The Earl Marriott Mariners ran aground in the quarter-finals and ended up back where they started, settling for sixth place at the B.C. High School Senior Boys Rugby Championships in Abbotsford last week.
Runners-up to Robert Bateman in the Fraser Valley AAA finals, the Mariners were hoping for a better fate at the provincials where they were seeded sixth.
Earl Marriott opened the B.C. showcase by crushing Handsworth 43-15.
Heartbreak awaited in their next match, however, as Oak Bay rallied to steal a win in the dying minutes of their quarter-final match. The Mariners were clinging to a 13-12 lead when Oak Bay struck for a converted try to escape with a 19-13 win.
“Oh man, it is so frustrating,” said Mariners coach Adam Roberts.
“We dominated possession time, territory and everything else and then right at the end the win is snatched away from us.
“The kids have worked so hard this year and to see them lose such a close game is hard to accept. The kids really deserved better after all the effort they put into it.”
Earl Marriott bounced back to beat Carson Graham 17-5 before closing out the tourney with a 32-6 loss to Bateman in the fifth-place game.
The Semiahmoo Totems doubled up on Gleneagle 24-12 in their final game
to finish in 14th place. The Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers were two steps ahead, beating Handsworth 36-22 to finish 12th overall.
Meanwhile in class AA competition, the Southridge Storm compiled a 3-1 record at the provincials to finish fifth overall.
Southridge downed Kalamalka 29-10 in their tournament opener, but dropped their second game 46-3 to West Vancouver powerhouse Rockridge, the eventual provincial champions.
The Storm rallied to blank D.W. Poppy 20-0 in their next outing before finishing with a 24-19 win over Mulgrave in the game to determine fifth place.