KINGSTON, Ont. (November 8, 2014) – The Gaels claimed a 32-23 victory over the Guelph Gryphons this Saturday in the 2014 OUA Final match at Nixon Field. With the win Queen's claimed their third OUA Championship title in a row and 21st title overall to tie Toronto for the most for any school.
The Gryphons had a dominant forward performance in the first half. Although the Gaels were first on the ball, Guelph pushed back immediately finding themselves in the Queen's end where they were awarded two consecutive penalty kicks shot by Joe Newman to give them an early 6-0 lead.
The Gryphons didn't slow down and the Gaels found themselves on their heels again as Guelph attacked their goal line to put Alexandre Charest-Pekeski through with the first try of the game. The Gryphons returned yet again to the Gaels end breaking down the defensive line with Eric Howard finding a seam to put down a second try to lead 16-0 by the 30th minute of play.
The Gaels found their footing and pushed into the Gryphons territory with Lucas Rumball (Toronto) diving across the line to put down the first try for the Gaels followed by Adam McQueen (Canmore, Alta.) completing the conversion. ,Not phased, the Gryphons responded with offensive attacks however the Gaels shut them down this time to gain possession and get the play back in the Gryphons end. In the final minutes of the first half Tommy Kirkham (Vancouver) broke through the Guelph defense to put down another try for the Gaels closing the Gryphons lead to 16-12 at halftime.
"It was just unbelievable the strength our guys have they just dug in deep and even though we got behind no one panicked and they just put it together again and finished 80 minutes strong," said head coach Gary Gilks after the win. "We spoke about that (veteran leadership) in the locker room about an hour before the game and that when we are under pressure it's the vets that need to stand up and take charge and they all did. Every single one of them stepped up and really led the way, I'm quite proud as they helped out the rookies and less experienced players.
The Gaels burst into the second half finding their way through the Gryphons defense by blocking a kick and James Dent (Toronto) diving on the ball to put down the try and grab the Gaels their first lead of the match. The Gaels struggled to push past the Gryphons defense on the right edge of the pitch drawing all the Guelph defense away to leave the Jeffrey MacDonald (Toronto) wide open to receive a cross pass and score his a try of his own completed with a conversion by McQueen. Again the Gaels returned to the Gryphons end with Kirkham putting down his second try of the game adding to the Gaels 29 unanswered points.
Guelph responded and pushed into Gaels territory to score their first try of the second half put down by Blake Aram with a conversion by Joe Newman. The Gaels inched across the pitch in the final minutes of play and were awarded a penalty kick shot successfully by McQueen to solidify their lead. There wasn't enough time left on the clock for the Gryphons to catch Queen's off their incredible second half comeback leaving the score 32-23 by the final whistle to mark the Gaels third OUA banner win in a row.,
Kirkham was named man of the match for the Gaels after putting down two tries in the victory. Queen's has now won 16 straight OUA regular season/playoff home games at Nixon Field.
Source: Queen's Gaels