Photo by Brian Canniff –

A depleted Philadelphia Spinners team defeated the Boston Whitecaps at Sweeney Field for the second time this season, 21-18.

After a rough start that saw Boston jump out to an early lead, Philadelphia found their stride in the second half. With big performances from Marcus Ranii-Dropcho, who continues his impressive rookie campaign, and David Brandolph, the Spinners earned their most important win of the season.

Philadelphia looked to a number of different contributors to win this contest, which the Spinners led the entire second half. With Patrick Diviney and Frederick Brasz out and Matt Esser and Nick Hirannet not able to play as many points as usual, the Spinners needed all hands on deck.

The biggest loss was Hirannet, who was instrumental in the Spinners’ defeat of Boston a month ago. Early in this contest, he layed out for a disc on a swing and ended up landing on his wrist. He had it wrapped, but was unable to throw a flick, so suddenly a strength for Philadelphia turned into a potential weakness.

But David Brandolph and Dave Baer stepped up in the Spinners’ biggest game of the season. Baer has done everything that Philadelphia has asked this season, and today, he made sure to keep the disc moving throughout the game, completing all 44 throws he attempted. Brandolph was tied for the team lead in points for Philadelphia on the day, making a handful of big layouts and throws by game’s end.

“Our team may not have one guy that is a big-time super star, but we do have 25 guys who can step into any role,” Brandolph said. “And that showed it right there. We have a mission, and we can accomplish that mission no matter who we do or don’t have.”

Hirannet did return late in the contest, with the Spinners up two and pulling to Boston. In a twist of fate, as Hirannet could only play defense, he ended up with the disc in his hands. Being forced left by Boston, Hirannet attempted a throw that went into the ground.

In a brilliant move that showed what a competitor Hirannet is, he poached off his man as Boston attempted to work the disc back up and knocked down a Boston huck, earning the biggest D of the game for Philadelphia. Instead of Boston closing the gap to one, Philadelphia took a comfortable three-point lead with less than a minute remaining, allowing the Spinners to sail to victory.

Trey Katzenbach and Jake Rainwater both pitched in on offense, continually getting open and allowing the Spinners offense to continue flowing despite Hirannet’s absence.

The game did not look like an easy win for much of the first half, but Philadelphia went on a four-point run in the second quarter to close the gap and go into half time up one, 12-11.

Instead of pulling off of the gas, Philadelphia pushed its engine into a higher gear at the start of the second half, going on another four-point run to take an advantage that proved too large for the defending MLU champions to overcome.

The task of making the playoffs doesn’t get any easier next week, as Philadelphia hosts the best of the East, the D.C. Current at Franklin Field.

“I wish it was happening tomorrow,” Brandolph said. “We’re playing the best ultimate that Philadelphia has seen in the last five years. We’re here, we’re ready, we’re going to beat D.C. next week and we’ll see them in the playoffs.”

Come to Franklin next Saturday to cheer on the Spinners in their final regular season game, one that will decide their playoff chances. The game begins at 7:30 p.m. ET. Get your tickets here.

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