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Close But No Cigar!: Kent Exiles 18-28 Bristol Aztecs

29-05-2006

[right=Paul Barclay was nominated for the BAFL player of the week following his performance]http://www.kentexiles.co.uk/photos/2006/sundevils16.jpg[/right]After last weeks victory over the 2005 division 1a runners-up, the Exiles faced the champion Bristol Aztecs at home in Orpington. It was always going to be a tough game, the Aztecs fielded several Great Britain internationals, and have been getting used to the rigours of top flight football for the past 3 seasons, but the Exiles started fast quarterback Mat Duncan hitting Eddie Gray with a couple of quick passes before veteran back Alan Hands ran in untouched from the 3 yard line. Paul Barclay then got the offence the ball back with the first of his three fumble recoveries which earned him a nomination for the BAFL player of the week, and Duncan soon after hit Anthony Richards from 26 yards out and a 12-0 lead. For a minute the Aztecs looked like they may already be beaten, but you don’t get to be division 1a champions in the south without having resilience, and that’s what they showed in the second quarter. Firstly Dave Keen found Scott Meredith for a 40 yard touchdown, and then after a great demonstration of how a 2 minute offence should be run Keen found Jamie Wilkinson from 19 yards, Chris Hunt added the point after, and the Aztecs had a 13-12 lead at the half. Both defences made adjustments and stiffened as the second half began, Aaron Alexis and Paul Samartin again leading the unit with 18 and 15 tackles respectively. But as the fourth quarter began the Exiles jumped ahead again on Duncan’s 60 yard pass to Sean Starwind. Now tiring, the Exiles defence found that although they were still holding the Aztecs to short gains, they could not stop the drive, which Keen eventually capped again with a 17 yard pass to Meredith again. Keen then hit Fredrick Walker with the 2-point conversion, and a 3 point lead 21-18. The game was then all but over when John Hartley intercepted Duncan on the Exiles next drive, allowing Nick Procter to score on a 3 yard run, Hunt kicking the point after again. The Exiles drove back into the Aztecs red zone, but it was too late as time expired without any further scoring, and the Aztecs returned home to Bristol knowing that they will face a hard rematch in a few weeks time. Following the game Exiles Head Coach James Mitchell commented, “We didn’t play to our full potential this week, and the Aztecs punished us for it. We can’t afford to not play our ‘A’ game all the time at this level, but now we have a few weeks off to rest and recuperate before facing the London Blitz in what is sure to be a tough game once again”. Full details of the rest of the Exiles season can be found by logging onto the clubs website www.kentexiles.co.uk [b:99d7f08914]Game Most Valuable Players[/b:99d7f08914] Offence – Anthony Richards Defence – Paul Barclay Special Teams – Sean Starwind [b:99d7f08914]Selected Game Statistics[/b:99d7f08914] Passing Mat Duncan - 6 of 25 for 162 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT Rushing Stewart Muir – 12 for 51 yards Alan Hands – 1 for 3 yards, 1 TD Receiving Eddie Gray – 4 for 76 yards Sean Starwind – 1 for 60 yards, 1 TD Anthony Richards – 1 for 26 yards, 1 TD Defence Aaron Alexis – 18 tackles Paul Samartin – 15 tackles Dan Young – 7 tackles Mark Vickers – 5 tackles Jordan Cropper – 5 tackles Paul Barclay – 4 tackles 3 fumble recoveries
 

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