THE Mengal Taggers have been crowned All-Ireland champions after beating the best teams in Ireland.
It caps off an incredible year for the Taggers, which saw them win the spring and summer leagues as well as claiming a world record for the longest game of tag rugby ever played.
In their first game against the Bircroft Panthers, who were the defending champions, they lost 4-0 in a tight game against a solid defence but just couldn’t score.
In game two against the Woilfpack they won 12-4 in a super performance, including a hat-trick from captain Christine Henning
They beat the Tic Tags 10-9 in their third game. After a blistering start they raced into a 8-0 lead but they went asleep and going into the final minute went 9-8 down!
A super try in the dying seconds took the game to an extra time golden try decider and Stuart Nelson broke from halfway to win the game 10-9.
In the final pool game against Temple Fire they won 9-1. With a win required to ensure a top two place in the round robin league and a place in the Championship final a superb performance was put in and put the Taggers through while in great form for the final.
And it was a final against the Bircroft Panthers they were to win 7-6 in extra time.
In a repeat of last years final Mengal were full of confidence but went 1-0 down early on and but got it back to 1-1 with a well worked try.
A brief lack on concentration allowed the Panthers to score a girls try to go 4-1 up.
With two mins remaining the score stood at 6-2 and Mengal looked down and out but a neat try from Stuart Nelson brought the score to 6-3 and Mengal knew if they could get a girls try it would for the game to extra time.
With seconds on the clock neat play from Scott Nelson and Philip Lunn put Imogen Porter in the corner to level the scores.
On the restart the referee called Golden Score meaning the first team to score would be crowned champions. The Panthers gathered the restart and attacked the Mengal line after a couple of phases Scott Nelson raced out of the line and intercepted a stray Panthers pass.
He was chased back and didn’t have the speed to finish it but on his shoulder in support was James Cleland to race to the line and spark mayhem amongst the Mengal Taggers and supporters.
The victory capped an amazing season for the Taggers, being crowned Spring League champions, Summer League champions, new world record holders and All-Ireland champions.
The Mengal Taggers would like to thank everyone who has helped them this year particularly The Bronte Steak House and Shoefair Sports.