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Exiles tamed by young Gladiators and left wanting Moore

Kent Exiles 6 - Colchester Gladiators 32

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This match was the first time that the Gladiators and Exiles have come face-to-face in a youth match. It proved to be a dramatic affair with touch play and hard hits coming in from both sides. However, the biggest plays came courtesy of the visitors whose ‘bend but don’t break’ approach denied the Exiles the end zone time and again despite being able to move the ball.

WR Tom Moore makes the clutch catch

Colchester took the lead in the first quarter when running back Sam Hogarth weaved his way for a 15-yard touchdown run. The conversion kick sailed through the uprights to put the visitors ahead 8-0. The second quarter continued in a similar vein when quarterback Chris Bourke passed for a 14-yard score. Kicker Nick Waring again slotted the conversion home, to give the Gladiators a 16-0 lead. Despite an impressive 30-yard catch by Dan Reeves and hard running from Folahamni Dare and Toby Ita, the Gladiators took a 16-0 halftime lead into the locker room.

The Gladiators continued to press in the second half, with fast running through the seam by Fabian Ortiz-Barrs. A sustained drive from Colchester culminated in a score when Hogarth again found the end zone with a goal line dive from two yards out. The Colchester defence then quickly stole momentum from the Exiles, returning a fumble 51 yards for another score. The conversion was again good and the Exiles found themselves 32-0 down.

Under the leadership of quarterback James Cunningham, and with hard running from Chaz Mulvihill and Tobi Ita, Kent began to gather some momentum and looked buoyed by their ability to move the ball.

The Exiles finally reaped the benefits of their efforts when they scored in dramatic fashion on a 38-yard ‘long bomb’ from Cunningham to Tom Moore who sped over the line for what would become the Exiles only score of the day. Colchester then ran out the clock to take the victory.

Youth Head Coach Paul Samartin was philosophical over the result, saying “Congratulation to Colchester on their victory. They came and played good, clean football. I was pleased by the performance of our players. In particular, Ben Fortune and Martynas Juras both had solid performances on defence against an unrelenting offence, and James Prentice and Tom Moore put in solid efforts for us when we had the ball. We have almost a month to assess how we can improve and I am sure that the players will also reflect on what could have been a much closer game save for several key plays.”

The Kent Exiles Youth team next take on the Cambridgeshire Cats youth team in an away fixture on the 27th June at 2:30pm. More details on the youth team can be found on the Exiles website


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