The Knicks returned home this week to take on local rivals Saratoga Stampede. Play was intense from the kick-off as would be expected in the local derby. Saratoga drew first blood as consistent pressure eventually drew an overload situation that resulted with the Stampede touching down in the right corner less than 4 minutes into the contest. Saratoga maintained its pressure and several minutes later caused a penalty that was converted for a 8-0 advantage for the visitors. After the restart, Sean Mertz blocked an attempted clearing kick that Murphy Lill scooped up and ran in from 20 meters. Tom Breslin converted and the Knicks closed to 8-7. Saratoga continued its pressure which resulted in a slicing run through the Knicks defense and an answering try to put the score at 13-7. That would be all for Saratoga. The Knicks began to take control of the possession and territory which ended with a Justin Snide power run for a try. Breslin converted and the Knicks had the lead. Tom Breslin was next to cross the line. He converted and the Knicks went into halftime with a 21-13 lead.
The second half was all Albany; in possession, territory and on the scoreboard. Scott Bergen and Joe Judge sandwiched tries around Murphy Lill’s highlight 70 meter darting run for a try (Breslin converted). Murph’s run came off a set play from a lineout which left several Saratoga players waving at air as he cut through the defense. The final score was 38-13.
After a slow start, the Knicks came to control play and thus the game. Albany used its advantage in possession and territory to keep Saratoga under wraps for the final 60 minutes of play. A big positive was restarts. Albany took clean ball from each kick-off and, therefore, was able to re-apply pressure immediately. Snide and Cosgrove were of note in this regard. Scrums were more stable and consistent which settled play in times of need. Lineouts were generally clean which allowed possession to be maintained. Areas for improvement include missed tackles, handling errors and being slow to the tackle which caused penalties and a negative turnover rate.
Murphy Lill was named Man of the Match.
10 O’Neill (Kelly @ 79)
9 Cirone (Arango @70)
1 Hensel (Roy @ 70)
2 Rufer (Grimm @ 50)
3 Cosgrove (Milizia @ 65)
4 Boehme (Matt G. @ 68)
6 Reigert (Fleischmann @ 48)
23 Matt G.
In the B Match, Albany continued its winning ways with a 29-10 win. Tries were scored by the ageless Marty White, Hugh Kelly, Evan Mullen, Nate Meehan and Matt Guilfoy; Charles Colley converting 2. Albany had the run of play controlling the game from the onset to improve to 3-0 on the season.