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On Sunday the 27th August 2016, The Kent Exiles completed a journey 26 years in the making. At the Sixways Stadium in Worcester, the Kent Exiles Juniors took on the East Kilbride Pirates in the U19 National Championship game, aiming to be the first Exiles team ever to be crowned National Champions. The game got off to a relatively slow start, with both teams trading punts on their opening drives. However, not long after this, QB James Cook found WR Connor Hassan on a short pass, who took it an additional 60 yards to the endzone. The Exiles were on the board, 6-0. The lead did not last long however, as the Pirates quickly answered with a scoring drive of their own, converting the 2 point conversion and making the score 8-6 Pirates going into half time. At this point the young Exiles realised that everything they had worked for came down to this moment, and the second half would have to be the best football they’d ever played. 
The Exile’s nationally ranked No.1 defense lived up to its name in the second half, as strong tackling from Bryn Cotter, Olly Gadd, Eoin Hunt and Gareth Norman aided in suffocating the East Kilbride Offense, even making a goal line stand on 4th and goal following a costly interception to keep the Exiles within 2 points. Great Running and blocking from Franco Di Nola, Prince Wynter, Tom Lee and Regan Alexis kept the offense on the field, whilst blocking from Hamish Elliott, Sam Harley, Jacques O’Dwyer, Chris Harvey and Harry Costin set the Exiles up for a nail-biting finish. With 4 minutes left on the clock, Connor Hassan caught yet another deep TD to give the Exiles the lead. The PAT was converted by WR Yani Ourabah, and yet again it was on the defense to close out the game. East Kilbride drove all the way down to the Exiles redzone on the ensuing possession, when another 4th down stand killed the drive. The Exiles ran out as much clock as possible, but EKP’s 3 timeouts meant there was still time for one last attempt at a Pirate’s comeback. East Kilbride got the ball back, and took to the air on this final drive. This turned out to be a bad move, as Tom Lee intercepted the Pirates QB with less than a minute to go, sealing the victory for the Exiles. WR Connor Hassan was named the game’s MVP, with 2 impressive TD’s on the day. 

Exiles National Champions
(Kent Exiles Juniors, 2016 U19 National Champions)

(Match report written by Kent Exiles Juniors Quarterback, James Cook)

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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