LPRFC D4 8 Silverbacks 5
Park had to dig deep into their reserves to defeat their divisional opponents after defeating the Silverbacks with a late come from behind rally last week.
This was an attrition game. Neither side yielded an inch. Every yard was fought hard, and breaks were few and far between.
Park suffered an early setback when Sampey went down to a dislocated ankle in only the 9th minute. A long delay waiting for the ambulance did nothing to lower the adrenaline pumping the the players.
Mainquist provided a physical presence in the early stages with some thumping tackles, while Panzica, despite his lack of size, was scything in his own tackle technique.
Thomas maintained Park’s offense structure and marshaled his back line and forwards, but the early going was mostly between the twenty-twos.
In the 28th minute, Jewell continued his fine scoring streak by finishing a well-worked team move by taking a wide pass out on the left.
Nicholas, Short, and McDonald gained valuable yards by simply maintaining possession up the middle, allowing their teammates to reorganize and regain momentum.
Park’s defense finally gave way to a powerful run from the Silverback’s No. 8 from the base of a short scrum.
The second half started off similarly.
Both teams worked hard to seize opportunities that were scarce. As new players entered the fray, no one took a step back. The tackling was fierce and frequently in groups of twos and threes. No player was left alone by his team.
A Thomas penalty in the 52nd minute gave Park a lead they would never relinquish.
Even when the scrum creaked, Park dug in their heels and fought until the end.
Twice, it appeared that they might have sealed the victory with a late try, but both times it was called back for a forward pass.
A goal line stance midway through the half was a game-changing moment.
The Silverbacks charged towards Park’s try line time and again, but Park repelled them. It was a moment of destiny.
Park had to negotiate one final scrum in the dying seconds, and just as it looked like the Silverbacks might get a steal, Lyons rescued the ball with his foot, and Thomas kicked it clear out of bounds for the win.
Team: Short (David), Nicholas (Rowley), McDonald, Maninquist (Patat), Foley (Lyons), Brown, Panzica (Stern), Jewell, Thomas, Olander, Rosenfeld, Barnett, Hoedeman, Sampey (Callovini), Carroll (Moran)
Try: Jewell 1
Pen: Thomas 1