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Success against Solent means Home Quarter-Final!


The Kent Exiles travelled to Southampton on Sunday and secured home field advantage in the first round of the play-offs with a 45-36 victory over the Solent Thrashers.

The Exiles started well, driving downfield and taking an early 6-0 lead on Zac Ritchie’s pass to James Bertram-Smith, the Thrashers responded with a drive of their own and the Exiles fell behind 8-6.

Aaron Patterson returned the ensuing kick-off past halfway to give the offence good field position, and Ritchie soon found offensive MVP James Seale in the endzone for the score. George Eghator looked to have tacked on the two point conversion, as the line judge signalled the score, but it was overturned after the referees consulted, and the Exiles led 12-8.

Zac Ritchie
(Above: Kent Exiles Quarterback, Zac Ritchie - Photo courtesy of Jason Brown)

The Exiles defence then forced a Thrashers punt, but a muff by the return man gifted the ball back to the Thrashers in the red zone from where they punched the ball in and took a 14-12 lead.

The Exiles then drove downfield again, Danny Whitfield spinning out of a tackle and taking the ball 48 yards closer to the end zone allowed Ritchie to find Colin Chislett for the touchdown, giving the Exiles an 18-14 lead they wouldn’t relinquish for the rest of the day.

The next Thrashers drive saw defensive MVP Gareth Rees make a huge tackle in the backfield, followed on the next play with a carbon copy play from Nick Clifford which forced the Thrashers to punt. Patterson fielded the ball and weaved his way to the endzone for what he thought was the touchdown, only to see it cancelled out by a penalty, his second return touchdown called back this year. It didn’t take the offence long to get it back though as Ritchie found Seale for the second time and the lead was 24-14 at halftime.

Gareth Rees
(Above: Kent Exiles Defensive MVP, Gareth Rees #47 - Photo courtesy of Jason Brown)

The second half started with another Exiles defensive stand, and then the game turned into a we score/you score affair as both teams took turns. The Exiles touchdowns coming on runs from Dan Exell, Eghator and Gabriel Quartey with Ash Faiers making the PAT’s. The Thrashers final touchdown bought the score to 45-36, and they attempted the onside kick with about a minute remaining to try and prolong the game, but Danny Whitfield recovered it to end the game.

Later that day the Exiles learned that the Edinburgh Wolves had beaten the Yorkshire Rams, meaning the Exiles go into the play-offs as the 4th seeded team in the country, and face the Doncaster Mustangs in a home quarter final match up next Sunday.

The game will be held at the Exiles home ground, the Beaverwood Club in Chislehurst. Kick-off is at 2.30pm and the usual Bar, BBQ, Bouncy Castle, merchandise shop and play by play commentary will be in place. Entry is just £3 for adults and under 14’s are free.

(Match report written by Martin Jefkins)

We are always happy to hear from any coaches or players interested in joining the Exiles. We can be contacted via the club website, or by e-mailing

(News article published by Mark Lawrence)


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