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Exiles lose despite spirited performance

Kent Exiles 13-30 Berkshire Renegades

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The Kent Exiles hosted the table topping Renegades on Sunday, and despite a spirited performance key mistakes cost them a chance of victory.

The game could not have started any better, as on the third play of the game Exiles quarterback Zac Ritchie passed to Colin Chislett who outpaced the Renegades defence with an 80 yard sprint for the score, and a 6-0 lead.

The Renegades hit back on the next drive though, their fast running attack driving down the pitch, eventually scoring from 8 yards out to even the score. The Exiles stumbled on their drive and quickly punted the ball back to the Renegades who promptly scored again to take the lead, this time on a 13 yard pass.

The Exiles then put together a lovely drive led by some power running from Ben Abbott, who gained 87 yards on the day, getting them close to the endzone where Ritchie found Jon Miller from 4 yards out with the score, and the scores were tied.

On the very next play the wind was quickly taken from the Exiles sails, as the Renegades returned the kick-off 79 yards for the touchdown, and took a 20-13 lead. Ritchie then threw an interception, which the Renegades capitalised on with a 32 yard field goal to take a 10 point lead at 23-13.

With less than 2 minutes in the half the Exiles looked to get right back in it, and Ritchie found Chislett and Yazid Garba with passes to get them within scoring range, but the normally reliable Wesley Eversley dropped a chance in the endzone on the final play, and the half ended with the Exiles 10 points adrift.

The second half started with the Renegades on the ball, and they drove down the pitch to score again on a 2 yard run and extend the lead to 30-13, and suddenly the game was getting away from the Exiles. But not a team to give up easily the Orpington based team continued to move the ball well, but failed to trouble the scoreboard again. Meanwhile the Exiles defence finally worked out how to stop the Renegades, with Kerry Gray and Adam Pearson making lots of tackles, so the remainder of the game played out without further scoring.

Following the game Exiles Head Coach Tony Bainbridge commented "Not many gave us a chance in this game, but we held our own well and played some good football. A couple of key turnovers, and a spate of dropped passes, really contributed to our downfall. Despite that we still played well in phases, and gained nearly 400 yards on offence, a statistic which would normally lead to much more scoring".

The Exiles play at home again this weekend at Oxford Road in Sidcup versus the Sussex Thunder, kickoff is at Noon, and the game is followed by the Exiles junior team versus the East Kent Mavericks. Full details can be found at


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