The JRLA/RLATG National Division 2 Grand Finals will be contested on Saturday, December 22 at The Cedar Grove Academy Grounds. A new champion will be crowned after Cedar Grove Cyclones pulled off a massive 38-34 upset over last years winners, Duhaney Park Red Sharks A in the semi-finals last Saturday.
The Cyclones were led by player/coach Antonio “The Destroyer” Baker who racked up 12 points from 3 tries in a major effort to see his team home. He was well supported by Stephen Scott whose accuracy with the boots saw him kick 6 goals to match Baker’s 12 points haul. It was an improbable victory for the young Cyclone’s team who are competing in their first senior rugby league competition.
The lost was the first for Duhaney Park in semi-finals across all competition in more than 4 years and only the second in 11 years. They got off to a poor start and trailed 0-18 at the half. Their woes came mainly from poor discipline as they conceded penalty after penalty whilst blowing several scoring chances. Jenson Morris led a brave second half comeback with 3 brilliant tries, however, they could find no defensive formula for Baker who bullied and broke their line at will to set up a tense Cyclones win.
In the second semi-final, Caribbean Martime Spartans continued their unbeaten run in the competition with a comfortable 44-10 victory over Portmore Eliminators. The Spartans win was built around a solid first half performance that saw them pour in 40 unanswered points.
Their most damaging player was powerful center Marlon Nunes who racked up 12 points from 2 tries and 2 goals. Scrum-half Adrian Brown provided good support with 8 points from a try and 2 goals.
The Eliminators showed significant improvement in the second half when their defence finally plugged the leaks and limited the Spartans to a single score. They were rewarded for their hard work when wingers Oshane Christy and Welton Brans scored tries on both the left and right fringes; Rajiv Haughton kicked a goal to settle their account at 10 points.
Cyclones Baker is looking forward to facing the Spartans for a second time this season;
“They defeated us in the group stages but we have shaken that loss off, we are looking to turn the tables in the finals. It’s a great accomplishment to get to the finals in our first year and it shows how well we have blended youth and experience to achieve growth”
Meanwhile his counterpart Stephan Williams who manages the Spartans said;
“We are looking to improve our defensive efforts in the finals as we know Cedar Grove will come strong. Our aim is to neutralize their big men in the middle and minimize our penalty count. We will do what we do best with attacks on the edges and quick plays around the ruck to hopefully seal the win.”
Venue: The Cedar Grove Academy Grounds, Gregory Park, St. Catherine
Date: Saturday, December 22, 2018.
Duhaney Park Redsharks A vs. Portmore Eliminators (2:30pm)
Caribbean Maritime University Spartans vs. Cedar Grove Cyclones (4pm)