Wigan-Leigh College too strong for Hurricanes in Youth Test

By Sports Desk February 26, 2024

 Visiting English team Wigan-Leigh College prevailed 24-4 against Jamaica Hurricanes Academy U19s in a hotly contested test match at the Mona Bowl on Saturday. The historic encounter marked the first time a local U19 team faced foreign opposition on home soil.

“The game was very physical and competitive encounter, nothing we didn’t expect,” said Wigan-Leigh head coach Kieron Purtill. “It was great to get the win and we hope to be able to repeat the fixture again at some point and help the growth of the game in Jamaica. It’s been a great experience for our team to travel to Jamaica, the numbers and standard of players is good to see.”

Hurricanes started confidently, winning g a penalty for offside on their first set. However, they failed to find touch on the ensuing kick, allowing Wigan-Leigh to take a 4-0 lead when center Dylan Hughes scored in the right corner on the counterattack. Five minutes later, the lead extended to 10-0 when winger Toa Bayliss scored in the left corner, with Lucas Tyrer converting. Despite several chances, the Hurricanes failed to capitalize, and Wigan-Leigh further extended their lead to 16-0 when Kian Stanton’s agile footwork saw him breach the defense to score on 18 minutes. Josh Lee's successful conversion put the visitors firmly in control at halftime.

The Jamaican team showed improved performance in both attack and defense in the second half. They opened the scoring when Shevaughn Smith displayed deft footwork to secure a try, narrowing the deficit to 16-4. However, despite more opportunities, the home team couldn't add further points, and their challenges were further compounded when prop Dominique Myers was red carded for dangerous contact, reducing them to 12 players. The visitors remained steady and sealed the game with tries from Daniel Foster and Kieron Cooke, making it a final score of 24-4.

Hurricanes Coach, Antonio Baker, commented: “I am proud of our team regardless of the score line. The physicality was there but we lacked finesse and tactical skills to move the ball as we wanted to. We got in some good positions, but a lack of experience saw us give away our advantage. Wigan-Leigh capitalized on their own chances. Much thanks to Wigan-Leigh for a very spirited game and hope we will get more opportunities to play them again and other youth teams from England as this can only continue to help us develop.”

Jamaica Hurricanes U19 Academy
Gavon Bent, Dominique Myers, Fitzroy McLeod III, Tyreke Hutchinson, Jaleel Green, Khaeron Carlyle, Antwon Mckane, Matthew Craig, Brandon Gordon, Shevaughn Smith, Ahmeekique Miller, Maliq Morris, Ricardo Smith, Tyrone Davidson, Melvin Harris, Carl Thompson, Shaquille Drummond, Dowayne James, Oneil Britton

Coach: Antonio Baker

Wigan-Leigh College
Ethan Sherlmerdine, Toa Bayliss, Diego Walker, Kallan Hilton, Lucas Tyrer, Josh Lee, Kian Stanton, Ben Gaskell, Rhys Clayton, Kieron Clarke, Daniel Foster, Callum Darbyshire, Harry Cawley, Daniel Alker, Freddie Findley, Spencer Dodd, Tyler Topping Higson

Coach Kieron Purtill.

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