Darfield out for redemption in final

by Kent Caddick

Darfield will be looking to make up for last season’s heartbreak in the Ellesmere division one rugby final when it takes on Waihora in this year’s final as it goes in search of its first-ever Coleman Shield title.

A Scott Mitchell drop-goal early in the second half of its semi-final against Prebbleton on Saturday gave Darfield its spot in this weekend’s final which, along with the other grade finals, will be played at Darfield Domain.

Darfield players and supporters would have been having flashbacks to last year’s final when it was beaten by Southbridge through a last-minute penalty as Prebbleton lined up a penalty attempt almost in front of the posts in the 78th  minute of the match played at Prebbleton Domain. Fortunately for Darfield fans, the penalty attempt went wide, and Darfield held on to book its place in the final for the second year in a row with a 23–22 win.

Darfield will face competition favourites Waihora in the final after it accounted for this season’s surprise package Springston, 32–19, in their semi in Tai Tapu on Saturday afternoon.

Waihora and Darfield met just a fortnight ago in round robin competition with Waihora winning 12–0 on the same ground, which will be the venue for this weekend’s final.

In other grade finals matches to be played at Darfield, Southbridge and Banks Peninsula will contest the division two title, while Hornby and Burnham Dunsandel Irwell will clash in division three and Waihora and Springston will go head to head in the Colts final. 

Tim Wright secures the lineout ball for Darfield