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Twenty years ago, in May 1998, witnessed the finals of the Harp Super League in its second season. The game determined then the best club in the country among top 16-teams spread from coast-to-coast. Belmont Shore defeated Old Blue of New York 28-10, a convincing win for the Long Beach-based club. The game marked the second year Old Blue made it into the finals.
Belmont Shore at 6-1 advanced to the title with the same record as prior year Harp Champion Aspen. Belmont had won the matchup against Aspen earlier in the Western Division.
Old Blue, also at 6-1, won the title by accumulating more bonus points than Atlanta Life, which also finished 6-1 in the Eastern Division.
Both teams were packed with marquee players, some from abroad. Old Blue numbered USA Eagle Kevin Swords, and Simon Laird from London Scottish. Belmont could boast All Black Phil Coffin who captained the side, Eagle Ron Randell, and Super 12 reservist Scott Lines.
The match was played in Dilboy Stadium outside Boston with 1,800 attending.
Belmont Shore led from start to finish as Old Blue committed many penalties and unforced errors. The Southern California club led 11-10 and then pulled away with 17-points.
With sponsorship from Harp beer, the second season of the League offered the promise of top spring play among the 16-teams (eight in each division) to crown a true, USA champion.
Atlanta Life, Old Blue, Washington, Chicago Lions, Potomac AC, Boston, Kansas City Blues, and Philadelphia-Whitemarsh
Dallas Harlequins, Belmont Shore, Denver Barbarians, Aspen, Old Mission Beach AC, Golden Gate, Old Blues, Old Puget Sound Beach
Belmont Shore flyhalf Ian Stevens was voted MVP.