Morning Star file photo

Maroons clinch first place

RUGBY: Fulton advances to Okanagan High School final

Fulton Maroons clinched first place in the Okanagan Valley Senior Boys Rugby League Wednesday, downing the Vernon Panthers 26-5 at Grahame Park.

Finishing first give’s Mike Scheller’s squad a berth in the Okanagan final on May 18, with the winner of the game advancing to the B.C. Championships.

Jeff Han, Ryan Rumsey, on an 80-yard run, Hunter Kreiger and Ike Olson had tries for the Maroons while Han booted three of four conversions.

“VSS has a tough team and they play a hard brand of rugby. Our guys played well in spots, but we committed a lot of mistakes we usually do not make,” said Scheller. “I was happy with the way we tackled in this game, and our defensive line was strong. VSS run a forward-based attack and they force you to make a lot of tackles. I liked the way we held up defensively.”

Scheller praised the play of Olson, Rumsey, and Sean Jasminez.

The Maroons will take on the LV Rogers Bombers of Nelson in a provincial cross-over game today in Kelowna.

In Junior action, the Maroons suffered their first loss of the year, 41-10, to the Salmon Arm Golds.

Evan Trottier and Chapperon Chillihitzia had the Fulton tries.

Logan Higgs had a strong game at eighth man and was a tackling machine for the Maroons, who are 2-1. Seth Pallister had a good game among the backs.

The defending Okanagan Rugby Union champion Vernon Jackals play their home opener Saturday against the Salmon Arm Manthers.

Game time is 11 a.m. at Grahame Park.