FDNY Defeats NYPD In Battle Of Badges
In what turned out to be a highly competitive and hard fought match, the FDNY and NYPD clashed in a battle for Rugby supremacy at Fort Tilden this past Saturday. Renewing their stories rivalry after a brief competitive hiatus, both sides turned in surprisingly polished performances, making for a wildly entertaining and exciting clash for bragging rights. The action went back and forth throughout, with the FDNY finally clinching matters in the closing moments.
The fireman came out blazing in the early going, running up a 14-0 lead. Strong forwards play and crisp passing by the fireman put the men in blue on their heels for the better part of the first stanza. Ron Kemley and Captain Steve Treco notched try’s for the Bravest, who appeared to have matters well in hand before the half. The Firemen started the second half strongly in a bid to put the cops on ice early. Scoring quickly, the Bravest appeared to have a comfortable 21-5 lead. They were mistaken. As has been the case whenever these two departments meet in any athletic contest, there was no quit in either side. The Finest came roaring back, with local ladies man Tyrone Sperling eluding a swarm of would be tacklers en-route to the end zone. Spurred on by McGiver and Burke, the Police continued their inspired play, with the Bravest unable to put the resilient Cops away. The teams traded scores again, but the momentum was clearly with the Finest who had roughly 15 minutes of clock time to pull off a stunning comeback victory. The Finest were pressing now, having closed the gap to 26-19 and dominating possession.
The firemen were now on their heels, realize the police were within one score of pulling even at 26. Stopping the Cops several times near the firemen goal line, the Bravest were given a reprieve when the Cops committed an ill-advised off sides penalty. Kevin Wrafter kicked the Fireman out of trouble, allowing the Bravest to re-group in better field position. Going back to the punishing forward play that had yielded so many dividends early on, the Fireman used the big men of the scrum to advance in small but steady increments. Scott the "Bowling Ball" Annicelli, Phil Tufano and Pete Connolly moved the ball with devastating efficiency enjoying strong support and textbook rucking from the Bravest pack. Scrumhalf Danny Wet zel then scooped up the ball from be hind a Bravest ruck and scampered 20 meters for the clinching score. Wrafter kicked the conversion, bringing the count to 33-19. Referee Kermit Egan than blew the whistle bringing an end to a hard fought and well-played match.
The Rockaway Fishheads Rugby Club will begin their spring season on the road on March 20th at Governors Island, when the compete in a spring opening tournament hosted by the Village Lions Rugby Club. All Fisheads’ home matches will be played at Fort Tilden.
The Fisheads would like to thank parade coordinator Michael Benn and his staff (especially Fishead legends Tom Ray, Ed "Big Daddy" Shevlin, and Big John Murphy) for another outstanding job on this years parade. The Fisheads would also like to thank the men and women of the 100th precinct for helping to make the day a fun and safe event. Special congratulations to Deputy Grand Marshals and friends of the Fisheads Bryan Bernath and community activist F. Diamond Walker.