Saturday game results for Exiles Youth
Win and single point loss in a good showing
Sunday 14th August saw the Exiles visit Harwich for the first ever Youth tournament hosted by the Colchester Gladiators. First up for the Exiles were the hosts, and after falling behind to an improved Colchester side, the young Kent side picked up the pace, literally, when Solomon Agbabiaka raced in for the tying score. Myles Leslie caught the go-ahead PAT, and after a possession each, the Exiles took the initiative with a Kwame Opoku interception. The Exiles offence drove down to the six yard line, where Devon Brown crashed through to score. Strong Colchester running produced a further TD however, giving the Exiles the narrowest of half-time leads.
After the break, the Exiles took the game by the scruff of the neck, and two Agbabiaka score on their first two possessions killed the game off. Colchester battled hard, and scored a consolation as the clock ticked down, but the Exiles ran out 25-18 winners. Next for the Exiles were the National Champion London Warriors, but it was the Exiles who drew first blood behind a rushing score from Agbabiaka. However, the last half of the first period belonged to the Warriors, as they scored three TD’s without reply. After the break, the Exiles lethargy continued, as two more Warriors scores set them even further adrift. Things worsened as Alex Woods was lost to an ankle sprain, but, inexplicably, the Exiles woke up, driving down the field twice with quick passing by Digby Holland, and a varied running game, to close the gap with two Agbabiaka scores. The Warriors scored twice more however, as the Exiles tired, eventually running out 46-20 winners.
Picking themselves up to face their final match, against the Marlow Wolves, the Exiles set the tone, scoring first again, through Agbabiaka, but as in previous matches, the Wolves hit back immediately. Two scoring catches on the next two Exile drives, one from Myles Leslie and another from James Woods, sent the Exiles into a 19-12 half-time lead. Marlow replied immediately after the break, and the match ebbed and flowed, the Exiles making the Wolves fight for every yard with strong defensive play from Joe Cordery and Devon Brown. At the mid-point of the half, the Kent side lost Cordery to an injury, but looked to have the game won by virtue of a further visit to the end-zone from Agbabiaka, with the extra point added by Jon Eluwa. The Wolves fought back however, and scored a TD and the go-ahead PAT conversion with 57 seconds to go.
With so little time remaining, the Exiles had a couple of shots at the end-zone, and a Digby Holland pass was athletically fielded by Myles Leslie, who just failed to maintain control as he came down with the ball, a fantastic effort from a difficult chance. This closed the game, Marlow squeaking past the Exiles 27-26.
Head Coach Julius Hobbs was delighted by the team performance, and said, “the lads were magnificent all day, despite the small squad due to holiday and injury. The team did not let any of the issues throughout the day affect them, and really set the tone against Colchester. They gave the Warriors their hardest game of the day, a game we could have won had we maintained the same high level that we started the match with. The loss to the Wolves was tough, we didn’t deserve to lose, and the lads kept going all the way to the end. This bodes well for the final tournament of the season next week, and further on, for next season.”
Defensive MVP – Devon Brown
Offensive MVP – Solomon Agbabiaka