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Exiles Surge Past Staffs, and now Coventry Clash Beckons

Kent Exiles 52-29 Staffordshire Surge


Stewart Muir ran for 161 yards and 3 TD's as the Exiles beat the Surge

The Kent Exiles today earned themselves a rematch with the Coventry Jets in next weeks division 1a semi-finals, after defeating the Surge 52-29 with a dominant offensive performance.


The game was a fans dream to watch as both offences found it easy to move the ball and score in the early stages, and a combined 440 yards passing certainly got them on their feet for several big plays.

The Exiles took the opening kickoff and immediately drove downfield to score on Joel Grundy’s 15 yard pass to Sean Starwind, and a quick 6-0 lead. But the Surge run a simple, yet very effective, offence behind the masterful Richard Large at quarterback, and he led them straight back to score on a 35 yard field goal from Jonathan Wood.

The next play saw Eddie Gray return the kickoff for six points in a great return, only for the zebras to call it all the way back on a holding penalty. But it was not to be the Surges series as the next play saw Stewart Muir sprint 72 yards for the score, on his way to earning a BAFL player of the week nomination for his 161 yards and 3TD performance.

Again the Surge hit back, as John Ellis rumbled over from the 1 yard line, and the quarter ended at 12-9 in favor of the Exiles.

The Exiles again found the endzone on their third drive, when Jordan Cropper rumbled through several Surge defenders for a 28 yard score; Michael Turner this time nailed the extra point. But once again that man Large led the Surge back, and he found the endzone himself on a one yard dive to finish the drive.

So it continued, as the Exiles scored again. This time it was Gray getting some retribution for his earlier score being called back barreling in after a Starwind catch had been ruled out at the one yard line. That left the score at 25-15 at half time.

Following the break the Exiles defence started to get the measure of the Surge as more adjustments were made. They were led by Paul Samartin's 6 tackles as like a sheepdog he corralled the Surge running game, with his fellow linebackers Aaron Alexis and Mark Vickers.

Muir then got back in on the action with his second touchdown, this time from 11 yards out, Turner was again good with the point after, and the Exiles opened up a 17 point lead.

Lee Tretheway then scored for the Surge, from 2 yards away, and Large ran in the 2 point conversion to try and bring the deficit down for a come back. But on their next drive the Exiles scored again, with Turner hitting a club record equaling 34 yard field goal.

Aaron Alexis then snaffled Large’s only mistake of the day, and returned the interception 17 yards before being hauled down. This allowed the offensive unit to again score as Muir rounded out his hat trick with a 5 yard scamper; Turner again hit the point after.

By this time the Exiles looked to have the game safe with a 42-23 lead, but the Surge refused to lie down and Large hit Steven Ward on a 13 yard pass for another touchdown. So the Exiles once again started to drive, and this time it was Martin Jefkins who snared Grundy’s pass from 8 yards out, Turner again good on the point after.

Alex Campbell then forced the Surge to fumble on their next possession, which Gary Ead grabbed for a 14 yard gain to set up Turners second field goal, this time from 31 yards, and the Exiles broke the 50 point barrier, for the final scoreline of 52-29.

Following the game Exiles head coach James Mitchell dedicated the victory to defensive lineman Paul Clayborn, and commented, “once again this team has surprised me! We were dominant on offence today, and our defence struggled a little for the first time this season. But we’ve got through once again, and now travel to Coventry to face the Jets”.

The Jets are firm favorites to win next weeks game, but with the bitter taste of last years final defeat still in their mouths the Exiles will give the game their all to try and make the final an all Southern affair versus either Bristol or Ipswich who play the other semi-final.

Full details of this crunch match can be found on the Exiles website

Game Most Valuable Players

Offence – Martin Jefkins
Defence – Mark Evans
Special Teams – Michael Turner

Selected Game Statistics

Joel Grundy – 8 of 15 120 yards 2 TD
Matt Duncan – 4 of 10 85 yards

Stewart Muir – 11 for 161 yards 3 TD
Alan Hands – 4 for 31 yards
Jordan Cropper – 1 for 28 yards 1TD

Sean Starwind – 5 for 123 yards, 1TD
Martin Jefkins – 4 for 63 yards, 1TD
Glen Boyle – 1 for 20 yards

Paul Samartin – 6 tackles
Aaron Alexis – 5 tackles 1 int for 17 yards
Mark Vickers – 5 tackles
Gary Ead – 5 tackles 1 fumble Recovery for 14 yards
Steve Collison – 5 tackles


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