KNIGHTS SLAY FOXES

The New York Knights made it 4-0 at the midway point of the season with a convincing 82-24 win over a spirited Delaware Black Foxes side at Pier 40.  Delaware came in with a 1-2 record after losses to NOVA Eagles and Philadelphia Fight with a resounding 90-point win over Bucks County Sharks sandwiched in between so the Knights were unsure which Foxes would turn up at The Castle.

First Half

The sun was beating down on The Castle and the Knights were keen to get off to a quick start.  This was evident when the Knights struck from the kick off.  Chad Sharp’s kick off was knocked on and from the resulting scrum the Knights attacked the Foxes try line. Eventually the ball was shipped out to Chad Sharp who fed the ball back inside to Fitzjames Adams who had picked a great inside line to score the first try of the match. Sharp converted to make it 6-0. 

There is an old adage of a team being most vulnerable after scoring and so it proved.  From the kick-off Delaware defended well and bounced back on their first offensive set. A poor tackle on the Foxes prop allowed them to spread the ball wide and then back inside to make it to within a few yards of the Knights line. On the following play two passes saw the Foxes score in the corner for an unconverted try to make it 6-4.

If the Knights were guilty of being vulnerable after conceding then the Foxes proved that they hadn’t learnt from their errors. From the kick off they knocked the ball on again and the Knights hit the ball up towards the Delaware line. After a few good tackles kept them at bay, Willie Dominguez attacked from dummy half and scooted over right in front of the posts to make the conversion easy for Sharp and the score 12-4.

The Knights stretched their lead a few minutes later. Jovanny Perez tackled the Foxes Winger into touch for the turnover and the Knights worked the ball infield from 30 metres out with Jesse Platz and Calder Orr making two strong runs before Chad Sharp fed in Mike Brown who was stopped inches out. Dominguez repeated the trick from minutes earlier and scooted over. Sharp knocked over the easy conversion to make it 18-4

Delaware’s prop gave away a needless penalty on the Knights exit set allowing them to kick themselves into the Foxes half. A number of strong runs from Orr and Abe Cohen got the Knights within 5 metres and quick passing play from Matt and Chad Sharp at half backs saw Brown pick a great line and run in unopposed for the 4th Knights try. Another easy conversion from Sharp made it 24-4.

Shortly after the 20 minute mark the Knights further extended their lead with a good set that started deep in their own half. After two solid hit ups following a Delaware kick, Matt Sharp broke from the 40m and stepped past a number of players for a 35 metre break before Cohen hit up on the next tackle to bring the Knights up to the 15m. The ball came out to Chad Sharp after the 4th tackle and he skillfully danced his way past 5 defenders to add a try and conversion to his impressive start and extend the lead to 30-4

The Knights added a 6th try shortly after. After a strong exit set Delaware gave away a penalty 20 metres out. From the penalty the Knights hit up twice before Dominguez spread the ball out to Matt Sharp who popped the ball to Jesse Platz on his inside shoulder to crash over the line. Chad Sharp converted again to make it 36-4

Just after the 30 minute mark the Knights made pressure tell again. A strong set forced a goal line drop out from the Foxes which saw 3 strong hit ups from Jefferson Jiminez and Brown. The ball was put through the hands before Matt Sharp found Cohen to pierce the defense and score.  Chad Sharp made it 7 from 7 from the tee to make it 42-4

Delaware were next on the scoreboard. From a scrum following a Knights knock-on deep in Black Fox territory.  The Foxes put together a strong set to get to the halfway line and set up for the kick. The half back chipped the ball high and the Foxes centre timed his run to perfection to be level as he chased the kick, claiming it on the full before rounding the oncoming defenders to score under the posts. The conversion was made and the score was shortened to 42-10.

As the half closed out the Knights scored another try. From a Knights scrum just inside the Delaware half Chad Sharp and Adams combined to get to the 10 metre line. The ball was worked from dummy half through both half backs before Alex Foster put it into Ryan Owen’s hands to stroll over in the corner for the unconverted try and a lead at half time of 46-10.

Second Half

Four Minutes into the 2nd half the Knights broke the 50 point mark. Starting inside their own half, Cohen made a strong run to get into the Foxes Half. Following that Perez made another strong run to get within 10 of the Foxes line. Dominguez found Randy Porter out wide and the Winger cut back inside for the try.  Chad Sharp converted from out wide to make it 52-10.

The next try started through relentless pressure. The Knights worked their way down the field and Matt Sharp grubbered through on the 5th and with the resulting tackle forced the turnover and a fresh set of six.  Two attempts fell short before the combination of Dominguez, Matt and Chad Sharp linked up to put in Foster who cut a great inside line to score under the posts. Chad slotted over to make it 58-10

After both sides gave away possession through needless knock on’s Delaware gave another penalty which saw the Knights kick into the opposing half. From the tap Platz and Gabe De Los Santos made good yards before the Knights scored a carbon copy of their previous try with the same half backs combining for Foster to slice his way through to score and set up an easy conversion for Chad Sharp to make it 64-10.

To Delaware’s credit they reacted well and scored from the kick off. The Knights spilled the kick and the Foxes gained territory from the scrum. Throwing caution to the wind they spread the ball wide on the 2nd tackle with their full back catching the Knights defense on the hop to score out wide to make it 64-14.

The next try followed on the hour mark. The Foxes threw away possession out wide and the Knights built up the phases, to get  to within 30 metres on the 4th tackle, when Cohen bust through the gain line and found Adams who spread the ball wide to Perez who gave Porter the simple run into the corner for the unconverted try and a 68-14 lead.

Delaware’s lack of discipline came into play as the Knights scored again a few minutes later. Two penalties for holding in the tackle put them deep into the red zone and from the tap Jiminez pushed them closer. On the 2nd tackle Matt Sharp found Joshua Rice who was held up but found a way to pop a one handed pass inside for Foster to complete his hat-trick. Chad Sharp added the extras and it was now a 60 point lead.

The lead was extended shortly after the kick-off. Runs from Porter and De Los Santos got the Knights to their own 40 before Calen Fields handed off his opposite number and made 40 metres. A quick play of the ball saw Matt Sharp find Perez out wide who coasted into the corner. Foster took over kicking duties but couldn’t convert and the score was 78-14.

The Knights would grab their last score of the game from the following kick off. Porter, Jiminez, Orr and Adams got the Knights up the pitch before the ball found Matt Sharp who threw the miss pass out wide and allowed Porter to complete his hat-trick for an unconverted try and a 82-14 lead.

Delaware would have the final say on the scoreboard. The first try saw them attack from deep and break the line twice before finding their winger out wide 40 metres out and he put the afterburners on to score under the posts for a converted try to make it 82-20.

The final try was a spectacular but controversial try. The Foxes started with a scrum outside of their own line and broke up the pitch on the 2nd tackle into the Knights half.  Three more tackles followed with Delaware 20 metres out on what should have been the 5th and last. They ran the ball and were tackled 2 more time before the ball found it’s way to their half back, on what was the 7th tackle, who hung up a high kick for the Foxes centre to claim in mid-air and score for an unconverted try and a final score of 82-24

Tries:  Fitzjames Adams, Willie Dominguez (2), Mike Brown, Chad Sharp, Jesse Platz, Abe Cohen, Ryan Owen, Randy Porter (3), Alex Foster (3), Jovanny Perez,

Conversions: C. Sharp 11/13, Foster 1/3

Man of the Match: Joint - Calen Fields & Alex Foster.

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