Lansdowne rugby’s dreams of its first Division II Championship took a rough shot in the ribs this weekend as the team fell 53-12 in a crucial away match against the Connecticut Yankees (5-1).
The game saw a vigorous forwards battle until Lansdowne lost key backs Andy Quinlan and Haaka Parkinson shortly into the second half, whereupon the Yankees piled on 40 of their 53 points.
The Lansdowne pack played stalwart ball, but could not hold the onslaught. Newcomer forwards Liam Hartnett and Adrian Heggarty impressed mightily in their debut, and flanker Jerry Powers displayed his typical teflon tackling and rage for the game in the losing effort.
Billy LaRue continues to develop into a top notch hooker, a big change from his former easy life at scrumhalf. Back Nick Bruella once again garnered the glory, scoring both of Lansdowne’s tries.
In the B game, Lansdowne avenged the A side loss with a 30-0 victory, but that was little consolation for a team whose destiny now lies in the hands of others. Had Lansdowne come away with a win in the A game, it would have been safely positioned atop the field going into the last weeks of the season. Now, at 4-2-1, it must win both of its remaining away games against Princeton RFC and North Jersey RFC, and hope that the division leaders flag in the coming weeks.
Plans are now under way for the Lansdowne’s annual Saint Patrick’s Day Tournament hosted in mid-March in Van Cortlandt Park and sponsored by Guinness Ltd. Interested teams, sponsors and vendors should contact Sean McCarthy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Bagpipers, musicians and dancers are also invited to call.
Further tournament particulars will be announced in connection with the AGM scheduled for December.