Duhaney Park Red Sharks won their sixth-consecutive National Club Championship (NCC) Grand Finals, and eighth overall, with a pulsating 40-18 win over Washington Boulevard Bulls on Saturday at The UWI Mona Bowl.
The first half was filled with tension and drama as both teams traded scores; the Bulls jumped to a 6-0 lead, but the Red Sharks responded well and held a narrow 16-12 lead at half-time. In the second half, the Red Sharks took control of the game, running in five tries while Bulls could only muster one additional score.
Red Sharks were led by fullback Javian Bryan with eight points from four goals, Kenneth Walker and Jenson Morris scored two tries each, while Miguel Facey, Joseph Shae, Chevaughn Bailey (MVP) and Andrew Simpson scored a try each.
For the Bulls, Lawrence Drummond led with six points from three goals and Shamoy Stewart, Oshane Edie, and Daniel Morrison scored one try apiece.
"We were a bit scrappy, we had too many knock-ons, but to score 40 points we had to chance our arm a bit," Red Sharks head coach Roy Calvert said. "In the first half, we moved from what works for us which is using three, four tackles to lay a platform; instead we were going one in, and looking to play off the second tackle. In the second half we went back to basics and scored 24 points. Hats off to the Bulls, they gave it to us, but my boys stood up and pulled it off and I am very proud of the team."
Bulls head coach Derone Davis praised his team in spite of the loss.
"It was unbelievable being our first grand final," he said. "We started well, we dominated the middle in the first 40 minutes, which was our game plan. Hakeem, Makaya and Kyle were especially damaging both carrying the ball and tackling and that kept us in it. We started the second 40 positively but fatigue set in, our skills broke down and we lost the script. Congrats to the Red Sharks on a well-deserved win," he said.
In other games played, Jamaica Defence Force Warriors were comfortable 16-0 winners over West Kingston Hyenas in the third-place play-off. Tries came from Courtney Davies, Demar Williams and Okeano Stephenson, while Nicolai Kennedy kicked two goals.
In the NCC U19 Grand Finals, Portmore Rugby League Club defeated Washington Boulevard Bulls 4-0 courtesy of a try from Rasheed Pencle. In the other U19 club game, St Bess Rugby League Club defeated Liguanea Dragons 26-0 for third place.