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Old Blue took a commanding lead at midpoint of the NSCS with a victory in the Newport 7s this past weekend. By winning its second qualifier in as many weeks, Old Blue is on pace to advance to nationals.
The New York squad received a boost prior to the tournament by welcoming flyhalf James Bird and veteran Derek Lipscomb back into the roster. Bird has been looked at by the Eagles in 15s and Lipscomb has been a mainstay in Old Blue’s 7s side for a number of years.
Combined with the infusion of talent from the college ranks over the last couple of years, Old Blue is formidable. AIC’s Gavan D’Amore-Morrison and Christian Adams, who nearly won a national title in 7s this past season, bring athleticism to the squad. D’Amore-Morrison spent last summer with Old Blue and the Northeast ODA and has made a huge impact in the squad. Along with former Arkansas State standout Dylan Carrion, Old Blue is filled with high performance college talent.
Old Blue went undefeated in pool play notching wins against Mystic River II, Village Lions and NYAC. By winning the pool, Old Blue faced off with Mystic River in a rematch of last week’s final. OB got the better of the Mystics one again, setting up a rematch with NYAC.
Lipscomb opened the scoring for Old Blue, and with Bird’s conversion, Old Blue led 7-0. NYAC responded with a try, but it was the only one the athletic club would score in the finals.
Old Blue pulled away after the NYAC score. Alex Schwarz, Richie Kirkland and Carrion all scored tries in route to a 33-5 cup victory.
The New York side is in good position to qualify at the top of the table but the second guaranteed spot out of the northeast is up for grabs. The Mystics currently hold the second spot but NYAC is right on their heels. Mystic River has finished second and third in the two tournaments respectively, while NYAC has placed 4th and 2nd. Not far behind are the Connecticut Bulldogs with a 3rd and 4th place finish.
With two tournaments left to play, the three teams will be chasing Old Blue and battling it out for the coveted ticket to nationals.