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Middlesex moved into third place in the New England DI club league with a 40-20 defeat of Malden-area rivals Mystic River Saturday.
The Barbarians improve to 4-2 and could possibly vault to second if Boston beats the Boston Irish Wolfhounds next week.
The man for the Barbarians was flanker John Kokinda, who was a perfect 8-8 in goalkicking on Saturday, slotting four conversions and four penalties. Kokinda is 18-18 in kicking this season.
Kokinda also added a try to take his personal tally for the day to 25. Head Coach Josh Smith said he hadn’t said much about Kokinda’s success this fall because “I didn’t want to jinx him.”
The rest of the Middlesex team did well, too.
“We really capitalized on their turnovers and punished them from distance,” said Smith. “Our defensive structure held in our end. Our pursuit in the second level and finishing was the difference, and our loose forwards and centers did a ton of work without the ball in hand.”
That, in the end, said Smith, was the key.
Boston thumped South Shore 88-0, which was not a surprise, while the Wolfhounds escaped a close one with New Haven. With the Connecticut team up 25-19 and about five minutes to go, the Wolfhounds received a free kick. A quick tap and a smart read of a gap up the middle game the ‘Hounds what they needed – a try under the posts and a 26-25 victory.
Mystic River, meanwhile, is left to lick their wounds, but should finish 4th in the league, setting up a playoff against Boston. Middlesex and the Wolfhounds are set to face each other in the playoffs in November, too; it’s just a case of who has the #2 seed. The key for Middlesex (and Mystic for that matter) was avoiding the Boston buzz-saw in the semis.
October 20 New England DI Results and current standings:
New Haven 25 @ BIW 26
Middlesex 40 @ Mystic River 20
South Shore Anchors 0 @ Boston 88
Amoskeag 15 @ Hartford Wanderers 39
y=clinched 1st place
x= clinched playoff spot
|New England Men DI Club||W||L||T||Pf||Pa||Pd||BT||BL||Pts|
Boston Irish Wolfhounds x
Mystic River x