25th September 2005

BAFL Division Two

Kent Exiles 26-30 Coventry Jets

THE Coventry Cassidy Jets finished their perfect season with a sensational, come-from-behind win to break the hearts of the Kent Exiles.

The play-off final victory at the Don Valley Stadium in Sheffield on Sunday secured promotion to National Division 1A.

The Jets, trailing 20-6 at halftime, were facing defeat for the first time in 2005.

However, the team took a deep breath, re-grouped and, despite facing a hostile anti-Coventry crowd, came out fighting in the second half.

The Coventry team slowly turned the tide, eating away at the Kent lead and by midway through the fourth quarter took the lead on the back of an amazing catch in the end zone by Mark Cohen. But the lead of 24-20 was a slender one and the game was now set up for its dramatic finale.

With three minutes to go the Exiles had the ball deep in Jets territory. It was fourth down and Kent had to score to win the game.

The Jets pass rush put pressure on the Kent Quarterback Matt Duncan who scrambled for his life waiting for a receiver to get open and finally launched the ball 30-yards into the end zone.

The Jets had it covered but Exiles wideout Sean Starwind came up with the ball and the crowd erupted. The Exiles lead 26-20 with less than two minutes to go.

But the Jets responded emphatically and on the ensuing kick-off MVP Tony Perkins caught the ball on the Jets ten-yard line and began a return that will go down in club folklore.

He evaded tacklers, found his blockers, slashed through the pursuit and accelerated into the open field. The crowd were all on their feet, roaring him on. 60, 70, 80, 90 yards and he finally skipped into the endzone as pandemonium broke out on the Jets sideline. 30-26 Jets and the comeback was complete.

It had been the first time in Jets history that they had come from behind to win a game. The Exiles had asked the Jets a lot of questions and when the going got tough the Coventry boys came through. It was a fitting way to end a perfect season.