At last: Alberni’s Sheep sting Nanaimo Hornets

A Port Alberni Black Sheep player runs with the ball in the midfield during the second half of the Div. 1 game against Nanaimo Hornets

For the first time in more than six years, the Port Alberni Black Sheep defeated the Nanaimo Hornets in Div. 1 second-half rugby. And they did it on home turf last Saturday.

The Div. 1 lads beat the Hornets 15-13 despite an extended press at the Black Sheep’s goal line. The Div. 2 Sheep won their contest 34-19 at the rugby pitch at the top of Argyle Street.

The Div. 1 Hornets spent 18 solid minutes inside the Black Sheep 22-yard line, with at least a third of that on the goal line.

“It was a very courageous goal line stand for us,” head coach Jas Purewal said.

Mike Waters opened scoring with a try. Ty Shannon scored a try and Todd Daradics converted it to put Port Alberni up 12-8 at the half. They went up 15-8 with a penalty goal shortly after trading ends. “We had a couple of shots at goals, a couple of handling errors. One more score would have made it easier for us,” he added.

The Black Sheep held off Nanaimo’s first press at the goal line midway through the second half, but with two minutes left the Hornets finally broke through. They missed an opportunity to kick a conversion and tie the game, and the Black Sheep were able to hold on to their lead until the final whistle.

“I was proud of them at the discipline they showed and the courage they had in defending our goal line,” Purewal said.

The Div. 2 teams played first, as Port Alberni was facing a player shortage for its Div. 1 game. Ty Shannon scored three tries, and singles came from Cody McClary and Troy Dhillon. Joz Kurucz kicked three conversions and one penalty goal.

“We got a couple of good breaks and the Nanaimo guys were a little inexperienced,” Purewal said.

“We were able to take advantage of them on the outside.”

SCRUM LINES…This weekend’s scheduled home games with Kelowna have been postponed until April 30, giving the Black Sheep a bye.

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