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Cats Get the Cream in Revenge Victory

Cambridgeshire Cats 57-50 Kent Exiles

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30-05-2009

Sean Starwind - 3 Touchdowns

The Cambridgeshire Cats got revenge for their defeat at the hands of the Exiles earlier in the season, but who could have predicted another high scoring game that went right down to the wire?

Most fans would have thought that one or other of the defences would have adjusted sufficiently to stop the high scoring this time, and the truth was both did, but so had both teams offences!

Once again the lead changed hands on almost every posession, but there were a few key moments which changed the game, most of which were provided by the Cats outstanding group of American athletes from the nearby USAF base.

Touchdowns from Aaron Griffiths, Rich McHugh and Sean Starwind had given the Exiles a 20-14 lead, and then the Exiles defence led by Jerome Cole (8 Tackles), forced the Cats to turn the ball over on downs. Griffiths then began to lead his troops downfield again, but when they reached the Cats 30 yard line Harry Innis coughed up the ball whilst striving for some extra yards, and the Cats recovered. The very next play some terrible tackling allowed the Cats to score a long touchdown to retake the lead going into the half, and a potential 13 point lead was now a 1 point deficit.

The second half saw more of the same, Exiles scores came from Stewart Muir and Sean Starwind along with a McHugh field goal, before Starwind electrified the crowd with his third score of the game, a scintilating 69 yard kick-off return. It was the first ever return for the Exiles in nearly 20 seasons! The great play was capped off by Clive Palumbo catching the 2 point conversion to tie the game at 43-43.

The Cats then scored again, before with just three minutes left on the clock they came up with their second turnover as Griffiths was intercepted on the Cats goal line. With the Cats thinking that was the point the game was won the Exiles defence stiffened, and Sacha Conte (7 Tackles) and Paul Samartin (7 Tackles) led a defensive stand which saw the Cats having to punt from their own red zone.

Palumbo fielded the kick, broke a couple of tackles, and then hurdled a Cat before finding the endzone, only to turn and see a flag on the play. That negated the score but the Exiles still had great field position and three plays later Griffiths found Palumbo for his score. McHugh kicked the game tying extra point, and with only one minute 20 seconds left it was 50-50.

Following the kick return, the Cats American Quarterback Durkin again came up with the goods, evading tacklers he found a receiver on the sideline, and within 20 seconds were at the Exiles 15 yard line, then two plays later Durkin scrambled again, and this time found the endzone for the score.

At 57-50 down, with only 17 seconds left on the clock, the Exiles had little chance to come back again, but in the spirit of the game very nearly did. Palumbo took the kick-off and returned it to the Cats 40 yard line, and with 7 seconds left the Exiles suddenly had a chance. On the next play Griffiths found Palumbo again, but the elusive wideout was tackled on the Cats 4 yard line as time expired.

The Exiles now fall to 3 wins and 1 loss for the season, and in the ultra competitive Division 1 know they cannot afford to slip up again. 

The Exiles now have a week to rest before visiting the bottom of the table Norwich Devils. Full details can be found on the Exiles website, www.kentexiles.co.uk.

 

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