Despite the forecast of an atmospheric river, the sun defiantly pierced through the clouds, holding off the rain and creating ideal, albeit sloppy, field conditions. The intrepid Priest Valley Vicars embarked on their journey down the Coquihalla highway, only to be detoured due to a washout near Bridal Falls. They arrived a few players short, but were bolstered by a couple of seasoned local veterans, notably Falkey, making a triumphant return after his shoulder surgery. Prior to the game, the Twilighter sent Dirk to fortify their forward pack. Their roster included one player in red shorts and another in yellow.
The Twilighters’ fielded a formidable squad, featuring four players in crimson shorts. The fall time change may have contributed to some tardy arrivals. Dustin from Twilighter officiated the match, as he continued on the road to recovery.
The first quarter ignited with a fervor, as the Twilighters initiated play with the kick-off, and Wade briefly assumed the role of scrum half. The Twilighter defense took a moment to find its footing, getting pushed back to their own 5 yards, only to regain possession, but promptly losing it, resulting in a Vicars try (0-1). Play pressed on, and the Twilighters expertly strung together a couple of phases, with Preston and Luke orchestrating a swift advance of 50 yards. Fullback Rick seized a loose ball, sprinted down the sideline, only to be piledriven into touch. A few thunderous hits from Moose, returning from a shoulder injury, helped the Twilighters settle down and maintain control in the Vicars’ territory.
The game swiftly transitioned in the second quarter from a running contest to a scrum battle, with nine scrums taking place in the 15-minute period, notably three in under two minutes. In between scrums, the Twilighters executed several superb phases, resulting in tries from Luke and Jeke (2-1). The Vicars’ backs pressed hard, but off a set scrum, Preston picked and ran clear to score another try for the Twilighters (3-1). The Vicars continued to mount a challenge, pushing the Twilighters to a goal-line stand. Handball delivered a couple of resounding tackles while defending the line, particularly taking Dirk off his feet. The Twilighter defense held firm, ultimately forcing a knock-on from the Vicars, bringing an end to the quarter.
The third quarter saw the same indomitable effort from the Vicars, this time bolstered by Wade, who took over fullback duties due to a Vicars injury. A quick penalty in favor of the Vicars led to a breakaway run resulting in a try (3-2). Following the kickoff, the Twilighters swiftly moved the ball out of a ruck, passing it through the hands of Luke, Lance, and Jeke to Dale, who made a delicate sprint down the touchline before returning it to Luke for another try (4-2). Play continued with the Twilighters artfully maneuvering the ball in the backline, executing spirited runs down the sideline. Lauren embarked on a magnificent run down the left sideline until she was forced into touch and onto the gravel track. After dusting herself off, Lauren returned to play with some pointed words for her opponents. The ensuing play saw some unpredictable bounces, leading to an open run by Luke for yet another try (5-2). Next up was Deryck, with a nimble-footed performance down the right sideline, bypassing four Vicars defenders for another Twilighter try (6-2).
As the pace slowed down in the fourth quarter, everyone gave their all. A Vicars set play from the Twilighter 22 resulted in a try from Falkey (6-3). The Twilighters quickly advanced to the Vicars’ 5 yards, and off a broken ruck play, the ball skipped through several hands until it was Handball versus Falkey in a showdown of strength. The tackle broke down, with Handball holding his knee. Play continued with ruck after ruck at midfield, until the final whistle blew, signaling the end of an exhilarating match.
Internal Twilighter Man-of-the-Match honors went to Moose, and Luke was selected Man-of-the-Match by the Vicars. Mark and Lauren came thru with a last minute (scheduling conflicts) hosting meal of Chili enjoyed by all.