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Exiles vs Cheetahs: Loss 30-26

Kent Exiles 26 - 30 Watford Cheetahs

18-08-2013

The Exiles travelled to Watford for their final regular season game of 2013 having already qualified for post season action, and in a game which ultimately meant nothing to the standings it was clear that the Exiles had taken the game too lightly.

The Cheetahs came out with a great gameplan that the Exiles struggled to cope with defensively, and from the kickoff marched downfield and scored on a 15 yard pass.

The Exiles hit straight back with their own drive, which Nick Thompson capped off nicely with a 2 yard run for the score, but not being able to convert the point after left the Exiles behind 7-6.

The Cheetahs scored once again, this time on a 3 yard run, and the see-saw game continued with the Exiles hitting back once again, Zac Ritchie finding Dean Leander on a 36 yard score. Again the point after failed, leaving the Exiles down 14-12.

The Cheetahs went further ahead on a 10 yard pass in the second quarter, only for the Exiles to hit straight back once again on a Ritchie pass to Anthony Clarke from 51 yards out. Finally the Exiles defence stopped the Cheetahs on their next possession, and Ritchie found Clarke once again, this time on a superb 78 yard catch and run, and with Clarke also grabbing the 2 point conversion, the Exiles went in at halftime leading 26-20.

During halftime both defences made some adjustments, and the constant scoring came to an abrupt halt. The only points of the third period coming on a Cheetahs 19 yard field goal. However, in the fourth quarter the Cheetahs broke through once again, scoring on a 16 yard run to take a 30-26 lead with only a couple of minutes left.

Having not scored a point in the second half for the first time all season, the Exiles offence came out fighting, and two pass plays found them at the Cheetahs 30 yard line with only seconds left in the game. Ritchie twice found receivers in the end zone on the final plays, but agonizingly two dropped passes meant the Exiles returned to Kent, and on their way into the playoffs, on the back of only their second loss all year.

Following the game Exiles Head Coach Tony Bainbridge said "we had a chance to win the game at the end,but I'm not sure we deserved too! The Cheetahs came I to this one wanting it, and they played a great game, whereas we didn't really show up. We've now got a couple of weeks to prepare for a visit to Southampton for the playoffs, it's sudden death football now, so we're going to work hard to be prepared"

Full details of the Exiles playoff campaign can be found on the club website, www.kentexiles.co.uk.

 

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