Randalls Island, New York, NY - On a bright, sunny fall day, with temperatures in the low 60s, the New York Athletic Club posted a comprehensive 53-17 win over long-time New York City rival Old Blue.
New York AC flyhalf Dave Neville led all scorers with 18 points from six conversions and two penalty goals, while five different players scored tries for the NYAC. Neville and Matt Cavataro formed a new-look halfback combo for NYAC, as their front-line players in those positions, Toby L'Estrange, Mike Petri, and Justin Hundley were out due to USA duty or injury. Old Blue flyhalf Adam Siddall was likewise held out.
The game started out as a tightly contested barn-burner, with NYAC holding only a five point lead (19-14) at the conclusion of the 51 minute first half.
The second half, however, was a different story. The New York AC opened the throttle after the break, outscoring longtime rival Old Blue 34-3, on its way to a 53-17 win.
The New York AC opened the scoring in the fifth minute, when wing Kyle Granby touched down an unconverted try at the conclusion of an 80 meter movement, 5-0. Old Blue responded three minutes later when flyhalf James Bird kicked the first of his four penalty goals from 47 meters, 5-3.
The two sides traded penalty misses in the 13th (NYAC) and 18th (OB) minutes.
In the 21st minute, James Bird’s 22 meter penalty goal gave Old Blue its only lead of the match, 6-5.
The NYAC regained the lead just one minute later (22nd) following the kickoff, when Cian Farrell scored near the posts and Dave Neville converted, 12-6.
Old Blue narrowed the margin in the 29th minute when they won a lineout four meters from NYAC’s line. Old Blue flanker and captain John Hoehmann drove in for the unconverted try, 12-11.
NYAC responded in kind when they won a lineout near old Blue’s line and #8 Al MacFarland drove in for a try that Dave Neville converted, 19-11.
After the two sides traded missed penalty goal in the 35th (AC) and 39th (OB) minutes, Old Blue’s James Bird notched his third penalty goal in the 41st minute, bringing the halftime score to 19-14.
The New York AC’s 34 point second half landslide began thirty seconds after the kickoff. Former Eagle prop Blake Burdette made a 40-meter break and passed to Granby on the wing, and he galloped the final 20 meters for his second try. Neville’s conversion stretched the AC lead to 26-14.
Old Blue’s final points came four minutes into the half when flyhalf James Bird notched his fourth penalty goal, from 24 meters out, narrowing the AC’s lead to 26-17.
From there to the end of the game, it was all New York AC.
A 30 meter penalty goal by Dave Neville in the sixth minute increased NYAC’s lead to 29-17.
A pushover try in the 9th minute by the AC’s Seth Cohen, at the conclusion of a drive from Old Blue’s 22, and Neville’s conversion, upped the AC’s lead to 36-17
A lineout win and a 60 meter break resulted in a try by the AC’s Cian Farrell in the 17th minute. Neville’s conversion pushed NYAC’s lead to 43-17.
Center Chris Chapman joined the AC scoring parade in the 20th minute when he touched down in the corner at the conclusion of a 60-meter movement. With Dave Neville’s conversion, NYAC’s lead went to 50-17.
The AC’s final score came on 21 meter penalty goal by Neville in the 30th minute, bringing the final tally to New York AC 53, Old Blue 17.
“We had a great game, with everyone stepping up,” said New York AC Coach Federico Rienhardt. “The intensity with which we played for 80 minutes was one of the best of our season. We played as a team. I’m really proud of the players. They deserved the win and should enjoy it. But we need to keep working hard to finish this part of the season strong against Boston in two weeks.”
New York Athletic Club 53
Tries: Granby 2, Farrell 2, MacFarland, Cohen, Chapman
Convs: Neville 6
Pens: Neville 2
Old Blue 17
Pens: Bird 4
Touch Judges: Buck, Griffith