Savannah 15 – Hilton Head 45

The Savannah Shamrocks dropped to 1-1 on the season after a tough defeat at the hands of Hilton Head on the road.  The game kicked off unusually late due to refereeing conflicts and the boys from Savannah made their way up to Hilton Head Island for the 4:00pm kickoff this past Saturday but never really showed up until the second half. 

Right from the opening whistle the Shamrocks were put on their back foot by hard running from the Hilton Head backline.  Poor tackling coupled with the inability to retain possession saw Hilton Head streak across the try line first (unconverted) for a 5-0 lead.  Minutes later another strong run by Hilton Head saw them go up quickly on the men from Savannah (unconverted for a 10-0 lead.  All attempts to move the ball forward for the Shamrocks were thwarted by strong scrummaging from Hilton Head and hard tackling in across the field.  Hilton Head notched their third try when they chipped the ball across the field which was allowed to bounce and was scooped up by the Hilton Head full back who raced in for yet another early try in the half (unconverted) giving Hilton Head a 15-0 lead.  The Shamrocks played the remainder of the 1st half in a daze and never fully recovered from the opponing onslaught.  Hilton Head retained possession of the ball for much of the first half and dotted over three more consecutive tries on Savannah (one conversion) for a halftime lead of 32-0.

Half Time Score: Hilton Head 32 – Savannah 0

Complete shock from the men of Savannah could best describe the halftime break.  Rarely having been down by this deficit the club was somewhat lost for words and was simply compelled to come out in the 2nd half and play for pride.  The second half was thankfully a different story from the 1st half.  Decidedly better rucking and tackling sparked an early 2nd half try for the Shamrocks when inside center, Chad Cooley, was able to out race a disorganized Hilton Head backline for the try (unconverted) making the score 5 – 32.  Five minutes later the Shamrocks were again pressing forward into Hilton Head territory when several quick forward crashes were ultimately converted into the second try of the day, this time by scrumhalf, Kamoe Fonmanu (unconverted) making the score 10 – 32.  Just when things appeared to be turning the corner for the Shamrocks the ensuing quick off was taken in the air by an aggressive Hilton Head forward and three quick passes later saw them answer with try of their own (unconverted) making the score 10 – 37.   The Shamrocks were not to go away a easily though and after several big runs by the backline were able to convert a quick tap penalty from five meters out when flyhalf, Matt Midgett, darted through untouched for the try (unconverted) making the score 15 – 37.  The previous passages of play had apparently taken all the steam out of the Shamrocks comeback effort because once again the ensuing kickoff was fielded in the air by Hilton Head’s forwards and Shamrocks were put on the defensive.  Prolonged possession by the Hilton Head attack ultimately lead to their final try of the day when the touched down for five (unconverted) making the score 15 – 42.  A late penalty against the Shamrocks with only seconds remaining was taken by Hilton Head and was good pushing the final score to 15 – 45.   All in a all a very disappointing effort by the Shamrocks.  A lot of hard work will be necessary in the coming weeks to wash the bitter taste of this defeat from their mouths. 

Shamrocks Lineup

1 Ben Carrol
2 Rick Ventresca
3 Sean Coburn
4 Hank Lux
5 John Packard
6 Will Garnett
7 Aaron Glascock
8 Greg Woodruff
9 Kamoe Fonmanu
10 Matthew Midgett (c)
11 Bryan Rippee
12 Chad Cooley
13 Kevin McKenzie
14 Jacob Carpenter
15 Tyler Wend
Res Johnny Rea