Date and venue: Tuesday Nov. 27, @ Campion College
There was a rapturous celebration at the BB Coke High School after they became the first rural school to capture the High School Rugby League U19 Championship. There was a large parade at the school on Thursday as hundreds of students and teachers celebrated their first major school sports title of the year. It was a remarkable achievement after only taking up the sport three years ago.
On Tuesday, led by stand out center Jowayne “Machine” Forbes , BB Coke High held on to a famous 18-10 victory over fellow first time finalist Old Harbour High in the U19 13-a-side Championship game. Head Coach Kamar Findlay kept his most potent weapon on the sidelines for the first 20 minutes of the encounter. Old Harbour capitalized when Sony Guthrie scored the game’s opening try after 8 minutes. BB Coke held their nerve and replied with two tries of their own from Mickoy Foster and Ronald Ebank in the 12th and 16th minutes for a narrow 8-4 lead.
Forbes entered the fray and his booming runs had an immediate impact. He powered his way through 4 defenders to score his opening try on the left edge to give his team breathing room with a 12-4 lead which they took to halftime.
BB Coke continued to dominate early in the second half; they thought they had more points on the board when Forbes went on one of his trademark destructive runs, he scattered four defenders before sweetly offloading in contact to a support runner who ran untouched to the try line, but a forward pass call from referee in charge Nicolai Christie, scuttled the celebrations of the boys from St. Elizabeth. As time ran out, Old Harbour found their feet and attacked in desperate waves. Finally, with only 6 minutes remaining, their best player on the day, Rodane Walters, broke through the stubborn BB Coke defensive line and dived in for a try on the right edge. His expertly taken goal saw the BB Coke with only a narrow 12-10 lead.
Old Harbour attacked with renewed zest and hope and seemed certain to score on their next set, however, a knock-on just before the try line ruined their chance to further stun BB Coke. With time running out, Forbes once more proved his class when he motored through 3 defenders near half line and ran untouched for the clinching try under the posts. Foster comfortably kicked the goal for the extra 2 points for an 18-10 lead, and that’s how it ended.
According to Forbes who copped the MVP award:
“Lifting the trophy is a dream come true. We had a very hard competitor in Old Harbour, but we came out and put out our best and now we are champions. I think I was on and off, but I did my best”
In the Third Place match up, Campion College stunned last year’s beaten finalist St Catherine High with a narrow 22-16 win. They were led by Isaac Dunkley who had a 10 point haul from 2 tries and a goal. St. Catherine’s Javel Morris poured in 12 points for the losing team.
It was Campion’s second giant killing act of the season as they booted defending Champions Calabar High in the quarter-finals.
The U19 season closes on Friday November 30 with the staging of a 9-a-side tournament at BB Coke High School.