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Juniors Start Defence of Title With Win


The Exiles’ Junior team began the defense of their National Title at The Beaverwood Club against a newly rebranded Solent Seahawks academy.

The game began with the Seahawks on offence first, coming out in an unconventional bunched formation which appeared to have the Exiles’ D on the back foot with the Seahawks marching down the field to the Red Zone; however the Exiles’ D stepped up and kept the Seahawks out the end zone, driving them backwards with key tackles for a loss by Bryn Cotter and Regan Alexis

The game then proceeded to become a back and forth affair around midfield with neither offence really able to get anything going as both teams’ offences were called for numerous penalties. This period of stagnation continued until inside the 2-minute warning, when Exiles’ receiver Callum O’Neill took the ball 60 yards down the Seahawks’ sideline all the way to the end zone on a reverse play which seemed to have given the Exiles’ the first lead in the game; unfortunately the play was called back for a hit on a defenceless player. Leaving the score Seahawks 0-0 Exiles at the half.

The Exiles’ began the 2nd half with good field position and the offence quickly set to work in trying to get their first score of the season, their work paid off when QB Liam Trundley found Kaan Aray in the middle of the field who produced a fantastic catch and took the ball into the end zone giving the Exiles’ the lead, the 2-PT conversion was then added by a reception from TE Tom Lee.

The Seahawks then took to the field aiming to level the score, however DB Gareth Norman picked off the Seahawks QB, giving the Exiles’ their first interception of the season. It was looking like everything was going right for the Exiles, but a fumble only a few plays later gave the Seahawks the ball back with good field position which they took full advantage of scoring on the ensuing drive to bring the score back to 8-6 after a failed 2-PT attempt.

The 4th quarter saw both defences step up their performances, forcing 3 and outs featuring some big tackles from Franco Di Nola, Luke Martin and Sam Adams. When the Seahawks returner muffed a punt, recovered by Gareth Norman, the Exiles’ had the great field position they needed and running back Prince Wynter ran the ball in behind an O-Line of Hamish Elliott, Gupreet Dingri and Jacques O’Dwyer to give the Exiles’ a 16-6 lead, following another Tom Lee reception for the 2-PT attempt.

With less than 4 minutes left on the clock. Solent came back on offence firing hard and moving the ball eventually scoring with a toe tapping catch in the corner of the end zone, the 2-PT attempt fell incomplete, leaving the Seahawks 4 points down with around 1 minute on the clock, with nothing to lose the Solent side attempted an onside kick but it was recovered by the Exiles who kneeled the game out to take the win.

Final Score: Seahawks 12-16 Exiles

The Exiles next play host to a London Blitz side who are likely to be contenders come the end of the year, on the 4th June at The Beaverwood Club.

Match report by Daniel Raeburn


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