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First Loss of the Season as Offence Struggles

Kent Exiles 6-16 Oxford Saints

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The Kent Exiles tasted defeat for the first time in 2008 on Sunday, and in doing so also lost their lead in the divisional table.

Andre Becker Scores

The day started with great promise for the Exiles, as on their first drive they moved the ball well, and finished it off with a three yard burst into the endzone from Andre Becker. The ensuing kickoff saw Steve Collison and Trevorr Matthews combine to deliver a crunching hit on the Saints return man, and pin them deep in their own half. The Exiles then had the chance to score again when Dan Young and Mark Evans both went for an interception, with an open field in front of them, but ultimately they both stopped each other from making a clean catch, and the ball ended up on the floor.

From that point it was both defences who started to dominate, the Saints front seven effectively stopped any Exiles running game, and the Exiles did the same, meaning stalemate, and a game of field position ensued.

The third quarter started with a short drive from the Saints, which stalled inside Exiles territory. This bought Saints kicker Adam Newman onto the pitch, and he slotted a 42 yard field goal to bring the score to 6-3.

With the Exiles offence firing blanks, it was a broken play on the Saints next possession which saw them take the lead. As the Exiles defensive backfield broke down, Saints quarterback Jay Taylor found Peter Cleaver open, and he scampered in for a 38 yard touchdown strike, and a 9-6 lead.

A turnover on their next drive put the Exiles defence in a hole once again, and they were punished for some awful tackling by Chris Taylor’s 18 yard run for the touchdown. Newman kicked the extra point, and it was 16-6.

The Exiles then had to score twice, and with the offence not finding any rhythm, they could not trouble the Saints, so the game ended in frustration for the Exiles, and jubilation for the Saints.

Following the game Exiles Head Coach Norman Navarro commented “We struggled on offence today, we just could not find an answer to the Saints front seven who dominated us, especially in the middle. The defence was again outstanding, but we need to start moving the ball more fluently, and winning our battles up front”.

The Exiles now have to bounce back immediately as the Norwich Devils visit Crockenhill on Sunday, they now sit on top of the table following the Exiles loss. Full details of the Exiles season can be found at

Scoring Summary
1Q – Exiles Andre Becker 3 yard run
3Q – Saints Adam Newman 42 yard Field Goal
3Q – Saints Jay Taylor 38 yard pass to Peter Cleaver
3Q – Saints Chris Taylor 18 yard Run, Adam Newman PAT

Selected Exiles Game Statistics

Aaron Griffiths - 7 of 21 for 84 yards, 2 Int
Damian Marshall - 1 of 8 for 19 yards

Andre Becker – 5 for 13 yards, 1TD
Tony Bainbridge – 4 for 11 yards
Stewart Muir – 3 for 10 yards

Ryan Kelly – 3 for 43 yards
Richard McHugh – 2 for 35 yards
Rob Welling – 2 for 6 yards

Mark Vickers – 12 tackles
Steve Collison – 7 tackles, 2 QB Hurries
Joe Alexis – 7 tackles
Dave Maisey – 6 tackles, 1 sack
Trevorr Matthews – 5 tackles, 1 sack
Kirk Beacham – 5 tackles, 1 sack
Baron D’anyangwe – 5 tackles


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