Jr Gentlemen of Aspen 10, Castle Rock Pirates Rugby 8
Gents edge out Castle Rock in Aspen thriller
Jr Gents put an end to The Pirates unbeaten run with a match winning score just before the final whistle.
It was the Jr Gentlemen of Aspen that came out victorious from a intensely fought battle at Willits Park. Despite the weather forecast predicting frigid temperatures at KO, the sun broke free from the dark clouds to set the stage for this thrilling encounter.
The reigning D2 State Champions were not going to let go of that status very easily and the early exchanges were proof of that. Castle Rock were put under pressure and before long, the home side put points on the board with a penalty goal, 3 zip to The Gents. The Pirates fought their way back into the game, but unable to convert any of the sustained pressure into points. No change to the score at halftime.
The second half saw Castle Rock up the tempo and they started to threaten the Aspen try line. Time and time again, The Pirates attacked the line but The Gents held firm with some valiant defense. Eventually, the pressure paid off and wing Kyle Chairenza dived over the line to score from close range, Pirates take the lead 5 to 3. Straight from the restart good work from Vinnie Martinelli, Zach Chaddick and Bennett Howland saw the visitors press forward again. The home sides relentless defense began to creak and another score from Castle Rock seemed imminent, but somehow The Gents held on. Eventually, The Pirates onslaught won them another penalty and this time, fly half Michael Kirby, elected to take the 3 points on offer with a well struck kick. The game looked safe at 8 points to 3.
But it wasn't to be Castle Rock's day, with literally seconds on the clock, Gents outstanding scrum half, Matt Williams used his strength and guile to find a gap and score under the posts, the conversion was a formality and the scoreline read Jr Gents 10 Pirates 8. With that referee Brighton Khumalo blew the whistle to end the game.
Castle Rock now take a well earned Spring Break and hope to bounce back on April 5th away to rivals Fort Collins.