Homeside Old Blue scored 2 late, unanswered tries to tie the visitors in a cracker of a match this past Saturday on Randall’s Island. The final score was 26 all as each side demonstrated moments of champagne rugby. The Manhattanites opened the scoring in minute 5 as a Lansdowne infringement led to a converted penalty. The Irishmen took the lead 3 minutes later as a well worked ball through the entire Lansdowne back line had Joe Giordano free on the wing from where he was able to touch down. In the 18th minute Sennin Flanagan converted a penalty from an Old Blue infringement thereby giving Lansdowne an 8 3 lead.
In minute 21, Old Blue were threatening deep but a spectacular Blake Mannion interception had him sprint 50 meters downfield. A Lansdowne line out led to a ruck that co-Men of the Match Mike Poplaski and “Big” John McGuinness dominated, and Captain Mark Giordano gobbled up possession as he slammed down in the corner. Giordano’s try gave Lansdowne a 10 point advantage. But the homeside responded furiously. Their excellent #8 spent the day stretching Lansdowne’s defence and jetted 60 meters downfield. He offloaded to their winger who touched down under the posts. The conversion got Old Blue to within 3. First-half scoring ended in minute 26 as the Manhattanites drew even through a penalty due to a Lansdowne infringement.
Lansdowne opened the 2nd half scoring as a marvelous 30 meter run upfield by James Powell led to a converted Sennin Flanagan penalty. The homeside responded accordingly and were deep in Lansdowne territory when Peter Finnigan made the play of the game as he tackled an Old Blue attacker, thereby causing a knock forward. In minute 56 the Irishman were on the attack due to some exquisite work by the forwards, especially Manus O’Sullivan, as Brian Fingleton slammed down. The Sennin Flanagan conversion gave the visitors a 10 point advantage. Mister Flanagan was on fire as he converted an Old Blue penalty for a 26 13 Lansdowne lead just three minutes later.
However Old Blue weren’t quite finished. In minute 64, a Lansdowne infringement in close had the Manhattanites convert to get within 10. Just five minutes later, their superb number 8 thundered 40 meters downfield into goal to put the homeside at a 5 point deficit. And Old Blue completed the comeback and closed the scoring in minute 79 as a well-worked ball had their number 8 tie the score as he slammed down in the corner.
LANSDOWNE “B” 33 GOTHAM KNIGHTS 10
The Irishman were dynamic in attack as Nick Alexander and Co-Man of the Match Tom Hardwick made serious statements for permanent “A” side inclusion as demonstrated by their play. In minute 21 a clever run upfield by Rory Murphy got the ball out wide to newcomer Daniel Gomez. Scrumhalf Gomez offloaded to Ciaran McHenry, who slammed down. Tom Hardwick converted for a 7 point Irish lead. Two minutes later a fantastic Tom Hardwick sprint got the ball to Rory Murphy, who continued his scintillating play. A pop pass to Daniel Gomez had him touch down for his first Lansdowne try. “Tommo” converted again to double the Irish advantage and end the first half scoring.
In minute 46 another newcomer Brian Lynch beautifully advanced the ball up field for 20 meters. Superb support by Rampaging Steve Murphy got the ball to Alan Walsh. Out half Walsh touched down for a 19 point lead. Lansdowne were confident in attack and in the 56th minute the impressive Daniel Gomez again gained space and passed out wide to Tom Hardwick. “Tommo” sprinted in from 30 meters and converted his own score.
Gotham pride was at stake and they responded accordingly. Their outside center, who was an impressive combination of speed and power, scored the Knights first try by beating 2 Lansdowne defenders and touching down in the corner. He scored again five minutes later in minute 72 and got the Knights to within 16. But Lansdowne’s John Giordano made a 40 meter highlight reel run in minute 74. He superbly offloaded in tackle to the advancing Will Horgan. Co-Man of the Match Horgan sprinted in from 20 and the Tom Hardwick conversion put Lansdowne up by to 23 close the scoring.
Lansdowne practices are held every Tuesday at 6 PM and Thursday at 7 PM on Randall’s Island field 74. All interested players should come on down or contact the Club at any of the following phone hotline (914)29-rugby, email email@example.com or website lansdownerugbyclub.com.