Exeter close in on title defence with victory in qualifiers

Exeter closed in on the defence of their Boys’ U19 National Age Group title after winning the qualification group in Gloucester.

The South Coast side won all four of their games at GL1 Leisure Centre to secure top seeding for the semi-finals.

Reigning U17 champions Sedgefield qualified in second while last year’s runners-up City of Manchester and 2015 runners-up Croydon Amphibians also progressed to set up a mouth-watering finals weekend.

Exeter unbeaten for the second straight season

Exeter were untouchable as they lifted the Swain Memorial Trophy for the first time 12 months ago.

They went unbeaten throughout the preliminary and qualification stages, before sealing the title with an 8-7 victory over Manchester.

And they’ve qualified for this year’s finals in similar style, winning all four matches in their preliminary group last month before their success in Gloucester.

Manchester pushed them close again, going down by 9-8 while Sedgefield succumbed 11-15 in the group decider.

Sedgefield’s 12-11 defeat of Manchester ensured they finished second in the group. But the two teams will renew rivalries again in the semi-finals as the North West side defeated Croydon and Watford.

Croydon’s progression to face Exeter in the semis came down to goal difference after their match with Watford finished a 5-5 draw.

Results and Group Tables

Boys’ U19 Qualifiers
Watford6 – 15ExeterFT
Croydon Amphibians7 – 11City of ManchesterFT
Sedgefield24 – 4WatfordFT
Exeter15 – 8Croydon AmphibiansFT
City of Manchester11 – 12SedgefieldFT
Watford5 – 5Croydon AmphibiansFT
City of Manchester8 – 9ExeterFT
Sedgefield22 – 9Croydon AmphibiansFT
City of Manchester10 – 5WatfordFT
Sedgefield11 – 15ExeterFT

Group Table

City of Manchester420274
Croydon Amphibians4013-241