2003-11-07 / Sports

Fisheads Take Manhattan, Earn Playoff Spot

By Bob Johnson
Fisheads Take Manhattan, Earn Playoff Spot By Bob Johnson

Rockaway Rugby completed their season last week with a huge win over the Manhattan rfc (57-17). Despite the absence of several key players, the Fisheads stormed out to an early lead and then cruised to their biggest win of the season. Led by a possessed and almost maniacal performance by flanker Stratford Adams of New Zealand, the Fisheads put on a display of shear rugby brilliance. A stellar performance was also had by man mountain Phil "Shrek" Tufano whose ferocity was felt throughout the day by the unfortunate Manhattanites.

The day started as per usual for these knucklehead Fisheads as the youngsters took the morning off, leaving field duty chores to the veteran players with wives, families, and multiple jobs, who really have nothing better to do; but this is par for the course here on the penninsula as any native will tell you. After a few warmups, the gang stood around waiting for a hooker(rugby term) to show up before deciding on Lionel from the Cougars who was dressed for February.

Despite these distractions Rockaway pounced on their opponent using their great advantage in the size department. After only 5 minutes, the Great Tufano peeled off a midfield ruck and rumbled up field leaving would be tacklers in his path. Following right behind was Stratty who was more than happy to take the ball off him and go the rest of the way. This would be the first of 4 tallies for Stratford who seemed hell bent on catching up to his buddy Nigel in the scoring category.

After going up 14-0, the Forwards finally let the backs play with the ball a little bit. Captain and rugby philosopher Kermit Egan had arranged a backfield that consisted of the power of the very sizable John O’Connor as well as the cunning skills of Kevin Wrafter and Real Jim Coyne. Playing in the backs is always a lot more fun when your forwards are controlling the ball, so long runs were had by all including Danny Lunny, Brian Dwyer, and Tyrone Sperling. By halftime, the score was 21-7.

The rest of the match saw the Fisheads put on a great show for the crowd as the entire team got in on the action. Tries were scored by: Chris Cingari, Big Bill Kelly, and two more scores were tried by Stratty. The final score was 57-17; earning the Rockaway their first playoff berth in 7 years.

The B game saw quite an array of ruggers take the field,as no less 20 fisheads and 5 Cougars were dressed and ready to play. Field Captain Tippy Tipaldo had many weapons in his arsenal including Tom"Hang Loose" Twomey, Sean"the Man" Callohan, Chris Callohan, Trevor Tubridy (and his entourage) Tom Kelly’s husband, Donny Teahan, and the kid with the Mohawk. Despite some great ball movement, the b babies were unable to come away with a victory.

Special thanks to Carib Cougars Oscar (A&B), Mark, and Lou Gossett Jr. who all played excellent in the B game. Rumor has it that Mike Jacobs will be putting away the whistle and pulling the boots out for next season.

Ruggers Pluggers

The Fisheads world famous century club party is returning this year on November 21st..This year’s gala event will be held at the renowned San Marcos Restaurant owned by Mikey and Brian Geraghty at 12 St. Marks Place in Manhattan.  Tickets are available on line at Rockawayrugby@ aol. com.or by calling the clubhouse at 718 474-1725.  A grand prize of $2500 will go to the final ticket holder.

The price of $120 admits 2 to open bar and buffet, starting at 9pm. The party will also include an awards ceremony. All fans and friends of the Fisheads are welcome to attend. Plans for a bus leaving the Irish Circle are also in the works. Ask Oakie on Friday afternoons.

The Fisheads would like to send a very happy Birthday to Wave Managing Editor Howard Schwach.

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