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Two Interceptions Prove the Cardinals Rule

Kent Exiles 7 - 15 Ipswich Cardinals

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Two costly turnovers by the Exiles proved to be decisive in a hard fought contest which saw both players and pride wounded. Kent dug themselves deep early on when Zac Ritchie’s pass was stolen by Ipswich’s Niall Simmons, who returned the interception 45 yards for the opening touchdown. Whilst the conversion failed, this meant that the Exiles trailed 6-0. Early hard running by Ipswich moved them down the field into position to enable Steven Baines to convert a 30-yard field goal attempt to extent the visitors lead to nine points.

The second quarter saw Ipswich dominate possession, but each time the Cardinals came up short as the Exiles stood firm to end drives, including a key fumble recovery by Russ Goodwin (who had two on the day) to halt the Cardinals advance.
As the second quarter got underway a revived Exiles offence began to make inroads against the Cardinals, including a lightning 31-yard touchdown strike from Zac Ritchie to Wesley Eversley. Jon Miller’s point after try was good which brought the Exiles to within touching distance, trailing 7-9 at the half. Ritchie had a number of deep pass completions on the day, also including a separate 30-yard completion again to Everseley and also a 38-yard pass to backup quarterback Brad Madison.

The third quarter saw an hour-long break in play to treat an Ipswich injury. The Exiles lost some of their momentum; as play resumed Zac Ritchie had a pass attempt almost plucked from his hands by Ipswich’s Matt Nicoll, who ran the ball in from 30-yards out to give the Cardinals a 15-7 lead that they would not relinquish.

A bruising Ipswich running attack speared by Halfback Dontorius Candis and Fullback Paul Borstal continued to grind away, sapping the Exiles’ energy. However, the Exiles' defence proved solid on the day allowing only a field goal (three points) and no touchdowns. Their solid play was exemplified by standout performances from cornerback Carl Cahoon and linebackers Adam Pearson and Joe Alexis.

Offensive Co-ordinator Dave Pester remained upbeat about the progress the Exiles had shown, commenting; “It was a much closer game than the score gives us credit for. We paid heavily for two mistakes although of course the Cardinals Defence proved up to the task. I was pleased that we managed to eliminate some more basic mistakes that had haunted us earlier on this season. I believe that we can build on today to try and solidify our performances further”.

The loss means the Exiles are now bottom of BAFA Division 1 South East and face an uphill struggle in two weeks’ time when they travel on the 27th June to Cambridgeshire to take on the Cats, the current division leaders. The Exiles youth team will also be playing the Cats on the same day as part of a ‘double header’ of matches. Further details of both the matches and the Kent Exiles can be found on their website at


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