The battle between two Mill Bay schools last Thursday to determine final seeding for the AA boys provincial rugby championships was close through the middle of the second half, but a late offensive explosion resulted in a 31-9 win for Brentwood College over Frances Kelsey Secondary.
Brentwood held a slight 5-3 edge at halftime, and Kelsey was up 6-5 five minutes into the second half. At the game’s 55-minute mark, Brentwood clung to a 12-9 advantage before turning it on down the stretch.
Brentwood will head into provincials seeded eighth, while Kelsey is seeded 11th.
"It was extremely close for the majority of the game, but our lack of depth resulted in us losing our way for the final quarter of the match," Kelsey assistant coach Tom Fogarty said. "It was a strong effort from the whole team and it is great to see us get more competitive with the higher ranked schools with every year that this program continues to run."
All of Kelsey’s nine points came from penalties kicked by fly-half Tyson Black.
Fogarty praised the efforts of head coach Craig Schmidt and Kelsey athletic director Adam Johnston in helping to resurrect the Kelsey program, which is about to make its second trip to provincials in as many years.
"We are extremely lucky to have people like this who put in so much of their free time in helping these young men learn and improve on and off the field," he said.
Brentwood coach Shane Thompson credited much of his team’s success this season to the dedication of the Grade 12s. "All our seniors have done a good job of committing to the program," he said. "We’re carrying a lot of momentum forward this time of year."
At the urging of the seniors, all the players came back early from the Victoria Day long weekend to practice on Monday and Tuesday in preparation for the first round of the playoffs.
"For me as a coach, it’s nice when the senior players take that initiative," Thompson said.