By Josh Williams
RANDALL’S ISLAND — New York’s Bravest bested its Finest in a charity rugby match Saturday played in honor of a man from each department who died while serving in Iraq.
The contest, which paid tribute to fallen Firefighter Chris Engeldrum and Police Officer James McNaughton, helped raise money for special equipment needed for disable veterans wounded in Iraq.
The FDNY edged out the NYPD 25-15, despite the police quickly scoring two tries to start the game. The firefighters managed to level the score at 10 to end the first half.
"The cops played a great game, they had us on the ropes but luckily we came together and won, my hats off to them," said Phil Tufano, a Captain with Engine 207 in Brooklyn.
The second half was dictated by penalties and sound scrumming by the FDNY, who took the momentum to pull ahead by three tries.
A late surge by the NYPD helped closed the gap, but time would catch up with them and the firefighters walked away victorious.
Live music and food followed the match, including a bagpipe performance of “Amazing Grace” and a moment of silence for the two servicemen.
Speaking of the match, Tufano said, "It makes it so much better because you are memorializing people that did great things with their lives.”