Well, for all the complaining about a summer gone on too long, fall did finally arrive. It was not pleasant. But, boy, could it have been worse. As the Dragons laid in their beds on Friday night, dreaming about an undefeated season, the weather reports remained incredibly bleak. Not just the rain, but the wind, would prove to be formidable foes it would seem. As day broke it seemed inevitable that it would be a wet one. The majority of the men were at the pitch early to help root on our stellar Women’s side who were taking on their perennial rival, Harrisburg. While DWRFC fell short in a very closely matched game, the tone was set for a day of tough, muddy rugby. As the first game carried on the rain began to subside, and, the closer we got to the Men’s opening whistle at 1PM, the clearer the skies became. There was nothing anyone could do about the vast amount of standing water on the field but at least the rain and wind had died down. Like every Saturday, it was a great day for rugby, and, a great day to put a bow on a undefeated fall.
The opening kick, taken by Doylestown, did not quite go ten meters and Phoenixville was awarded a scrum at midfield. Upon put in, they were blown completely off the ball for a Doylestown steal. The backs swung it wide and call it an easy try sixty seconds in. Kevin Reilly Jr. with the 5, Dylan Hamilton with the 2.
Moments later, Doylestown was immediately back on the front foot with Eric French taking a penalty in from the 5 meter line after a series of great ball movement back and forth across the field by the entire squad. The next points came shortly after another quickly taken penalty. Eric French with the tap and the first yards, followed by the timely offload to Dave Kornock for the easy points in the corner. Not so easy for Hamilton, as he narrowly missed his second challenging kick in a row from out wide. The first 20 minutes weren’t without their spots of worry. There was a five- or seven-minute stretch where the Dragons were right on their own five meter line for phase after phase. Their patience and defensive discipline shone through. They weathered the storm, forced a turnover through a brilliant counter ruck, and swung the ball into the hands of Andy Decolli. He took on the only defender with a chance and put Matt Hartwell away for an 85 meter try. 29-0 after the successful conversion.
While the Dragons maintained the bulk of possession, the next ten minutes were relatively calm. A few big breaks by the Dragons failed to materialize into points, despite play staying in the Whitehorse end. The calm was broken by the first Senior Men’s try in the illustrious career of starting prop Alex Willouer. A product of the Doylestown Jr. RFC and Bloomsburg University Rugby, the United States Marine has been a workhorse for the club for years; since before the successes they enjoy today. His hard work paid off in a big way as he took a great support line off of Scott Neff and rumbled across the line with defenders draped over him. Conversion good. 36-0 Doylestown. The final points of the half rounded out a brace for Reilly Jr. The pressure had been consistent throughout the 40 minutes and the scoreboard reflected that in a big way. 38-0. The Dragons were resembling their Spring form as they dismantled the newly promoted D3 MAC Champs.
The second half started off much like the first, though not as quickly. All the same, it was Doylestown scoring the first 14 points. A try apiece from Dave Kornock and Scott Neff, and two made conversions from Hamilton. As the field conditions worsened, so did the style of play. Sloppy ball dictated much of the second half. Nevertheless, Dylan Hamilton, Scott Neff, and Kevin Hockings each scored great trys. Dylan Hamilton went 1-3 on his final three conversion attempts. Sandwiched within those scores were three well deserved trys from Whitehorse after a day of tough rugby with 2-3 conversions made.
All in all, it was a ugly day to see some beautiful rugby. The work put in every week by the Dragon players and coaching staff continues to shine on a weeky basis. Now, on to the Winter break! Training for the final two regular season games in the Spring and the ensuing hunt for the National Championship will have your Doylestown Men’s side hard at work in the chilly months. Keep your ears and eyes peeled for more news about team/club building opportunities in the offseason as well as fundraising and community service opportunities. Spring games are against Lehigh Valley and North Penn. Followed by The EPRU, MAC, and National Playoffs!