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Nova Scotia Keltics vying for gold medal in Under-20 women's rugby championship in Windsor Sunday


Published on July 15, 2017

Published on 15 July 2017

Sophie Parker hangs onto the ball as this Ontario Blues player attempts to tackle her.

Photos by Carole Morris-Underhill

Published on 15 July 2017

Hants County's Sophie Parker manages to escape the clutches of this Ontario Blues player and looks to pass the ball to a waiting teammate.

Photos by Carole Morris-Underhill

Published on 15 July 2017

The Keltics were on a mission when they took on Ontario July 15 in Windsor.

Photos by Carole Morris-Underhill

Published on 15 July 2017

The Ontario Blues played a hard-fought match against the Nova Scotia Keltics July 15.

Photos by Carole Morris-Underhill

Published on 15 July 2017

The Keltics went into their July 15 game against the Ontario Blues knowing they would have to win more rucks if they hoped to secure a victory – and that's just what they did.

Photos by Carole Morris-Underhill

Published on 15 July 2017

The Ontario Blues tried to slow Sam Lake down but she forged ahead and registered a try in the second half of the game July 15.

Photos by Carole Morris-Underhill

Published on 15 July 2017

July 15 was a warm day for rugby – and these Blues players made sure their teammates stayed well hydrated.

Photos by Carole Morris-Underhill

Published on 15 July 2017

Hants County's Sam Lake looks for a teammate to pass the ball to during the dying few minutes of the July 15 game against Ontario.

Photos by Carole Morris-Underhill

Published on 15 July 2017

The U20 Keltics improved on their scrums, rucks and tackles as the week of rugby progressed in Windsor.

Photos by Carole Morris-Underhill

Published on 15 July 2017

Alex Ondo was a force to be reckoned with throughout the Women's U20 Eastern Canada Rugby Championship tournament in Windsor.

Photos by Carole Morris-Underhill

Published on 15 July 2017

Annie Kennedy registered two conversions during the Keltics' 34-26 victory July 15.

Photos by Carole Morris-Underhill

Published on 15 July 2017

The Nova Scotia Keltics race over to Annie Kennedy, who kicked in the final conversion for the team before the whistle blew. The Keltics beat Ontario 34-26.

Photos by Carole Morris-Underhill

Published on 15 July 2017

There were hugs, laughter and tears of joy following the Keltics' win against the Ontario Blues.

Photos by Carole Morris-Underhill

WINDSOR, N.S. — The Nova Scotia Keltics Under-20 women's rugby team are one game away from securing a gold medal finish.

The Keltics and Ontario Blues faced off July 15 in an exciting rugby match at King's-Edgehill School. If Ontario won, they were guaranteed the gold; if the Keltics won, they earned the right to play July 16 in hopes of defeating Quebec and claiming the Women's U20 Eastern Canada Rugby Championship title.

Ontario is known for its tough rugby teams, so the Keltics knew it wouldn't be an easy victory to secure.

“We wanted to make make sure that we were executing flawlessly so we needed to get off the line, we needed to make sure we were making tackles and we were completely rucking over the ball,” said Amber Davison, the Keltics' coach following the team's 34-26 victory. At half-time, they lead 19-14.

“We told the girls that if they did those things, they would come out on top. It was a challenge to them and they stepped up to the plate, and we came out on top.”

The July 11-16 tournament started with warm-up games from July 11-13, with Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec teams having the opportunity to play two games apiece.

Ontario then took on Quebec in the first single round robin game, and won 30-10.

Davison said the tournament to date has been great.

“The Town of Windsor has been lovely; King's-Edgehill has been very hospitable. Everyone has had a great experience not only on the field but off the field. We've had very competitive games,” she said.

The Keltics is comprised of the top rugby players from throughout the province — including some home-grown talent.

“I think Sam Lake — she's our captain — led us beautifully today; keeping composure on the field, making sure the girls knew their roles as we came to the field,” said Davison of the July 15 game.

“Alex Ondo is a phenomenal athlete — a great addition from the wing,” she said, adding, “Amber Mooney had incredible line speed that really allowed us to put pressure on Ontario throughout the whole game.”

Lake, who hails from Hants County, said the team has really come together over the week-long championship and credits their success over Ontario to perseverance.

“We saw it as a huge opportunity to prove who we are and I think we really capitalized on that opportunity,” said Lake.

“Our defence was incredible and I think that's what won us the game.”

If the Keltics win their noon match against Quebec July 16, they automatically take home the gold. If they lose, the judges will decide between the teams based on a points system, Lake said.

In the warm ups, the Keltics defeated Quebec and lost to Ontario. Both Davison and Lake said the team will be giving it their all on Sunday to ensure the win.

“We had a really hard-fought game against them earlier in the week and we're excited for a rematch because I think that they're the type of team to improve throughout the week. We're excited for the challenge,” said Davison.