by Martin Jefkins
Kent Exiles 58-0 Maidstone Pumas
The Kent Exiles dominated the Maidstone Pumas for the second time in 2013, this time in their home fixture at a sweltering Beaverwood Club, coming away easy winners 58-0.
The scoring came thick and fast, despite the Pumas showing obvious improvement from earlier in the season. The first quarter saw Ben McCarthy start the scoring on a 9 yard catch from Zac Ritchie, and then Ryan Wilson snagged an interception and returned it 71 yards for the second score. The return was the longest in Exiles history, beating the previous best of 67 yards set in 2005 by Michael Turner.
Ben McCarthy catches the first TD of the game. Image courtesy of Kieron Hyams.
The second quarter saw rookie running back Matthew Wekpe score on a 1 yard run, and then Tom Rowles grabbed the 2 point conversion from Ritchie for a 20-0 lead. The next drive saw Matthew Barker end the Exiles scoring with an interception of Ritchie, but the defence soon won the ball back and another rookie, Ryan Critcher, ran in the score from 37 yards out. The final play of the half saw Aaron Patterson receive a Pumas punt and an take it back 60 yards, breaking tackles en route to the score. McCarthy caught the 2 point conversion, and the Exiles led 34-0 at the half.
The third quarter went by in a flash, as the Pumas ground out some first downs with John Bowden and Jon Leaton linking well on several plays. The Exiles cored when they got the ball though, Wekpe running in again from 17 yards out, and Alex Clifford snagging the conversion.
Wekpe battles through a group of tackles for some positive yardage. Image courtesy of Kieron Hyams.
The final quarter saw the Exiles score twice more, first Ritchie found Colin Chislett from 38 yards out, with Ben Abbott pounding in the 2 points, and then another Exiles record was set, and another Michael Turner record was broken, as Patterson once again fielded the punt, and this time took it to the house from 54 yards out, becoming the first person to return two punts for a touchdown in the same game. Wekpe sprinted in for the conversion, and the final score was 58-0.
Following the game Exiles Head Coach Tony Bainbridge said “it was great to get another win, although the Pumas didn’t make it easy. We did try some new things today though, and got a lot of our rookies on the pitch. It was great to see Matthew Wekpe show what he could do, Dean Leander again showed he’s a special teams ace, and Daniel Rolt made several tackles on defence. We now face the Pathfinders twice, and after their win against the Blue Raiders yesterday we need to be ready for a tough game”.
Full details of the Exiles next games can be found on their website www.kentexiles.co.uk