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Juniors sunk by rampant Gladiators, drop to 2-1

Kent Exiles 0-47 Colchester Gladiators

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After an impressive 2-0 start, the Exiles Junior team came crashing back to earth with a disappointing 47-0 home loss to the Colchester Gladiators. The Gladiators made a fast start, from which the Exiles never recovered, scoring on their first possession and never looking back. Kent struggled on all three sides of the ball - the offense suffered 6 fumbles and 2 interceptions, and the usually strong defense failed to get to grips with a physical and balanced Gladiators offense. Miscues from the special teams unit also led to points.

The Gladiators took the opening kickoff and scored on their first drive with Perry Marchant finding the endzone on a long run. The Exiles offense found the going tough early on, and after a three- and-out series, an errant punt snap by Matt Langley led to a scramble at the goal line, and the Gladiators were able to fall on the ball in the endzone for a two-score lead.

With the conditions muddy and the ball slick, the Exiles fell further behind in the second period. A second miscue on a punt snap led to a short touchdown run by the Gladiators, and with the half winding down, a short completion to the middle of the field was turned into a 60 yard touchdown following poor tackling in the Exiles secondary.

The second half saw the Gladiators continue to take the ascendency. Sam Hogarth put in an excellent performance on the ground and added a third quarter score, and QB Richard Day accounted for 4 touchdown passes. Kent made a slight improvement in the third period with DJ Brown making some impressive tackles in his first action of the season, and rookie Connor Woodey showing good hustle on special teams.

Looking to avoid the shutout, Kay Twum had a 50 yard kickoff return in the fourth quarter, but the Exiles were unable to put a dent in the scoreboard, and the game ended in a disappointing 47-0 defeat.

“We did not have the necessary focus today,” special teams coach Stewart Muir said, “and I think we allowed some complacency to set in. We can't have that against an experienced team like the Gladiators. The good news is that we're still 2-1 and there's a lot of football left to be played. We have two weeks of practise before the next game, and the challenge for the team now is to show how well we can rebound from a tough situation.”

The Exiles Juniors are in action next at the new home ground of Oxford Road, Sidcup against the South London Renegades on 20th May.


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