A week after a preseason hitout vs. local Harrisburg and Shippensburg sides, Old Gaelic hosted South Jersey for its first league match of the season. Similar the week before, the hosts were able to move the ball well but saw early-season handling errors leaves some tries on the board.
However, after some calmer sustained play prop Sergio Acala punched in the game’s first score from the right-hand corner. He was followed by veteran lock Alex Diegel who picked after a strong OG attack and found some space off the fringe to beat the defense.
Rookie lock Pat Connolly then notched the next one off a Bronze following some sustained “Tres” play deep in South Jersey territory. Next up, an OG counter off of a South Jersey clearance found Acala, who took a whole three minutes (according to The Sir’s watch) to take the ball the final 60 meters for the emphatic half-ending try.
Old Gaelic put its stamp on the match early in the second half when, following an adjustment in the lineout to counter the visitors’ “sack” defense, Townsend alertly picked and went around the ruck for the hosts fifth try of the match. With a fresh crop of reserves , OG put the game away with tries from Schaefer, Acala’s third, another from Schaef, and a fancy pair of boots from reserve center Xavier Fangmeyer to pop a low pass up and finish a crafty break from center/fly half Josh Robertson.
Acala took home Man of the Match, playing a complete game on defense. Matthew Leggett deftly did the dirty work at the back, cleanly chasing SJ kicks and calmly countering, to take home the Viking Hard Hat Award.
Congratulations to Fangmeyer, Connolly, center Conor Kelly, hooker Chris Shissler, prop Mike DeFreitas, and lock JT Hammond for earning your first OG A-Side Caps.
Next up: It’s a rare double bye week due to a scheduling quirk, then a big away match versus Philly-Whitemarsh on October 8.