Boston rivals Mystic River and the Boston Irish Wolfhounds will face off Sunday for the Northeast RFU DI club championship after each won their semifinals Saturday at Pine Banks Park in Melrose, Mass.
The two teams won by similar scores, but in dissimilar fashion. Mystic ran away with their game early and New York only closed it late thanks to perseverance and some young Mystic subs.
Meanwhile, the Wolfhounds had all sorts of trouble shaking loose a tenacious Monmouth team.
Playing at their home ground, Mystic’s backs were virtually unstoppable in the first 40 minutes against New York, exploding for 45 points in the first half.
Mystic extended their lead to 50-0 before running on some young subs.
New York also figured out a little of what they needed to do, but it was too late. Mystic, led by Chris Tofte and Derrick Roma in the backs, and Chris O’Donnell up front, won 50-24.
“New York didn’t give up and they certainly kept coming at us,” said Mystic president Ted Vassallo. “Our backs were really good in the first half. On the turf it’s tough to match their speed.”
Meanwhile the Wolfhounds and Monmouth played in a back-and-forth battle. The Hounds never trailed, but came close. They took a 12-0 lead early, which Monmouth made 12-5. From then on the teams traded scored until it was 31-25 with time winding down. Only then was BIW able to stretch their lead to 41-25 and elicit some comfort from that cushion.
“Monmouth has a very midfield combination,” said BIW Head Coach Fergal Hehir. “They have some really good players. We wanted to beat them with the offload and that worked quite well. We scored several tries that way. But while I felt we were the better side, we couldn’t quite shake them.”
This brings forth a rematch of the top two teams in New England now playing for the top place in the Northeast.
“It’s been like this all season,” said Vassallo.
Mystic defeated the Boston Irish Wolfhounds 40-22 in their last meeting October 9.
Monmouth takes on New York for 3rd. Monmouth defeated New York 33-19 on October 15.