Game, set and match

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 11:24 AM ET

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers defence finally provided a stop or two.

Their offence, however, failed to take advantage.

ROUGHRIDERS 19 BOMBERS 17

And now it's just another sad chapter in a Bombers season that appears all but destined to end without a playoff berth for the second straight season.

The Bombers scored just two points in the second half, quarterback Kevin Glenn was intercepted by Eddie Davis with 42 seconds left, and the Saskatchewan Roughriders held on for a 19-17 win last night in the second annual Banjo Bowl before the first sellout at Canad Inns Stadium since Oct. 12, 2002.

In fact, the Maroons Road park was overflowing, as there were 29,653 spectators in attendance and only 29,503 seats.

The crowd, save for a couple thousand 'Rider fans, went home upset after Saskatchewan's first regular-season win in Winnipeg since Sept. 11, 1994.

"It was a good feeling for us to finally come here and get a win. It's been a long time coming for us," Davis said.

"... This is the time to get hot -- in the second half of the season. I guess we're hot now."

The 'Riders improved to 5-6 with their second straight win and are now tied with the Calgary Stampeders (5-6) for third in the West Division. The 'Riders and Stamps are four points up on the last-place Bombers (3-9) and also have a game in hand.

The Bombers play in Ottawa on Friday against the Renegades, who are 5-6 and will try to hold off the 'Riders, Stamps or Bombers for the East Division crossover berth.

In other words, it's all but over for the Bombers.

"Everybody on the field, coaches and players, are devastated by the loss," Bombers coach Jim Daley said. "A loss like that, that comes right down to the end is very hard to live with."

The Bombers locker-room afterwards was the most morose its been all season. Even some of the veterans threw away any talk of a silver lining.

"I didn't want to concede to what coach Daley was saying about us rebuilding, but I guess we are," linebacker Lamar McGriggs admitted. "I've never really been part of rebuilding before, but I guess we are rebuilding.

"He said it was going to be tough, and I guess now it's slapped me in the face, and I believe him."

Saskatchewan, which won last Sunday's Labour Day Classic 45-26, wasn't as explosive last night, but it did enough to get the job done against a Bomber defence that played better than last week, but not good enough.

The Bombers led 15-11 at the half, but Karsten Bailey's three-yard touchdown catch from Marcus Crandell four minutes into the third gave Saskatchewan the lead for good.

The only points Winnipeg mustered the rest of the way were singles on Troy Westwood's missed 42-yard field goal in the third and Jon Ryan's punt single in the fourth.

'Riders Paul McCallum added a kickoff single after the Bailey score, and he was 1-for-3 in the field-goal department, connecting from 18 but missing from 37 (which resulted in a single) and from 41.

McCallum's 41-yard miss came with about 1:30 left in the game, and Winnipeg's Keith Stokes returned it to the Bombers 36-yard line.

Two plays later, Glenn, who completed 18 of 31 passes for 240 yards, a touchdown and a pick, was intercepted by Davis.

"They adjusted to what we were getting them on in the first half," said Stokes, who led all receivers with six catches for 109 yards but lost a fumble in the first quarter. "That's what good teams do."

The Bombers took a 15-4 lead in the second quarter on Charles Roberts' one-yard run and Glenn's 11-yard touchdown strike to Chris Brazzell -- the latter's fourth TD in five games with the Bombers.

Crandell, who completed 21 of 37 passes for 216 yards and one TD, scored a one-yard plunge late in the second that got the 'Riders back in the game.

Ryan added a 40-yard punt single in the first quarter.


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