Pelham faces old rival Manhattan on spring break weekend; U16s win, U14, U12 squads drop squeakers

Pelham traveled to Randall’s Island Sunday to meet their oldest rival, Manhattan Rugby. The schedule maker was not kind, as this was the first weekend of spring break for Pelham and important players were missing.

The U12 team had only eight players compared to 24 for Manhattan. The U12s played three periods and did a fantastic job holding off the waves of players Manhattan brought on. Pelham was leading after two periods but ran out of steam in the third period and lost by two tries. It was a very close game given the Manhattan’s numerical advantage.

The U14s were also missing some key players. But they played their closest game in a while, eventually losing by single try. It was a very even back-and-forth match. Unfortunately, like last year when these two played in Brooklyn, Manhattan’s best player came through for them. The final score was 7 tries to 6, with the Manhattan center scoring 5 tries, a great performance by him. Pelham had a pretty rounded game with contributions from many players.

Coming off a bizarre “win” against Rockaway, Pelham’s U16 team spoke about redeeming themselves all week. The last time these two teams faced off Pelham won by 1 try. Pelham were missing seven of their starters due to injury and vacation. The game started out like Pelham might run away with it, as the White Squirrels grabbed a quick 3-0 lead. Manhattan got back into the game and led 5-4.

At this stage, Pelham’s two captains took control of the game, and after the half, started the comeback by taking on Manhattan where they looked to be strongest, right up the middle. The two men of the match, captains North Westall and Luke Persanis, led the team. North scored 3 tries, and Luke scored 2 while setting up Cian Burns and Ryan Killeen for their tries. Pelham eventually wore down Manhattan to win 11 tries to 7.