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Nash Dash Seals Victory!

Kent Exiles 7 - Essex Spartans 6

25-04-2005

The Exiles travelled to the Spartans once again to take on a team bolstered by signings from the Southend Sabres, and without offensive standouts, Duncan, Muir and Warby, struggled to find their rythym all day.

Both teams opened with strong defensive performances, helped by offensive mistakes by both teams, and for the Exiles Aaron Alexis led the charge with 12 tackles on the day.

The Spartans opened the scoring in the 2nd Quarter, on a 5 yard pass play, but the Extra point was blocked by Paul Samartin, who also had 7 tackles on the day, and the Spartans held a 6-0 lead at the half.

The Exiles turned to their version of "Dad's Army" in the second half, utilising the running of Garry Dillon, Alan Hands and Lee Nash (combined age of 121 years!) to grind down the Spartans defence, Dillon was the standout against his previous team and led the attack with 130 yards, whilst Hands chipped in with 74 yards.

It was to be Nash who made the difference in the game though, following a Gary Ead sack Essex were forced to punt, and a good bounce left the Exiles starting a drive late in the 4th quarter at their own 2 yard line. 9 plays later the Exiles had first and goal on the Spartans 6 yard line, but sensing that this drive would make or break the game for them the Spartans defence held, and gave the Exiles 4th and goal from the 3 yard line. Head Coach Phil Wood called Nash's number, and the veteran crashed in for the touchdown behind a crushing block from offensive Lineman Paul Pester, to tie the game 6 all.

The Exiles now needed to make the extra point to effectively win the game, and following 5 missed attempts against the Devils two weeks earlier it was far from a formality. Fortunately the unit had learnt from it's mistakes, holder Joel Grundy (playing his first down in football) got the ball down perfectly, and Mat Tompsett slotted the ball through the uprights for the crucial point, and a 7-6 victory.

After the game Head Coach Phil Wood commented, "that was far from pretty, but we showed immense heart to drive 98 yards for the winning score deep in the game, and that's what we need to take away and build on now".

The Exiles now face the Norwich Devils on Sunday looking to consolidate their early lead at the top of the table.

Summary of scoring
2nd Quarter - Essex Spartans 5 yard pass (PAT Failed)
4th Quarter - Kent Exiles, Lee Nash 3 yard run, M.Tompsett PAT Good.

Most Valuable Players
Offence - Garry Dillon
Defence - The Defensive Line
Special Teams - Joel Grundy

 

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