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1a in 2007 – Guaranteed!

06-08-2006

[right=John Nash - 1962-2006]http://www.gridironuk.co.uk/artman/uploads/chiltern_cheetahs/john_nash.gif[/right][b:0b14fcc691]Kent Exiles 31-0 Chiltern Cheetahs[/b:0b14fcc691] This game was a special occasion for these two old rivals, not only because an Exiles win guarantees them division 1a football again in 2007, and dooms the Cheetahs to relegation. But also as it was both teams first chance to pay their respects to John Nash, former player with the Cheetahs and current BAFRA official, and friend to both teams. John’s passing was impeccably marked by both teams, and the 150 strong crowd, with a moving tribute of 1 minutes silence before the game. The Cheetahs travelled with a small squad, and were soon facing an uphill battle to stay in the game. The Exiles first drive went for 60 yards, and culminated in Michael Turners 28 yard field goal and a 3-0 lead. The Cheetahs then showed they were going to be no pushovers, driving back at the Exiles, and gaining a first down inside the 30 yard line. The Exiles defence then kicked into gear and forced a turnover on downs thanks to tough tackling from Mark Vickers and Steve Morrison. Then the Exiles pulled away as stand in quarterback Joel Grundy hit Sean Starwind for three touchdowns on consecutive drives, first from 76 yards, and then 24 and 15 respectively. Turner hit one of the point afters and the Exiles had put 22 points on the board in quick succession. Aaron Alexis’ acrobatic interception then set up the final score of the half, as a short drive saw Stewart Muir sprint in untouched from 5 yards out. Turner hit the point again and the Exiles led 29-0 at the half. Following the break the Exiles blooded the full depth of their squad, with some great performances. Jordan Cropper and Lee Nash both showed strong running, Sam Evans and Dan Middleton both caught their first passes, and Ian Hills was strong on the offensive line. Defensively the Exiles were strong all game, and got their just deserts in the second half as Gary Ead recorded a safety, whilst also recording a team leading 8 tackles and 3 ½ sacks. Paul Samartin also recorded his second interception in as many games as he dived like a penguin to snag the ball from the Cheetah receiver. Following the game Exiles Head Coach James Mitchell was pleased with his team’s performance, “we played well today, and our goal for the season has been met as we now cannot be relegated, and are in the mix of the play-offs where anything can happen”. The Exiles now take on the Ipswich Cardinals next Sunday at home, kick off at 2.30pm, an Exiles win by more than 7 points will see them finish second in the conference and earn a home play-off game, anything else will see the Cardinals crowned champions and earn promotion to division 1 next season. Full details of the Exiles season, and next weeks game, can be found by logging onto the clubs website www.kentexiles.co.uk [right=Jordan Cropper showed strong running]http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c303/exilemalc/DSC_0271.jpg[/right] Game Most Valuable Players Offence – Joel Grundy Defence – Paul Clayborn Special Teams – Marc Sandell Selected Game Statistics Passing Joel Grundy - 11 of 21 for 177 yards 3TD Rushing Stewart Muir – 12 for 101 yards 1TD Jordan Cropper – 5 for 40 yards Lee Nash – 5 for 18 yards Receiving Sean Starwind – 3 for 115 yards, 3TD Scott Shephard – 3 for 31 yards Dan Middleton – 1 for 12 yards Defence Gary Ead – 8 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 1 safety Mark Vickers – 8 tackles Paul Samartin – 7 tackles 1int Aaron Alexis – 7 tackles, 1 sack, 1int Steve Collison – 6 tackles 1 fumble recovery Steve Morrison – 5 tackles 1 sack
 

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