The Ogier Winter Touch League finally came to a conclusion on Sunday and it was a great day.
The extremely hot day kicked off with Appleby taking on Ogier with Ogier coming out on top with an impressive 7-2 win.
Unfortunately, Appleby were missing speedsters Simon Raftopoulos and Chris Easden, two of the key players for their team this season.
Walkers came away with a surprising but well fought 3-1 win in the second game against KPMG. Again, KPMG were missing star players Neil Ackerman and Phillip Fourie who were vacationing at a very inopportune time for their team.
Game 3 saw Fluor take on Appleby, which brought the second defeat of the day for Appleby with a 7-1 win for Fluor.
Aaron Dong scored three impressive tries with two apiece for Bryan Fitzgerald and Tim Fitzgerald. Ben Hart for Appleby managed to squeeze one consolation try through Fluor’s defense to raise the Appleby spirits.
Next up were the league favourites, the Cayman Pirates taking on Walkers. The Pirates came through with a tidy 4-1 win over Walkers with Guy Major of the Pirates scoring two of the four tries thanks to his quick thinking and mongoose like reactions.
Game 5 brought Fluor back into the action, this time against Ogier. Both teams had shown huge potential throughout the league and were definitely in with a chance to walk away as champions.
It was a hard fought game with Ogier, again, surprisingly, taking a 3-1 win despite missing many of their speed merchants, especially Chris Coventry. Tries from Michelle Gayle, Onson Mukwedeya and Simon Cooper secured the win over Fluor.
The last game of the playoffs was Cayman Pirates v KPMG.
KPMG had a slow start to the league but once Bekilizwe Dube was back in action, his team came through with some impressive wins during the league.
Unfortunately, the missing vacationers made a huge difference to the outcome of the game and KPMG were left scoreless in the 5-0 defeat. Try scorers Alistair Fletcher, Jo Ziegler, Mark Fagan and Rowena Lawrence secured Cayman Pirates’ spot in the final.
In the playoffs both Appleby and KPMG forfeited their game refusing to play in the scorching heat and therefore came in at joint fifth place, so after a well deserved break, the first playoff game kicked off for third and fourth place with Fluor against Walkers.
This time Fluor came back with a vengeance and after seven tries to Walkers’ one, Fluor were awarded the bronze medal for the tournament.
It was a Fitzgerald try fest with Tim and Laura totalling four tries together with one from Brian Fitzgerald and two from Cullum Moynihan.
Joss Morris of Walkers had two excellent run away tries but it just wasn’t enough. Walkers secured a respectable fourth place.
Onto the final with Cayman Pirates againstOgier.
Ogier were the surprise package in the finals with most expecting Fluor to be in their stead, but as had been seen throughout the day, Ogier were just on fire, and that was nothing to do with the heat of the sun.
From the get go, the game was intense with both sides desperate for the win. Cayman Pirates who won the US Nationals in Houston, back in October were clear favourites thanks to their experience of big games but Ogier were definitely going to give them a fight. And give them a run they did having secured a 3-2 lead by half time with the wily Onson Mukwedeya and James Waters scoring tries by dodging through the central defense.
The heat was definitely making the players sluggish at this late stage of the day and the Pirates struggled to hold on thanks in no small part to key players missing from the line up.
Even with an extra well earned try for the Pirates, two more second half scores for Ogier saw the good efforts of the Pirates’ Mark Fagan, Dave Bailey and Steve Henshaw lead to nothing as the clock ran out and Ogier were crowned triumphant winners of the league they sponsor.
Rugby media spokesman Peter De Vere, said: ‘A good day was had by all and the teams and all involved would like to thank Ogier, who are also our very kind and generous sponsor of the league. So they had to win really!’