A small contingent of players (32) traveled to San Diego on Saturday to face long time rivals OMBAC for two matches under blue, sunny skies.
The twos kicked off first as is tradition in San Diego with cobbled together side that included 9 flankers, 1 prop, and 5 backs. Not knowing what to expect, everyone was pleasantly surprised when the Barracuda raced out to a 21-0 lead. First half tries by flanker Spencer Harrison, scrumhalf AJ Wooley, and #8 Sion Williams were all converted by the golden toe of flyhalf Alex Rylance. OMBAC struck back just before half time to close the gap, 21-7.
An inspired half-time speech by the coaching staff and by captain Ray Lavoie lit a fire under the Barracuda the the home side didn’t have an answer to. After conceding and early try which closed the gap to 21-14, the visitors ran rough-shot over the home side for nearly all of the remaining 37 minutes of the half. Three more Wooley tries left the flanker/ scrumhalf/ flyhalf gasping for air and grasping for his toes as he cramped and wilted like a violet in the San Diego heat, playing in only his second game of the season.
Williams was Johnny-On-The-Spot as his coolly collected the pill from Taylor Manavian near the line to touch down for his second. Manavian was dragged down just short of the line after doing all the hard work in getting so close to pay-dirt, but just couldn’t complete the deal. Lock Jason Davenport scored a lengthy try, carrying three would be defenders over the line with him. Center Peter Tulaney scored the backs only try as did his best impala impression, trying to keep clear of the cheetahs darting to pay dirt. Rylance converted 2 second half tries and added a penalty to bring his personal tally to 13 points.
The Barracuda did give up two late tries while playing a couple of men down as players were being treated for cramping. The final score was 58-28
In the days second game the Dolphins faced an inform OMBAC side that had revenge from the seasons opening week on their minds. The last three meetings between the two sides have each been decided by three points, with the home side prevailing each time. This contest promised to be close as well.
The Dolphins got on the board first, in the 5th minute, when wing Sean Pypers was able to collect a ball after a nifty grubber by flyhalf Brian O’Shea. The well weighted kick bounced thrice and then up into Pypers hands. He was in full flight and easily outpaced the defense the last 20 meters into the end-zone, 0-5.
OMBAC struck back quickly, scoring the next three tries (11th minute, 21st minute, and 22 minute) to take the lead, 5-19. The Dolphins were down buy not out and a 5 meter lineout on the OMBAC line proved the staging ground for the clubs next score. Lock Wesley Wells took the ball in the air and set a perfect driving platform. The maul moved steadily toward the line and eventually prop Keaton Nasser plopped on the ball in goal for the score. O’Shea had an unusually inaccurate day with the boot, missing the conversion, 10-19.
The Dolphins looked set to score again moments later from the same spot on the field with another 5 meter line-out, but the referee called obstruction as the maul formed giving the ball back to the home side who relieved the pressure and eventually scored one of their own on the other end at the 30 minute mark, 10-24.
An O’Shea penalty at the 37 minute mark closed the gap, 13-24. Just before half time center Kelly Serfoss found himself in the OMBAC passing lane and easily intercepted the opposition ball. Serfoss raced 60 meters, touching down under the posts. O’Shea added the extras and the half time score was 20-24.
The second half was similarly frenetic to the first and both teams defenses looked stretched to cover the others offensive firepower. OMBAC took advantage of a Dolphin lapse 7 minutes into the second half and extended their lead to 20-29. Then at the games 50th minute Pypers came off of his wing and found space in attack on the far side of the field. He received the ball and knifed into the corner for the touchdown, 25-29.
OMBAC added a penalty kick in the 55th minute, 25-32. A Dolphin scrum deep in their own end proved a suitable launching pad for the games next score. The Dolphins struck in midfield from the scrum and fullback Padraig Cremin burst through a massive gap in the defense. Cremin swerved around his opposite number, his lanky strides eating up San Diego turf, and eventually touching down under the posts. He converted his own try to tie the match, 32-32.
Both teams traded blows, knowing that the next try would likely be the match winner. With 10 minutes remaining in the game OMBAC added a penalty, 32-35. Then at the 75th minute OMBAC drove the dagger firmly into the Dolphin heart, with a converted try, to bring the final score to 32-42.
Tries- Pypers 2; Nasser, Cremin, Serfoss
Conversions- O’Shea, Cremin
1-Nasser, Keaton; 2-King, Pat; 3-Seeman, Bart (Knox @65); 4-Winter, Zac; 5-Wells, Wesley; 6-Kelley, Chris; 7-Martini, David; 8-Aseme, Ken; 9-Carpio, Danny (Cooley @ 55); 10-O’Shea, Brian; 11-Pypers, Sean; 12-Serfoss, Kelly; 13-Ross, Ali (Manavian @ 68); 14-Clay, Chris; 15-Cremin, Padraig