November 14, 2009
In our final match of the season and of the 2009 year, Happy Valley traveled to Warrenton Virginia to face the first place Warrenton Marauders.
Warrenton was undefeated and a win guaranteed them first place in the PRU. A Baba win would guaranty us a seed in the playoffs.
The game was played on a smaller field with slight slope to one end, which Deerhunter (with a gentle reminder from the opposition) chose to go downfield in the 2nd half. We received the kickoff and ran some good phase ball, showing the intensity of the game. About 5 minutes in a pass was missed by Andy Haines, and Matt Langston was covered by defenders and Warrenton took control, working the ball down several phases before finally putting the ball down for the first try of the day, which they converted, 7-0 Warrenton.
The Baba’s came back strong, with good phase ball, hard running by George Long and Jeremy Bischoff with some support by Matt Langston who set the ball in the corner and we were now tied, as Patrick Kiely converted.
The game was hard hitting with some good defense by the Baba forwards and play was fast. The scrums settled down with the front row of Henry Nguyen, Brett Bissinger and Andy Haines keeping pace with a very good Warrenton scrum. About 15 minutes in though some mishandled ball in the backline resulted in another Warrenton turnover, which their fullback took down the sideline and scored the second try of the day. It was converted and we are down 14-7. A few minutes later, Warrenton was awarded a penalty kick for killing the ball, and they converted, we are now down 17-7.
The Baba’s played a bit panicked the rest of the half, with some poor communication in defense and trying to do too much with the ball in contact. Several drop balls and turnovers resulted in us giving Warrenton more opportunity. While hard running by Drew Funk and Schweppe kept Warrenton on its back foot, we could not get good ball to get it out wide. With about 10 minutes left in the half, an errant pass resulted in another Warrenton try, which was not converted and we are now down 22-7.
The end of the first half saw a great lineout won by Jack Ambler, with George and Jud Millar in support was driven to the Warrenton 5 m line, but a hands in resulted in a Warrenton penalty, which they cleared and the half was over.
At halftime, leaders of the Baba’s urged the team to play with their heads and not their hearts. We came out with some substitutions, as Pete Steinberg, longtime Baba came in for Ethan Ray, who moved to the backline, and Patrick went out for Chris. The second half saw better play for the Baba’s as we made several attempts for our 2nd try, with some good rolling mauls but the Warrenton defense was taut. Finally, Deerhunter took off on of his rolling runs and we scored to get a bit closer, 22-12. About 20 minutes left in the game, Warrenton took yet again another turnover and worked their ball out to the outside centre who scored the final try for the day, and Warrenton converted 29-12. While we were down, we continued to try to scoot the ball in, as tough runs by Steve Trialons, Jack Ambler and John Flude, who came in for Brett at halftime, tried to penetrate the try zone, but to no avail. With about 15 minutes to go, several substutions were made as it appeared we were not going to beat the best team in the union. Finally the whistle blew and the game was over 29-12. We played gallantly, especially the 2nd half, but our turnovers and mis-communication killed us.
Barbarisms- Man of the Match was George Long. Flude had some great hits as he played the last 14 minutes at Wing. Thanks to Pete for coming out and especially all those guys who traveled to support but did not play- Thank you, you are good teammates. Warrenton will host Roanoke in the spring, and West Potomac finishes 2nd place and plays at Lehigh Valley. Wton at least gave us free beer after the match.