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Exiles Win At Home and Move to 3-1

Kent Exiles AFC 37-14 Sabres AFC

02-05-2004

The Exiles kicked off their home campaign versus the Sabres and improved their
record to 3-1 on the season, notably the Exiles also notched their largest ever
home attendance as the fixture was headlining the Orpington Beer Festival, and a
crowd of over 300 was there to see the victory.

The Exiles once again started strongly, changing the trend they set last year,
and after forcing the Sabres to go three and out, they embarked on a quick
scoring drive themselves, Stewart Muir opening his fine account for the day with
a 33 yard scamper. Muir finished the day with a healthy 131 yards and three
touchdowns on just 7 carries on his way to offensive MVP honours.

The Sabres had obviously improved greatly since they were on the wrong side of a
55-0 drubbing by the Exiles 2 weeks earlier, but their next drive was also
fruitless despite gaining a couple of first downs. Once again the Exiles took
over and systematically drove downfield, catches from Graham Deacon and Grahame
Warby moved the chains, before Muir scored again from 1 yard out to leave the
Exiles leading 12-0.

The Sabres then shocked the large crowd as they scored on a 61 yard bomb from
James Dawson to Richard Store, they had looked as though a punt was again
needed, but some blown coverage on third down gave them the opening that was
needed for their first points this season, Greg Crease ploughed in for the 2
point conversion, and the Sabres were now only down 12-8.

This kicked the Exiles offence back into action, and another drive ensued.
Catches from Warby (6 for 88 yards on the day) and Martin Jefkins led to Matt
Duncan scampering in around the left end for an 18-8 lead.

The Exiles defence had been stunned into positive action by the Sabres score,
and on second down Stuart Collings blindsided Dawson for the sack, and caused
the Sabre to fumble which was gladly pounced on by Gary Ead to recover for the
Exiles, Ead was also to gain defensive MVP honours after recording 10 tackles.
Then on the very next play Muir scored his third of the day from 72 yards out,
Ead also converted the point after to give the Exiles a 25-8 lead at the half.

The Exiles fielded the second half kick-off, and another good drive began. Alan
Hands had come into the backfield to replace Muir, and ripped off runs of 19 and
15 yards on his first two carries, before Duncan found Warby again for a 7
pickup and the touchdown.

The Exiles rang the changes in the fourth quarter, with rookie Patrick Hearn
again standing out on defence, but the Sabres scored again on a 1 yard run from
Crease. The Exiles offence then struggled a little with so many new faces, but
still managed to find the endzone on a 43 yard Duncan pass to Alex Campbell,
behind some solid line blocking from rookies Mark Jackson and Phil 'mini-rob'
Marks, this left the score at 37-14.

The Exiles then held once more before taking over on downs and taking a knee to
kill the game.

"Another solid performance today" commented Head Coach Phil Wood, "we tried some
different things, and some valuable game time was given to many of our younger
players. Now we need to be on top of our game for the visit of the Thunder next
weekend, that game could well determine the rest of our season".
 

 

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