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Exiles stung by Hornets surprise victory

Kent Exiles 14 - 20 London Hornets

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The Exiles were shocked on Sunday as the London Hornets recorded their first league victory over the previously undefeated Exiles. A lacklustre display was only compounded by a chance to win the match in the fourth quarter which was denied by a penalty.

From the outset the Hornets were ready for the game, whilst the Exiles were more focused on the poor facilities and lack of goalposts at the Hornets ground, and it showed when the game started, as the Hornets soon score on a powerful 22 yard run.

Mistakes then haunted the rest of the half for the Exiles a Nick Mayer interception was ruled out by a roughing the passer penalty, Zac Ritchie threw an interception, and then an Antony Copper fumble recovery deep in Hornets territory wasn't converted as two dropped passes prevented the score.

The Hornets again started the second half in strong fashion, a nice drive ending in an 8 yard catch for the score, and a 2 point conversion made it a 14-0 lead. And the a second Ritchie interception on the next drive gave the Exiles a mountain to climb, as the Hornets scored again on a 4 yard run.

Finally the Exiles woke up and realised they were in a game, but it was already the fourth quarter, and they were already 20-0 down. Daniel Exell returned the Hornets kick over half way, and then Ritchie connected with Dean Leander on a 41 yard score, no goalposts meant the Exiles couldn't turn to the reliable Ash Faiers with the kick, and they missed the 2 point conversion.

The Hornets were forced to punt, and then the Exiles got within a score as Ritchie again found Leander for the touchdown, again from 41 yards out. Alex Poynter caught the conversion and it was 20-14.

Sensing a chance to steal an undeserved win the Exiles defence soon got the ball back, and following a first down from Colin Hubbock Exell scampered in from 14 yards out, and the tying score. Unfortunately a holding call cancelled it out, and the Hornets found the strength to close out the game with a series of sacks.

After the game Exiles Head Coach Tony Bainbridge held his team on the pitch for a long time, and after the game commented "we didn't deserve to win the game, but I'm pleased with how we fought back and gave ourselves a chance at the end. The Hornets showed us that we should never take any opponents lightly, and what real passion and desire can do in a game. Congratulations to them on their well deserved victory"


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