Banner Season: Third time's the charm for Gaels after defeating Gryphons for OUA title

Photo by Robin Kasem
Photo by Robin Kasem

Kingston, Ont. (via Queen's Gaels) - The No.3 Queen’s Gaels (2-0) halted the No.4 Guelph Gryphons (1-1) from extending their OUA banner streak with a decisive 46-17 win in the OUA championship from Nixon Field on homecoming weekend at Queen’s University.

The three-time defending champion Guelph Gryphons dropped their first match to the Queen’s Gaels after having won their previous nine contests against their rivals dating back to 2013. That match was a win for Queen’s that gave them their first OUA title in school history. Guelph has won three-straight banners and two consecutive finals over the Gaels heading into Friday night.

The Gaels were the first to strike as they got a big run from Jaden Walker through the Guelph defence and the Tricolour were finally able to punch in the try as Celia Martensson dove over the line for five points. The Gaels missed the conversion but held an early 5-0 advantage.

Guelph was not to be outdone; however, as they worked the ball into the Gaels 22-metre line and consistently pushed forward with short gains.

A Queen’s defensive stand paid off though as the Gaels took control and got the ball into Rachel Hickson’s hands who sped past the Gryphons for a try. The OUA MVP Sophie de Goede nailed the conversion and Queen’s opened up a 12-0 lead.

The Gryphons were able to get their first points of the match as they pushed through the Queen’s defence and snuck a try in the corner from April Wright making the Gaels lead 12-5

The Queen’s display of speed continued as Carmen Izyk broke free for a long run and try and just before halftime de Goede punched the ball deep towards the Guelph try line and recovered the ball. An easy pitch to Hickson gave her try two on the night.

In the second half, the Gaels kept the points coming. First, it was OUA All-Star McKinely Hunt who dove over the try line for five points in the opening minutes of the second. That was followed up by de Goede getting her first try of the match and Hunt adding another.

Guelph continued to push Queen’s as Brianna Marty dove in for a try that was converted by Julia Schell. The Gaels proved to be too strong as they added another try by Gill Reason and conversion.

A late try from Guelph left the game 46-17 for Queen’s giving them their second OUA banner in program history.

“It’s a very satisfying feeling, these athletes and coaches work so hard and put in so many hours. I’m just so happy for all of our athletes and all of our fifth years that are here, their last game on Nixon Field, there is something poetic about that. We knew they were going to bring everything they had and I was just happy with the way that we came out flying. We were excellent from minute zero and that was massive for us.” - Head Coach Dan Valley

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