Belmont (in blue) and Oak Bay players contest a line out during Saturday’s B.C. High School Girls Sevens rugby championship match at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. The seesaw battle wound up with defending champion Oak Bay winning 15-10 with a last-second try. Photo contributed

Belmont (in blue) and Oak Bay players contest a line out during Saturday’s B.C. High School Girls Sevens rugby championship match at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. The seesaw battle wound up with defending champion Oak Bay winning 15-10 with a last-second try. Photo contributed

Langford-based Belmont sevens narrowly miss B.C. girls rugby title

Underdog Bulldogs take second after steamrolling over other opponents

The Belmont Bulldogs definitely turned heads at the B.C. High School Girls Sevens Rugby Championships in Vancouver.

The second-year squad, featuring just two Grade 11 and two Grade 12 players among a collection of younger athletes, came within seconds of forcing overtime against defending champion Oak Bay in Saturday’s final, only to lose 15-10 on an Oak Bay try with no time on the clock.

“It was an amazing game,” said Belmont coach Charlotte Haley, whose voice was hoarse from the weekend. “The girls left everything out on the field. You couldn’t ask for more from them. They played amazing defence and moved the ball well on offence … I’m just super proud of their performance and they represented their school and their city well.”

The ball was a little slippery due to a steady rain that fell, but it didn’t stop the Bulldogs from attacking quickly and taking advantage of openings in the Oak Bay defence. Maliyah Colombe opened scoring for the West Shore team with a try, which Oak Bay responded to with one of their own.

Standout fullback Denise Roy put Belmont back on top before the first half was over, making it 10-5 with another try. The Bulldogs didn’t let up on defence, but Oak Bay managed to go over the try line early in the second half to tie the game. Belmont continued to lay on some crushing tackles, led by fly half Maggie MacKinnon, to keep their talented opponents on their heels.

But they found an opening as the final seconds ticked away and scored the winning points in the corner, then smothered Belmont after one last kickoff.

“I think the girls gained valuable experience of what it’s like playing in a provincial championship,” Haley said. “We have a solid foundation for the future. They looked like a seven-a-side team out there, not just a bunch of girls running around.”

She said her players made their first impact at the tournament when they hammered highly rated Abbotsford 47-0 to open pool play on Friday. “We put our names on the map (with that win); people were walking around asking ‘who’s Belmont? Where are they from?’”

The Bulldogs followed with a 46-7 win over Chatelech from the Sunshine Coast, and a 27-0 victory over Houston to go 3-0 and win their pool.

The Belmont players came out flying in the quarter-finals against North Van’s Handsworth, running at will and racking up a 41-5 win. Up against Island rival Cowichan in the semis, the Bulldogs used tremendous defence to keep the score low in the first half, then exploded on offence to win going away, 35-0.

The depth of the Belmont program came in handy, as Haley predicted, with every player getting into matches on the Friday and helping push the team forward.

Other players who saw action over the weekend included Sierra Gilliam, Morgana Adby, Megan Silviera, Silken Tschofen, Jena Janmohamed, Zoe Williams, Daryana Mielecka, Ashanti Whyte, Rachel Saunders, Anieka Hart, Renee Cook, Sarah Lembcke and Ashley Stephenson. Players unable to make the trip but who will be on the roster as league play starts this week are MacKenzie Scullion, Marley Power and Tia Chhina.

The Bulldogs host Esquimalt plus St. Michaels A and B in league play this Friday.

Belmont secondaryrugby

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

NEW CUTLINE Pacific FC fans fill the stands during a game at the former Westhills Stadium
 Starlight Developments has purchased the naming rights from the City of Langford for the next 10 years.(Gazette file photo)

Pacific FC slid into third place in the league after defeating FC Edmonton 1-0 at Westhills Stadium on Saturday. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)
Langford sells stadium naming rights for $500,000 to Starlight Developments

10-year sponsorship deal largest in the history of Langford, says mayor

Construction was temporarily halted at Colwood’s Royal Bay on Monday, Jan. 18, after crews hit a natural gas line just before 9 a.m. (Black Press Media file photo)
No danger to public after gas leak in Colwood’s Royal Bay

Construction crews hit natural gas line just before 9 a.m.

A 45-metre tall call tower is proposed for Westhills Stadium. (Black Press Media file photo)
New cell tower proposed for Westhills Stadium in Langford

Tower will increase capacity in congested network: staff report

The new Malahat Skywalk is expected to be completed by this summer. (Submitted graphic)
Malahat Skywalk expected to be complete by this summer

$15-million project will see 650-metre elevated wooden pathway constructed

An Oak Bay Police officer handed out five tickets for “fail to obey stop sign” and two tickets for using a cell phone while driving, all within two hours at King George Terrace on Jan. 11. (Oak Bay Police Twitter)
Man confronts unmasked group at Oak Bay Marina

Oak Bay police issue plenty of tickets in short King George Terrace visit

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

A Trail man has a lucky tin for a keepsake after it saved him from a stabbing last week. File photo
Small tin in Kootenay man’s jacket pocket saved him from stabbing: RCMP

The man was uninjured thanks to a tin in his jacket

(Black Press Media file photo)
From arts to environment, nominate your West Shore hero

Nominations for the Goldstream Gazette’s Local Hero awards are open to Jan. 15

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation Chantel Moore, 26, was fatally shot by a police officer during a wellness check in the early morning of June 4, 2020, in Edmundston, N.B. (Facebook)
Frustrated family denied access to B.C. Indigenous woman’s police shooting report

Independent investigation into B.C. woman’s fatal shooting in New Brunswick filed to Crown

Delta Police Constable Jason Martens and Dezi, a nine-year-old German Shepherd that recently retired after 10 years with Delta Police. (Photo submitted)
Dezi, a Delta police dog, retires on a high note after decade of service

Nine-year-old German Shepherd now fights over toys instead of chasing down bad guys

Nurses collect samples from a patient in a COVID suspect room in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver, Tuesday, April 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
5 British Columbians under 20 years old battled COVID-19 in ICU in recent weeks

Overall hospitalizations have fallen but young people battling the virus in hospital has increased

Canada released proposed regulations Jan. 2 for the fisheries minister to maintain Canada’s major fish stocks at sustainable levels and recover those at risk. (File photo)
New laws would cement DFO accountability to depleted fish stocks

Three B.C. salmon stocks first in line for priority attention under proposed regulations

Trees destroyed a Shoreacres home during a wind storm Jan. 13, 2021. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay woman flees just before tree crushes house

Pamala DeRosa is thankful to be alive

Gin, one of the Kantymirs’ two sheep. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)
Sheep start up ATV, sit in cars and go for walks in Salmon Arm

Until they bought two sheep, Ken and Karleen Kantymir didin’t realize just how social the animals are

Most Read