Franklin Countys First News

UMF wins convincing victory against UNH

UMF's Captain, Jack Neary, leads his way through the borders of Maine to New Hampshire. (Photo by Matt Bigelow)

By Matt Bigelow

DURHAM, N.H. - On Saturday, Sept. 15, the men from University of Maine at Farmington traveled down to Durham, N.H. to face the ruggers from University of New Hampshire. The UMF men are coming off of a supremely successful 2017-2018 campaign: going 17-1, winning the NERFU Championship, Beast of The East and another Maine Cup. The squad was officially ranked No. 6 in the nation out of 200 men’s clubs for the National Small College Organization. The UMF men were returning 10 out of 15 starters from last year and plan on another strong season for the always competitive club.

The Wildcats of UNH started off a fall campaign in the Champions Cup North Division with hopes of upsetting the UMF Beavers. From the first blast of the whistle, UMF’s go-forward ball was secured through their forwards led by prop Quinn Fogarty and loose forward Tommy Young. Standout flanker, Cormac Miller, routinely created chaos for UNH, granting Farmington a lion's share of possession throughout the first half.

Veteran fullback Shane O'Neil seeks a gap and bulls his way for a try. (Photo by Matt Bigelow)

With a quality platform from the forwards, UMF's scrumhalf, Patrick Powers, was able to send out clean ball to fly half Killian Miller and his relentless back line. The space laid by the industrious Beavers allowed the back line to be able to punch in numerous tries at all stages of the day. Man of the Match Draco Peaslee put in a massive shift, punching through UNH's line with tremendous power and pace, while playing lock down defense on anything that moved.

While UMF had its fair share of experienced rugby players, freshman newcomer Hunter Harrison made a solid impact by tirelessly supporting ball carriers resulting in his first career try at the 60th minute of the match. Harrison’s try was the cherry on top of the proverbial sundae for the Beavers as they kicked off their season by notching a convincing win by a score line of 54-12 over the Wildcats of UNH.

The men's next match will be at the University of Maine at Orono where the UMF Men’s RFC has not won since the early 2000s. The Beavers are hopeful to change that, although they’ll be up against the perennial league front runners. Kickoff will be at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 22 as the two teams have it out in one of the toughest divisions in the collegiate Northeast.

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