Lansdowne were crowned JoJo Moore champions for the first time two weekends ago. Traveling with a squad of 35 players, Lansdowne entered two sides into the competition, playing four games in total, winning three of those. The first of those was against Danbury.
Lansdowne A (13) – (12) Danbury A
Lansdowne showed their intent early in this game, dominating the early exchanges with good carries by Mike Crosby and Tom Goggins. After some more good work from the pack, Paddy Grogan made a break down the wing. After a quick recycle, Jimmy Barrenger carried closer to the try line before offloading to John McGuinness who broke through a tackle to touch down. Sennin Flanagan converted to bring the score to 7-0. Lansdowne continued to apply pressure but despite breaks from Patrick Devery and John Giordano, the Danbury defense held firm. In the closing minutes, Lansdowne were awarded a penalty just outside the 22. Sennin Flanagan converted once again to leave a half time score of 10-0.
Lansdowne started the second half slower as Danbury started to find their feet in the game. A good break from Danbury saw them register their first score of the game to bring the score back to 10-7. Tom Murray and Brian Fingleton lead the Lansdowne charge back down the field with a series of good carries. A half break by Cormac Condon saw him just stopped short, and from the resulting series of plays Danbury infringed. Sennin Flanagan once again slotted the resulting kick to stretch the lead to 6 points. A couple of injuries on the disrupted the Lansdowne side as they looked to close the game out. Despite the committed defense shown by the Lansdowne boys, led by Mark Giordano and Pa Doona, the pressure from Danbury saw them grab a second try. Crucially though the conversion was missed, leaving the score at 13-12. The Lansdowne side held firm for the closing minutes to grab their first win of the day
Lansdowne B (3) – (8) White Plains A
After only a short break, the second Lansdowne side took to the field. The White Plains side started stronger as putting Lansdowne on the back foot early in the game. The defense however held firm, repelling the repeated attacks. Turnovers by Brian Kealy and Paul Antezzo, at crucial times along with some strong tackling from Stephen Murphy and Omeihto James helped turn the momentum in the game. Lansdowne grew into the game in the half and were rewarded with a penalty as the half drew to a close. The resulting shot at goal was unsuccessful leaving the game tied at half time.
Lansdowne started the second half as they finished the first, with some impressive tackling from the back row duo of Mike Lepetit and Chris Higgins. Both EJ Brutus and Eoghan Gallagher came close to the first score of the game but were stopped short. The pressure on the White Plains defense eventually paid off as a penalty was awarded outside the 22. John O’Meara stepped up and coolly slotted it over. The score seemed to spurs White Plains into action as they laid siege to the Lansdowne line. Despite the impressive tackling by David Phfaeler and Greg Alexander, they were unable to prevent White Plains crossing for the score. The conversion was missed, leaving the score at 5-3. Lansdowne’s efforts to chase the winning score proved unsuccessful, with White Plains scoring a late penalty for to leave a final score of 8-3
Lansdowne B (21) – (18) Danbury A
Lansdowne B sides were up once again for a game against Danbury A side. Lansdowne started the sluggishly with Danbury seemingly breaking the line at will. After running up a score of 15 points to nil, the turning point came as Danbury attempted to convert their second try from in front of the post. EJ Brutus impressively blocked the conversion, and the act seemed to inspire his teammates. Lansdowne’s pack started to take control of the game, with the front row trio of Ciaran Byrne, John Cahill and Richards Martin owning the Danbury pack at scrum time. As the half drew to a close, Lansdowne laid siege to the Danbury line. After being stopped short a couple of times, Danny Devlin barged over for the first score. John O’Meara converted to leave a half time score of 15-7 in favor of Danbury.
Lansdowne started the second half as they had finished the first, with John Farrell leading the charge with carries through the middle. The pack, marshaled by Brian Kealy edge closer to the line, before Manus O’Sullivan broke through for the second score. John O’Meara converted once again to narrow the difference to one point. A Lansdowne mistake allowed Danbury a shot at goal to widen the margin to four points. Greg Alexander and Cormac Condon came close to scoring but the game looked to be slipping away from Lansdowne. Danbury seemingly had the game under wraps with the award of a scrum in their 22. The Lansdowne pack had other ideas however, and a huge drive saw them win the ball against the head. Manus O’Sullivan picked from the based, evading the oncoming wing forward, and bonce the Danbury fullback off him to touch down for the winning score. John O’Meara converted to leave the final score at 21-18. The Lansdowne support stormed the field at the final whistle celebrating the magnificent comeback.
Lansdowne A (8) Vs. (5) White Plains A
Lansdowne went into the game against White Plains in the knowledge that a win was going to see them win the cup for the first time. Lansdowne started the game in determined fashion. Strong carries from Tom Murray and Mike Crosby brought Lansdowne close but they couldn’t get across the line. It was from a charge down from Captain Mark Giordano that yielded the first score. Tom Goggins pounced on the loose ball to touch down. The resulting conversion was missed. Despite attacking for the remainder of the half, the only other score came through a penalty from Sennin Flanagan, leaving a half time score of 8-0.
Once again in the second half, injuries forced a reshuffle in the Lansdowne backline. The heat had taken its toll on the Bronx boys as White Plains grew into the game, with their winger proving quite elusive, eventually touching down after a strong run. The Lansdowne defense held firm from the remainder of the game to leave a final score of 8-5 and win the JoJo Moore cup.
Player of the Tournament: Manus O’Sullivan
Match Day Squad – Ciaran Byrne, Richard Martin, Tom Murray, Ian O’Connor, Delf King, Stephen Murphy, Mike Crosby, John Cahill, Danny Devlin, John McGuinness, James Barrenger, Brian Kealey, Tom Goggins, Pa Doona, Chris Higgins, Mike Lepetit, Brian Fingleton, Manus O’Sullivan, Luis Carpio, Paul Antezzo, Mark Giordano, John O’Meara, Sennin Flanagan, Cormac Condon, John Farrell, Patrick Devery, Omeihto James, EJ Brutus, Will Horgan, Eoghan Gallagher, Paddy Grogan, Greg Alexander, John Giordano, Ross Tormey, David Phfaeler