Rockaway Wins 27th Annual 7’S Tournament
The hometown boys, the Rockaway Fisheads, won the 27th annual Rockaway 7’s tournament earlier this summer, with a dramatic come from behind victory over local rivals Long Island RFC.
The Fisheads fielded three sides in the 32-team tournament this year, which also saw numerous Rockaway residents playing on the FDNY rugby side. Led by incumbent captain, the astute Jim "Kermit" Egan, the Fisheads sported an exclusive "locals" only side featuring the likes of rising stars Brendan Lunny and Matt "Head" Frank; as well as Spike "son of Pudgie" Walsh, Flippy "son of Flip" Mullen, Nick Brucella, Barry Cowhead, teen heartthrob Tyrone Sperling, and of course legendary rugby immortals Brian and Mike Geraghty
The Fisheads cruised through the preliminary rounds of the tournament with easy victories over Long Island B and the US Army. Ball Movement and patience were stressed in the early rounds as captain Egan professed his 7’s strategies on the team. Egan a well-known bodybuilder, is more than just muscle and brawn, his innovative and tactical approach to the game is renowned within the rugby community.
Early in the day, it became apparent that divisional rival Long Island would be the toughest competition the Fisheads would face. This theory proved true when Long Island defeated Rockaway in the 3rd round of the tournament. Due to highest point total, Rockaway received the bye into the playoff round and easily defeated D 1 opponent New York RFC; setting up a rematch in the final against Long Island.
After falling behind 12-7, the Fisheads started to control play. Former Eagle and Cortland State graduate Boner Geraghty dug out plenty of ball from the rucks and mauls and had it out to fleet footed backs Lunny and Mullen; after the knotting the score at 12 apiece. Lunny was able to find space down the left side line and out juke two defenders for the go ahead score. With plenty of back and forth action keeping the huge crowd cheering, a well rested Mike Geraghty powered his way into the try zone for the games final tally; securing victory for the locals.
In the plate division, long time participants the Caribbean Cougars were winners defeating the FDNY in the semis and the Xavier Old Boys in the final. Worcester rugby from New
England won the women’s bracket defeating heavily favored New York.
The Rockaway RFC would like to thank all those who participated or attended this year’s tournament, including Gateway/Ft. Tildens Christine Hefner and Rita Mullaly who helped organize the event. Special thanks goes to all tournament sponsors including Connolly’s, The Irish Circle, Rockaway Sunset Diner, RnR Con- struction, and the Wave.
The post tournament party was postponed an hour as the Fisheads helped Robbie O and Joanna clean up the flood caused by Rat and Ooch diving into their hottub. Tyronne Sperling gave John McCann a lesson in hockey fighting 101 at the clubhouse party. Best dressed at the party was a three way tie between Boners WW2 outfit, Spike Walsh’s hillbilly get up, and McGyvers plaid pants.
Congratulations to MVP Brendan Lunny, who graciously accepted his award at the post tournament party and chatted up the crowd for awhile. Lunny thanked chairman John McCann for teaching him so much about the game, especially, on field behavior and sportsmanship.
Three cheers to the cougars, winners of the late night dance contest. The Fisheads would also like to thank Tippy Tipaldo, Ooch Boyland, Kyle Reeves, Ratman, Timmy Kelly, and Father Rugby Dennis Brady for making the tournament a huge success; as well as Marty Andriessen and John Donaghue of Rockaway L.L, for again offering their help throughout the day.