A game of many firsts; two new caps for Elmhurst, the match on the road, the first game in relative heat and the first match on a regulation grass pitch. Elmhurst traveled to Rockford to take on the Ravens in their backyard and they did not let anyone down.
Initially, the Ravens put it up to Elmhurst with some very solid defense and hard carrying. However, the away side were able to a find a way to break them down by unlocking their defense with some terrific backline play. Elmhurst’s pack were challenged in the set piece, especially the scrum but in the loose they dominated.
The support play was fantastic with players working selflessly for the cause. Rockford were once again caught on the wings by some very quick passing and straight lines in the center which fixed the home side and allowed the outside backs of Elmhurst run rampant.
In particular, the Elmhurst forward distributed the ball was particularly Ben Melion and John Downing who showed an array of passing skill that nicely accented their own hard ball carrying running styles.
The halfback pairing controlled proceedings and were able to keep the Ravens on the back foot by ensuring each phase was breaking the gain line. Ryan Costello also did well to send up some huge ‘Garyowen’ style up and unders which Elmhurst were able to retain on a few occasions as well as take territory.
Most impressively, two of our new players, Danny ‘D-Mo ’Morrissey and Nate Lyons both dotted down to score in their first games while Ethan Foley, who has returned to the squad carried well a few times and supported his team well.
Patrick Cote, Ryan Blessing, Grant Melion, Gio Rodriguez, Danny Dunn, Nick Bauer, Ryan Costello, CJ Cote, John Downing, Ben Bernard, Ben Fett, Ethan Foley, Jake Smallwood, Ben Semmelhak, Nate Lyons, Danny Morrissey