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Juniors Tamed by Far From Purrrrfect Cats

Cambridgeshire Cats Junior 8 - 0 Kent Exiles Junior

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The Exiles under 19s fought valiantly in another downpour at Crockenhill, but came away on the wrong end of an 8-0 scoreline. Cambridgeshire scored the game’s only touchdown in the fourth quarter on a fumble return after a close contest that could have gone either way.

Kent were again to field a depleted squad as injuries and exams left them with only 16 players, however this year’s squad has become one that is well versed in iron man football. Fola Dare and Yannick Obara filled in on the offensive line and turned in a great performance as the offense again showed flashes of what it was capable of. The Exiles defense, also depleted, showed its ability, not conceding a score and missing very few solo tackles on the day, and putting in some excellent gang tackling.

Both sides moved the ball in the first quarter with both defenses bending but not breaking. QB Ben Abbott completed passes to Ryan Nestor and Dan Reeves as Kent looked to spread out the Cats defense and attack it from multiple angles. The Exiles strung several first downs together but were unable to threaten the Cats end zone. The Cats running game looked strong on occasions, but the Exiles defense, led by Joe Mulvihill causing disruption from DT and Haydn Allen patrolling the outside were more than equal to the task.

In the second quarter, Kent again looked dangerous. The Exiles moved the ball creatively with Abbott hitting a rookie Cats RB out of the backfield for a first down and running the option to great effect, and Nestor chipped in yards on the ground out of the Wildcat formation. Cambridgeshire got close enough to try a field goal, but came up just short, and the half ended with the score deadlocked at 0-0 and the game still finely balanced.

Further injuries meant the Exiles started the second half with a depleted squad, but the Exiles continued to fight hard and keep the Cats out of the end zone until the fourth quarter, when the Cats were able to produce the decisive score. Nestor lost the handle on the snap in the Kent backfield, and Cambridgeshire’s DB #30 scooped up the ball to score untouched. Kent fought back, but with the rainy conditions worsening and passing difficult, were unable to answer, and the Cats were able to force and recover a fumble in the last couple of minutes and run the clock out.

“Our guys showed real heart again today,” said Head Coach Paul Samartin, “I couldn’t have asked for any more effort. We have a good amount of time until our next games to get healthy again. I’m looking for the team to step up for the last two games of the year - if we can combine today’s effort with a big chunk of practise over the next month I think we can do some really good things on both sides of the ball. We’ve had a tough season up to this point, but there’s no reason we can’t end it the right way.”

Further details of the Kent Exiles Junior side, including their upcoming fixtures, can be found online at


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