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Exiles Break Duck Versus Hybrids

Kent Exiles 27 - Nene Valley Hybrids 13


The Kent Exiles travelled to Kettering on Sunday to take on the Nene Valley Hybrids in their second game of the 2003 season, after narrowly losing to Cambridgeshire the previous week.

The Exiles were in confident mood as the game started, but soon got a wake up call from the Hybrids who scored on their first possession with a 40 yard run from Ricardo Givens, they also kicked the extra point, and the hybrids led 7-0 before the Exiles had even touched the ball.

The Hybrids then kicked off to the Exiles, who began their drive inside the 30 yard line. Quarterback Matt Duncan marshalled his team downfield, behind running from Alan Hands and Stewart Muir and then ran the ball in from the 1 yard line himself, Matt Tompsett kicked the extra point, and after 2 possessions the score was tied at 7 all.

After this flurry of scoring the rest of the half was surprisingly scoreless, a series of penalties and missed plays hampering the Exiles offence despite driving into scoring territory twice in the second quarter, and the half time
score remained 7 all.

The second half started as the first had, with the Exiles defence still asleep, and the Hybrids Ricardo Givens again scored this time from 22 yards out, the extra point was missed, but the Hybrids led 13-7.

The Exiles then muffed the kick return, and had to start the next drive from within their 15 yard line, two plays later following good plays by the Hybrids defence they faced 3rd and 16 from their own 9 yard line, and looked like
handing the Hybrids great field possession again. The Exiles were determined to bring themselves back into the game though, and on the next play Matt Duncan found wide receiver Martin Jefkins alone on the sidelines, and the wideout turned the pinpoint pass into a 71 yard touchdown sprint to tie the score at 13 all. Matt Tompsett again nailed the extra point and the Exiles had a 14-13 lead they were not to let slip.

The big play had spurred on the Exiles defence, and they showed it on the next series. Gary Ead led the way on first down with a great tackle, one of his team leading 10 on the day, and then David Pester nailed the Hybrids running back for a big loss on second down, the third down pass was broken up by Mark Evans and the Hybrids punted the ball back to the Exiles.

Then the offence once again showed what they could do, driving the 60 yards downfield and finishing with a 1 yard burst by Alan Hands for the touchdown, not only did it give the Exiles a 20-13 lead but it signalled Alan passing the 100 points scored for the club barrier, only the second person in club history to record that feat. Mat Tompsett again slotted the extra point as well, and the Exiles led 21-13.

The Exiles defence continued their domination in the 3rd quarter, forcing the Hybrids to once again punt the ball away as the quarter ended.

The Exiles started the fourth quarter looking to put the game away, once again Hands and Muir led the way with Lee Nash also moving the ball well on the ground, and quarterback Duncan finding wide receivers Roy Hall and Martin
Jefkins with key first down catches. The drive ended with Hands scoring his second touchdown of the day from 3 yards out, this time the extra point was blocked, but the Exiles had taken over 11 minutes off the clock on a great
drive, and now led 27-13.

The Hybrids had no way back as the Exiles defence continued to hold well, turning the ball over on a Matt Tompsett interception, and the Exiles offence ran out the clock for the first win of the season.

Exiles MVP's on the day were Lee Nash on Special Teams, Alan Hands on offence, and the whole Defensive Line took the defensive award.

After the game Exiles Head Coach Phil Wood commented "we are very pleased to have won this game, it has now got to provide a platform for us for the rest of the season. We've finally got a very big monkey removed from our backs, and we now need to keep our feet on the ground for the rest of the season, at the moment our most dangerous enemy is our own complacency."

The Exiles now take on the Sussex Thunder on Sunday in their second home game of the year at Hoblinwell Park in Orpington, followed by the visit of the Chiltern Cheetahs the following week. Full details can be found on the clubs website


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