Cayman Islands rugby side bounced back from two losses in the Caribbean Championships to beat Jamaica 11-10 in a thrilling final game on Saturday.
It was the Shield Final at the club ground in South Sound and helped eclipse the two previous losses to Trinidad and Tobago and Mexico.
All the day’s matches were dedicated to nurse Maureen Dunne who passed away on March 28 after leaving her five-year old daughter Chloe.
Maureen was dedicated to the rugby club offering her services as a nurse for several tournaments over the past ten years and was in fact due to assist lastweek.
She served as an ER nurse at the hospital for over ten years and was well liked. Contributions were collected to help keep Maureen’s dream alive of educating her daughter at St Ignatius School where she is enrolled to start this September.
Cayman were missing several key players against Jamaica because of injuries, including captain John Wagner who was stretchered off against Mexico with broken ribs. Richard Tressider dislocated his shoulder against the Trinis and missed the Mexico and Jamaica games.
Cayman’s technical director Richard ‘Grizz’ Adams filled in for Wagner and did well for the half of the match he played at tight head.
Martin Livingston skippered and assistant skipper was Shaun Gerard. Pete De Vere had a great game against Mexico and he did a fine job again on Saturday.
The Jamaicans were their usual physical and speedy selves and must have thought they had bagged a rare win leading 10-6 with five minutes to go. But they wilted under Cayman’s pressure and the forwards did a marvellous job of keeping the ball close to their touch line.
In another magnificent attack, the Cayman forwards bulldozed forward and it was Shaun Bacon who sizzled like a streaky rasher on a grill and literally saved their bacon with a try from a couple of yards out.
Stuart McMillan and Mick Kehoe had kicked penalties for Cayman earlier.
Livingston said: ‘We always treasure the games that we have against Jamaica. They’re our closest rivals and neighbours and we always try to keep things on an even keel and keep them happy games.
‘We didn’t have the best of tournaments partly because we’ve had a lot of inexperienced players and had to learn a lot of lessons.
‘I think today’s game was a mix of everything over the last week.
‘There were some basic mistakes we made and they capitalised on those. We could have easily let it go right towards the end but we just had enough bottle and energy left to pull through and get that last try.
‘Outside of congratulating our team and all the hard work they’ve put in, I’d just like to say an extra special thanks to the public in Cayman in coming along and supporting us throughout.’