LPRFC D2 22 Fox Valley 19
After pulling away to what was starting to look like a winning lead, Park was forced to dig deep and make their tackles to keep a spirited Fox Valley team from gaining a home field win. As in many recent games, Fox Valley provided a stern test for Park.
Playing with the wind in the first half, Park did take an early advantage when Finnegan recovered a dinked, chip kick over the Fox Valley defence in the right corner. Playing on a wider field than the previous week, Park’s young wing often found a little more space to show a little of his attacking potential throughout the game.
With the backs a little out of sync, and finding it difficult in the wind to time their passes, it was the forwards who put Park on the front foot. Allen was as always a willing carrier in the close quarters and the rest of his pack did their own share of the graft.
Rasmussen doubled Park’s lead with what is fast becoming a trademark run. Time and again this season, the hooker has looked to have been held only to break free with a strong leg drive. This week was no exception as he broke clear to score close to the posts.
A quick retort from the Maoris pulled them back within a converted try before Bean dived over from short range following a break from Finnegan with good support by Davis.
When another supporting run by Davis saw the fullback score for himself, Park was beginning to look like they may pull away but Fox Valley fought back.
A clever kick to the corner saw them add to their first-half score about midway through the second and with still 12 minutes remaining a converted try – flipped back inside from their scrumhalf – brought them within three points.
Park looked to have made the game safe when Marunde scooped up a loose ball and ran it back a full 90 yards, only to have the try brought back for a Fox valley knock-on advantage.
Fox Valley probed Park’s line in the final few minutes, but Park held firm for a nail-biting win.
Team: Lund, Rasmussen, Waryjas, Allen (Barnard), Perrizo (Togher), Schwartz, Laux, Jahner, Brady, Bean, Finnegan, Peirino, Branham, Marunde (Ehlert), Davis
Try: Finnegan 1, Rasmussen 1, Bean 1, Davis 1
Con: Bean 1
LPRFC D3 48 Fox Valley 29
After a to and fro first half, Park finally settled into their rhythm and came away with a comfortable win against a Fox Valley team who for a spell looked like they had Park on the ropes.
Park began the game brightly with Huschen, Frisch and Ehlert making good ground in the backline and the forwards doing enough to give the backs front-foot ball. Huschen, in particular, turned back the clock with a couple of long breaks stepping inside his covering man.
Weed opened the scoring after 5 minutes, following up intricate passing down the right wing from Ehlert, Rosenfeld and McDowell. Then, still only ten minutes into the match, a slanted Frisch cut-back run saw the centre touchdown under the posts.
Aeillo scored the first of his two tries to add to Park’s total taking a weakside pass from Jewell after Park had stolen a Fox Valley scrum.
With three tries in the first 15 minutes, Park was starting to look comfortable but failure to keep up the pressure eventually allowed Fox Valley back into the game. A pushover try gave Fox Valley their first points at the 30-minute mark before two more quick scores in the next 7 minutes brought them back to within two points.
At this point, Park was on their heels with several missed tackles putting themselves under undue pressure.
Right before the half-time whistle, Park edged away a little further. Park’s kickoff from the Maori last try was caught by McDowell and returned close to the Fox Valley line and when Park’s opponents were caught offside, Togher took a quick tap penalty to score.
In the second half, despite making changes, Park regained their earlier fluidity. Spurred on by a chippy, verbal Aeillo at scrumhalf, Park soon had the momentum in their favour. Another Huschen break was well supported by his No. 9 for his second try.
Kowalski moved the scoreboard and the pile of defenders to dive over from short range from another short tap penalty before new boy Pat split a couple of Maori scores scampering under the posts.
Schwartz completed the scoring returning what looked initially like a dropped kickoff, 80 yards for the try.
All in all, a well-deserved win for Park in a good performance despite the short let down at the end of the first half.
Team: Sowa (Olcum), Mullen (Harvey), Kowalski (Primdahl), Leyman, Baum (Adrian), McDowell (Hildreth), Jewell, Togher (Pat), Aeillo, Huschen, Rosenfeld, Frisch (O’Malley), Weed (Olander), Andrus (Piekawski), Ehlert
Try: Aeillo 2, Weed 1, Frisch 1, Togher 1, Kowalski 1, Pat 1, Schwartz 1
Con: Huschen 2 O’Malley 2