Old Glory’s midweek Canadian road trip didn’t quite go to plan this week as we were held to a 29-29 draw by the Toronto Arrows, a result which could potentially have massive consequences for DC’s playoffs charge.
Old Glory’s Jamason Fa’anana-Schultz continued his streak of good form in the match’s early stages, opening the scoring with yet another try just minutes after kickoff, with Gradyn Bowd nailing the conversion to establish a strong lead before the 10 minute mark.
Neither team seemed quite able to get a foothold in the game after this, exchanging points and opportunities for a few minutes. Toronto responded with a try of their own after missing an attempted kick at the posts, scoring through Ciaran Breen before Peni Lasaqa scored a try of his own immediately after to re-establish the DC lead. Toronto scored once more just before halftime to take a 14-12 lead into the break.
A series of mistakes in the second half’s early stages prevented Old Glory from continuing their crusade with too much gusto, though we managed to take advantage of a Toronto yellow card to score our first of the half through Tito Diaz Bonilla, sneaking into the corner off the back of an attacking scrum. This was quickly followed up by a bonus point worthy try from Marcos Young, taking our lead to 17-22 after a Toronto penalty.
Toronto began to grow back into the game after this, with the patterns of play returning to the back-and-forth nature of the first half. The Arrows’ Liam Bowman scored late on to put the arrows back in front before John Lefevre responded to take the score to 24-29 in favor of Old Glory.
That was until the Arrows’ D’Shawn Bowen scored in the final minute of the match to tie the game at 29-29. Old Glory and Toronto Arrows fans nationwide watched with bated breath as Peter Nelson stepped up to take the deciding conversion. With the match on the line, he pulled the conversion wide, with the game heading into the history books as a tie, Toronto’s second in two weeks and Old Glory’s first since March 2021.
This result moves Old Glory back into second place in the MLR Eastern Conference, with just one point separating us from the third-placed New York Ironworkers. With just three regular season games remaining, the playoff fight is closer than ever. Next time out we return to Segra Field to face the Seattle Seawolves, in what will be one of our most difficult matches of the season with massive playoff implications. We hope to see you there!
By Arthur Ferridge, @rthur_ferridge