LETHBRIDGE – In the second leg of the third annual Suggitt Cup, the Lethbridge Pronghorns rebounded from a slow start and reclaimed the cup with a 34-12 win over the Alberta Pandas.
Heading into today’s match the Pronghorns held a comfortable 27-0 lead after beating the Pandas during the open weekend of the season. A year ago, the Pandas claimed the Suggitt Cup by a single point after the two teams split the season series.
With the win the Pronghorns snap a three-game losing streak and improve to 2-3 on the season. The Pandas complete the 2019 Canada West season this weekend and finish with a 0-6 record.
Off the opening kick-off the Pronghorns pinned the Pandas deep early but could not take advantage of the field position.
As the teams traded penalties and turnovers, the Pandas began to flip the field possession and following a sequence of passes out to the right, Cara Park was sprung out wide and raced to a game opening try in the sixth minute.
Marching back down the field looking for an answer, the Pronghorns hit the scoreboard off a won scrum. Caitlin Sears cut through the Pandas defence to touch the ball down on under the uprights and converted her own try to put the Pronghorns ahead 7-5.
From the ensuing kick-off and a Pronghorn knock-on, the Pandas were in prime position to answer right back. After the Pronghorns held the ball up in the endzone once, the Pandas would not be denied. Panda Courtney Holtkamp drove the ball over for the Pandas second try and #10 hit the convert to put the Pandas back in front.
In the 35th minute, the Pronghorns were back in business. Carolyn Mckee ripped a long run off an ensuring ruck Savanna Collison pushed through for a try and with the missed convert locked the game at 12.
With time winding down, freshman Rebecca Powell showed her speed, breaking through the Pandas line and raced for a 40-yard try to put the Pronghorns ahead 17-12 at the break.
The Pronghorns opened the second half as they finished the first half, pushing the Pandas on their heels. Only six minutes in with the Pronghorns threatening, the Pandas made a goal line stand and holding the Pronghorns up in the end-zone but they would not hold the Pronghorns out for long.
Sydney De La Mare broke a pair of tackles only minutes later to extend the Pronghorns lead, with the convert from Sears the lead expanded to 24-12.
Keeping on the offensive, the Pronghorns started to pull away with a second try of the half only 10 minutes later. Newcomer Marguerite Medwid raced past Pandas for her first try.
The Pandas, who weren’t going to go away quietly, moved the ball down the field, forcing the Pronghorns to defend for a long stretch following the Pronghorns try. However, the Pronghorns defence was up to the task, holding the Pandas up in the endzone twice in a row and were able to turn the Pandas over.
With time winding down, Pronghorn substitute Gwen Fillinger capped the Pronghorns victory with a last second try.
The Pronghorns will head up to Calgary next Friday to conclude the Canada West season with a match up with the Calgary Dinos, before hosting the Canada West Championship in two weeks time.
6’ ALB Try – Cara Park (convert missed) 5-0
20’ LET Try – Caitlin Sears (convert Caitlin Sears) 7-5
26’ ALB Try – Courtney Holtkamp (convert Kate Manning) 12-7
35’ LET Try – Savanna Collison (convert missed) 12-12
39’ LET Try – Rebecca Powell (convert missed) 17-12
47’ LET Try – Sydney De La Mare (convert Caitlin Sears) 24-12
56’ LET Try – Marguerite Medwid (convert missed) 29-12
80’ LET Try – Gwen Fillinger (convert missed) 34-12