Alan “Rusty” Walsh saved the day for the homeside as he kicked an 80th minute penalty to edge the Gotham Knights 25-23 in a nervy encounter at Tibbetts Brook Park. Lansdowne struck first in minute 8. Some lovely interplay between the dynamic halfback combination of Mark Giordano and Dillon Casey saw the ball come out wide to Robbie Davies. Center Davies was able to beat 2 defenders and run into goal from 20 meters. Sennin Flanagan converted.
Six minutes later, Davies struck again. Austin Purcell, who was all over the pitch in offense and defense, pilfered the ball and got it out wide Robbie, who flew in from 40 meters out. The Flanagan conversion gave Lansdowne at 14 point advantage. Sennin’s boot was true again as he kicked an 18th minute penalty and stretched the difference to 17 points.
But the seemingly safe advantage proved to be the total opposite. The Knights’ dynamic back line caught fire and started to make inroads into Lansdowne territory. In minute 21, some impressive footwork by Gotham’s center combo saw their #13 slam into the corner to get the Knights on the scoresheet. Just 3 minutes later, Gotham’s terrific #8 pulled the ball out of a ruck and began a sequence of play of 9 passes, which culminated in a converted try that got the visitors to within 5.
The 2nd half began and the Lansdowne front row of Ian O’Connor, Rampaging Steve Murphy and Ciaran Byrne were dominant in the scrums and briefly kept Gotham at bay. Dillon Casey’s lovely drop goal gave Lansdowne an 8 point lead. Three minutes later, Sennin Flanagan was accurate again as he slotted a penalty and had the homeside up by 23-12.
But Gotham responded accordingly. In minute 65, a magnificent 40 meter gallop by their dynamic outside center got the Knights to within 6. In minute 71, their center struck again. Another long distance try, this one converted, gave Gotham a one point advantage.
But Lansdowne weren’t quite finished yet. Man of the Match Hugh Byrne demonstrated some brilliant tactical kicking and got The Irishmen deep into Knights territory. A Gotham infringement gave Alan Walsh a shot at goal, and he converted in a nervy finish.
Lansdowne practices are held every Tuesday and Thursday at 7:00PM at Randalls Island field 74. All interested players should come on down or contact the club at www.lansdownerugbyclub.com.