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Kennaugh claims glory for Vagabonds

Vagabonds retained the BSM Manx Cup with a 25-14 win over fierce local rivals Douglas at a very damp Glencrutchery Road on Saturday.

Scrum half Leigh Kennaugh played a pivotal role for Vagas with two tries as their forward pack dominated proceedings in very difficult conditions.

Vagas took a 3-0 lead after 10 minutes when skipper Jonny Beckley knocked over a penalty.

From the restart, Douglas levelled with a Bryn Snellgrove penalty and then took the lead a few minutes later when Snellgrove again punished some poor Vagabonds discipline with a penalty.

As half-time approached, Vagas had options to kick but took set scrums instead.

Eventually this led to scrum-half Kennaugh sneaking over for a try which Beckley converted to leave Vagas in charge 10-6 at the break.

Douglas came out of the blocks quicker at the start of the second half and, after Neil Killey and Andy Corris made good ground up the right wing, they switched play left where Vagas were caught offside.

Snellgrove knocked over the penalty and Douglas were back within a point.

Vagas’ pack then took charge of proceedings and effectively starved Douglas of possession.

Whenever an opportunity arose, Beckley drilled the ball deep in to the corners and kept Douglas pinned in their own 22 for much of the second half.

Replacement number eight Jason Bowden was the first beneficiary of this tactic as he crashed home from close range.

Beckley converted to take the Vagas lead up to 17-9.

Kennaugh then went over for his second try of the game as Douglas again found themselves playing from deep and failed to clear their lines completed.

This try gave Vagas a 22-9 advantage with just 10 minutes left and the game looked all but over.

Douglas had a few shots left in the locker though and they attacked with gusto as the clock ran down.

Nick Horsthuis and Neil Killey carried the ball well in the forwards and eventually created enough space for left wing Andy Hollis to dive over for a late try and reduce the gap to just eight points at 22-14.

Vagas, however, had the final say and Beckley dropped a late goal to push the lead back out to 25-14 and effectively end the game as a contest.

Rugby result for Saturday, April 26

Bernard Schulte Ship Management Manx Cup Final

Vagabonds 25-14 Douglas

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