The undefeated Valley Forge Casino Philadelphia Fight knocked the Boston 13s out of the USARL 2014 competition on Saturday with a 50 – 26 blow that ended the 13s campaign and advanced the Fight to their third Championship Final in 4 years and the opportunity for back-to-back Championships when they play Jacksonville Axemen in Florida on August 23rd.
The win over Boston, the Fight’s last home-game for the season at A.A. Garthwaite Stadium in Conshohocken, was in perfect Rugby League conditions and in front of one of the biggest home crowds seen in Philadelphia for the Fight. Amongst the crowd were parents & grandparents who had traveled from Australia to bask in the glory of their undefeated children & grand-children playing for the Fight.
Attending the last two home games from Australia’s Gold Coast were Glenn and Janine Dawney, parents of the Fight’s five-eighth, Tom and second-rower Jackson Springer’s Father, Phil, and Grandfather, Alan. Also in attendance on Saturday, from Sydney, was Robert and Caroline Beasley, parents of the Fight’s centre and “Master of Ceremonies”, Joel.
The atmosphere was electric and exciting for the Fight fans and families. The Australian contingent of Dawney, Springer and second-rower, Rhys Bowdich played excellent Rugby League and showed a very professional performance in scoring two tries each. The Fight supporters had barely settled into their seats when the magic of Dawney and Springer was unleashed onto the unsuspecting opposition, with Tom stepping and fending off would be tacklers, accelerating to beat the cover defense and finding Jacko backing-up for the final pass and the opening 4-pointer of the match. With Dawney and Springer going on to score two tries each with Bowdich, Dawney picked up the Coach’s MVP award for an all-round performance that was a fine display of Rugby League in both attack and defense.
Dawney will receive $100 donation for his efforts from one of the Fight’s most courageous… 2009 Captain Ryan Douglas. ‘Dougo’ was one of the Fight’s initial Aussie import players that year and returned in 2011 to participate in the lead up to the club’s first Championship.
After Jacko’s try, Dawney scored one for himself. Then came tries from fullback, Roman Lowery and Springer’s second. Winger, Mike ‘Squirrel’ Timpano converted 3 of the 4 first quarter tries and the Fight lead 22 – 0 at the end of the first quarter.
Tries to Dawney, second-rower Rhys Bowdich and Captain Rich Henson, converted by Timpano, sent the Fight to the halftime break 40 – 4. Bowdich again proved an inspiration to the Fight with a high work rate in both attack and defense.
In the 3rd quarter, Bowdich scored his second try after an equally inspiring and rugged performance from veteran Kevin Wiggins. Playing at Prop these days, Wiggins showed little difference from his blistering best in previous years by taking the ball on his own try-line from the kick-off, pushing off and beating defenders for a bullocking 65 yard run, handing off to Bowdich to finish but never giving up his support all the way to the oppositions try line. Hooker, Jared Frymoyer repeated his last weeks effort, again slipping through the defense for the second 4 pointer of the quarter. The Fight lead 50 – 16 after Boston outscored them in this stanza as they did in the next. Boston posted 2 tries with a single conversion in the final quarter while the Fight could not find anymore more points. The final score 50 – 26.
Try Scorers: Tom Dawney – 2, Jackson Springer – 2, Rhys Bowdich – 2, Roman Lowery – 1, Rich Henson – 1, Jared Frymoyer – 1.
Goals: Mike Timpano – 7.
First Qtr: 22-0, 2nd Qtr: 40-4, 3rd Qtr: 50-16, 4th Qtr: 50-26