Story and Images by Erich Eichhorn (ISN)
November 28, 2015 Victoria, BC (ISN) – Oak Bay’s Castaway Wanderers defeated the James Bay Bays 31-17 at MacDonald Park Saturday afternoon to book a berth in the Barnard Cup island final of the BC Rugby Union’s Men’s Elite Division.
Castaway Wanderers Nate Oliver would run away with the 31-17 win over rival James Bay – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
With the cross-town victory, the Castaway Wanderers will meet head coach Doug Tate’s undefeated UVic Vikes, on December 5th, for bragging rights to the island’s best top tier men’s team.
Both teams, evenly matched on the season, would look to settle the score on the day in the season’s rubber match, with the Castaway Wanderers holding a slight 40-37 lead in the points for and against category.
JBBA’s Cam Hall would give a spark for his side with some shifty running to bring his team into the oppositions end of the field – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
The Castaway Wanderers, would jump out to an early two-try lead in the first half on trys by Jonny Morris and Hayden Evans to go up 14-0, and never relinquish a lead against the third place, cross town host James Bay Bays. James Bay would finally mark the board after a few “pick and go” plays would find the ball in the hands of Noah Barker to put the ball down and points up.
John Braddock looks to get the ball away before contact – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
A surging James Bay’s Cole Racine would offload the ball to Barker again for his second of back to back trys in the game to pull his squad closer, 14-10, despite forgoing valuable conversion points. The “Tri-Colors” would have an immediate rebuttal to James Bay’s push, sending Keenan Horton in for the try after a stingy CW possession of the ball to march down field.
Ball posession would be a deciding factor dictating the outcome of the game – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
In the late stages of the opening half, James Bay would find some success stretching the field on sideline runs by Cam Hall. JBBA’s Nathan Tough would bring his team close at the half, 19-17, on what would be James Bay’s last try of the game.
James Bay’s Cole Racine breaks the CW tackle and powers his way for additional – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
Despite some brilliant play to press the Castaway Wanderers in the second half, penalties and ball miscues would ultimately frustrate James Bay’s efforts of a comeback. Castaway Wanderers, taking advantage of the miscues would add two more trys for good measure with sustained pressure and the legs of Hayden Evans, his second try of the game, and Clay Thornber, with just five minute remaining, to stymy the James Bay side.
Marc Van Der Wal gets the ball away cleanly ou tof the scrum – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca)
With the 31-17 win, Castaway Wanderers will prepare for their match next weekend against the highflying Vikes. The Vikes have posted a 365-196 point margin against their competitors this season, making Barnard Cup glory a true test in every sense of the word for the aspiring Castaway Wanderers