Rugby Day in Enfield Volume Two was a resounding success. The Enfield Rugby Football Club hosted three matches at the Lion's Den on 16 August, the Division I and III men hosted the Halifax Rugby Club, while the Enfield RFC ladies hosted the Halifax Tars for the Rugby Nova Scotia Semi-Final playoff game.
The day began with the Division I match at 12:00. The guys kicked off and set the tone right from the onset with an aggressive tackle from Kyle Kelly that laid the marker for how he would play for the entire day. The guys settled into their structures early and controlled the flow of play throughout. The guys moved the ball well and kicked precisely and secured the first win of the day with a scoreline of 60-12. Scorers included Stew Cook (3), Matt MacNeil (2), Nick Munroe, Tim Loney, Alex Malay. The highlight of the game had to be Evan Dickie making the greatest pass of his career.
The Third Division Team followed with another victory, but one that went right down to the wire. The game was a back and forth "try-fest" that perhaps did not highlight the defensive prowess of either side. Enfield and Halifax traded tries for the better portion of the match, but when the need was there, it was Enfield who came through on the last play of the match to dot down a try to claim the come-from-behind victory and to lock down first place in the Rugby Nova Scotia Third Division. Point scorers included Derrick Head (2), Chris Rowe, Matthew Pike, Ollie James, Connor Westbury, Ryan Helpard, and Kyle Kelly.
The Enfield supporters (new and old) were out in full force. Ollie's daughter Peeta' (Ava) has a newfound love for Enfield!
It was great to see Ollie make his Enfield RFC debut alongside Matt Taylor and Jordan Shepperd. More on that relationship and a formal jersey exchange later this week.
In the most anticipated match of the day, the Enfield RFC ladies took on the Halifax Tars. After securing a home playoff match last week with a victory over the Truro Saints, the Enfield girls put on a clinical performance against the Tars. In a proud display of rucking and across the board an excellent off the ball work-rate, the girls scored some very exciting tries and impressed the enthusiastic crowd with their sound defence. In the end the scoreline read 48-0 for the black and white which secures them a spot in the Women's Division II Championship Game against Pictou County RFC on Friday. Congratulations to the girls and best of luck! Scorers on the day included Adrienne MacDonald with three, Megan Sullivan with three, Jacy McNutt and Beckey Head with one each and Ashley Ettinger with four conversion kicks. Full credit needs to be given to Cailin Winters who had an absolute stormer of a game on both sides of the ball.
The Enfield RFC ladies putting on the pressure
On Sunday, Curly Portables hosted the local rugby community for brunch and a showing of the 2014 Women's Rugby World Cup Final between Canada and England. The crowd at the bar spent the better part of 80 minutes on the edge of their seats, proudly cheering on the Canadian women who came ever so close to winning the World Cup. Although it was sad to see England claim the title, the entire Canadian rugby community (and sporting community in general) has a lot to be very proud of as that group of women made history and was center stage in the national sporting media. A wonderful time to be a Canadian Rugby fan.
The crew at Curly Portables enjoying the World Cup Final
Apologies for a lack of updates in recent weeks, but there is a lovely selection of half-written articles sitting on a computer. Recent issues of note:
-The Enfield contingent for the Rugby Nova Scotia U18 entry at Nationals had a fantastic result, with round robin wins against Saskatchewan (14-0), Manitoba (38-0), and PEI (15-0), and a loss to New Brunswick (12-5). In the playoff rounds the guys lost narrowly to Eastern Ontario (19-18) and then beat New Brunswick to lock up 7th Place overall (22-19). Congratulations to the whole squad, but in particular Clay MacDonnell, Connor Westbury, Riley Ashley, Tyler MacDonald, and Austin White as well as Coach Evan Dickie.
-Adrienne MacDonald and the Atlantic Team had a competitive showing at the National Women's League Tournament in Ottawa, with strong efforts, but losses to the Prairies, Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec. Adrienne scored against Ontario and British Columbia. Expect an interview with Adrienne about the experience in the next few days.
-Since the last update the Division I men have played St. John, PEI and Fredericton and secured a home victory against the Trojans, a come-from-behind victory away to the Mudmen and a loss away to the Loyalists. The Div III men beat Riverlake. The women's team beat Riverlake, lost to the Tars, but closed the gap on a 30+ point deficit in the first half and then beat the Truro Saints in their final game of the regular season.
It has been an interesting week for the Enfield RFC. Thursday night featured a Division III match-up between Enfield and Eastern Shore in Musquodobit Harbour, the Friday night Rugby Nova Scotia Keltics versus Barbarians match included a number of Enfield RFC members, and Saturday was another rugby day for the ladies of the Enfield RFC who participated in the annual Seahorse Cup. In other club news, Mark Sweeney found out the good news that he has been included in the Atlantic Rock squad for the Canadian Rugby Championship (CRC), while Adrienne MacDonald will travel to Ottawa on Monday as a member of the Atlantic entry in the 2014 National Women's League (NWL).
Alex Malay laying down his expectations
Thursday night's feature between Enfield and Eastern Shore proved to be both an entertaining and frustrating endeavour. Under a cloud of noseeums and on a narrow pitch that favoured the Eastern Shore direct and combative gameplan, the black and white started out on a strong note with some probing runs from Scotty Marrison and John Quincey Beakman. Enfield pulled ahead early with a penalty kick from Matthew Pike, but Eastern Shore soon answered back with a try of their own. 8-man Kyle Kelly showed his prowess again by tearing through the Eastern Shore defence to put Enfield back on top for a few minutes only to have the lead relinquished before the halftime whistle. During the second half prop Clay MacDonnell pumped in a long-range try to give Enfield a 13-10 lead and Matt Taylor put the home team under immense pressure, punting the ball into the corners. Unfortunately Eastern Shore charged back with a late try while Enfield was a player down due to a yellow card for some off the ball shenanigans to give the home team a 15-13 lead and the win. The Division III boys are now 4-1 and have walked away with points in each match. The next game is away to Pictou County RFC on Tuesday night. The game was also the debut of the 48 years-young evergreen Bristolian visitor Simon Gait who had just arrived in Nova Scotia to visit the Taylors and Jordan.
Helpard, Jason, Connor, Clay, and Jordan trying to see in the fog
Friday night's Keltics versus Barbarians fixture proved to be an entertaining - yet sloppy - display of rugby featuring some old and new faces of Nova Scotia rugby. The match was designed in tribute to the alumni of the Keltics teams of 1998 and 2000 who featured in the Rugby Canada Super League finals, and to the four provincial teams who just two weeks ago came home with gold medals from the Eastern Canadian Championships in Prince Edward Island. The Barbarians side was lead by former Canada captain Morgan Williams (Bordeaux-Begles, Stade Francais, Saracens, SC Albi) and also featured Canada and Nova Scotia stalwarts such as Derek Daypuck (Ontario Blues), Ed Knaggs, Rich O'Malley, and Jesse Landry. The Enfield contingent for the Keltics included starting players prop Ryan Dickie, lock Evan Dickie, scrum half and vice-captain Mark Sweeney, center Adam Fitzpatrick, and off the bench, 8-man/wing Matt MacNeil, prop Nick Munroe, and hooker Mike MacNamera. The two sides traded points back and forth throughout the evening, providing the crowd with a number of "ooh" moments and probably a few more "ahh" moments. Noteable incidents included a two-try performance from Matt MacNeil (one of the intercept variety and one of the forward smashing brand), some strong open-field running from Adam Fitzpatrick, and a beautifully weighted cross-kick try from Morgan Williams to Derek Daypuck that not only beat the Keltics defence, but left most of the team just watching the play emerge with the facial expressions of a child on Christmas morning. The Keltics took the win 48-38, just enough to keep provincial coach Jack Hanratty from having a heart attack. The post-match festivities ran on long into the night and based on the looks of pure joy on the faces of the Barbarians, it was a fine example that the passion for the game and the comradery never dies.
Mark Sweeney and Morgan Williams: You'll never see Sweeney this excited again...
Enfield guys: Fitzy, Malay, Drew, Matty, Joel, Evan (Sergeant-At-Arms), Sweeney, the Honourable Peter MacKay (Minister of Justice and Attorney General), Nick, Ryan, Dunner, Mikey, and Liam
The Keltics and Barbarians: Nice to see the Barbs sporting the new Enfield RFC jerseys with Curly Portables front and centre!
The Enfield RFC ladies were at it on Saturday at the Seahorse Cup out at Graves-Oakley and took on the Halifax Tars and a combination team of Windsor and Valley. The ladies made it through to the semi-finals where they were defeated by the Halifax Rugby Club. Reports were scant, but the weekend featured the return of both Daniela Mayo and Dawn Sullivan (which is super awesome), and surely some fun was had after the fact. 'Magine.
Danela back in the Black and White!
Lastly, Adrienne MacDonald finished up the last camp ahead of the NWL tournament at Twin Elms Rugby Park in Ottawa and will depart for Upper Canada on Monday morning. The Atlantic Team takes on the Prairies on Tuesday, 29 July, Ontario on Wednesday, has a bye day on Thursday and every team is off on Friday. They will play British Columbia on Saturday and finish out against Quebec on Sunday. The link to the tournament website is here, and the link to the live stream schedule is here. Best of luck to Adrienne and all of the Atlantic athletes!
Kit Christmas!: Adrienne MacDonald modelling her Atlantic NWL kit before travelling to Ottawa
To the Enfield RFC loyal: the Division III match that was originally scheduled to be played in Enfield tonight is re-scheduled to be played in Eastern Shore on Thursday, 24 July at 6:30pm. Sorry for any inconvenience.
The Enfield RFC ladies continued their successful campaign on Monday night with an excellent team victory over the Halifax Rugby Club in Rugby Nova Scotia Division II Women's action. In what was a back-and-forth match in the mist at Graves-Oakley, the black and white women were able to rally when they needed to and came out with a 43-21 win. Captain Adrienne MacDonald attests the success to Enfield's unwillingness to quit on defence. Whenever HRFC's offensive prowess put Enfield under pressure, the girls were able to weather the storm and leave their defensive end without relinquishing points. With their characteristic positivity and determination, the Enfield girls stayed stuck into the match the entire way through and came out on top. Try scorers included Saralynne Knockwood with a natural hat-trick (3), Tasha McKenzie (2), and Adrienne MacDonald (2). Ashley Ettinger knocked over four conversions to seal the match.
Adrienne MacDonald and Saralynne Knockwood combined for some serious points on Monday night
Taylor and Cailin running in support of Pauline McLeod
On Tuesday night the Enfield RFC men took to the field in Enfield against their Division I rivals the Halifax Tars. In a match that is always highly anticipated, this one certainly delivered. In what was a hugely physical match-up, Enfield was able to take an early lead off of the foot of Stew Cook with an early penalty and a try sniped from a defensive lineout from Justin Dunn to make it 10-0 for the black and white. The two teams traded possession and points and by the halfway the scoreline read 13-5 for Enfield. The first half of the second half was a period where the game could have gone in any direction. The Tars scored a try to bring the game to within 1-point, but Enfield was able to capitalize on a few Tar penalties at the breakdown with fullback Stew Cook knocking over two more penalty kicks. Toward the end of the match Enfield managed to build offence out of their defensive pressure and following a turnover around halfway worked down for a grinding try from prop Ryan Dickie and a conversion kick that all but put the game away in the dying minutes. The final score was Enfield 26 to Tars 17. Tries came from Justin Dunn and Ryan Dickie and Stew Cook came through with 4 penalties and 2 conversions.
Enfield was sound on the defensive end of things. Jeremy Loney and Evan Dickie work into a tackle
Man of the Match Justin Dunn carries the ball
This coming weekend is a huge one for the Enfield RFC:
Saturday is Rugby Day in Enfield which will feature 3 senior games and a whole host of festivities at the Enfield Lion's Den. The day kicks off with a match between and Enfield in the men's Division III grouping at 1pm. The black and white hope to continue their early success. The second match-up of the day features the Division I men taking on the St. John Trojans at 3:15 as a part of the Maritime Interlock. The day caps off with a hotly contested match-up between the Enfield ladies and the Riverlake Ramblers at 5pm. The two Enfield/Riverlake games make up the 2014 volume of the Grand Lake Cup in which the neighbouring clubs battle it out for fishing and natural resource access for the coming 12 months. The winner reaps the spoils, while the families of the loser will go hungry. There will be a barbecue and beer garden running at the Lion's Den all day, so come hungry and thirsty and be ready to enjoy some exciting rugby! There will also be "Rugby Day in Enfield" tank tops available for purchase at the field!
Let everyone know where you were!
Sunday will showcase the young talent of the Enfield RFC and Rugby Nova Scotia community as Enfield hosts the second 2014 "Junior Blitz" day. The Enfield Lion's Den will host a full day of junior rugby 7's with some of the most exciting young players in the province taking the field to show their skills and speed in the abbreviated version of the game. Games kick-off at 9am and will run through until 2pm.
The Enfield RFC would also like to wish the best of luck to Sweeney as he travels to Newfoundland on Thursday for the CRC Atlantic Rock camp at the Swilers Grounds in St. John's. The camp involves training sessions on Thursday and Friday followed by a trial match on the Saturday. Good luck and make the black and white proud Sweeney!
It was a golden weekend for the Nova Scotia Keltics entries at the 2014 Eastern Canadian Rugby Championships in Prince Edward Island this past weekend. All of the Nova Scotian entries in the tournament came out with gold medals after a hot weekend of exciting rugby. The senior women, U20 and U18 girls, and the U18 boys were all victorious, making it a clean sweep for the Scotians.
Proud Scotians: Backrow - Clay MacDonnell, Austin White, Evan Dickie, Connor Westbury, Devon Rose, Tyler MacDonald; Second Row - Riley Ashley, Tasha Mckenzie, Josh Garden; Front Row - Ashley Ettinger, Tor Colbert, Adrienne MacDonald
The black and white were well represented on the weekend with center Adrienne MacDonald and scrum half Ashely Ettinger featuring for the senior women and hooker Mikey MacNamera and center Adam Fitzpatrick representing the senior men in a match against the New Brunswick Black Spruce. The senior women showed very well over the weekend with four strong victories over their Atlantic Canadian counterparts, and conceded only one try (which was scored by friend of the club Olivia DeMerchant).
Senior Ladies Ashley and Adrienne with their gold medals
In the age-grade categories winger Tor Colbert and prop Tasha MacKenzie helped the U20s to a gold medal, making a strong contribution both on and off the ball. Tasha carried the ball with her typical powerful and direct approach, while Tor showed she has speed to burn on the outsides of the park. The girls defeated PEI 34-0 to lock up the gold medal.
U20 Ladies Tor and Tasha with their hardware
In the U18 boys category, under the tutelage of coach Evan Dickie, prop Clay MacDonnell, backrow forwards Josh Garden, Connor Westbury, and Riley Ashley, halves Tyler MacDonald and Austin White as well as winger Devon Rose all played a role in the Nova Scotia victory. Of the U18 boys, Coach Dickie was very pleased to see the guys take Rugby NS men's rugby to a higher standard. He was impressed with the effort of the Enfield players, who all played a key role in winning the tournament. Tyler MacDonald continues to improve with his distribution and leadership around the field, and Josh Garden showed both excellent discipline on the field and immense heart for his team. Josh remained on the sidelines after separating his shoulder during the final game so he could see the boys win and be a part of the team photographs.
The U18 Crew with their championship gold - the first in a long, long time for the U18 Keltics
A huge congratulations to all of the Rugby Nova Scotia athletes, coaches, parents, and administrators for a job well done. That is a weekend to be very proud of.
Coming this week: The Enfield RFC women's team take on the Halifax Rugby Club in women's action on Monday night at Graves-Oakley while the Enfield RFC Division I men take on the Halifax Tars on Tuesday night at the Enfield Lion's Den.