Darfield and Southbridge to contest Coleman Shield
by Kent Caddick
The pride of Malvern will face the elite of Ellesmere in this year’s division one rugby final.
Darfield and Southbridge booked themselves places in this year’s final with contrasting semi-final wins on the weekend.
Defending champions Southbridge eased into the final with a comprehensive 33-7 win over Prebbleton, whose home grounds will be the venue for this weekend’s final.
Darfield had a little more of a battle on its hands as it faced last year’s beaten finalists Waihora at Darfield Domain.
Waihora took the early lead through the boot of Harry Kirk who landed two penalties in the first five minutes of the match.
Scott McIlroy on his way to the tryline
Darfield struck back with a sweeping move which eventually saw Scott Mitchell slice through the Waihora defence to score under the posts. Alex Parker converted then added a penalty to push Darfield’s lead out to 10-6.
Halfback Harry Pankhurst added to the scoring in the 26th minute when he crossed for a try and the conversion gave Darfield a 17-6 lead at half time.
Scott McIlroy playing his 202nd for his club gave Darfield the ideal start in the second spell plunging over for a try just over a minute into the half.
Leading 24-6 Darfield throttled off, allowing Waihora back into the game scoring a converted try to close the gap.
However, it was unable to score again and Darfield held on to win 24-13 and book its place in the final against Southbridge, the only team to have beaten Darfield this season.