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Exiles lose season opener to Cats

Kent Exiles 12-38 Cambridgeshire Cats

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Miller makes the grab

The Kent Exiles opened their 2010 season in good form, but could not maintain it in a tough opening day loss to division leaders, the Cambridgeshire Cats.

A record crowd of 200 fans came to cheer the Exiles on in the searing heat, and their teams early form soon had them beleiving it was going to be a winning start to the season. The Cats kicked an early field goal for a 3-0 lead, but the Exiles hit back immediately. Quarterback Zac Ritchie led a strong drive, behind the running of Wesley Eversley, culminating in a 5 yard pass to rookie receiver Jon Miller for the touchdown.

Then the Exiles defence stepped in as Karl Waite, Adam Pearson and Joe Alexis made tackles to force the Cats punt. Ritchie took over again, and handed the ball to Eversley who broke free on a scintilating 67 yard sprint for the score, and a 12-3 lead.

Disaster struck on the Exiles next drive though, Eversley burst around the left side gaining 7 yards, and putting him over 100 yards rushing on the day, but in doing so sustained an injury which would keep him out for the rest of the game. This was followed by the Cats getting back into it as Brandon Schooley ran in from 15 yards out and the score was 12-10.

Ritchie on the move

Rookie backs Kieron Woolmer and Joe Steiner covered admirably for the injured Eversley on the following drives, and receivers Rob Lewis, Alex Konidaris and Miller recorded more catches, but ultimately the Exiles offence stalled each time they sttarted to move the ball. Meanwhile the Cats took the lead as Steven Bright kicked field goals of 31 and 41 yards, and then Casey Campbell was fortunate to recover a fumble in the Endzone for a Cats Touchdown after Aaron Alexis had forced the ball loose.

The second half saw the Cats extend the lead as Schooley scored again from 20 yards, followed by Josh Gilreath who broke a 75 yard run for the score. The Final score came when the Cats tackled Steiner in the endzone for a safety, leaving the 38-12 scoreline.

Following the game Coach Pester commented "It's always hard to lose, but i'm very proud of the performance today. We have a young team with lots of rookies stepping in and making plays, i'm sure as the season progresses we will find our rhythm more, and start to finish some more drives off with points".

The Exiles now play the Colchester Gladiators at home this coming Sunday, kick-off is at 12 noon, and entrance is just £1.50 with under 16's free. Full details can be found on the Exiles website,



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