Alex Doyling helps Kutztown clinch historic title triumph
Alex Doyling helped Kutztown University make history after capping the Spring Sevens season by claiming a first national championship with a 17-12 victory over Dartmouth in the Men's Premier National Cup on Monday.
Doyling, who earned a scholarship to the university in 2018 and has represented Bermuda, was part of the team that clinched the title in a hard-fought encounter at the Gold Mine On Airline Stadium in Metairie, Louisiana.
Despite blustery conditions, Kutztown started strongly and took an early 5-0 lead courtesy of powerful run from Mate Kvirikashvili, who broke through two tackles to score an unconverted try.
Kutztown added a second try in the fourth minute through Logan Bachman, with Thorne O'Connell successfully adding the conversion to give his side a 12-0 advantage.
To their credit Dartmouth refused to wilt and responded in impressive fashion, reducing the deficit to just five points just a minute later with a converted try of their own through Jasper Green with Mike Weir adding the extras.
With the pressure building on Kutztown, Dartmouth managed to draw themselves level with an unconverted try as Jamie Chuidian forced his way over to take the sides in at the break with the score at 12-12.
The second half proved tense with Dartmouth reduced to six players as Chuidian was shown a yellow card. However, Kutztown failed to capitalise on the man advantage and soon also found themselves down to six with Kekoa Kauwe receiving a yellow card.
With equal numbers heading into the closing stages, Kutztown finally found the pivotal breakthrough as Kvirikashvili collected a quick offload before racing away to score in the right-hand corner, giving his side a 17-12 advantage with less than two minutes remaining.
With both teams back at full strength, Dartmouth poured forward in search of a late route back into the match. However, Kutztown stood firm in the final moments to clinch a first national title.