FXU Touch Rugby place third at first ever tournament

Hannah Davies

Back row, left to right: Ben Short, Will Holmes, Hannah Davies, Jolyon Blackwell, Dan Fretwell, Alex Bucknall. Front row, left to right: Olly Stewart, Tayler Forrester and Grant Finn (Captain).

On the 4th November FXU Touch Rugby club, Kernow Kestrels sent a team up to Exeter for the first round of South West Series. Being a newly formed club they were the underdogs of the competition but went on to reach the semi-finals and prove that they are a force to be reckoned with.

Kernow Kestrels had three pool matches to determine their standing. Their first match was against Exeter University Tide which was an intense match with both teams equally matched which showed in the final score that was 3-3.

The next match was against Exeter University Alumni which again was a very equally matched game and ended with a score of 3-3.

The last pool match was against Exeter University Cyclone. After having already played two matches and drawn, Kernow Kestrels were eager for a win and really picked up pace in this match with Grant Finn, Jolyon Blackwell and Tayler Forrester’s quick stepping easily getting around their opposite player and outstanding defence from the whole team leading to a 3-0 victory for Kernow Kestrels which sent them through to the quarter finals.

Photo Credit: Tayler Forrester. Left to right: Alex Bucknall, Dan Fretwell, Will Holmes, Grant Finn, Jolyon Blackwell and Olly Stewart.


With spirits high Kernow Kestrels headed into their quarter final match against Exeter University Blizzards. This match was high intensity as both teams were fighting for a place in the semi-finals. With clean, try scoring breaks from Will Holmes, fantastic defensive work from Alex Bucknall and Ben short, quick stepping from Grant Finn, Tayler Forrester, Olly Stewart and Dan Fretwell and try saving touch dives from Jolyon Blackwell, Kernow Kestrels were victorious, winning 4-3, securing a place in the semi-finals!

Photo credit: Tayler Forrester. Members of team participating in warm up before Semi-Final match.


In the semi-finals Kernow Kestrels were up against an experienced Chippenham team and it was a tough battle from the start. Kernow Kestrels ran hard and scored the first try of the match which was closely followed by a try from Chippenham who were keen to keep in the game. The intensity and effort put into the match from both teams was immense as they both competed for a place in the finals. However, Chippenham’s experience and well-versed plays won out in the end as they won 5-2 which placed Kernow Kestrels in 3rd. For this new club to come 3rd in their first ever tournament is an outstanding achievement.

Photo credit: Tayler Forrester. Image of Captain, Grant Finn.

Captain, Grant Finn had this to say, ‘The inaugural tournament for FXU Touch was a tremendous event, coming third in the South West League with a team new to the sport. It was a great experience for the players and the club, providing difficult yet entertaining competition for us to learn from. The University of Exeter produced an energetic event displaying the rapid growth of the sport in the region. We thoroughly enjoyed competing in the sun showing everyone our Falmouth flair, and we are determined to claim the top spot at the next one!’.

Captain, Grant Finn also won the Spoon Award (as voted by the team) for making a clean break only to accidentally drop the ball on the try line!

If you’d like to give touch rugby a go, pop along to Kernow Kestrels training at Penryn Rugby Club at 18:30 every Tuesday or add them on Facebook: FXU Kestrels Touch Rugby Club. All abilities are welcome!

Keep posted for more updates from FXU Touch Rugby!