From the start, Belmont Shore were here to win a championship and Glendale were here to defend their 2011 title – one team with everything to play for and the other with everything to lose. In the end, all Belmont Shore needed to win was 34 points, while Glendale struggled to get to double figures on the scoreboard with only 11 points, and Belmont Shore took the 2012 DI club title home to California.
Belmont got down to business straight away in the first two minutes. Center, Peter Sio, charged down the touchline to score in the right corner and fly half, Kameron Moeller’s kick was true giving Belmont the early lead, 7-0.
While Glendale were still reeling from the early Belmont onslaught, Belmont were already lining up for another try which saw flanker Edward McKenna receive the ball after a series of well worked phases and crash over the goal line for another 5 points. Moeller slotted the conversion between the posts for another 2 points to make the score 14-0.
Sio’s affair with the right corner continued in the twentieth minute when he once again received quick ball and at pace, touched down for his second try of the game. Moeller converted and the scoreboard climbed to 21-0.
A well placed up and under by Glendale’s fly half, Nese Malifa in the 29th minute saw wing, Max Statler in a race for the ball with two of Belmont’s defenders. Statler’s speed and a perfect bounce of the ball enabled Statler to score and put Glendale on the board. The conversion kick by center, Tyler Siegel was unsuccessful and the score was 21-5. The half time score was 21-5.
Once again it was Belmont who got the scoring under way in the early minutes of the second half when Moeller converted a penalty from Glendale diving over the ruck. Belmont’s score climbed to 24-5. A high tackle by Belmont Shore in the 44th minute gave Glendale’s Siegel the opportunity to put 3 points on the board for the home team, 24-8.
Another high tackle, this time by Belmont’s 8th man Peter Dahl on Glendale’s wing, Max Statler, saw another 3 points for Glendale by Siegel with a successful penalty kick. The score at this point was 24-11.
At the 53 minute mark, Peter Sio, receiving the ball off a long run by Dahl, once again focused on the right hand corner flag and went over the try line for his hat trick . Moeller’s conversion was unsuccessful. Belmont led, 29-11.
Weather had started to creep in just before the halfway mark and players were called off the field in the 54th minute due to lightening in the area. However half an hour later, play resumed and the delay in play had no effect on Belmont’s momentum as hooker, Zach Fenoglio, broke through the Glendale defense in the 61st minute to score. Moeller’s conversion attempt went wide for a score of 34-11.
From there, Belmont Shore just played possession game and tight defense to make sure Glendale didn’t add anymore points. The clock ran its time and the final read 34-11 for Belmont Shore, bringing the trophy to Long Beach, California.
“It feels really great and having all that hard work pay off here is an incredible feeling,” captain Ian Carpenter said. “We knew we had to start quick against a great team like Glendale and we did. To look back on everything, a big part of this season was our depth. Having confidence coming off the bench is key in this game.”
For the coaches, it was all about the game plan and execution. “We did really well in the first 20 minutes, set pieces and possessions seemed to work really well,” Belmont coach Ray Eagen said. “We got lucky on Glendale’s possessions because they were going for the jugular and we got a few breaks. Overall though, this was a great win for this club and the guys, it feels pretty special.”