This past Saturday, visiting Lansdowne eked out an extremely contested match by 17-15. For the first 10 minutes it appeared as though Old Blue would blow the game open as they attacked relentlessly with purpose and vision. The homesides' scrummaging was quite effective as the pack created a platform for the backs to penetrate deep into Lansdowne territory. But the visitors' defense was resolute and conceded just a penalty in the 9th minute to give Old Blue a three point advantage.
In the 13th minute, impressive lock Shane Raftery came down with lineout ball thrown in by hooker debutante Pat Devery. A rolling mall ensued which led to Captain Mark Giordano touching down for the first try of the contest. Man of the Match Sennin Flanagan converted to give the visitors a 4 point lead. The 1st half ended without another score.
The 2nd half saw the introduction of prop Mike Poplaski, which stabilized the Lansdowne scrum. The Irishmen were on the attack and seemed to be on the verge of scoring when Old Blue's impressive number 13 blocked an attempted chip kick and flew 80 meters upfield into the Lansdowne in-goal. The conversion gave the homeside a 10-7 advantage. Just 2 minutes later, some delicious running by the torrid Blake Mannion gave Landsdowne possession inside the Old Blue 5 meter line. The visitors were camped out just in front of the in-goal for about 4 minutes when the referee awarded a penalty to the Irishmen due to repeated Old Blue infractions. The Sennin Flanagan conversion made it 14-10.
Old Blue regained the lead 9 minutes later as a powerful rolling maul led to their slamming down, thereby giving them a one-point advantage. The Lansdowne defense, led by Joe Giordano and Austin Purcell, was determined and didn't concede any more points. The Irishmen were unlucky as a 68th minute try was disallowed due to a forward pass. However 2 minutes later, Lansdowne were awarded a penalty which Sennin Flanagan converted from a difficult angle, thereby giving the advantage back to the visitors. The final 10 minutes saw Old Blue attacking relentlessly as the determined Lansdowne defense was tested to the limit. Old Blue were awarded a late penalty in close, but missed as Landsdowne held on.
Lansdowne practices are held every Monday and Wednesday at 8:00 PM at Tibbetts Brook Park in Yonkers. All interested players should come on down or contact the club at any of the following: website www.lansdownerugbyclub.com, email [email protected], or phone hotline (914)297-8429. Next up for Lansdowne is an away match at Montauk on October 26, which wraps up the fall season.
Happy Earth Day! Ireland sure looks gorgeous from outer space