The Cadets, apart from a few more experienced players, were by and large a completely new group, as was the Youth group.
Upon arrival, we were disappointed to find out that Cobham had withdraw not only from the tournament but the whole season. This meant that Exiles would only play hosts London Blitz and Solent Red Storm.
Last season, the cadets struggled to score, however this year, the team were able to not only move the ball confidently but were able to make first downs and score.
First up was the hosts London Blitz. A confident start, which saw the Exiles strike first, with Finley Pester scoring the first TD of the 2019 season. This was followed by a point after attempt by Max Cooper. After the Blitz responded, Max Cooper scored again – PAT failed.
Unfortunately, following that initial success, Blitz took control of the game and ran out worthy winners 31 to 13.
Next Up a very older and more experienced Red Storm. A similar pattern emerged with Exiles striking First through Pester, then Red Storm took over. However, towards the end of the quarter, TD’s from new Exile Daniel Turner and Gabe Hubbock, made the score more respectable going into the break.
Second half was a replay of the first half with Red Storm taking control. However, The Exiles team hung in and were rewarded with a final score by Pester and PAT by Hubbock. Final score Storm 63 Exiles 25.
Final game was against our old friends, Kent Phoenix, who were making their BAFA Flag Debut. As is usual, the game was very closely fought, no quarter given. Phoenix had received a bombshell prior to the tournament when the 2-year QB decided not to play. This led to a massive reshuffle of resources with only an hour to sort out a replacement.
The game swung bank and forth, and the outcome hinged on the final play of the game, when after a Hubbock TD, bought the Exiles within one point. Coach Mary Smith elected for the win and called a 2-point Attempt. However, QB Tommaso Wallace, stepped over the Line of scrimmage, a penalty was called and that was the game. Phoenix 26 Exiles 25.
Scores by Pester 2 TD’s, Turner 1 TD and Hubbock 1 TD and a PAT.
Summary – very well done by all. The experience of the tournament, additional players, will set up an exciting home tournament at Beaverwood on 25th. May