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Exiles crash in Colchester

Kent Exiles 12-34 Colchester Gladiators


The Kent Exiles faced their second road trip of the 2013 campaign, but this time came home losers on the back of a poor display which the Gladiators took full advantage of.

The first quarter was a tentative affair with the Exiles slightly edging it having the better field position, and after a couple of big gains from Nick Thompson coming up short inside the Gladiators 20 yard line.

The second quarter saw more of the same, Gareth Rees recovering a Gladiators fumble but the offence unable to sustain a drive. Then on their second drive the Exiles were forced to punt, but a high snap saw punter Alex Clifford tackled on his own 2 yard line from where the Gladiators Curtis Bourke punched the ball in from for the score.

This spurred the Exiles offence into action, and after taking the ensuing kick-off quarterback Zac Ritchie found Colin Chislett with a 30 yard gain, and then Clifford from 36 yards out for the touchdown, the extra point was missed and the Exiles were 7-6 down.

Rees sacked Bourke on the Gladiators next series to end the drive, but Ritchie was intercepted on the final play of the half on a 'hail mary' pass to the endzone.

The second half saw the Exiles come out firing, Ritchie hitting Clifford on three successive completions, the final one going in from 35 yards out for his second score of the game, and giving the Exiles a 12-7 lead.

However the Gladiators had obviously made some adjustments at half time, and they began to drive the ball well soon capitalising on a Chris Palmer 11 yard touchdown run.

A diving interception from AJ Crabbe ended the Exiles next drive, and a surefire touchdown was lost that was to prove costly as Bourke found Ashley Latter from 28 yards out for the Touchdown and a 20-12 lead for the Gladiators at the end of the third period.

The fourth quarter saw the Exiles struggle as the Gladiators ground the ball downfield, whilst the Exiles could hardly move the ball, and despite a Kieron Woolmer interception the Gladiators finished the game with two more scores on the ground from Bourke and Palmer.

Following the game Exiles Head Coach Tony Bainbridge was disappointed "we started well, but finished badly today. The Gladiators played well and made good adjustments during the game and we came up short reacting to them, and then we let our heads go down and made it easy on them at the end. We're going to have to turn that around to win our other tough games through the season."

The Exiles now go to face local rivals Maidstone Pumas next weekend, full details can be found on the Exiles website,



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