With the heart and intensity that Shanahan has come to be known for, the men of the Shanahan RFC (Rugby Football Club) took the field this past Sunday to take on arch-rival, the Wilmington Cults. With blistering conditions and strong winds, Shanahan knew they had their work cut out for them.
In a game where kicking can become key, the gusty fields of Shanahan can be a real deterrent at times. With the exception of an early attempt at a penalty kick, the winds were no match for Captain and Flyhalf, Chris Ponto, who skillfully made both of his conversion kicks, throughout the course of the match.
Although the Cults took an early lead in the first half, Shanahan senior, Cesare Cosica, barreled down the field to put the Eagles on the board. With aggressive tackling from players such as Bryan Oteri, Patrick McKie, and Matt Suda the Eagles held off the Cults going into the second half with a deficit of only three.
As the second half progressed, Shanahan truly started to pull themselves together. Fighting against questionable calls by the referee on both sides of the ball, the Eagles charged through Wilmington's defense, allowing Ponto to score, inching the Eagles closer to victory. With a gallant final attempt at a try, the forwards lead a charge into Wilmington's territory, but quite literally, ran out of time before they were able to converge.
In the end Shanahan walked off the pitch with an L in the books, 20-14, but the passion that they held when stepping out on the field remained, and will be ever-present next Sunday when they take on Archbishop Ryan.