Princeton traveled to New Hampshire on Friday night, departing from the university at 5.30 PM to allow for a number of students to get out of class. The bus arrived at our night’s lodgings at 12.15 AM due to heavy traffic. At that point, our bus driver informed us that his bus company had a 9-hour mandatory break policy, meaning that he couldn’t start the bus again until 9.15 AM. This wouldn’t have been much of a problem except that we had an agreed 10 AM kick off time with Dartmouth and it would take at least 20 minutes in the morning to drive to Hanover.
On the positive front, we stayed the night in the nicest and most interesting lodgings we have ever visited as a team. Accommodation was difficult to come by since the weekend was peak for New Hampshire fall foliage. We found last-minute accommodation via airbnb at the Enfield Shaker Museum. Per Wikipedia:
The Enfield Shaker Museum is an outdoor history museum and historic district in Enfield, New Hampshire in the United States. It is dedicated to preserving and sharing the history of the Shakers, a Protestant religious denomination, who lived on the site from 1793 to 1923. The museum features exhibitions, artifacts, eight Shaker buildings and restored Shaker gardens. It is located in a valley between Mount Assurance and Mascoma Lake in Enfield. One of the buildings, the Great Stone Dwelling, was the largest residential building north of Boston and is the largest Shaker building.
The Enfield Shaker Museum also offers wonderful overnight accommodation in the Great Stone Dwelling and, despite going to bed a little late, everyone got a good night’s sleep.
The team ate an early morning breakfast in one of the historic Shaker dining rooms and then did a warm-up outside the Great Stone Dwelling before boarding the bus for our 9:15 departure. We arrived at the fields 20 minutes before kickoff, and, after a quick warm-up, we took the field a little after 10 AM.
Princeton started well and for the first 10 minutes played some good rugby in the Dartmouth half. After that, Dartmouth got its rhythm, maintained possession and scored a number of tries. At halftime, the score was 45-0. Princeton substituted several players shortly into the second half to give more of our squad an opportunity to experience playing Dartmouth on Brophy Field. While Dartmouth scored more tries in the second half, Princeton continued to fight hard in all phases of the game. At the final whistle the score was 83-0. Princeton’s Man of the Match was freshman Will Yoon.
Dartmouth hosted the Princeton team to lunch in their spectacular Cory Ford clubhouse following the match. Princeton and Dartmouth players chatted together, while the Tigers also spent time looking at all the memorabilia displayed around the clubhouse. Great thanks go out to all the Dartmouth players and coaches for the post-match camaraderie
Thank you also to Chrisopher Ekman for refereeing our match.
We wish Dartmouth all the best for the remainder of the season.