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Match Report: 9/6/14: Cleveland Rovers RFC @ Indianapolis Impalas

By Scott Liechty

The 1-0 Indianapolis Impalas hosted the 2-0 Cleveland Rovers on this wet Saturday afternoon in Division 2 Midwest-East League play.

The first half was a dogfight, with both teams hitting hard and playing aggressive defense throughout. The Impalas struck first with a try 20 minutes in from flanker Adam Schmidt for a 5-0 Impalas lead.

The lead held until the half, but not before Rovers scumhalf Derek Imes hit a penalty kick with two minutes remaining to cut the Indianapolis lead to 5-3 heading into the break.

The Impalas extended their lead to 10-3 with dashing try from winger Ian Neberiza just seven minutes into the second half of play. Just eight minutes later, Indy would strike again out wide to Nico Squadarini. With 25 minutes to play, the Impalas held a 15-3 advantage over the visiting Cleveland side.

With their backs against the wall, the Rovers were finally able to cross paydirt with a try from flanker Scott Liechty off of a penalty play 10 meters out. Imes converted a difficult kick to pull the Rovers within five with time winding down.

With just four minutes remaining, Liechty took advantage of an Impala miscue, taking the ball out of the back of the ruck and going 70 meters to tie the game at 15 a piece.

In the end, Indianapolis flyhalf Michael Temple was able to notch a penalty kick from outside the 22-meter line as the whistle sounded for an 18-15 Impala victory.

With the result, the Impalas move to 2-0 and the Rovers drop to 2-1 but pick up an L7 bonus point. Next weekend, Cleveland hosts Pittsburgh while Indianapolis travel to Detroit to take on the Tradesemen.

Starting XV vs Indianapolis Impalas

1 Dan Prater, 2 Tom Nemeth, 3 Tom Szorady, 4 Jerry Knapp, 5 Ed Starcovic, 6 Scott Liechty, 7 Terry Kilbane, 8 Tony Brown, 9 Derek Imes, 10 Tom Ginley, 11 Mike Heil, 12 Dontez Smith, 13 Shane McNea, 14 Mark Staron, 15 Ben Foldesy

Match Report vs Indianapolis

20’ Indy TRY 0-5

38’ Rovers PK Imes 3-5

HALF Rovers 3-5 Indianapolis

47’ Indy TRY 3-10

55’ Indy TRY 3-15

65’ Rovers TRY Liechty 8-15

66’ Rovers CONV Imes 10-15

76’ Rovers TRY Liechty 15-15

80’ Indy PK 15-18

FINAL Rovers 15-18 Indianapolis

Match Stats vs Indianapolis

Points - Rovers: 15 (Liechty 10, Imes 5) Indy: 18

Tries - Rovers: 2 (Liechty 2) Indy: 3

Conv - Rovers: 1 (Imes 1/ 2) Indy: 0 (0/3)

PK - Roves: 1 (Imes 1/ 2) Indy: 1 (1/ 2)

Match Report: 8/30/14: Detroit RFC @ Cleveland Rovers RFC

By Scott Liechty

The Cleveland Rovers played host to Detroit RFC under a hot midday sun this past Labor Day Weekend at Impett Park.  The home side and the northern visitors battled the heat and humidity for the entire 80 minute affair.  The Rovers were looking to advance to 2-0 in the league in a match that would prove to be a tail of two halves.

The first half of action saw the Rovers come out of the gate firing, pulling out to a quick lead in the first ten minutes.  After a Derek Imes penalty that started off the scoring, outside center Tom Ginley did his best forward impression with an opportune pick-and-go try.  Just a couple minutes later, lock Drew Evatt took the ball off a Rovers tackles and took it from outside the 22, breaking multiple tackles, and scoring his first try of the season.  Imes continued his kicking prowess, converting both tries to take the scoreline to 17-0 after just ten minutes.

For the remainder of the first half, the Rovers were plagued by a slew of penalties that saw Detroit mount a comeback thanks to two penalty kicks and two tries, one of which actually being a penalty try. For ten minutes, Detroit RFC held a 17-18 lead, but another Imes penalty kick with two minutes to go in the half gave the Rovers a 20-18 advantage.

At the break, the Rovers were able to regroup and get all players on the same page in an effort to eliminate the penalties that plagued the club in the first half of play.  Over the first twenty minutes of the second half, the Rovers put up two tries from Jerry Knapp and Scott Liechty to one try by Detroit, and held a 34-23 lead with 20 to go.

At this point, the Rovers started to bring subs on, and that is when the floodgates opened.  Each Rover subbed in made an immediate and noticeable impact on both sides of the ball.  All in all, the final 20 minutes saw the Rovers put up 29 more points to finish the game.  Two tries were scored by flyhalf Mike Pelagalli, one by eigthman Tony Brown, and one by wing Tony Goddard. When it was over, the Rovers took the match by a final of 63-23 and improved to 2-0 on the season.

At the post-match social, scrummy Derek Imes was named Man of the Match, thanks in no small part to his 23 point performance.  Imes went 7 of 8 on conversions and 2 of 3 on penalty kicks.  The Rovers head to Indianapolis to take on the Impalas in their first road game of the season this coming weekend.

Starting XV v Detroit RFC

1 Dan Prater, 2 Tom Nemeth, 3 Tom Szorady, 4 Drew Evatt, 5 Jerry Knapp, 6 Scott Liechty, 7 Terry Kilbane, 8 Tony Brown, 9 Derek Imes, 10 Mike Pelagalli, 11 Mike Gearhart, 12 Pat Rahill, 13 Tom Ginley, 14 Mike Heil, 15 Steve Burke

Match Report vs Detroit RFC

3’ Rovers PK Imes 3-0

6’ Rovers TRY Ginley 8-0

7’ Rovers CONV Ginley 10-0

9’ Rovers TRY Evatt 15-0

10’ Rovers CONV Imes 17-0

14’ Detroit TRY 17-5

15’ Detroit CONV 17-7

18’ Detroit PK 17-10

22’ Detroit PK 17-13

28’ Detroit TRY (pen) 17-18

38’ Rovers PK Imes 20-18

HALF Rovers 20-18 Detroit

42’ Rovers TRY Knapp 25-18

43’ Rovers CONV Imes 27-18

47’ Detroit TRY 27-23

59’ Rovers TRY Liechty 32-23

60’ Rovers CONV Imes 34-23

63’ Rovers TRY Brown 39-23

64’ Rovers CONV Imes 41-23

70’ Rovers PK Imes 44-23

72’ Rovers TRY Pelagalli 49-23

73’ Rovers CONV Imes 51-23

75’ Rovers TRY Pelagalli 56-23

78’ Rovers TRY Goddard 61-23

79’ Rovers CONV Imes 63-23

FINAL Rovers 63-23 Detroit

Match Stats vs Detroit RFC

Points - Rovers: 63 (Imes 23, Pelagalli 10, Brown 5, Evatt 5, Ginley 5, Goddard 5, Knapp 5, Liechty 5) Detroit: 23

Tries - Rovers: 8 (Pelagalli 2, Brown, Evatt, Ginley, Goddard, Knapp, Liechty) Detroit: 3

Conv - Rovers: 7 (Imes 7/ 8) Detroit: 1 (1/ 3)

PK - Rovers: 3 (Imes 3/ 4) Detroit: 2 (2/2)

Match Report: 8/23/14: Eastern Suburbs RFC @ Cleveland Rovers RFC

By Terry Kilbane

After Winning the Midwest Championship and contending right until the end for a national title in 2011 and then dominating their league in 2012, the Rovers had something of an off-year in 2013. Losing 9 starters and other impact players, the Rovers had to start from scratch. It ultimately was too much to overcome and The Cleveland Rovers missed the playoffs for the first time in  3 years and were dealt an embarrassing loss by their Northeast Ohio  rivals the Eastern Suburbs Rugby Football Club late in the season.

With a cadre of returning standout players, some new recruits, and a revitalized focus and attitude, the Rovers were ready to take their place atop The Midwest Eastern League and again contend for a National title.

This journey started last Saturday when the Rovers faced their Northeast Ohio Rivals, Eastern Suburbs Rugby Football Club of Lake County. The new look Rovers  came out guns blazing, clearly revenge was on their mind. The first 10 minutes of the Match was incredibly physical with both teams threatening early before being pushed back to the center of the field. However, it would be the Rovers who would score first with scampering try by 8 year Rovers Vet Derek Imes ( Saint Edward, BGSU). However, the Suburbs would come back to score 2 tries of their own, putting the victory in doubt.

This is when the Rovers  really turned up the heat on ESRFC. Dominating in the scrums, and making brutalizing tackles behind the gain line. It began to look clear that the scary Cleveland Rovers of a year ago might be back. The Rovers would score 3 unanswered tries to finish the game. The scores came by 2nd Generation Rover Shane McNea ( St. Edward, Ohio University), the speedy Fly-Half Michael Pelagalli (Saint Ignatius, Miami University), and former Rovers MVP Tony Brown (BGSU). All four Rovers’ tries were converted by Derek Imes.

The Eastern Suburbs never completely broke and tested the Rovers to the end, however, the Rovers were able to end the match on a dramatic note when Fullback Steve Burke made a thunderous tackle in the open field, forcing a knock-on and prompting the referee to blow the final whistle.

While the backs did most of the scoring, it must be noted that the incredible play of the Cleveland Rovers Pack deserves a great deal of the credit for the win. No doubt they will be excited to get back to work this week at practice to prepare for next Saturday’s opponent Detroit RFC.

2014 Fall League Fixtures

8/23 ESRFC - W
8/30 Detroit - W
9/6 @ Indianpolis - L
9/13 Pittsburgh
9/20 BYE
9/27 @ Detroit RFC
10/4 @ Tradesmen
10/11 - Dayton
10/18 - BYE
10/25 - @ ESRFC
11/1 BYE NZ v. USA
11/8 - @ Pittsburgh
11/15 Tradesmen

W-L-T: 2-1-0

Home Games are played at Impett Park in Cleveland on Saturdays beginning at 1:00 PM. Click here for Directions.

Practices are Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning at 6:30 PM at Impett Park in Cleveland.  Click here for Directions.
Visit our team shop by clicking the Zoti Cleveland Rovers Team Shop banner above!
PLAIN DEALER ARTICLE!  Rugby's Rovers put dynamic spin on Cleveland football

Published: Saturday, September 22, 2012, 7:17 PM

James Ewinger, The Plain Dealer

The recipe for a good rugby match calls for mud, blood and stamina. Add 30 players, stir for 80 minutes, then go drink beer.

The Cleveland Rovers' victory Saturday afternoon had a few extra ingredients. One was besting a Pittsburgh team, a feat that has generally eluded the Browns for some time.

Pitt City, as that rugby team is nicknamed, tied it up 5-5, 14 minutes into the game but never led.  READ MORE ON CLEVELAND.COM!

ALL ROVERS MUST have the following for all game days:

1. Cleveland Rovers Team Shorts and Socks
Can be purchased through Derek Imes. It is extremely important that we all have the same kit on and look like a team.  Look Sharp, Feel Sharp, Play Sharp.

After we dominate the competition on the pitch, we will do the same at the social. We will do it with everyone wearing their own personal Hawaiian shirt.  Furthermore in Rugby culture, the social is just as important as the match is, and we will act accordingly. This means do not be like guys from that Side of Town We Do Not Speak Of and not show up for the social. We are a team 24/7, not just on the pitch.


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