Women's squad finishes second in Rugby Nova Scotia's Division One
The Valley Bulldogs proved they belonged among the top women’s rugby teams in the province by making it all the way to the Aug. 17 league final. Halifax RFC held on to the provincial trophy by a single point: winning 34-33 over the upstart Valley women, who were in their first season in Rugby Nova Scotia’s top division.
Halifax put Valley on the defensive early, scoring in the opening minutes of the game, but the Bulldogs came back again and again to eat away at the Halifax lead.
The Halifax women – who have owned the title for almost a decade and weren’t giving it up without a fight - held off the Bulldogs’ late-game pressure to eke out the win.
Amy Thompson and Hannah Wallace had two tries each for Halifax, with additional tries from Megan Kinsman and Rachel Chapman. Kat Elvidge kicked two conversions.
Valley had two tries from Maddie MacKenzie and one apiece from Janna Slevinsky, Emilie Chaisson and Alex Johnson. Erin Beazley kicked four conversions.
Saturday may not have been a victory for the Bulldogs, but Adrienne MacDonald, director of rugby (women) with Rugby Nova Scotia said Valley’s entry into first division play this season “turned things upside down a little bit.
“Last year Valley was the top team in our Division 2 pool,” she said. “They moved up into the league this year and had a stormer of a season.
“Todays game was fantastic. It was very exciting, super entertaining to watch (and) a lot of back and forth play,” MacDonald added. “Both teams came out really hard.
"Halifax knew they had to work for it; Valley showed up to take the trophy today.”
Halifax knew they had to work for it; Valley showed up to take the trophy today Adrienne MacDonald, Rugby Nova Scotia
“We started the season not really knowing what was going to happen with four teams in Div. 1 we hadn’t beaten in at least four years so we were a little bit nervous,” Valley’s captain Kyla Gillis said after the match.
“We played a great game today in the final,” she said. “It was an exciting season.”
Gillis hopes to lead the team to another final next season.
“We’re in Div. 1 and we’re going to win it,” she said. “Halifax hasn’t lost the finals ever – at least ten years – so next year it’s ours for sure.“
“Moving up to Div. 1 was quite a challenge for us,” Valley’s assistant coach Scott Asselstine said. “We struggle to get the same numbers that the big city clubs get out.
"Getting all the way to the finals this year was a big bonus for our club and hopefully next year we’ll get the same numbers out and make it all the way back. “