KENT EXILES YOUTH FLAG TEAM – TOURNAMENT 4 REPORT
What proved to be the hottest day of the yea, The Youth Flag team assembled at Finsbury Park to compete in the 4th and final tournament of the BAFA National League season.
The London Blitz stepped in to host the tournament following the departure of Cobham Cougars. The meant that all team would play 12 games.
The youth organisations participating, were South London Renegades and Berkshire Renegades, who we played in T3. We also agreed to play a “friendly” game against, the South’s number 1 ranked team, who had almost secured the number 1 seed.
Due to alternative activities, the team travelled with several absentee’s which meant that we ended up with 8 Children.
Prior to the start of the event, the coaches decided that the best way forward was to take as much time off the clock and rotate the children as much as possible.
Game 1 – Berkshire Renegades
Berkshire started quickly and were soon a couple of scores up. However, The Exiles kept battling away and Oliver McCabe caught a pass from Liam Farmer and ran through the Berkshire Defence for a Score. Farmer also converted the Extra point, where Billy James caught the pass for the PAT.
The small Exiles team, kept battling, but lost Hamish Cameron, as he landed awkwardly, making a tackle. Hamish was able to recover with help from his Father and Tony Weedon.
Determined Exiles defence held firm, with Running Back Ryan Puszyk, playing Defence for the first time, made several excellent tackles.
Berkshire scored again just before the break.
Half time score Berkshire 21 Exiles 7
As the heat increased and the fatigue increased, The Exiles were unable to maintain a sustained drive, and Berkshire pressed home their advantage. However, good play form Billy James and a second Oliver McCabe run,
Final Score – Berkshire 41 Exiles 13, made the score line much more respectable.
Game 2 – South London Renegades
The First ever game between the teams. South London were extremely well drilled and looked like a very good team.
With everyone’s agreement we took an extended half time break to hydrate and take on food
Half Time Score – South London 25 Exiles 0
Second half started with Hamish Cameron resuming playing, which enabled the other boys to take a break. Some fantastic running from Ryan Puszyk, who had a man of the match day, kept the Exiles in touch, with the defence, carrying on with aggressive coverage and rushing the passer. One such blitz led to Harvey Weedon intercepting a South London pass and returning the ball to midfield. However, the Exiles could not get close to scoring making the final score
Game 2 Final Score– South London 47 Exiles 0
We then turned to a friendly with the Blitz. No scores were recorded.
LB started their first team and scored quickly. However, LB decided to use all available resources and with back up’s on, Exiles started to move the ball with Ryan Puszyk running and Liam Farmer passes. The Exiles drove to the 5-yard line, when the first team defence cam on and snuffed out the drive.
Our thanks to the parents, who turned and kept up the water and snacks. It was a long hard day and I think every single person was keen to get home, hydrate and take a shower!
Did we learn anything? I think some of the children, know what playing National League Flag is all about.
They “hung in, even if they were shattered, but they played every down.
Nominated players of the day.
All 8 Children played hard and despite running on empty…. well what would we expect?
Hero’s all, thank you!
My thanks to Coach Jonathan McCabe for rotating the children, as best he could.