Bayside Sharks win second-division title over Rowers

The Bayside Sharks won one of two championship games Saturday in North Vancouver. - Chris Veslemes photo
The Bayside Sharks won one of two championship games Saturday in North Vancouver.
— image credit: Chris Veslemes photo

The Bayside Sharks won one provincial title Saturday at North Vancouver’s Klahanie Park, and nearly made it two.

The Sharks’ second division men’s rugby squad opened the day with a 41-24 win over the Vancouver Rowing Club to win the Okanagan Spring Brewery Division 2 title, but Bayside’s first division team couldn’t quite make it a two-for-two sweep, losing 36-24 to the Rowers in a game that the Sharks led at halftime.

The Div. 2 title game took overtime to decide, as the Sharks and Rowers were tied 24-24 after 80 minutes of action – the last 15 of which were frantic for both sides.

With the score tied 17-17, the Rowers were stuffed by Sharks’ defenders at the goal line, and then missed an ensuing penalty kick. Five minutes later, however, the Rowing Club took the lead on a converted try, but the seven-point cushion was shortlived, as Bayside’s Graham Rogers scored a try to tie the game with five minutes left. Neither side was able to break the deadlock, sending the game into an overtime session made up of two 10-minute halves.

The first OT frame concluded without any scoring, though each team had an opportunity –  the Rowers missed a penalty kick, and a drop-goal attempt by Rogers sailed wide.

Rogers put his team in the lead with a penalty kick in the second overtime half, and Conor Bouchard extended the lead with a try soon after, with Rogers adding the convert.

As the clock ticked down, Dan Lee added an insurance try for the Sharks, to put the game out of reach.

In the Div. 1 game that followed, momentum from the win did not quite carry over, as each team missed early penalty kicks, and the Rowers eventually took a 7-0 lead with a try in the 15th minute. Twenty minutes later, Peter Clifford scored — and converted his own try – on a scoring play that was set up by a big run from Sharks’ Spencer Thorpe. Less than a minute later, Clifford slotted a penalty kick through the uprights for a 10-7 lead.

The teams traded tries before halftime – Corey Wood scored for Bayside – and Thorpe scored a try early in the second to extend the lead to 24-12, but the Rowers soon mounted a comeback.

In a 10-minute span, the Rowing Club scored three tries – two of which were converted – to take the lead, and in the 80th minute they scored again to make it 36-24.

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