The Penticton Secondary School Lakers battled their hearts out on the McNicoll Park pitch Tuesday, but were forced to concede a 27-20 loss to the visiting Kelowna Secondary Owls in Okanagan Sr. boys AAA rugby action.
Late in the game, just as the Lakers were clawing their way back into the match they managed to score a try only to have it called back by the official on a penalty.
“The game ended with KSS desperately defending their tryline from a Penticton onslaught,” said Penticton coach Ken Sommereldt afterwards.
The Owls got off to a flying start in the match scoring a pair of tries on their first two possessions.
Down but not out, the Lakers quickly regrouped and settled down with some hard hits and good offence with Braeden Jones putting the home team on the scoreboard with try run from the backfield.
His brother Brayden and Tomas Gonzalez also added tries for the Lakers who trailed 22-15 at the half.
Despite their strong play after the break Pen-High was only able to trade unconverted tries with their opponents.
DJ Warkentin had the major for Penticton.
According to Sommerfeldt, Alex Preston had another strong game both offensively and defensively for Pen-High.
Owls coach Dave Marfleet described the contest as “hard fought,” adding his players suffered a lot of injuries.
The loss was the first of the season for the Lakers, who are one and one after a season opening victory over the Okanagan Mission Secondary Huskies of Kelowna.
Penticton was scheduled to host the Salmon Arm Secondary Golds Thursday at McNicoll Park.