The Savannah Shamrocks traveled to Hilton Head Island to take on their archrivals the Gators. Hilton Head came into the game a surprising 0-1, after losing their season opener to Valdosta State on the road. The Shamrocks came into the game 1-0 after drubbing Golden Isles in their home opener but knew that Hilton Head can be a dangerous squad since they were the defending South Champions (finishing in the Elite 8 Nationals last year).
Taking over at captain for the game was loose-head prop Teri “Big T” Ransome and he had the Rocks pumped up for this one. The game opened with some sloppy play by both teams’ back lines which was possibly nerves but was more likely a function of the massive hits both teams were laying on each other. Neither team was able to gain a territorial advantage through much of the first half until the 30th minute when Savannah’s scrum-half, Gavin Rourke, was able to take advantage of a half gap in the Gator’s defensive line and touch down for the try, conversion by Tommy Moentmann (Savannah 7 – Hilton Head 0). Captain, Teri Ransome, was able to bowl his way through a few minutes later for a score in the 36th minute, unconverted (Savannah 12 – Hilton Head 0). The remaining minutes of first half would resemble the early first half with hard hitting, rucking and running without either team able to capitalize.
Halftime Score: Savannah 12 – Hilton Head 0
The second half would open much like the first half ended with both teams punishing each other with strong defense until the Gators’ fly-half was ablt to take advantage of a disorganized Shamrock back line for the try, conversion good (Savannah 12 – Hilton Head 7). This was the try that woke the sleeping Rocks and it was replacement hooker, Bruce Hicks, that supplied the spark. His hard-nosed running broke through the line in the 55th minute for a try under the post, unconverted (Savannah 17 – Hilton Head 7). Savannah’s forwards were inspired and begin rucking and running with renewed effort and rewarded again when flanker, Will Garnett, plowed through for a try in the 63rd minute, unconverted (Savannah 22 – Hilton Head 7). With both teams feeling the effects of a hard hitting game it was in the last ten minutes that Hicks displayed his fitness and punished the Gators with three consecutive try scoring runs in the 74th, 78th and 80th minutes. All were unconverted but all were amazing feats for a player to show the leg to close a game out like that in the closing minutes of a game. (Savannah 37 – Hilton Head 7). Congratulations to Captain Ransome in his first captaincy with the Rocks and to all the players who made the trip to knock off the defending South Champs with great road victory.
Final Score: Savannah 37 – Hilton Head 7