Friday, March 20, 2015

Colorado Springs Downs Denver East

Photo: Bob Lyon

By Bernie Decker

It was cool and blowy under a dramatic, sunset sky at kickoff of the premier Colorado emergent men’s league match on the Doherty High School athletic grounds in the Springs Thursday evening.  Grizzlies ran out to an 18 point advantage late in the second half before the Angels fiery return nearly carried the day. The Big Bear employed tight first-channel bashes from the breakdown led by its franchise hooker and captain, Paddy Donavan, while Denver commingled the strategic kicking gameplan orchestrated by standoff, Jack Martin, abetted by crashing three-quarterline infiltrations of its fast-moving tighthead, Carter (CJ) Cade.

Grizzlies ahead on a plunge through tacklers and over goal for the grounding by Donavan from the breakdown inclose after five minutes of play. With conversion by flyhalf Cal Robeson, home team up 7-0 in the early goings.

Take the jump to read more.

Angels exercised precisely their right of return as Martin lifted a loft over the outstretched arms of the defense and Springs were under pressure in their 22. An offsides penalty levied by referee Erik Geib saw Denver onboard after Martin’s sticksplitter from the interior left hashmark 30 meters out, and 7-3 the tallies in the 10th minute.

Much action between the 22s until Denver was pinged for hands-in at their ten meter line and the formidable Grizzlies pick-and-barge put the reigning state champions well within their opponent’s 22. Possession won by the hosts and a short sling to inside center, Seung-Ju Han, and his crash across and grounding followed by Robeson’s added deuce and 14-3 the scoreline midpoint in the period.

With Grizzlies hard at it in the Angels business district, a snatch and scurry from an attacking five-meter scrum by Springs backrow lock, Jason Heister, followed by that man’s touch down, and Grizzlies 19, Angels 3 after 27 minutes.

Here came the Angels immediately with Martin’s hitch sling leading second-line filler Cade into space near midfield. A flipper here, a shoulder crash there, and the deceptively speedy tighthead had touched down Denver’s first fiver of the night and 19-10 with 29 ticks gone from Mr. Geib’s timepiece.

Angels swift on the attack once again as Martin’s distribution skills much in evidence before the crafty #10 backed himself through a crease at Grizzlies ten meter line and finished fast, fending off a not-tackle en route to his try and own-conversion: 19-17 the numbers as Geib’s halftime blast signaled respite though not rest, and lads to lockers for hydration and instruction.

Homeside were better securing ball at breakdown and owned the first channel in the opening half, while their guests featured the double-threat of Martin’s sparkling ball handling and boots, abetted Cade’s powerful incursions into Grizzlies space when Angels spread the pitch.

Donavan himself to open scoring in the second stanza on a quickly-tapped penalty five meters from the Angels goal. The Grizzlies captain dotted for Robeson’s conversion and 26-17 the numbers with eight gone in the half.

Martin potted a penalty struck from 20, and 26-20 the crucial data approaching midway in the period with the faithful strung along touch restive.

A penalty awarded Springs led to a lineout on the edge of the Angels business district. Toss won by the attackers and the slow forward maul crept to goal before the Paddy pick-and-plunge-over for five and 31-20 after 16 minutes spent in the half.

A period of instability for Grizzlies now as seven successive penalties suffered in the homeside’s territory enabled Denver to keep their adversaries on the rear leg, but the Angels attack came to naught as turnover at breakdown and clearance by Robeson brought ursine relief.

Han claimed his brace after crossing in the 29th minute of the half, and with time running away and Robeson sure with completion, 38-20 the tale of the trys just now.

But no quit in the Angels as fullback Augie Bennett’s searing, pristinely-run line for 50 meters on the counter brought touch down and joy to the travelers: with Martin’s conversion, a scoreline of 38-27 closing in on time.

Fantastic finish? Why sure! With Grizzlies at Denver’s line and threatening to close out the win, turnover ball by the Angels led to a hardy return into Springs territory before streaking openside, Lorenzo Harris, broke to space and grounded for Martin’s conversion, and 38-34 the numbers as Geib sounded the last blast of the match and that record became history.

Next up on the clubs’ league schedules: for Denver East, host duty of Cherry Creek Bruins next Wednesday, while Grizzlies entertain Chaparral on April no-Fool’s Day in the Springs;


Grizzlies – Try: Donavan (3), Han (2), Heister; Con: Robeson (4);
Angels - Try: Cade, Martin, Bennett, Harris; Con: Martin (4); Pen: Martin (2);

Match Official: Erik Geib

No comments:

Post a Comment