Glendale Merlins Elite Women finish 2nd in WPL
GLENDALE – The Glendale Merlins women entered the weekend with championship aspirations, but fell just short in the Women’s Premier League title game, narrowly defeated 27-26 by New York Rugby.
Photo by Seth McConnell
The Merlins started the weekend strong with a dominant 32-0 win over Beantown RFC to advance to the final while New York outlasted Merlins Blue Conference rivals San Diego, 38-32 in the other semifinal. It would set up a fitting final between the two regular season conference top seeds.
In Sunday’s final, Glendale would strike first, taking a 5-0 lead with Merlins break-away Carmen Farmer landing the first try of the match. The Merlins would extend that lead to 12-0 at the 21-minute mark when Denali Graham and Colleen Cribbs connected for Glendale’s second try of the match.
After a Jeanna Beard yellow card, New York would finally get on the board just before the half with a try, and both teams would enter halftime with Glendale leading 12-5.
Glendale would open the second half with another try as team captain Sarah Chobot found the try zone. The kick was converted by Cribbs to extend Glendale’s lead to 19-5.
New York would go on two score three unanswered tries to take their first lead of the match at 20-19, aided by a sin-binning of Merlins forward Amandine Chatelier and a man-up advantage. New York would extend that advantage to 27-19 with yet another try at the 73-min mark.
Glendale would close the match with another try to draw the score within 27-26, but time was not on the Merlins’ side, with the clock running out and New York holding on for the win.