CHARMOUTH Under-7s exceeded all expectations to finish as runners-up in their age group at Exeter City’s annual six-a-side tournament.

The team, playing in their first competition together, was one of more than 170 to take part in all.

With some shirts specially printed by Mark Bailey of Team Theme, the Charmouth side set off on a run that took them all the way to the final.

Under the guidance of Ian Mouland and Sean Stewart, Charmouth topped their qualifying group with wins against CS Lions, Prior Pumas B and Avishayes, and a draw with Brixington Blues.

There then followed a victory on penalties in the quarter-finals against Westexe.

Neither team had been able to break the deadlock in normal play or extra-time, but George Chapman, Joe Stewart and Mattie Loader scored from the spot and Fred Morel made a fine save to see Charmouth through.

Defenders, George Gibbs, Jacob Denning and Alex Campion really had to dig in against Stoke Hill in the last four.

Stewart gave Charmouth the lead only for his team to be pegged back by a long-range effort.

But, with a minute of extra-time to go, Loader struck a free-kick into the corner of the net to secure a place in the final alongside Ash Rovers.

However, Rovers, who had just won the Yeovil Cup, scored twice in the first half and, despite some strong pressure, Charmouth couldn’t respond.

“Overall, we exceeded our expectations and Sean and I would like to thank the boys for putting such a great effort into each game, for listening and learning as the tournament progressed and for being such good team players,” said Mouland.