BEVERLY — The rivalry between the Marblehead and Beverly High boys lacrosse teams went to another level yesterday afternoon.
The Panthers ran off an eight-goal spurt to deal their Northeastern Conference foes a 12-6 loss in a game that featured a pair of ejections because of a third-quarter fight that broke out after a hard hit.
As Beverly was in the middle of a goal-scoring spree that turned a 5-4 deficit into a 12-5 advantage, a check delivered by Beverly senior Dave Rollins drew both a flag — and retaliation — from Marblehead.
Some pushing and shoving eventually led to a skirmish. When order was restored, Rollins and Marblehead’s Dean Fader were ejected for throwing punches and Beverly defenseman Andrew Irving was assessed an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
Rollins and Fader will be suspended for the next two games as a result.
“It was a huge hit (by Rollins). I don’t think it was malicious. It wasn’t a dirty hit or anything; it was just big and he got a penalty,” Beverly (3-0) head coach John Pynchon said. “Their kid got into it with one of our guys, and I think everyone was trying to break it up. But they said those two guys threw punches, so they’re out.”
Pynchon chalked up the extracurricular activity to the constantly bubbling emotions of this rivalry.
“We had our best two days of practice on Sunday and Monday getting ready for this game,” Pynchon said. “Across all sports — hockey, basketball, football, soccer — it’s a great rivalry between Beverly and Marblehead. These guys we bring in from other sports, they know and they’re ready to go; same with their guys. How many games have (Ian) Maag and (Brendan) Flaherty gone head-to-head in their career? Same with Dom (Abate). We know them really well and they know us really well.”