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Exiles move to 6-1 with come from behind victory

Kent Exiles 36-21 Milton Keynes Pathfinders


The Exiles continued their good season, and moved to 6 wins and 1 loss, with a fantastic come from behind victory over the Pathfinders.

The game started with both teams making mistakes, the Exiles first drive ended when Zac Ritchie threw an interception as the Exiles neared the redzone, then the Pathfinders gave away a great chance to score when Chris Mitchell forced a fumble on the 1 yard line which Nick Clifford recovered for the Exiles.

It was another error which led to the first score, Ritchie found Ben McCarthy with a big catch over the middle, which was fumbled by the receiver and picked up by the pathfinders and returned for the touchdown. The point after was good for a 7-0 lead.

The Exiles then got a turnover back of their own, when Clifford made his second big play, intercepting the ball in his own end zone and returning it 67 yards. This set up McCarthy again, this time hanging on for the 11 yard scoring catch from Ritchie.

The Pathfinders then took control of the game with two breakaway touchdowns, the first from 60 yards out, and the second from 38 yards, both leaving the Exiles defensive coaches annoyed and with some adjustments to make during halftime.

And adjust they did, the third period saw a fantastic defensive effort forcing four consecutive Pathfinder drives to turnover without gaining a first down. Meanwhile the offence came back into it with Ritchie finding Colin Chislett from 3 yards out, and McCarthy catching the conversion.

As the third quarter ended the Exiles took the lead, converted rugby star Matthew Wekpe running in from 27 yards out, and Anthony Clarke snaring the conversion from Ritchie for a 22-21 lead.

The Pathfinders then botched their punt attempt, and in great field position Ritchie found Clarke from 22 yards out, and just like that the Exiles were a score ahead.

The fourth quarter saw the Pathfinders try and get back in it, but interceptions from Aaron Patterson and a great 75 yard return by Ryan Wilson on another saw the Exiles close the game out when Derrick Bennett caught a Ritchie pass and took it down to the 5 yard line, only to fumble. Luckily Clarke was on hand to recover it in the end zone for the score, and McCarthy added another conversion for the final score of 36-21.

After the game Head Coach Tony Bainbridge commented, "defensively we stepped it up in the second half, virtually shutting down the pathfinders. Nick Clifford, Aaron Patterson and Ryan Wilson all coming up with big turnovers at critical points certainly helped. We also put up 36 points, on a good team, so when we cut out the mistakes we'll be a danger to any team in this division"



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