Baker Field, Columbia University, New York, NY - In a high-scoring match during which the complexion constantly changed, host Old Blue held off a late second-half Monmouth of New Jersey surge to post a 35-29 win and claim the Met NY RFU Division I Club Championship.
Old Blue wing Pete Jordan led all scorers with three tries.
The first half was highly competitive, with the two sides scoring three unconverted tries apiece, leading to a 15-15 halftime deadlock.
Wing Pete Jordan opened Old Blue’s account in the 10th minute, going 22 meters to score the first of his three tries, 5-0. Monmouth answered in the 25th minute when flyhalf Evan Fitzgerald scored a try between the posts 5-5.
Old Blue surged ahead in the 30th minute when scrumhalf Jorge Pizarro touched down, 10-5. Monmouth replied three minutes later when 280-pound lock Raj Edwards broke a number of tackles as he fought his way into the try zone from 20 meters out, 10-10.
Monmouth took its first lead in the 40th minute when hooker Nick Luccarelli went in for a corner try following a penalty against Old Blue 10 meters from its own line, 15-10 Monmouth.
After hammering on Monmouth’s line for a good three minutes, Old Blue wing Adam Finnegan scored in the corner, bringing the halftime score to 15-15.
Old Blue completely dominated the game’s third quarter, scoring 20 unanswered points before Monmouth staged a fourth quarter rally.
Fullback Luke Hume started Old Blue’s second half surge nine minutes after the restart with a 40 meter, try-scoring run, 20-15. Wing Pete Jordan followed a minute later with an unassisted, 50-meter breakaway try (his second) that Luke Hume converted, 27-15.
Jordan collected his third try in the 14th minute (32-15) and a penalty goal by Luke Hume in the 22nd minute extended Old Blue’s seemingly insurmountable lead to 35-15.
Instead of folding, however, Monmouth mounted a commendable comeback, starting with a penalty try in the 28th minute that Joe Lucarelli converted, 35-22.
Dominating the run of play, Monmouth was on the attack for the remainder of the match. Their efforts were again rewarded in the 37th minute when the ball came out during loose play 15 meters from Old Blue’s line and wing Kevin Kuestelski touched down in the corner.
Nick Luccarelli’s conversion brought the final score to Old Blue 35, Monmouth 29.
Old Blue 35
Tries: Jordan 3, Pizarro, Finnegan, Hume
Tries: Fitzgerald, Edwards, N Lucarelli, Penalty Try, Kuestelski
Convs: N Lucarelli, J Lucarelli
Referee: Paul Bethe