Oct 25th, 2009 by The MCRC
Another shutout weekend for The MCRC – overcoming UMO by 41 points. This marks our 4th consecutive shutout. Next weekend we will be hosting the New England Championships as the #1 seed and defending champions.
This weekend was a true test of character for Middlebury as they faced a team who had certain players willing to resort to illegal and dirty tactics – important to note that this was not true of the entire U-Maine team but the few culprits made for an unpleasant encounter to say the least. Driving wind, constant rain and 45 degree weather made for a tough day all round and tended to slow down our usually overwhelmingly fast play. Nonetheless, The MCRC took the lead within 3 minutes and never looked back.
Winger Zach Withers ’11.5 opens the scoring – finishing off a well-worked Middlebury play. Sirkia ’12.5 misses the first conversion – the prevailing weather conditions and muddy field making goal-kicking a nightmare. 5 – 0 Middlebury within 3 minutes of the kick-off.
10 minutes later the Middlebury forwards create the try of the day, turning a lineout into a brilliant rolling maul to go almost 20 meters down the park! 9 man Don Song ’13 spins out to Sirkia at fly-half – Sirkia pops to outside center Darragh Hurley ’11 on a beautifully angled run – try time! Sirkia converts to make it 12 – 0.
Down 12 points early in the game the U-Maine discipline takes a turn for the worse, committing several high tackles and a late hit. On the 18th minute a U-Maine player receives a yellow card for throwing an elbow. The send off was based on the malicious intent and not actually connecting the blow. Sirkia hits 1 of 2 penalty kicks resulting from UMO consecutive infringements in striking distance. The one kick Sirkia misses bounced off the upright and almost fell plum for Drew “Mouse Jr.” Harasimowicz ’11 to touchdown and earn his first try for the Blue…but his personal celebration will have to wait for at least one more week. 15 – 0 Middlebury.
Another UMO infringement resulted in a very serious and initially frightening injury to Middlebury outside center Darragh Hurley ’11. Hurley took the ball 10 meters out from the UMO try line on a crash ball. [Following incident description paraphrased from the referee's match report:] one UMO player came in high, initiating a head to mouth collision, simultaneously joined by another UMO player laying a shoulder to the runner in the ribs without an attempt to wrap. Darragh immediately began having a seizure, and the blood coming from the hit he took on his jaw resulted in him inhaling some blood, leading to difficulty breathing. Middlebury trainer Braden Rosenberg ’11, aided by assistant coach Ben Wells and EMT trained Middlebury players, Zach Withers ’11.5 and Brett Woelber ’09.5, did an incredible job getting Darragh breathing clearly again and stabilizing him until the ambulance crew arrived to take over. Hurley’s season has been cut short but he has been discharged with no further, major complications and the entire MCRC family is thankful to have Darragh out of the hospital and on the road to recovery.
It was great to see the Irishman’s sense of humor in action soon after the incident as he questioned the hospital staff’s decision to cut his prized #13 jersey instead of taking it off him in the traditional manner. His first concern after regaining consciousness: what’s the score?
Both Maine players receive yellow cards
for the dangerous play, giving Middlebury a 3 man advantage for about a minute (the elbow throwing UMO player still in the sin-bin). Colin Meany ’11 is brought on for Hurley and Sirkia slots home the resulting easy penalty kick once play is restarted. 18 – 0 Middlebury.
Before the end of the half Sirkia scores another penalty kick and Rowan Kelner ’12 scores a try right off a UMO kick-off. Chris Marshall ’11 fields the ball, makes a break down the right hand side, beating & breaking several tackles. Marshall dishes off to Withers on the wing who passes back inside to Rowan who lays the finishing touch. Halftime: 31 – 0 Middlebury.
Maine’s play improved in the second half as Middlebury eased off the gas, but the Blue were always in control of the game. Both teams used theif full line-up of subs and though not as severe the discipline issues continued with a Middlebury player receiving a yellow card for repeat infringements and a U-Maine player receiving a red card 10 minutes from the end for kicking Middlebury prop Vandergrift ’11 in the midsection after the whistle was blown.
Middlebury’s points in the second half came through unconverted tries: Rowan Kelner grabs his second of the game, finishing off another Midd pack maul, and substitute winger Kennedy Mugo ’12 diving home to round off the scoring after receiving the pass from captain Chris Mutty ’09.5 who unselfishly gives the assist instead of trying to drive home himself. 41 – 0 to Middlebury at the end of a game that the ref considered cutting short due to the indiscipline.
Line-up: Mutty, Woelber (Pappa), Vandergrift, Hinckley (AC Jones), Harasimowicz, N. Kelner, (Berriman), R. Kelner (Burleigh), Marshall, Song (Whitaker), Sirkia, Cahill, Leanos, Hurley (Meany), Withers (Mugo), Kalan
Points: Trys – Withers, Hurley, R. Kelner (2), Mugo; Penalty Kicks – Sirkia (4), Conversions – Sirkia (2)
Milestones: Sirkia misses his first penalty kick of the year