By Chesley Daniels
St Marks Alicedale 1st XV registered an important victory over hosts, Excelsior, with a narrow 27-26 bonus point win on Youth Day, 16 June. The Alicedale side travelled to Kariega to take on the favourites, Excelsior, who are normally a very difficult team to beat in their own backyard. The vital important bonus point win for St Mark’s came at the right time and moved them up into third position on the log, from sixth position the previous week. Excelsior moved down from fourth to fifth position, but also earned two losing bonus points in the process.
The visitors from Makana struggled heavily in the first half and found it difficult to find their feet. The home side enjoyed a strong and solid start, and took the game to the Bulls with their attacking prowess. The big forwards of St Mark’s started to gain confidence and momentum, dominating their favourite department, the scrums. The game continued to be very physical and intense as both teams came hard at each other. Excelsior had the upper hand in the first half and took their chances with both hands, scoring three tries and taking a decent 21-13 lead at halftime.
It was a different ball game in the second half, as the visitors unleashed their young speedy backline who came to the party and ran brilliant lines on the attack. The Bulls hit back after some solid and dominant scrums that allowed quality ball possession for the hungry, young backline outfit. Three tries came from their big strong forwards who came hard at the opponents. The visitors showed their character and composure in the dying moments of the game, and snatched a late winner with a penalty by Cameron Jewell. This upset the home side with a narrow 27-26 win, in an absolutely epic battle.
POINT SCORERS FOR ST MARKS:
TRIES: Marcus Goliath, Sive Litye, Brian Buys, Ettienne Blou.
CONVERSIONS: Cameron Jewell (2)
PENALTY: Cameron Jewell
MAN OF THE MATCH
Former EP Craven Week Schools and EP U/19 player, Cole Kirkwood of St Mark’s was rewarded with the Grocott’s Mail/Daniels MEDIA Man of the Match Award. Kirkwood was solid and outstanding at the back with his strong ball carriers on attack. He showed his skills and pace, creating a few tries and also defended very well. Cole also broke the lines on numerous occasions, and made a few turnovers at the breakdowns.
EPRU ADAMS CUP LOG AS AT 17 JUNE 2023
- Eastern PE – 22 (7)
- Humansdorp United – 20 (7)
- St Marks Alicedale – 20 (7)
- Grootfontein United – 19 (7)
- Excelsior – 19 (7)
- Gelvan Wallabies – 15 (7)
- African Bombers – 14 (7)
- Paterson Lions – 13 (7)