Much like their season, the Brookswood Bobcats overcame early obstacles to prevail.
At the start of the rugby season, coach Ray Bright only had 10 players sign up for the Grade 8 team. But that core soon recruited others, doubling the Bobcats roster in size to 20.
And on Wednesday, Brookswood overcame an early deficit — they surrendered a try in the opening minutes — to knock off the South Delta Sun Devils 29-24 in overtime at the Fraser Valley tier 2 championship game played at Earl Marriott Secondary.
“We went into the game a little nervous because the other team was unbeaten on the season,” Bright said.
The Bobcats’ Steve Carrier — who was named the man of the match — scored his third try of the game in the second overtime period to seal the championship.
“It was tough trying to get kids out,” Bright said. “But as soon as the 10 we had started playing, they were able to convince some of their friends to come out and give it a shot.”
In the Fraser Valley final, the Sun Devils took a 12-5 lead into halftime but Brookswood pulled even early in the second half when Carrier scored his second try and Cole Cameron made a bad-angle convert.
Gary Ahuja/Langley Times
Brookswood Bobcats’ Steve Carrier escapes the grasp of a Fraser Falcons tackler during Fraser Valley Grade 8 boys playoff action earlier this month. Carrie scored three tries in the Fraser Valley tier 2 championship game and was named man of the match as Brookswood beat South Delta 29-24 in overtime.
The teams traded tries to knot the score at 17 with the ’Cats Aiden Rees scoring on a wonderful individual sprint. Rees also had a hand in giving Brookswood its first lead, as he went on a lengthy run, with Cody Slavik finishing things off. Cameron added the convert for a 24-17 advantage.
That lead stood until the waning seconds, when on the last play of the game, the Sun Devils scored a try and added the convert to force overtime.
And the first five-minute overtime period saw relentless South Delta pressure, but the Bobcats defence held firm.
“There was quite a bit of pressure from South Delta,” Bright said.
He gave them a brief pep talk before the sudden-death period began and Brookswood managed to go on a drive. Ten metres from the try-line, the Bobcats were able to push South Delta off the ball and get it Carrier who powered his way in for the winning score and the championship.
It caps off an impressive season for the team, which finished second in the Langley league to H.D. Stafford.
Stafford lost the Fraser Valley tier 1 championship game to the W.A. Fraser Falcons 22-18.