Lake City Falcons captain Emma Feldinger powers through the Mark R. Isfeld Ice defence to score Saturday in the bronze-medal match at the BC High School Girls Rugby Championships in Williams Lake. The Ice, however, would go on to score in the final minutes to win 26-22. (Greg Sabatino photo)

Falcons drop nailbiter in bronze-medal match at provincials

It didn’t end the way they hoped, but the future is bright for girls rugby in Williams Lake.

It didn’t end the way they hoped, but the future is bright for girls rugby in Williams Lake.

The Lake City Falcons girls rugby team finished fourth at the ‘AA’ BC High School Girls Rugby Championships in Williams Lake, dropping a nail biter, 26-22, in the bronze medal match to the Mark R. Isfeld Ice at the Ottoman Drive Rugby Fields Saturday.

The Ice notched a try, plus a conversion, as time wound down in the contest to pull them ahead of the Falcons in the dying moments of the game and to hang on for the victory after Lake City had led for the majority of the contest.

“It was a tough, awesome game right to the last minute,” Falcons head coach Morley Wilson told both squads following the game.

“To all the Grade 8s, 9s, 10s — I hope you learned something today about leadership. It’s now your turn as the Grade 12s are moving on.”

Four players from the Falcons will be graduating this year, while the majority of this year’s team was made up of players in grades 8-10.

It’s something both Wilson, and fellow Falcons coaches Braden McCallum and Tasha Johnson said the girls can be proud of.

“We’re moving on to next year. We’ll be a little bit older, a little bit wiser, especially after this experience,” McCallum said.

“And that [experience] will come. The future of girls rugby in Williams Lake is unbelievably promising.”

Falcons captain Emma Feldinger was awarded a $500 scholarship and was announced to the Commissioner’s 15s all-star team for the tournament Friday evening during a dinner banquet for all teams in the AAA, AA and Tier 2 divisions at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex.

Feldinger recorded three tries, and added a conversion in the bronze-medal game for the Falcons, while Madison Blusson — another Grade 12 on the roster — added the other try in the match.

Following Saturday’s final the team was presented a little pick-me-up from Team Canada player and former Newcastle Falcon — now a member of the Yorkshire Carnegie — Jake Ilnicki of Alexis Creek, who was on hand to watch the game and stuffed several duffel bags full of rugby swag for the Falcons to sift through as gifts.

He also shared some words of advise to the girls following the loss.

“It sucks but the best thing that comes out of this is you get better as a group, and you come together as a group,” Ilnicki said. “You’ve got a lifetime of friendship and that’s what counts.

“Today I saw a lot of girls that played without fear.”

Ilnicki also presented Feldinger a rugby ball signed by Newcastle Falcons players of the English Premiership.

Meanwhile, in the AA final, it was Vanier taking a 27-10 victory over the NorKam Saints of Kamloops.

In the AAA championship Shawnigan Lake cruised to the gold medal in a 58-7 triumph over Carson Graham.

The Tier 2 final saw W.J. Mouat defeat Fleetwood, 33-10.

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Alexis Creek’s Jake Ilnicki (centre), and Team Canada rugby player, was on hand to support the Lake City Falcons girls rugby team as they played for bronze Saturday morning at the Ottoman Drive Rugby Fields at the BC High School Girls Rugby Championships. Ilnicki brought along several gym bags filled with rugby swag for the girls as a gift.

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