Above: The Lions compete for a lineout against Lansdowne.
Saturday, April 11, 2015: Village Lions 65, Landsdowne 0
On a perfect spring day on Randall’s Island, the Lions took on Lansdowne for a wildcard spot in the Empire GU playoffs. Seeing the success of their D3 brethren in an earlier win over Princeton, the Lions came out fired up and ready to go.
The Lions took control right from the start, with flyhalf Hubert Chan blocking a kick inside the Lansdowne 22, recovering the ball, and dotting it down for the try. That was three minutes into the match, and the Lions did not look back from there.
It took the Lions 10 minutes to really hit their stride, and in the 19th minute the boys in the black and white began to pour it on. Lock Pat Christy led the scoring barrage with a quick tap from the 5-meter line for a try in the 19th minute. From there, it was take me home, country roads, as they say at Christy’s WVU.
Mean machine Joe Karlin added his own try in the 25th minute on a beautiful 70-meter run, followed by a Chan conversion, putting the Lions up 19-0. Following an excellent line break from Chris “20 meters” Wise, noted game recap author Alex Sheidler took a pop pass from Wise and ran in to add another score to the Lions’ total. Chan converted, as one does when the ball is placed nice and centered, and the Lions went up 26-0.
In the 39th minute, Chan popped a nice chip over the top of Lansdowne defensive line. Enter the Flash. Man of the Match Pokey Mullarkey jetted down the sideline to outrun both this author and the Lansdowne wing to touch one down in the corner and put the Lions at 31-0.
Here enters 8-man and beard enthusiast Franco DeLisa. On the ensuing kickoff, Christy fielded the kick and dished to DeLisa. The 70-meter run that followed was only a sign of things to come. DeLisa score, Chan conversion; Lions 38, Lansdowne 0.
Add one more penalty kick in the 40th minute and the Lions lead at halftime, 41-0. The first half was marked by excellent offensive play from the Lions, capitalization of Lansdowne errors, and suffocating, well-executed defense.
In the second half, the Lions did not let off the gas. Norm Dillon decided to wait 10 minutes or so before inflicting some Texas-size punishment on Lansdowne with a great run, score, and conversion, making it 48-0 Lions at the 50-minute mark minute. DeLisa was not done yet, folks — tries in the 65th and 68th minutes marked his hatty and secured him a date with a chandelier later that evening. Marco Turi, fresh out of the sin bin following a questionable yellow card for delay of game, scored in the 80th and final minute to end the day. Final score: Lions 65, Lansdowne 0.
The Lions dominated from the jump of this one. Excellent offense, strong defense, and a beautiful day with a great group of supporters on hand propelled the Lions to victory. Securing the No. 8 seed in the Empire GU playoffs, the Lions now travel to Buffalo on April 18.
Tries: Hubert Chan (1), Pat Christy (1), Joe Karlin (1), Alex Sheidler (1), Patrick Mullarkey (1), Franco DeLisa (3), Norm Dillon (1), March Turi (1)
Penalty kicks: Hubert Chan (1)
Conversions: Hubert Chan (4), Norm Dillon (2)
Lineup (1-15): Chris Mullen, Marco Camacho, JJ Darling, Patrick Christy, Oliver Smith, Danny Shea, Joe Karlin, Franco DeLisa, Matt “Fuzzy” Mullen, Hubert Chan, Patrick “Pokey” Mullarkey, Chris Wise, Derry Herlihy, Norm Dillon, Alex Sheidler