Milnerton lost 19-17 through a last-minute penalty to Monument Park much to the despair of the home crowd.
The match was a true battle of brawn, tempers flaring in both side’s attempts to outmuscle their opposition. Though the match was a battle of the packs, Milnerton found their hero in the backline, with centre Damian de Allende scoring all of their 17 points (a try and four penalties).
With the wind at their backs the home side were able to dominate the first-half territory. However, strong defence meant this counted for little. Fullback Aaron Baker was instrumental with the boot in the Monument Park defensive effort, with his raking touch-finding kicks frequently alleviating pressure on the visitors, while flyhalf Jason Peterson proved a stumbling block for the hosts with impressive tackling.
Monument Park were able to surge forward at stages, with eighthman Heinrich Slingers outstanding when driving from the set-piece. Lock Wilbur Humphries also shone, dominating the lineout and providing the backs with good, clean ball. The kickers Armand Nortje (Monument Park) and De Allende (Milnerton) were the only players to trouble the scorers, trading penalties to make it 9-9 at the half.
When play resumed so did Milnerton’s territorial superiority, but their inability to finish (with forwards losing the ball after a disciplined build-up) proved telling. Against the run of play, De Allende put the guests ahead with a brilliant solo try, weaving through cumbersome cover defenders to cross for a 14-9 lead. However Monument Park’s response was swift with centre Enri Tolken’s try and Raymond Moore’s conversion giving them a 14-16 lead.
De Allende then slotted his fourth three-pointer and the home side looked to have wrapped up the match, but Moore’s penalty in the dying stages robbed the Milnerton side of a win when the referee overruled the linesman to award the kick in a contentious end to a hard-fought clash.
In other Western Cape results, Paul Roos ran in 14 tries against Brackenfell to win 86-15 at home, having lead 41-0 at the half. Paarl Boys continued the Stellenbosch streak, downing Rangers Silvertree Club 65-0, Stephan Coetzee and Jean Nel starring with three tries a piece. In the northern suburbs clash, Tygerberg ran riot, beating Durbanville 46-12.