ELIZABETHTOWN - On Saturday April 11, the Adirondack Barkeaters U19 Boys Rugby Football Club began their 2009 campaign in the Vermont Youth Rugby Association by hosting the Mad River RFC from Warren, VT at Willsboro.
The Barkeaters, who finished second in the State of Vermont last year, started the season with many new faces. However, second year player Ryan Turgeon (Peru) started off the season well by scooping a loose ball 40 meters out from the try line and evading several Mad River defenders on his way to the try zone. Flyhalf Forrest Morgan's (Saranac Lake) conversion attempt sailed wide, but the Barkeaters were up 5-nil five minutes into the match.
Moments later Morgan crashed from the number one slot and broke Mad River tackle after tackle to plow his way into the try zone. His conversion attempt was successful.
On the ensuing kickoff Mad River booted the ball right into the hands of Scrumhalf Caleb Sheets (Mooers) who raced from 60 meters out to shock the opposition and place the ball between the posts. Morgan converted.
It seemed as if the rout was on, however Mad River stiffened with help from Jake Selig of Plattsburgh State, who from the number eight position, deftly performed an eight-man pickup to tighten the score at 19 to 7 at the half.
The second half was a back and forth battle as Fullback John Leff (Lake Placid) joined the line between the centres and showed a fine blend of strength and speed busting tackles and outpacing defenders into the try zone. Morgan converted. 26-7 Barkeaters.
Mad River charged back, led by Selig, to push through two unanswered, unconverted tries to tighten the game at 26-17. As Mad River kept applying pressure in the ruck a dropped ball was recovered by a tenacious Morgan who sprinted from midfield to squelch Mad River's momentum at 33-17.