Cayman Islands - Playing in the second match of their spring tour to the Cayman Islands, the Dartmouth Rugby 1st XV found themselves in another dogfight against the Cayman Selects side Tuesday night. After beating the 2nd XV Saturday the local side was expected to be a strong opponent and by no means did they disappoint, going up 27-25 with under 15 minutes left in the game. But thanks to late push in which they scored 17 points in the final 10 minutes, the Big Green were able to pull out the win.
The teams made acquaintances by trading a pair of penalties to start the game, with flyhalf Madison Hughes ’15 being the first Dartmouth player to put points on the board. From there, the Cayman side began applying the pressure, finally pushing the ball across the try line to take a 10-3 lead. They wouldn’t stay on top for too long though, as center Will Lehmann ’12 powered through a few tackles to go in for the score. A Hughes conversion would tie the score back up, this time at 10-10.
Hughes kept adding to his points total, knocking in another penalty a few minutes later to give The Big Green the lead. Young wing James Sharpe ’14 would continue his fine running form, breaking off a long run right before halftime to extend the advantage to 18-10. The score would remain there as the two teams went into the break.
Dartmouth would continue to play on the front foot on the other side of the intermission. Lehmann made another excellent run to go into the try zone, allowing Hughes to put through yet another conversion and extend the lead to 25-10. Just like Saturday though, right when it seemed The Big Green were on the verge of putting the game away their opponents began mounting an effective comeback. The Caymans pushed across the line for two tries, both of which were followed by successful conversions, to reduce the lead to a scant one point at 25-24. Shortly thereafter, they would successfully convert a crucial penalty to make the score 27-25, giving them their first lead since early in the game.
But thanks to some timely substitutions, The Big Green didn’t stay down for long. Coming off some great team play, lock Dylan Jones ’14 would be one to start the comeback, putting up a try. Another conversion from Hughes made the score 32-27 and Dartmouth would never look back. The flyhalf would add one more penalty and conversion a piece, which in addition to a try from wing Kevin Clarke ’14 brought the score to 42-27 at the final whistle.
Dartmouth Rugby’s spring tour will continue on Thursday, March 22nd when the 2nd XV takes on the Cayman U-21 side Thursday at 6 pm EST. The match, along with all the others remaining on tour, will be streaming online at www.caymanrugbytv.com.