Cowrie beat Racing 24-13 to retain CMB South West League title

Rugby• Lagos RFC gains promotion

Cowrie RFC have won the CMB Building, Maintenance and Investment Ltd sponsored South West League for the fifth time by beating Racing Rugby Club in an entertaining final match at the Onikan Stadium, Lagos, at the weekend.

The reigning South West champions approached the tie determined to avenge their loss to Racing earlier in the season, but they found a Racing team ready to battle for their first title in the league.

Both teams before the final game were on 18 points apiece on the tournament table. But the defending champions were on the offensive early in the game, as they put the Racing defense under pressure through a powerful kick, which led to winger Misan Ryan Onwu’s try in the fifth minute. Captain Azeez Ladipo converted a penalty in 17th minute to earn his team 10 – 0. Racing immediately changed their game plan as they dominated the line outs and played their territorial tactics, which paid off in the 20th minute when Emmanuel Ayewe picked up a loose ball to set up Patrick Mbamarah to cross over the white wash for a try converted by fly half, Monday Alex. Alex also kicked over a penalty to keep the score at 10-10.

The game was tensed up for Cowrie RFC, when captain of the side, Ladipo walked off the pitch in the 34th minute due to an arm injury. But despite that setback, Hafis Ayinla raced through the Racing defense for their second try to put the score at 15-10 just before the break.

The second half was a battle between two young discoveries, Monday Alex of Racing and Alfred Oche, who kicked in three penalties to put the final score at 24-13 in favour of Cowrie RFC.

Earlier, Lagos Rugby Club gained promotion to premier division by defeating Royal Stallions of Ilorin 6-5 through the boots of Mohammed Salisu and Steven James.

Police Rugby Club also beat already relegated Gosar Rugby Club 64-0 in the second match of the day.

For retaining their South West Rugby League title, Cowrie RFC will represent the zone in the National Super Cup against winners of the Northern League, which is currently on break due to the Ramadan fast.

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