Potomac Exiles Lose to Norfolk in Stoppage Time

The Potomac Exiles hosted rivals Norfolk, looking to bounce back from a poor performance from the week before. From the onset, it was clear that Potomac was more focused and ready to play at a higher level.

The Exiles quickly marched the ball down the field and settled for an easy penalty kick conversion by scrum half Matt Quigley. Unfortunately they’d return the favor by yielding a penalty that the Norfolk fly half converted to tie the game, 3-3. Playing a man down, the hosts surrendered a try at 15′ and another penalty kick at 23′ to put themselves in an early 11-3 deficit.

Potomac’s superior handling and ball movement would not be denied, however, as hooker Mark Crick and prop Bill Whalen each dotted down tries in the corners at 26′ and 32′ to go up 13-11. The teams exchanged penalty kicks heading into halftime, with the home team holding a 16-14 lead.

The score would hold for the first ten minutes of the second half before Potomac again found itself down a man with its second yellow card of the day. Seven minutes into the advantage, Norfolk broke through to regain the lead, 21-16.

Back at full strength and with fresh legs coming in off the bench, Potomac jumped back on top with a diving try from flanker Kevin Kimble and a tough conversion from Quigley, 23-21. Another exchange of penalty kicks had Potomac on top by two with two minutes to play needing to play possession rugby to seal the win.

However a handling error allowed Norfolk to get the ball in Potomac territory. Now well into stoppage time, the Exiles’ D finally broke, and Norfolk took the ball across the goal line for the game’s winning score, 29-26.

-Alexander Diegel