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Brother Martin Wins in Tense Comeback Over Tourists Park Hill

irish rugby tours

Brother Martin Wins in Tense Comeback Over Tourists Park Hill

Brother Martin in yellow, Park Hill in black-and-red.

Brother Martin logged their first victory of the season with a comeback win over touring Park Hill United out of Missouri Thursday night.

Torrential rain the night before left Farnet Field in City Park in New Orleans a swampy mess for the two teams. The Kansas City-based Park Hill seemed to handle the wet conditions and ran out to a 19-0 lead before Brother Martin mounted their comeback.

Running hard and busting through tackles, Park Hill scored within in the first five minutes to lead 7-0. Over the next 20 minutes or so both teams struggled to retain possession in the sloppy conditions. Finally at 25 minutes Park Hill retained the ball long enough to, once again, run through some Brother Martin tackles to score. After that a chip over the top led to another United try and a 19-0 lead. No. 8 Elijah Segovia, center Isaiah Little, and flyhalf Jayden David all got over the line.

In the second half, Brother Martin started to put some things together. They kept it in tight and ran pick-and-goes from the base. Ultimately senior prop Mathew DiMaggio bashed over and with the conversion it was 19-7.

Park Hill replied with a try from wing Michael Moore, Jr. to make it 24-7 and Brother Martin was under serious pressure.

But the Crusaders handled it well and stuck to their plan. They were able to move the ball down the field and some penalties against Park Hill helped as well. From a scrum 25 meters out Brother Martin No. 8 Maverick Trimble picked up and was able to outstrip the defense to go in for the try to make it 24-12. Soon thereafter Branson Perez found a seam and cut through to make it a one-score game at 24-19 after Perez himself converted his try.

With time winding down, the Crusaders received the restart and once again went on the march. Finally senior center James Gatti found some space to go in to tie it. Perez's conversion nudged his side ahead with 30 seconds left.

Park Hill looked to kick deep and pressure to get back on top, but Brother Martin was able to hold on and finally kick to touch to end the game.

Man of the Match went to Dante Rodriguez, who put in a dominating performance on defense with his vicious tackles.

For Park Hill, this tour is hugely important. The team has come under the umbrella of the Kansas City Blues club now, and, said Head Coach Chauncey Hatten, "we're trying to be the Junior Blues of the North. We are looking to compete at a high level and the guys have bought into it in a big way. They played hard and stuck to their systems."

While Segovia was especially outstanding for United but Hatten praised the unity of his forwards as a unit and the overall defense of his backline.

"The boys learned a true lesson today and we just have to take this into tonight's game with Jesuit."