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ESHS & Cedar win BVI Rugby High School Championship!

Justice Amory settled the Cedar School nerves with the opening try on the way to a 3-1 win over ESHS in the Under 16 final of the 4th annual BVIRA High School Championship on Friday June 1, 2012 at the A. O. Shirley Ground. Photo: Charlie Jackson/VINO
Franklyn Penn added two tries in the Under 14 final to his impressive Tournament tally to give ESHS the title over St. Georges. Photo: Charlie Jackson/VINO
Franklyn Penn added two tries in the Under 14 final to his impressive Tournament tally to give ESHS the title over St. Georges. Photo: Charlie Jackson/VINO
Rory Thornton of the victorious Cedar School Under 16 team lifts the High School Championship Trophy. Photo: Charlie Jackson/VINO
Rory Thornton of the victorious Cedar School Under 16 team lifts the High School Championship Trophy. Photo: Charlie Jackson/VINO
The ESHS U14 Championship winning team proudly display the Trophy. Photo: Charlie Jackson/VINO
The ESHS U14 Championship winning team proudly display the Trophy. Photo: Charlie Jackson/VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Fourteen games, 44 tries, close to 100 exhausted players and some very tired officials highlighted the 4th annual BVI Rugby Association’s High School Championship on Friday June 1, 2012 on the A.O. Shirley Ground.

Of course there can only be one winner, although in this case two, as the teams from Elmore Stoutt High School (ESHS), St. Georges, Cedar School and the Seventh Day Adventists were battling it out in the U14 and U16 age groups.

ESHS under 14 team beat St Georges 2-0 in the final with Franklyn Penn scoring tries either side of the half time break to secure the win.

St. Georges had a dramatic and physically draining last qualifier against Cedar to reach the final when they had to win by 5 clear tries to progress. The first half ended 3-0 to St. Georges thanks to scores from Joseph Wells, Dillon Penn and Mackiao Garrain. Penn and Wells added second half additions to take the score to 6-0, but then a late try by Kian Chalwell led to a few nervous moments until the referee’s whistle blew and a place in the final confirmed.

For ESHS, Penn had been in scoring mode all day as he and Adriel Singh both scored in the 2 nil win over Cedar. Penn was on their score sheet again in the 3-1 win over Cedar B. Akeem Bradshaw added two more and Kenzie Turnbull got a consolation for Cedar.

“It wasn’t easy coming out here, but we, Elmore Stoutt High School, were successful and are champions,” commented Penn. “This is my first time coming out here and winning and I thank God for that.”

In group play, ESHS had also beaten St. Georges 2 nil with tries from Noel Maxwell and Vincent Wattle, and Cedar and St. Georges played out a 2-2 draw. Travis Walters put St. Georges ahead before Kenzie Turnbull leveled just before half time. Garrain put St. Georges back ahead but Nico Callwood ensured a share of the points.

In the U16 Championship, Cedar School maintained their hold on the trophy making sure it was taken back from whence it had come with a 3-1 victory over ESHS. Justice Amory settled the nerves with the opening score, before Rory Thornton added a second on the stroke of half time. “I just tried my best for the team,” he commented. “It wasn’t about individuals today, but the team effort.”

Thornton would add his second and his team’s third before Akeem Bradshaw pulled one back late on.

“Cedar played well today, we came as a team and really wanted to win it!” said Thornton.

ESHS had faced a “do or die” clash against the Seventh Day Adventists to secure the berth in the final and were thankful for Bradshaw whose score proved decisive.

Earlier, the Adventists had been held 2-2 by Cedar. Two scores by Melvin Knight cancelling out the efforts of Eban Meyer and Josh Hayles.

Josh Victor scored the only try of the game in St. Georges 1 nil win over Elmore Stout and Thornton proved the difference in the clash between St. Georges and Cedar.

Okizi Weeks inspired the Adventists to a 2-1 win over St. Georges in the day’s first game with J’Nai Pickering also on the score sheet.

Development Coach Sam Solomon was particularly impressed with the U16 age group. “The competition was really tight and the scores very close,” he said.

One thing he also noted was how the teams were now mastering the smaller pitches and how the Association would need to look at playing on bigger sized versions. This, Solomon said, would also feed into the desire to get the teams to play tackle rugby as the next stage of the development.

Another thing the Association and Solomon will need to look at is how best to expose some of the smaller schools to a larger playing area. If some of them only have a patch of grass or basketball to utilize as they learn the skills of the game, then they are being restricted when playing on the bigger grounds simply because they are not used to it. Play becomes condensed and the game as a whole suffers.

Knowing Solomon though, he already has plans to address the issue and Rugby will continue to grow.

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