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Exiles Defence Dominates as Cheetahs Lose Unbeaten Record

Kent Exiles 18-0 Watford Cheethas

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Lee Baxter

The divisional leading Watford Cheetahs visited the Kent Exiles on Sunday, and left a damp Crockenhill with their tails between their legs, and now behind the Exiles in the standings.

With both teams on form, the first half lived up to expectations, and was a very tight struggle for field position which neither team really won. The Exiles defence were obviously jealous of the offence's headline grabbing last weekend, and decided to be the difference in the game this week, with Lee Baxter, Adam Pearson, Josh Trimmer and Russell Goodwin all making fantastic tackles to stop the Cheetahs progress, whilst Ben Brooks and Gareth Rees recovered fumbles to take the ball away.

The only score in the half came from the boot of Bradley McManus who booted a 31 yard field goal, after having missed from long range earlier in the half, to give a close 3-0 scoreline at halftime.

The second half was much of the same, with the Exiles defence in commanding form, whilst the offence made some adjustments and began to take advantage of the field position. Pearson's first career interception set up the first score, when Zac Ritchie found Audley Swain from 11 yards out, but a penalty on the extra point meant the kick was short.

Audley Swain Scores
Chris Hope's Interception

Another defensive play, this time from Trimmer recovering a fumble, set up the next points as McManus hit a second field goal, this time from 32 yards. Trimmer went on to lead the team in tackles capping a fine display.

The final score was made possible by Chris Hope's interception, allowing Ritchie to orchestrate a short drive which he finished by finding Yazid Garba from 3 yards out. The extra point hold was fumbled, and the score stood at 18-0.

With half the final period left the Exiles then mixed it up, but saw no let up on performance. Nick Clifford and Chris Price making jarring tackles and showing their is real competition in the Exiles defensive backfield, whilst Joe Collins stepped in on the offensive line making some fine blocks.

Following the game Head Coach Tony Bainbridge commented "That was a fantastic display by us, but especially from the defence. The Cheetahs are a strong team, with an excellent defence, but we just refused to be beaten. I'm again very pleased with the whole squad, all the players are taking any chance to get on the pitch as if it might be their last, and that leads to strong performances, now we need to keep that going for the rest of the season".

The Exiles now have a weeks rest before travelling to Bedford and taking on the Blue Raiders, full details can be found on


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