The Savannah Shamrocks came out hungry this past Saturday to prove a point following a bitter loss to the rivals from Hilton Head the week before and did so in grand fashion in their first home match of the season. While inspired to show up early for the game, the Shamrocks had only 17 eligible players for this home affair due to several starters nursing injuries on the sidelines. However, all 17 men suited up and played significant minutes enroute to a rare shut out of the visitors from across town. The scoring action opened up in the first 10 minutes when newly acquired hooker, Solomon Ball took a 5-meter penalty run in to score in the corner (unconverted) for a early 5-0 lead. The Shamrocks kept pressure on and continuously denied good ball to the Armstrong attack keeping them deep in their own territory. In the 22nd minute, 8-man Greg “Woody” Woodruff touched down after breaking several tackles (conversion by Midgett) to make the score 12-0. Only two minutes later Ball scooped up a loose ball from the back of a Shamrocks ruck and rolled 15 meters untouched to score under the post (conversion by Midgett) making the score 19-0 . The Shamrocks kept up the intensity in their rucking and within minutes were back in scoring position. A narrow miss at an opportunity out to the wing resulted in a lineout to Armstrong which was stolen by Aaron Glascock and after several strong forward crashes, Woodruff was once again able to score carrying two Armstrong defenders with him (unconverted) making the score 24-0 in the 30th minute. With the half winding down and Armstrong backed into their own try zone an ill-timed pass between a forward and their fly half was intercepted by the Shamrocks flyhalf, Matthew Midgett, and touched down immediately for the try in the 36th minute (conversion by Midgett) making the score 31-0.
Halftime Score Savannah 31 – Armstrong 0
The halftime speech was a far cry from the one experienced just weeks ago but Coach Ian Hastie reminded the men of Savannah that they would be judged on their second half efforts not the first half score. Despite the rain coming down in 40 degree tempratures, the Shamrocks spirits were lifted when it was noted that only one side of the field had been damaged during the 1st half and the forwards made it their goal to tear up the other side equally by the end of the match. In the 45th minute, Ball – acting as the spark plug the club so desperately needed, again rolled through the Armstrong defense for his third try of the match (unconverted) making the score 36-0. The backline of the Shamrocks was not to be outdone and after finding it difficult to break the aggressive Armstrong backline in the 1st half, moved the ball quickly out to reserve inside center, Chad Cooley, in space for a long 30 meter try scoring run (conversion by Midgett) making the score 43-0. As fatigue became an issue for the Shamrocks the rucking began to struggle; however, pressure and solid scrummaging kept Armstrong deep in their own end of the field. In the 55th minute sloppy ball came from the back of a ruck but was cleaned up by Midgett who made two backline defenders miss on his way to a try under the posts from 10 meters out (conversion by Midgett) making the score 50 -0. Minutes later the Armstrong players found themselves with a 10 meter lineout deep in their own end again. This time the throw went long and directy into the arms of a waiting Woodruff who was able to dive in almost untouched for his third try of the game (unconverted) making the score 55-0. Solomon Ball was not to see his day finish without another chance at pay dirt and his aggressive running style was again rewarded as he took a crash ball from Kamoe Fonmanu into the try zone for his 4th try of the game (conversion by Midgett) making the score 62-0. Late in the game, with handling errors by both teams, a 5-meter scrum was awarded to the Shamrocks after Armstong took the ball into their own try zone making it dead. A strong scrum allowed Woodruff to pick the ball up and break yet another tackle scoring his 4th try of the game also (unconverted) making the score 67-0. With the clock winding down a final scrum was held at the Armstrong 5-meter line and despite Armstrong’s best efforts the scrum was wheeled and the referee made the decision to blow the game up. A well fought victory by the men in green defending Forsyth Park with a rare shut out. Strong defense was played by all and it was rare for the opposition to have any possession in Shamrock territory all match.
Final Score: Savannah 67 – Armstrong 0
|10||Matt Midgett (c)|