The opening round of the rugbyleaguearoundthegrounds.com (RLATG) sponsored national Division 2 Championship took place on Saturday October 27. Games were played across Kingston, St. Catherine and St. Elizabeth in the expanded competition.
Defending champions Duhaney Park Red Sharks got their campaign off to a good start by holding off the Liguanea Dragons in a tense opener at the Mona Bowl, Kingston. The Dragons drew first blood when Adrian Hall powered over the try line from dummy half on 10 minutes. Duhaney Park responded with tries from Jenson Morris (2) and Klifton Anderson, Kemoy Whyte only managed to convert one of the kick attempts as the Sharks led 16-4. The Dragons came on strong in the last 10 minutes of the game and when Andrew Dixon crossed for a try and Hall converted, it made for a tense finale. However, Duhaney Park held their nerves and saw off the fast finishing Dragons to claim the 3 points on offer.
In game 2 at the same venue, Kingston Central Hounds had a solid 20-4 win over debutants Mona Pelicans. Try scorers for Hounds were Lawrence Drummond, Romeo Monteith, Kile Nembhard and Revorn Dixon. Drummond kicked 2 conversions. Meanwhile, Delano Barclay scored Mona’s sole try
In a historic first senior club match played at the BB Coke High school in St. Elizabeth, CMU Spartans overpowered another team on debut, St. Bess Sledgehammers 46-6. Try scorers for CMU were; Alpachino Mignott (2), Adrian Brown (2), Mikel Facey (2), Orlando Messado (2) and Chris James. Facey had 3 goals while Stephen Williams and Kevin Thomas each kicked one. For the Sledgehammers, Shawayne Collins scored their lone try, while Kamar Findley kicked the conversion. Notably, former national player Kenardo Morgan was on debut for the developing Sledgehammers team.
In the St. Catherine derby played at The Cedar Grove Academy in Gregory, Cedar Grove Cyclones ran out comfortable 36-4 winners over Portmore Eliminators. Try scorers for Cedar Grove were Antonio Baker (2), Hajan Johnson, Jordan Deshawn, Maurice Morant, Jean Claude Silvera and Shemar Henry. Morant kicked 3 goals whilst Baker kicked one. For the Eliminators, former school boy stand out Gawayne Mighty crossed for their only try.
Director of Rugby Romeo Monteith was ecstatic about the ever growing spread of rugby league;
“To have club rugby league games played simultaneously in 3 parishes was historic for us and demonstrates the appetite for the sport. The clubs on debut gave a good account of themselves and this competition can only grow from strength to strength. There’s plenty of opportunity for corporate Jamaica to get involved in Jamaica’s fastest growing field sport as the teams crave support to further grow and deliver the game to their communities.”
The competition continues Nov 3 with the following games:
Duhaney Park vs. Kingston Central Hounds (2pm at Campion College)
Liguanea Dragons vs. Mona Pelicans (4pm at Campion College)
CMU Spartans vs. Portmore Eliminators (4pm at Harbour View Mini Stadium)
St Bess Sledgehammers vs. Cedar Grove Cyclones (1pm at BB Coke High School)