Horton girls win gold at rugby provincials, WK girls and Horton boys take silver

Published on June 9, 2017

The Horton Griffins are the D2 NSSAF rugby champions for 2017.

©Jennifer Hoegg

GREENWICH , N.S. - It was a battle of the Valley teams June 3 the D2 NSSAF girls’ rugby provincial final.   

 The Horton Griffins and West Kings Wolverines both earned a place on the pitch for the championship match in Enfield.

“It was great to see an all-Valley final,” said Horton coach Dave Galloway.

It was the Griffins that emerged victorious, clinching a 17-0 win to walk away from the field with gold medals and a championship banner.

Ball carrier Paulina Livingstone tries to gain some ground for the Griffins in semi-final play.
Jennifer Hoegg

“It was a great all-around team. It was a great group of girls and they worked extremely hard all season,” said Galloway, who noted that younger players were often called to step up and fill senior roles throughout the season.

“It was an overall team effort.”

The Griffins went undefeated at provincials, beating teams from Glace Bay, Antigonish and the hosting Hants East squad.

“It thought going into provincials we had a decent chance… from the perspective of being able to score. We had done that all season, but I think at provincials what was a bit more of a surprise was how well our girls played on defence,” said Galloway.

“West Kings was pressuring us a great deal in the first half and our tackling in our own zone was fantastic.”

The Griffins advanced to provincials as the western zone champions, and managed to win a highly competitive Prince Edward Island tournament earlier in the season.
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Galloway said the 33-player roster is going to take a hit when some key players graduate, but he expects to see a solid group of familiar faces on the pitch next year.

Horton’s boys also advanced to the provincial final in their league, but suffered a 17-5 loss to the hosting Hants East squad.

Horton’s Mac Muirhead makes a desperate attempt to score in the final moments of the provincial final.
Jennifer Hoegg

Coach Bryce Jodrey said Hants East fielded a number of players with experience competing in high-level provincial and national tournaments.

“It was the same team that we played last year in the final, so they’re both fairly young teams and they’re both very similar. Last year we won, this year they won,” said Jodrey, who added that the Griffins were defeated by a “worthy team.”

Looking at the bigger picture, Jodrey was pleased with the Griffins’ performance at provincials.

“It was very tight with every team, so it was a hard fought time to get to the final.”

With six graduating players, Jodrey expects to see the bulk of the team returning next year.

“It still looks like a good, strong future,” he said.