FDNY Plays Well But Falls Short at 7’s Tourny
The FDNY Rugby club consisting of many Rockaway Fisheads reached the finals of the New York 7’s tournament Heroes division at Randalls Island on Thanksgiving weekend. Along the way to the show, the Bravest defeated the Stockholm Police (42-5), the Indianapolis Fire Dept. (37-10), and the Cleveland Fire Dept. (17-12).
The heroes division originated three years ago and is made up of teams from Emergency Service and the military.
This year the FDNY team consisted of local players such as Jimmy Coyne, Arthur Fitzpatrick, John Francis O’Connor, Robbie Ostrander and Phil Tufano and Bob Johnson. Wave editor Elio Velez was also on the team roster and served as Asst Coach under head coach Jimmy the K.
The highlight of the day for the Bravest was their match with long time friends the Cleveland Fire dept. The friendly rivalry between the FDNY and Cleveland goes back more than a decade as the two teams have faced each other numerous times at the World Games and have also joined forces in other tournaments over the years.
After falling behind 7-0 early on, The Bravest battled back after an earth shattering tackle by Phil Tufano on Cleveland Captain Jason Fox. Moments later a fit and dry Arthur Fitzpatrick scampered through an opening in the defense and tied the score. Late in the second half with the score again tied at 12, Dan Wetzel of the FDNY fed the ball out to Johnny Oak who found a bursting John McCluskey for the winning points. Afterwards there was much rejoicing.
The finals were not a close match as a Marine Unit from Lehigh Valley dismantled the smoke eaters quickly and in impressive fashion. All in all it was a good day.
The annual Rugby Christmas Party will held at the Clubhouse on Beach 113 Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard on Sunday, December 19 at 12 p.m. Santa OOch arrives at 1 p.m. All friends, families and associates of the Fisheads are welcome to attend.