Kent Exiles 55-0 Maidstone Pumas
The Kent Exiles claimed their first divisional championship in their 15-year history by defeating the Maidstone Pumas by 55 points to Nil. The win also means the Exiles will have home field advantage in the first round of the play-offs.
Having crushed their local rivals by 45-0 the previous week, the Exiles were confident going in to the game, but their relaxed attitude kept the Pumas in the game during the first quarter. Only a well-engineered drive by quarterback Matt Duncan saved a scoreless start, as he found Steve Garwood in the endzone from 22-yards out. Matt Tompsett kicked the first of his seven point afters, and the Exiles led 7-0.
The second quarter saw the Exiles stamp their authority on the game, as the offensive line wore down the Pumas defence, and three different backs found the endzone on consecutive drives. Stuart Muir was first from 13-yards out, followed by Lee Nash from 3-yards and then Garry Dillon from 9-yards. Tompsett added all three point afters, and at the half the Exiles were 28-0 to the good.
Defensively Paul Samartin rallied the troops to hold the Pumas, and led the team with 11 tackles, ably supported by Simon Mackerill’s interception antics in the defensive secondary. The third quarter saw more of the same as the Exiles continued with the rotation, and Xavier Heckel scored his first Exiles touchdown from 5-yards out. Muir added his second of the game from 9-yards, and in doing so played his last down for the team before jetting to Sweden with the Great Britain Lions to play in the European Championship finals.
The third period was completed when Aaron Alexis blocked a Pumas punt, and picked up the loose ball himself to waltz in from 17-yards out. Again Tompsett was on target. By now rookie Joel Grundy was in at quarterback again, and his 19-yard scramble kept a fourth quarter drive alive, before Lee Nash finished the scoring from 12-yards out, and the Exiles were 55-0 winners. Before the game ended though the Exiles ensured Jonathan Weller saw some time at Quarterback now he had returned from his time with the Sheffield Sabres of the BCAFL, and he also performed admirably during his first time under centre in senior football.
Head Coach Phil Wood commented after the game, “it’s nice to get our first piece of silverware, but we don’t want it to be our last this season. We’ve now got our division sewn up, but with 2 games remaining before the play-offs we must keep the focus to ensure we don’t go into them cold, and risk what we are aiming to achieve”.
The Exiles now have a three week lay-off whilst the European championships are fought, before returning to action in another home match versus the Colchester Gladiators on the 14th August. The Games will start at 12pm when the Exiles youth team take on the Bristol Aztecs, before the Main event at 2.30pm, admission is free and full details can be found on the Exiles website, www.kentexiles.co.uk
1st Quarter – Exiles – Steve Garwood 22-yard pass from Matt Duncan. Mat Tompsett PAT good.
2nd Quarter – Exiles – Stuart Muir 13-yard run. Mat Tompsett PAT good.
2nd Quarter – Exiles – Lee Nash 3-yard run. Mat Tompsett PAT good.
2nd Quarter – Exiles – Garry Dillon 9-yard run. Mat Tompsett PAT good.
3rd Quarter – Exiles – Xavier Heckel 5-yard run.
3rd Quarter – Exiles – Stuart Muir 9-yard run. Mat Tompsett PAT good
3rd Quarter – Exiles – Aaron Alexis 17-yard return of blocked punt. Mat Tompsett PAT good.
4th Quarter – Exiles – Lee Nash 12-yard run. Mat Tompsett PAT good.
Most Valuable Players:
Offence – Malcolm Fell, Offensive Line
Defence – David Maisey, Defensive Line
Special Teams – Mat Tompsett, KickerTweet