Backyard Brawl is Back: Old Gaelic Hosts Local Teams for Neighborhood Friendly

Old Gaelic kicked off the Fall season with a Round Robin of Friendlies vs. Harrisburg RFC and Shippensburg University.

Following the opening kickoff, the Harrisburg 10 chose to clear the ball deep where it landed in the waiting arms of fullback Richard “Squirrel” Recordon. The fullback patiently surveyed, made a break, then dished to wing Alex Schaefer, who dusted his opposite number with a nifty inside out move, broke a tackle (#SkinnyStrong) then fed back to Recordon for the early lead.

Old Gaelic proceeded to dominate possession and territory with a strong pack and steady lineouts putting the attack on the front foot, but some rusty hands saw a number of scoring opportunities go begging. Schaefer eventually broke through on the wing again, then Lock/Resident Angry Old Guy Alex Diegel ran through some Harrisburg defenders before handing off to flanker Porter Miller who finished the job and dotted down OG’s third score.

After the offense stalled for a stand again, defense turned to offense as Schaefer poached his opposite number, scampered around the fringe of the ruck and took the ball the rest of the way into the try zone.

In closing out the first 40-minute period of the day, Recordon (moved up to 9 and Captain now) chose to strategically go for a touch and maul… errr…. practice defending the 5M dropout. It proved to be a wise choice, as Schaefer proved lethal on the wing again, returning the kick for the team’s fourth and final try.

Shoutouts to flankers Miller and Jeremy Fisher as well as centers Conor Kelly and Xavier Fangmeyer for setting the tone with big hits defensively, and Recordon for providing steady leadership from a number of positions.

With that session over, OG handed Frank Lentz Memorial Pitch off to Harrisburg and Shippensburg, who was a little short and accepted some helpful Old Gaelic hands to round out the squad. In a back and forth affair, the Shipp side sealed the deal with a 24-12 win.

In the third and final session, Harrisburg, Old Gaelic and Shipp combined to play some… 10-12s. That match was sealed dramatically as Recordon tracked a breakaway Big Rigg, who nearly broke it all the way before being caught by the speedy Shippensburg fly half who hasn’t even begun to peak. The veteran guile and still-faster-than-most-athleticism was on display as Squirrel calmly picked after what could only have resembled a pileup of industrial farming vehicles, and put the game away to end a great day for Central PA Rugby.

Next up: Old Gaelic returns to Double D Ranch for its first league match of the season, 9/17 v. South Jersey.

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