Away to Riverlake: Featuring Mini Rugby!
A much shorter article this time around because Mr. Pike was unavailable (you can’t get good help…), but it was a lovely away Sunday against our old friends Riverlake this past weekend for women’s and men’s division III matchups, and the highlight of the day, a mini-rugby demonstration of extraordinary skill and energy that took place featuring the Riverlake and Enfield youth programs.
The women’s game kicked the day off and was a joy to watch. Veterans of the club showed why we keep them on the payroll: Saralynne Knockwood had her defensive switch flicked to “Beast Mode,” Dawn Sullivan showed crazy pace on the outside of the field, and Adrienne MacDonald traded her centre hat for a scrum half cap and made a fine showing of it. But it was the youth of the club that really stood out on the day, with fine showings from Emma Julian (a brace of tries), Keisha Nowe (her first try!), and Jewlia Burke (showing great leadership and attack from the base of the scrum). The women’s team came out with a convincing victory, and are slated to take on the Halifax Rugby Club in the Division I playoffs next Wednesday, 24 August at the Don Bayer Field in Dartmouth.
The men’s game was another fine installation in the four-part miniseries of Enfield v. Riverlake: 2016. A back-and-forth affair where Riverlake looked very powerful through the mid-field and Enfield fronted up in the forwards and showed blistering pace on the wings (thanks to Kyle MacNeil and John McCrae), the scoreline didn’t represent how painfully uncomfortable the contact area actually looked. Both sides traded scores to about 130-127, until Riverlake’s replacement fly-half decided to kick a penalty to tie the game, at which point everyone retired to Bubba Ray’s for tea.
The undoubted highlight of the afternoon was an excellent match between the Enfield RFC and the Riverlake Mini’s. A crew of about 20 youngsters played a lovely game of flag rugby for the crowd of players, parents, and fans at Range Park in Bedford. The game was tremendously inspiring both for the skill shown by the kids, but also by the good-nature with which it was played by all who participated. Both sides demonstrated a good range of passing, defensive, and support skills and some fine footwork that would not be matched by either senior game on the day. Full credit to the organizers who did a great job of putting the event together and facilitating on the day, to the parents, and especially to the kids who put on such a fine demonstration of all that is so wonderful about our sport.