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Exiles Show Well Against Army Side

Exiles Show Well Against Army Side

A mixed U-19 and U-20 Exiles team took on an experienced Army development side at Aldershot recently and at the final whistle came up just short, losing 35-25.

The Army started well, putting the young Exiles under pressure from the opening whistle and after 10 minutes the pressure told with the Army running under the posts for a converted score.

They maintained the pressure straight from the restart and broke the committed Exiles defence again to score a second converted try. A third well-worked try put the home side firmly in the driving seat and at 21-0 up, the Army looked set to dominate the Exiles.

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While on attack again, a move broke down for the Army and an alert Tom Flynn reacted first to collect the loose ball and outpace the covering defence to score the Exiles’ first points.

The try was unconverted but gave the Exiles confidence and following a good passage of play, Exiles out-half Caolan Ryan slotted a well-taken snap drop goal to narrow the score to 21-8.

The Army responded well and scored to keep the pressure firmly on the Exiles, but after a fantastic break by the hard-working Oliver Barnfield, the visitors recycled ball several times to create space to put Flynn away who danced past the covering full-back to score his second try.

Ryan converted but the Army scored again to make the half-time score, 35-15.

After making a few changes at the interval, the Exiles came out firing and put the Army side under pressure. The Exiles went on the offensive and with some direct running from Rorie Day in the centre and some great ball-carrying from Kieran Ball and Tom Crozier around the fringes, the Exiles started to get on top of the more experienced Army side.

Second half replacement Sean O’Connell came on and made a huge impact, scoring for the Exiles to bring them back into the game and when he scored again, they were right back in touch at 35-25.

The forwards, who dominated the lineouts, gave the Exiles great ball but the visitors ran out of time and the Army held on for a deserved win.

Overall the Exiles, after a poor start, played themselves back into the game with fine performances from all the players, but notably Tom Chellew, Tom Flynn and Rorie Day in the backs, with Tom Crozier, Sean O’Connell, Kieran Ball and Oliver Barnfield impressing in the forwards.

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