Round three of the Cayman Summer Mixed Touch Rugby League finished with teams starting to flex their muscles and knuckle down to some tough games of touch rugby.
The list of famous “Howards” is not long. Once you get past Stern, Hughes, Jones and “the Duck” there is scant left to celebrate. Until now. May I introduce one Howard Byrne. Regular enthusiasts of touch rugby will be familiar with the exploits of Byrne, who has for many years helped Genesis Five Nations come close to glory in the summer league.
However, against Dart, the crowd was treated to a virtuoso performance of touch rugby. Byrne simply bamboozled a bemused Dart defence with his moves. Opening his magical box of tricks he pulled out a cornucopia of windmill passes, exaggerated dummies, and exorbitant dives. When he is in this type of form defenders have little or no clue as to what he will do next.
In fairness, I’m not convinced his team-mates or even Howard himself know for sure what’s coming up, but when it works, it is sublime. He racked up five tries and the Most Valuable Player award in an 8-0 drubbing of Dart, who will be heartened by the knowledge that they are unlikely to come up against another player of this type until, well, until they meet Genesis Five Nations again.
In an exciting game between Stepping Stones and an under strength Maples2, it was the underdogs who took an early lead through an excellent line break from Justin Colgan. Stepping Stones looked out of sorts for much of the game as their passing faltered under pressure from a resolute Maples2 defence. Ray Galletly finally broke their duck in a nice overlap but was injured in the act of scoring, hampering him for the rest of the game.
Their greater experience at this level began to tell and Stepping Stones had the majority of possession and carried the greater try threat. Tries from Stuart Geddes (two) and Lisa Bird were answered by excellent scores from Alasdair Robertson and Sandra Patron for Maples2. The score was always close but the result was put beyond doubt when Vikki Piaso and Riley Mullen finished the job to make the 6-3 score to Stepping Stones, a little flattering to the potential league leaders.
Maples1 cruised to a 6-1 win over Ogier. One of the aspects of the match that captain Marty Livingston will be proud of is the egalitarian way his team has of scoring points – six tries, six different scorers. Marx, Karl rather than Groucho, would have been proud of their utopian co-operative spirit of comradeship – all working together for the common good.
Comrades Scott MacDonald, Ed Hayward, Jyoti Choi, Mark Fagan, Carmel Harms and Chandra Friesen shared the spoils. I can’t be sure but I swear I heard the quiet strains of The Internationale being hummed as they left the pitch!
Trident Titans showed that they belong in the top flight with a convincing 8-2 win over KPMG1 to move into third in the league table. Three tries from James Waters and two from Nic Swartz were decisive with David Laau, Jacqui Davis and Yi-Jing Chen adding the extras. Niall O’Sullivan and Ryan Eisenhammer put KPMG1 on the scoresheet.
Zolfo Cooper, sounding like the lovechild of a one-night tryst between Frank Zappa and Alice Cooper but in actual fact a world leader in corporate recovery, restructuring, and financial advisory services, took on the communications giant LIME.
This match had more ding dong than the Bells of Notre Dame after the Hunchback had been on a 24-hour cocktail bender of Red Bull, espresso and nicotine. Ding! It started reasonably enough with early tries from Neil Coley and Tom Eliot. Dong, LIME answered with a neat score from Jonny Hillyard.
Bong! A lively first half descended into a fractious second period as both teams were hell-bent on the win. Clang! The to-and-fro of a pulsating game turned to push-and-shove as an extended period of impolite posturing finally ended with chill pills being dispensed all round. Zolfo Cooper finally ran out deserved 5-3 winners. In this type of form the bells will be ringing across the land for Zolfo Cooper as potential Division Champions.
Delta Force and GCM battled to a 5-5 draw with both teams extremely committed to their cause. Becky Dinwoodie turned in a star performance showing great enthusiasm, good ball handling and superb defence.
KPMG2 racked up their second win of the season with a 5-2 win over Credit Suisse. Two tries for Ian Roberton and one apiece for Miguel Lopez, Greg Meaker and Kassi Desrochers sealed the deal with Ben MacDonald and Johann Prinsloo scoring for Credit Suisse.
Queensgate Grizz’s Old Fellas maintain their position in the foothills of Division 3, losing to Ernst and Young 3-7. Ronan McCarthy (three), Jonny Lewis (two), Curtis Wilson and Bronwen Gangler scored for Ernst and Young but it was their all-round team performance that stood out. If they keep to that team ethic they should ascend the ranks pretty soon.
The Heineken Light Maidens continue to assert their own brand of Girl Power with an impressive 3-2 victory over Campbells. Tries from Sharlee Henshaw, Lisa Kehoe and Ashley Puschman sealed the win but it was the energetic performance of the diminutive Sinead Wagner who won the MVP award. Often acting as the conduit in all their best moves the pint-sized dynamo kept the Maidens going forward. The Two Jonnies (Doak and Lewis) kept the match tight but at the final whistle for Campbells it was a case of “Goodnight from me, and Goodnight from him!”
Harmonic continued on the winning trail with a four try haul from Kieron Lyons. He roared through the Walkers defence with ferocious speed and guile. Tim Rossiter weighed in with two tries of his own as Walkers failed to get to grips with Harmonic. James Melen, Martin Davies, David Byrne and Vikki Piaso scored for Walkers but the 6-4 score line secured Harmonics place at the top of the table.
Dark horses Island Heritage continue to move up the table into third with a worthy 3-1 win over lowly DMS. Helen Ennis played extremely well topping off her performance with a wonderful try. Brandon Smith and Marvin Gordon also scored for Island Heritage, with David Bakker answering for DMS.
Alastair Lum scored a fine hat-trick for Deloitte in a decent 6-2 win over Broadhurst. New arrival Yi-Jing Chen scored twice and Dave Acutt added the extras for Deloitte with Matt Keenan and Liz Austin crossing the whitewash for Broadhurst. The result leaves Broadhurst pinned to the bottom of the table but I’m guessing the après-rugby festivities are just as lively no matter what the result.
UBS earned their second draw in three games with a 3-3 result against Rawlinson and Hunter. Missing some scoring opportunities UBS will need to be more clinical as will Rawlinson and Hunter if they are to progress up the table.