New club, Duhaney Park Firestorm, gave their community another National rugby league title to celebrate following their win in the JRLA National Division 2 finals on Saturday.
The club got the better of defending champions Caribbean Maritime University Spartans 12-4 in a tense final at the UWI Mona Bowl.
The win means the Duhaney Park community now holds all 3 men’s open age National titles as Duhaney Park Redsharks won the National Club Championship (NCC) and National Knock-Out Cup earlier in the year.
Duhaney Park was led by national player Javian Bryan who scored 8 points from a try and 2 goals; he was supported by second row Sheldon Kelly with one try. CMU’s lone try came from center Takeem Creary. All points were scored in the first half with Duhaney Park leading throughout the encounter. The second half was a defensive slug fest that suited the Firestorms as they were happy to sit back and absorb pressure before launching quick counter attacks.
Winning coach Roy Calvert said:
“It has been an exciting debuting season for the team. Our mandate coming into the competition was to focus on line speed and good body positioning in defense whilst promoting patience in attack. I think we have done fairly well. We beat a very classy CMU outfit twice in the competition, both in the opening group stage game and now in the Grand Finals, I believe this has done a lot for the confidence of the players and we are already looking forward to next season and defending our title.”
CMU’s Sports Coordinator Stephan Williams was philosophical about the defeat:
“We didn’t win, but we gained vital knowledge and experience. The competition was a good preparation for our intercollegiate campaign that begins in January and we will work on our weaknesses and improve.”
Meanwhile Director of Rugby Romeo Monteith believes the National Division 2 continues to develop Jamaica’s burgeoning talent pool:
“The quality of play in the finals was very impressive as was the array of high school, college and senior players whose skills were on display throughout the season. We believe the competition continues to provide an excellent opportunity to develop players for both the Intercollegiate and National Club Championship (NCC). With teams from Kingston, St Catherine and St Elizabeth, the talent pool is expanding and we want to continue to grow the competition.”
In the Third Place play-off, Kingston Central Hounds outscored Cedar Grove Cyclones 26-18. Trae Rodriquez top scored for the Hounds with 8 points from 2 tries, while for the Cyclones, national player Antonio Baker led with 10 points from a try and 3 goals.