Home' Central Canterbury News : July 17th 2013 Contents Last minute overthrow painful
Ellesmere lose shield
By MAT KERMEEN
TRY TIME: Ellesmere winger Leonard van Der Velde about to slide in for the opening try of the match.
FLY WILLIE: Ellesmere winger Willie McGoon scored a stunning individual try for Ellesmere.
QUALITY KICKER: Southbridge first five
Shannon Donald lines up a first-half penalty
ELLESMERE'S seven-year run in
dominating the Southbridge
Shield ended in a heartbreaking
fashion on Saturday.
After leading the annual rep-
resentative rugby battle for 79
minutes at Tai Tapu, the home
side was finally overtaken by
North Canterbury when Sean
Thompson kicked a last minute
penalty to snatch the game 18-17.
The final minute was the first
time North Canterbury had held
the lead, and one of the few times
Thompson had looked reliable
with the boot.
Ellesmere dominated the first
30 minutes, but after that, it was
Burnham number eight Craig
Tapuvae has been playing for
Ellesmere for three years, and
said that his first loss to North
Canterbury was hard to take.
In the second half, they just
denied us all the ball. We made it
hard on ourselves at times, but we
just couldn't get into the game in
the second half.''
Thompson had a nervous start
when he missed two early penal-
ties and Ellesmere's Shannon
Donald also missed one.
Donald eventually kicked a pen-
alty to give Ellesmere the lead,
but Thompson quickly responded.
After failing to cross the try line
on its first two opportunities,
Ellesmere struck with a try to
Leonard van Der Velde.
Almost from the restart, Willie
McGoon plucked the ball from the
air after he charged down a Maleli
Bula chip kick and sprinted 30
metres to score a stunning indi-
Donald slotted his second con-
secutive sideline conversion for a
The final 10 minutes of the
opening half belonged to North
Canterbury, as they wrestled
themselves into the game.
Led by a powerful forward pack,
North Canterbury drove captain
Ben Frame over the try line.
Down 17-8 at halftime, North
Canterbury was full of gritty
determination in the second half.
As fog closed in over the ground,
the match turned into a forward-
North Canterbury held a huge
possession advantage and finally
got an attacking opportunity that
resulted in a try to Willie Kerr.
It was soon pulled back though
after a touch judge saw North
Canterbury replacement Andrew
Zuppicich stomping on Ellesmere
halfback Michael Sheat.
However, thankfully for North
Canterbury, the hardworking
Kerr scored an equally impressive
try 10 minutes later.
Thompson's sideline conversion
would later prove critical, as it
reduced Ellesmere's lead to two.
Desperate, North Canterbury
marched back up field and were
awarded a penalty near halfway.
With the fog getting heavier by
the minute, Thompson came up
short, but another penalty
minutes later produced the crucial
points for the one point win.
Thompson's heroics meant
North Canterbury had to hold on
for just 30 seconds before the
celebrations started, but either
way, for Ellesmere, it was a disa-
ppointing way to end a successful
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