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Junior 2015 Season Review

12-11-2015

In only their second season of operation, the new look junior programme made huge leaps in 2015, both within the club and nationally. Playing in the south 2 division of junior football, the Exiles opened the year with a close victory against the Buckinghamshire Wolves, 34-28. With a win under their belt, and the belief that no game should be that close, a determined team travelled to Essex in the second game of the year, making a strong statement with a 32-0 win.

This momentum continued into week three, where the Exiles solidified themselves as one of the nation’s top teams with a 44-0 win over the Berkshire Renegades during the home opener. The next week was also at home, and saw very similar results. The Hertfordshire Cheetahs were taken care of by a score of 34-6, and the young Exiles looked poised to make a run for the playoffs. The following game saw the Exiles toughest oponent of the year, an undefeated East Kent team in a game that looked to be the deciding factor in the division crown. The Exiles got off to a fast start, going up 6-0, but East Kent rallied late in the game to bring the score to 6-6. A huge blocked PAT stopped the East Kent comeback, and the game finished with a score of 6-6 at the end of regulation.

The last game of the season was planned to be against the Solent Thrashers, but poor numbers meant that the team had to pull out. Instead, the Exiles played the London Warriors in a “friendly” game that had no regular season implications. The Exiles, determined to put the East Kent tie behind them, did just that. Dominating in all phases of the game, the Exiles made a strong case for promotion in 2016, defeating the division 1 side by a score of 34-12. A strong end to the year and an undefeated season saw the Exiles crowned division champions and were awarded a place in the playoffs. The Quarter final game was to be played at home, against the division 1, South London Renegades. South London proved to be a tough and physical team, and had prepared very effectively for the playoff game. In the end, this was too much for the young Exiles, as they lost by a score of 48-0.

Although the year ended in a heartbreaking way, there was much to be learnt from the 2015 season for the Kent Exiles Juniors. As well as a division championship, the Exiles established themselves as one of the country’s best junior programmes, and look to do big things in 2016.

(Written by Junior QB, James Cook)

 

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