24 August, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TORONTO SARACENS UPSET TOP-SEEDED
AURORA BARBARIANS TO WIN 2013 OWL CUP
(MARKHAM, ON) – It may have taken overtime, but the Toronto Saracens are the new holders of the Ontario Women’s League (OWL) Cup after defeating top-seeded Aurora Barbarians 27-22 Saturday afternoon at Fletcher’s Fields in Markham.
The Saracens scored the match’s first points 16 minutes into the first half, with centre Karla Telidetzki juking around four defenders while on a 30-metre run to score an impressive individual try.
Toronto would have little time to celebrate, as Aurora answered back with two tries in an eight-minute span. The first try came via a 60-metre dash from Barbs’ No. 8 Jacey Murphy that was finished by fullback Sydney Mann, while the second saw Tyson Beukeboom crash over the try line, putting Aurora up 10-5 in the 25th minute.
In the last ten minutes of the first half, a prolonged Saracens attack was finally rewarded, with Toronto’s Natalie Tam punching in a try in the dying seconds of the frame. It was converted by flyhalf Amanda McLean, giving the Saracens a halftime lead of 12-10.
Similar to the first half, the Saracens were the team that gained the early momentum, with Fedelia Omaghan scoring a try under the posts. McLean converted this try as well, increasing the Saracens’ lead to 19-10.
After trading long spells of possession, Aurora’s Nadia Popov broke through the Saracens’ defences to score a try at the 65-minute mark. This was followed up by a 74th-minute try by Barbs’ Megan Lowry, which with a Popov conversion, gave the Barbs a late 22-19 lead.
In a back-and-forth match that saw the constant trading of tries, it was the nerves of steel from Saracens kicker McLean that kept the Toronto side in the match, as McLean notched a penalty with just seconds remaining in the second half to tie the match at 22-22, sending the OWL Cup to overtime.
Two minutes into the extra frame, the Saracens completed their comeback, with Natalie Tam touching down her second try of the match to earn the victory for Toronto.
“This match was pretty exciting, as both teams – both the Barbs and us – made a real go of it,” said Saracens head coach Andy Ireland, after the match. “We had some luck on our side in overtime that we were able to be the team to score first.”
Saturday’s victory for the Saracens was not their first upset of the tournament.
Each side in the Cup Final reached that stage after winning hard-fought semi-final matches last weekend: the OWL League Championship-winning Barbarians defeated Toronto Scottish 31-26, while the third-seeded Saracens upset second-seeded Waterloo County, 43-39.
“We always knew we were capable of playing a good standard of rugby in this tournament,” added Ireland. “We lost to the Barbs twice in the regular season, and I knew that if we had another crack at them, we wouldn’t fall again. Luckily, our hard work paid off, and I was right this time!”
Waterloo County Win OWL 2 Cup
Earlier in the day, Waterloo County’s second XV team defeated Aurora Barbarians’ second XV team 59-10 to earn the OWL 2 Cup.
County built up a strong 29-5 lead by the halftime whistle, and did not take their foot off of the accelerator in the second half, cruising to a comfortable 59-10 victory.
Waterloo entered the OWL 2 Cup as the tournament’s top seed, after winning the OWL second XV League Championship in late July with an 8-2-0 record.
Toronto Saracens Scoring Report
Tries: Natalie Tam (2), Karla Telidetzki, Fedelia Omaghan
Conversions: Amanda McLean (2)
Penalties: Amanda McLean
Aurora Barbarians Scoring Report
Tries: Sydney Mann, Tyson Beukeboom, Nadia Popov, Megan Lowry
Conversions: Nadia Popov
About OWL Cup:
The Ontario Women’s League (OWL) Cup is a long-standing tradition for Rugby Ontario. The OWL Cup is the title championship for Ontario rugby clubs’ Senior Women’s First Teams, and is the final major women’s club rugby competition of the year.
About Rugby Ontario:
Rugby Ontario is the provincial sports governing body responsible for the organization of rugby in Ontario. Our mission is to promote, govern, and develop rugby at all levels in a safe, affordable and enjoyable environment within the province of Ontario.
For more information, visit http://www.rugbyontario.com/
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