KENT EXILES – BAFA NATIONAL LEAGUE – TOURNAMENT 4 HOSTED BY KENT PHOENIX
This was the final tournament of the season by the Cadet team, having missed the third tournament at Solent Red Storm, due to a lack of available children.
In the intervening period, Exiles coaches spent the time wisely and had introduced more plays, which they hoped would work
Kent Phoenix welcomed, Kent Exiles, Solent Red Storm and South Coast Spitfires to Maidstone. The weather started overcast and quite cool, which certainly changed as the day developed. Phoenix had co-operated with the local community to run a local fair.
First up was Solent Red Storm. Red Storm needed 3 wins to, perhaps make the end of season tournament.
The game started badly with Exiles not being able to create many yards. Red Storm are a well drilled and considerably older outfit. Red Storm opened the scoring and continued to out play the Exiles team.
Half time score Exiles 0 Red Storm 20
After a short break, where defensive adjustment where made, Exiles came out and started to run the ball, through Finley Pester and Daniel Turner, however hard they tried the Red Storm defence was just too strong. However, one bright spark was that Toby Dulson, playing Safety having a good game broke up several passes.
Final Score Exiles 0 Red Storm 40
Next up was Kent Phoenix.
After some discussions and adjustments, Exiles came out running and throwing the ball. Tommaso Wallace threw firstly to Gabe Hubbock, which set up the opening score with a Finley Pester run. The PAT was no good.
After some good defence, Exiles had a second possession, which they drove the ball downfield, which was finished off by a, long bomb from Wallace to Hubbock. This time Hubbock caught the PAT.
The third possession was like the previous possession, with Wallace and Hubbock making many yards. Close to the end one Daniel Turner ran in a score and converted the PAT.
However, Phoenix were not done and just before he half, a long run shocked the Exiles, although they could not connect with the PAT.
Half Time Exiles 20 Kent Phoenix 6
Second half was a much quieter affair with Exiles Defence starting to play well. Great tackles from Benjamin Fear, Amalie Pester and Bethany Turner kept Phoenix at bay.
The final score came on a pass from Jayden Barrett-Haynes to Gabe Hubbock, to round out the game
Exiles 26 Kent Phoenix 6
Player of the match nominated by Kent Phoenix was Gabe Hubbock.
The Final Game was against South Coast Spitfires, who Exiles had played in the Exiles home tournament at Beaverwood.
The sun was beating down and the small squad had shown signs of tiredness, however, off we went.
South Coast struck first and went 14 points up, before Exiles started to get into the game. Driving the ball, the length of the field set up a pass from Wallace to 7-year-old Oscar Benn’s who caught the ball for his first ever score.
Exiles played hard again, but South Coast took advantage of the tired Exiles and scored again. Exiles then drove the ball down the field and a Wallace pass ended up with Turner, to make the half time score:
Exiles 12 South Coast 20
The second half was not all one way, but as the energy went from the Exiles children, South Coast scored twice more to finish the game
Exiles 12 South Coast 34.
Nominated by the Spitfires as players of the game where Gabe Hubbock, Amalie Pester and Bethany Turner. Bethany took a bit of hit in the face but showed Exile grit and determination to finish the game.
Red Storm achieved the necessary 3 wins to progress to the National Finals. We wish them well. They are a good team and should do well.
This was the first win for Coach Mary Smith, who acted as Offensive Co-Ordinator and I believe, O.B (Oscar) was the youngest ever player to score a TD!