far this year in a close fought BAFL quarterfinal against the South Wales Warriors.

Showing no ill effects from the long journey the Warriors played aggressively on both sides of the ball and led at half-time, before the Exiles reasserted themselves in the second half to take the win and a spot in the semi-finals.

In the first quarter possession swung back and forth as both teams struggled to make headway against two strong Defensive units. The Kent Exiles’ Roydel Hall picked off the first of his three interceptions on the very first play, which were to earn him a BAFL player of the week nomination, and the pattern was set with both defences proving dominant early on.

Eventually the Exiles drew first blood with a Matt Duncan pass to GB International Stewart Muir, who ran in the 21yard TD to put the home side ahead 6-0. In the second quarter however the visitors stepped up a gear, after a Joel Grundy interception and penalty gave the Warriors possession inside the Kent 20. The Welsh side wasted little time in converting good field position into a TD on a 4-yard Owen Roberts run, Lance Godfrey then completed the 2 point conversion to give them an 8-6 lead.

After the Exiles offence was forced to punt the ball away, a draw play gave Warriors standout running back Roberts room to take a mazy run to the endzone for another touchdown before Godfrey completed another 2-point conversion. The Exiles added a Mat Tompsett field goal as the quarter ran out, leaving them down 16-9 at half time.

The Exiles found themselves in an unfamiliar situation having not been trailing in a game since April, and came out for the second half clearly fired up. With the scores level-pegging the Exiles determined Offence came to the fore, led by Quarterback Matt Duncan, who stepped up and fired a touchdown to tight end Glen Boyle and then a 36 yard bomb to rookie Sean Starwind for another touchdown – both claiming their first receiving scores this year.

Thanks to Duncan’s precision passing (145 yards and 3 TDs on the day). With Tompsett completing both extra points the Exiles took an unassailable lead that they were to hold until the final whistle, claiming the club’s first ever semi-final place. Meanwhile the home side’s Defence also picked up the pace, giving the Warriors no respite in the second half. The dominant Defensive line - led by Gary Ead’s 3 sacks - putting pressure on the Warriors backfield allowing Roberts no room to run, and the Exiles secondary had their finest game of the season, scooping up 6 interceptions between them and effectively ending South Wales’ aerial threat.

Safety Mark Evans was awarded Defensive MVP honours to go with his interception, whilst Mike Turner and Hayden Webber also claimed one each to go with Hall’s three. In the fourth quarter a rejuvenated Offensive Line and the powerful running of Garry Dillon enabled the Kent side to drive down the pitch in a return to their usual form. Dillon punched in the touchdown and later claimed the Offensive Most Valuable Player award (sponsored by Tompsett put the extra point safely away and the score was finalised at 30-16

Next week’s semi-final clash with Division 2 South West Champions the Oxford Saints will kick-off at 2.30 p.m. on Sunday, at the Exiles home ground in Orpington. Entrance is free, and full details can be found on the Exiles website,

Scoring Summary:

1st Quarter – Exiles – Stewart Muir 16-yard pass from Matt Duncan

2nd Quarter – Warriors – Owen Roberts 4-yard run. 2 PAT pass good 
2nd Quarter – Exiles – Mat Tompsett 20-yard field goal 
2nd Quarter – Warriors – Owen Roberts 43-yard run. 2 PAT run good.

3rd Quarter – Exiles – Sean Starwind 36-yard pass from Matt Duncan. Tompsett PAT good.

4th Quarter – Exiles – Glen Boyle 8-yard pass from Matt Duncan. Tompsett PAT good 
4th Quarter – Exiles – Garry Dillon 8-yard run. Tompsett PAT good.

Most Valuable Player awards: – sponsored by

OFFENCE – Garry Dillon (Running Back)

DEFENCE – Mark Evans (Defensive Back)

SPECIAL TEAMS – Sean Starwind (Wide Receiver)


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