Eagles victorious in Highland Bowl
The Millburn Academy Eagles lifted the Highland Bowl for the first time since the inaugural season five years ago after overcoming the Charleston Academy Knights.
The Eagles had been slight underdogs going into the final showcase as they were the less experienced team, even though they had given the Knights their first defeat of the season the week before.
They managed to repeat the trick, winning 18-13 to finally clinch the trophy after losing in the last two finals.
There was also a Bowl match between the other two sides in the HACL – the High School Predators and the Inverness Royal Academy Sharks.
Again the supposed underdogs were victorious, as the Sharks picked up their first win of the season 28-14.
League organiser and Highland Wildcats’s youth development officer Robbie Paulin was impressed by the standard of play throughout the season.
Now his attention will turn to the summer season for the Wildcats, where he hopes to see most of the players that took part in the HACL.
That process actually began at the Highland Bowl, with the youth season beginning in May and the first practice happening tomorrow.
“We did the handover for the Wildcats, which was the first time we had done that,” Paulin explained.
“We sat them down for half an hour to kind of chat through stuff, they were signing up for locker spaces and that kind of stuff.
“It was a chance for them to see the schedule and really try and create a pathway because I think before we could have done a better job in previous years on the day of the Highland Bowl.
“This was a bit more of a bridge to it, and I think, as far as I could tell, 95 per cent of them signed up.
“Even the other ones just weren’t sure if they could commit to it.
“I think there were only one or two players who didn’t look to continue.
“I think that will probably drop off, but it was great to see so many people wanting to do it.”