MVHS and James M Hill girls squared off in Miramichi on Thursday May 12th at the JMH field. They were competing for the Marty Williams Cup. This annual match up, named after one of the pioneers of rugby on the Miramichi, was a fierce display of hard nosed rugby.
These match ups never lack intensity and both sides had lots of loud fan support. The crowd did not go home disappointed. The match started with aggressive tackling and rucking from both teams. It was clear both teams were going to leave everything on the field. The counter rucking was quick and aggressive as often both teams had the defence stepping over the player or getting fingertips on the ball.
JMH #10 MacDonald was controlling the pace for the “home” team with strong running and smart decision making on offence and controlled aggression on defence. Meanwhile MVHS was depending on experienced players such as Flanker Furlong to make the smart, quick decision at the breakdown to work their way down field.
Eventually MVHS were able to work their way inside the JMH 22 and chip away until #4 Keating was able to break through for a try. 5-0 MVHS.
MVHS was knocking on the door again before half time but strong JMH defence kept the score at 5-0 after pushing players to the sidelines in defence and courageous tackles inside their own 5.
The second half started with MVHS having the wind at their backs. This did not deter the home team as their forwards become a force at every breakdown. MVHS were unable to maintain clean ball and JMH was able to work the ball to the MVHS side of half when MacDonald broke through for a 40 meter run up the side. T
he JMH kicker struck the ball beautifully into the wind and was able to make the extremely difficult convert to put JMH ahead. JMH 7- MVHS 5.
MVHS was able to once again work the ball deep into the JMH end with strong running from the outside with #14 Hayes straightening out the backfield on multiple possessions for 10-15 meter gains. Not to be outdone Winger Donahue for JMH took many balls off of the set piece and was able to get MVHS restarting play on their back foot.
After a deep kick from a penalty MVHS was able to secure a line out deep in JMH territory. After multiple phases #8 Chambers was able to break through for a try. She converted her own try. MVHS 12- JMH 7.
As the game moved on MVHS was able to keep the ball in the JMH end with a strong wind. JMH once again showed a unwillingness to quit on defence and held their wall on defence until Keating broke through for her second try of the day. MVHS 17- JMH 7.
With only 5 minutes to play JMH worked their way into MVHS territory but an untimely knock would end the game.
Final MVHS 17 – JMH 7
Special Thanks to Brent Garrish for the info on this great match up.
Check back later today to get the details on the BMHS@MHS game. It was a one score game with 10 mins to go.