U19’s the best in the Caribbean again

| 18/07/2011

(CRFU): For the 3rd time in 4 years the Cayman Islands U19 men’s team were crowned NACRA Caribbean Champions on Saturday night in front of a capacity crowd at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex. The young Caymanian side, under the tutelage of Coach Russell Hayward, Noel Phillips, Gary Southway and team manager Graeme Thompson surprised the competition having come back against Barbados to seal a convincing win earlier in the week to then narrowly defeat Bermuda and lastly triumph over a very powerful Trinidadian side in what is being touted by many as the most exciting conclusion of the competition ever. (Photos Caroline Deegan)

In the 2010 competition the very same Caymanian team were subjected to heavy losses to the Bahamas and Bermuda in the Bahamas only to bounce back in the 5th place bowl final against Barbados and the turn around in fortunes in only 12 months is testament to the hard work of the players and coaching staff of the Cayman Rugby Football Union. 

Earlier in the day Barbados subjected the Jamaican’s to their 3rd successive defeat of the week to take 5th place and were followed by a clash of 2010 Caribbean Champions, Bermuda vs. Mexico. The Mexican’s fought hard to overcome the Bermudan’s but found little reprieve from the dogged Bermudan defence and Bermuda won 3rd place in the competition with a 12-8 victory.

The Trinidadians, 2010 finalists, were favoured by many to win on the day due to their size and speed and indeed scored early on in the final to make the score 5-0. The score line didn’t change again in the first half albeit for a few scoring opportunities for the Caymanian boys that went begging.

In the 2nd half Cayman slotted a penalty kick through Alex Harvey to cut the Trinidadian lead to 2 points but the Trini’s responded quickly with a penalty of their own to make the score 8-3. With the clock winding down it looked ever more like Cayman’s hopes would be dashed and Trinidad would take home both the Women’s and U19 Men’s trophies but a last minute try from Cayman sent the crowd into a frenzy to make the score 8-8.

A conversion from the corner for the last play of regulation time would have sealed the game but Harvey sent the ball wide and the game would be decided on a penalty shoot out!

Cayman only missed one penalty kick to win the game 4-2 on penalty’s to be crowned Caribbean Champs on home soil. With such a young team and highly qualified coaching staff Cayman is well placed to continue their dominance at this level for a few more years to come!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Final Standings:- 2011 NACRA U19 Men’s Caribbean Championships

1st place: Cayman Islands
2nd place: Trinidad & Tobago
3rd place: Bermuda
4th place: Mexico
5th place: Barbados
6th place: Jamaica

 

Category: Sports

Comments (2)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    That was a well played tournament. The other teams were no pushovers, but the quality and especially Disciplined play of the young Cayman team was very apparent!

    All credit to the coaches for working with these young men from the ground up and moulding them into a true team. It was gratifying to see how they supported each other on and off the field, putting aside egos and any cultural differences to present a united front.

     

    i would dare to say that even in the more popuular arena of fotball, i have not seen a team that worked quite like these guys- no comparison in my opinion.

    They still have much to learn, but I think now that these young men have realised their potential they could continue to do our country proud and hopefully inspire their peers in a positive way.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Well done Cayman – great game!