Gents of Aspen win thriller
The Aspen Times
The Gentlemen of Aspen turned a Saturday afternoon rugby match into a fall classic.
With the willing help of the Denver Highlanders, of course.
The Gents scored after an efficient passing exchange with barely 5 minutes to play to forge a dramatic 36-36 tie against the visiting Highlanders.
Cyle Bilger boomed the conversion up and between the uprights to send the Gents into the lead at 38-36, much to the delight of the rugby crowd that had gathered at Rio Grande Park on a brilliant autumn day in Aspen.
Wiehan Pretorius, a product the Junior Gents rugby program, scored the tying try after taking the last pass along the back line and cutting back from the left sideline and across the try line.
Participate in The Longevity Project
The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.
The conversion came at a slight angle that proved no problem for Bilger.
The Gentlemen of Aspen had to endure one last comeback bid by the Highlanders, who played a spirited game from the opening whistle.
The Highlanders forced the Gents into a penalty.
Opting to kick for goal, the Highlanders’ possible go-ahead kick from 30 yards out drifted just wide left and into the skate park at Rio Grande.
The contest was back-and-forth with the Highlanders scoring the first two tries early in the opening half.
Aspen answered with consecutive tries, including Pretorius’ first of the game.
The Highlanders regained the lead only to watch Darrel Furlon score for the Gents, who assumed the lead again.
But not for long.
The Highanders’ powerful forwards bulled across for another try to close the first half.
The teams traded scores again in the second half with the Highlanders eventually leading 36-31, setting the stage for Aspen’s comeback victory.
The solid Gents’ roster included veterans James Aldridge and Simon Dogbe, among others.
“We weren’t very pretty or constructive, but we still put some great tries together,” said Aspen Gents coach Gary Williams. “There was a lot of heart there. We were very pleased to play at home.”
Even happier to win — and protect their home turf.
“No matter what sport, you don’t give it up at home lightly,” Williams said. “Right?”
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Aspen and Snowmass Village make the Aspen Times’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
The Basalt High School cross country team traveled to California this past week to compete in the 2021 Woodbridge Cross Country Classic, hosted by Woodbridge High School just outside of Los Angeles. The race was held at the SilverLakes Sports Complex in Norco.