Cleveland Match Report - 5-13-12
Written by Ian McNulty   

Cleveland Match Report - 5/13/12

NORFC Green 19 - 10 Cleveland

NORFC Green (B) is heading to the Final Four 

The long road that started last fall, led through the sandfly-bitten pitches of the Florida panhandle and more recently through termite-swarmed training in sticky Gretna today brought the NORFC Green squad to the USA Rugby D3 Elite 8.

Facing the Cleveland Rovers, New Orleans took the lead early and never relinquished it, steaming their opponents with a 19-10 victory. 

"The squad played hard, smart and stepped up to everything Cleveland could throw at us," says Green coach Trip McCormick. "We knew we deserved to be here, we proved decisively that we did and now we're off to the Final Four to represent our club and our city."

The game began on a slippery pitch in a constant drizzle, and with a prolonged New Orleans drive that set up the first penalty kick opportunity. We missed this and then Cleveland was on the offensive. 

A costly yellow card around minute 7 put us down a man with Cleveland in striking distance, and an offsides call gave them further help. But Green defense held and from a scrum Sid Blakemore kicked it out of trouble. Soon another good kick put us back in Cleveland territory, and a penalty set Jeff Ahlemeyer up for his second attempt, which was good to put New Orleans on the board 3-0.

Within a minute or so, Ahlemeyer was back at the tee on another penalty, raising New Orleans to 6-0 while still playing a man down. 

Action stayed in the Cleveland end for a while but a string of penalties against New Orleans this time slowed things down, and a determined run on the Cleveland end zone was fought off. But soon enough Ahlemeyer had another chip shot at the uprights, raising New Orleans to 9-0 as one of the Cleveland forwards was yellow carded.

A New Orleans knock on from the next kick off set Cleveland up for a drive behind our 22, but a stolen scrum and kick to touch ended the half with Green up 9-0.

After the restart, New Orleans penalties and hard Cleveland drives conspired to put the opponent behind the Green 22 again and about 5 minutes into the half they scored a try, no conv, to make it 9-5.

But, from the next kick off, New Orleans stole the ball deep in Cleveland territory and though it would change hands twice the phases ended with Sid Blakemore leaping in for a try, trailing defenders. Ahlemeyer's conv made it 16-5.

The fact that is was still anyone's game was painfully clear to both sides, especially as Cleveland came knocking again, courtesy of good line out play and New Orleans penalties. But determined New Orleans pressure on the defense kept their attacks from gelling. Particularly impressive, once a good kick got Cleveland on the New Orleans goal line, Green held up a try and then mounted a prolonged goal line stand until Cleveland errors gave us a chance to kick it away. 

Persistence was rewarded a few phases later when a broken Cleveland play set Ahlemeyer up again at the tee to extend the Green lead to 19-5.

With time running down, Cleveland marched in a try, no conv, to narrow things to 19-10. 

But it came too late to change the outcome which saw New Orleans victorious and Final Four bound.

Halftime Score - New Orleans B 9 - 0 Cleveland

Final Score - New Orleans B  19 - 10 Cleveland

New Orleans Green
1) Mason Briant; 2) Tony Breaux; 3) Jerry Zifodya; 4) Seth Magden; 5) Miles Kipper; 6) Carter O'Brien; 7) Jayson Deleaumont; 8) Peter Bell; 9) Casey Mackintosh (c); 10) David Buckingham; 11) Andrew Barlow; 12) Eric Mackintosh; 13) Sid Blakemore; 14)  Matt Marin; 15) Jeff Ahlemeyer; 16) Ryan Lowe; 17) Mike Gibbs; 18) Dmitry Pritykin; 19) Eric West; 20) Todd Fitzgerald; 21) Joe Palermo; 22) Brad Guarisco; 23) Ian McNulty 
Tries (1): Blakemore
Cons (1): Ahlemeyer (1 for 1) 

Pens (4): Ahlemeyer (4 for 5)
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