Above: John Griffiths evades a Delmarva RFC defender before dotting down the try. (Photo: Andy Wagner)
Lion Kings Hit Lower Slower Delaware for Match and Merriment
Young legs of Delmarva RFC prevail, 42-24, in high-flying contest
Saturday, May 2: Village Lions 24, Delmarva 42
A stunning 40 active old boys schlepped several hours to Dewey Beach, Delaware, to face off against Delmarva RFC on May 2. In a free-flowing match that featured three halves to accommodate the multitude of players, the impressive wheels of the young Delmarva players earned a 42-24 win for the locals.
Southern Delaware is known to the locals as “Lower Slower Delaware,” and the Lion Kings’ “LSD Trip” motto was the Leary-esque “Tune in, knock on, sub out” (runner-up slogan: “We get lower, and we’re definitely slower”). The match was held at an American Legion post in Millsboro, and the 35-and-older Lion Kings outplayed their Delaware counterparts in the set pieces, had the penalty count vastly in their favor, and owned much of the possession. But Delmarva’s recent efforts to raid a semi-pro football team for talent had been successful, and after turnovers, the speedy backs were too hard to corral in the open field.
Lion Kings tries went to winger John Griffiths, loose forward Alex Kallmann, scrumhalf Eric Anahory, and winger Ray Abruzzi, with Goose pitching in a couple of conversions. Man of the Match honors were seized by Ron Guzman for several impressive rambles around the pitch, as well as the hit of the day, which sent his opponent into tremors and quite unfairly sent Ron to the sin bin for 10 minutes.
Lions came from far and wide for the match, with ’90s Lion Greg “Gator” Faherty flying in from Seattle, Georgie “Godzilla” Rohloff flying up from Florida, and late ’80s Lion Mike “Just Mike” McKeon driving in from Cleveland, along with Lions vets Adrian McDermott and Martin Doughty making the trip from Washington.
“It was an amazing thing to see Lions representing every single generation of the club dating all the way back to 1989,” said tour leader and Village Lions Hall of Famer “Cherry” Mike Steavenson. “I don’t think I’ve ever been part of a Lions tour that blended such a wide array of personalities quite so awkwardly and unsuccessfully.”
The Lion Kings had been scheduled to play the South Jersey old boys in Delaware, but when South Jersey’s young guys had their playoff match moved up to May 2, the old boys were not up for the road trip, and so the Kings agreed to play the fit and fast Delmarva side.
After the match, the Lion Kings retired to the many Dewey Beach bars along Route 1 for some well-deserved beers and laughs.