The Bayside Sharks did not get the result they were looking for Saturday at South Surrey Athletic Park, losing a muddy, rain-soaked affair 20-11 to Burnaby Lake in the final qualification game of the fall season.
The loss bounced the Shark’s top mens’ team from the upcoming spring premier rugby league; Burnaby Lake was awarded the final berth by virtue of Saturday’s win, while Bayside will play this spring in first division.
The Sharks had been on a roll prior to Saturday’s game, beating both the Vancouver Rowing Club and Victoria’s Velox Valhallians in the first two games of the qualification tournament, in which the last premier-league spot was up for grabs.
The Bayside-Burnaby matchup was originally to be played Nov. 19 but cold weather and frozen playing surfaces – fields in both South Surrey and Burnaby Lake were closed – led to the postponement of the game.
Last weekend’s soggy weather no doubt played a part in Saturday’s result, as the Sharks – who prefer to play a high-speed, skilled game – were forced to play a grinding, slower style of rugby.
“In good conditions, our team can really run up some tries on people… but rain is such an equalizer,” Kearney told Peace Arch News earlier in the season.
Burnaby Lake also got the better of the Bayside Sharks in the Lower Mainland Women’s Tier 1 finals.
Saturday at the Burnaby Lake Sports Complex, Burnaby edged the Sharks with a low-scoring 6-0 win to capture the Anna Schnell Cup.
The game was a tightly contested affair, as neither team was able to break through the opposition’s defensive line for tries.
Burnaby won the game on penalty kicks from Becky Querido and Canadian international scrumhalf Julie Sugawara, the latter of whom is a Peninsula resident.