So on the plane we got, a bunch of hungry, insatiable elite Australian Rules footballers with a big fat coach from Dallas and headed to the North East to take on the reigning USAFL champions, New York Magpies!! Most arrived Friday night and all were well in bed before our strict 6 AM curfew!
Cudo’s to Jacko for grabbing the 11 seater bus for 17 people, a management feat even I cannot master! The thought of sitting on Bens lap encouraged the coach and his team to get a cab to augment the travel arrangements. The drive to Yonkers was uneventful, even enjoyable. Arrived at Tibbetts Brook park around 11 and got down to business. The ground was in good nick, the open sewer even didn’t come into play!
As we only had 15 players, the New York Magpies “lent” us 4 players; Youngie, Dominic, Selby(3 goals) and Giddy!! All could play too!! Many thanks to those boys, they really helped make it an outstanding game.
First quarter opened in flurry with the Dallas boys scoring the first major early on. The ruck work of John Dobbs was outstanding, coupled with the on ball efforts of Jacko and Jake we gained the early ascendency.
The NYC Magpies pummeled their forward line early in the first quarter, but the work effort of Ben and Mikey in the back line and the pace of Diggs got us pushing forward on every rebound. The mid field led by a best on ground performance Will was unstoppable, great marking by Grant, Lashay and Selby really kept the pressure on. They also had no answer for Jake who’s balance and poise shone out like a laser beam at La Guardia airport.
The game was a tight contest all the way through the 2nd and 3rd terms, had a few casualties, Derek nearly lost his girlfriends best friend, Jacko head butted a boot and LaShay got introduced to REAL football by a great tackle that nearly tested his manhood!!
Leading into the last quarter, we got surprised by the drive NYC got out of the center, getting the first 3 goals in quick succession that put them into the lead, but or boys rallied, Alex Szabo took mark after mark, keeping us in the game, his strength and height scared the shit out of a few NYC magpies!!! We had our chances but it confirmed to the team and the NYC Magpies, we have the players to be a competitive outfit for this year and will have a real shot at the Div 1 title.
After the final siren(Robins whistle) the NYC Magpies led by 4 points, but an absolute fantastic effort, to nearly beat the “Champs” on their home turf is a credit to all the players who made the trip to NYC. The intensity was there from the start and understandably dropped off toward the end due to the pace on which the game was played!
Lashay was left behind in the boys haste to get showered after the game!! It sorta went like this: Brenn: You got LaShay
Me: No, Why?
Brenn: $@%!, we left him behind. no wonder the bus is quiet!
Me: !@#$ yes you left him behind!
Lachie: Hey Aido they left me behind!!
Due to overcrowding on the bus! Troy(who played 160 games in Oz before the age of 12!!) gave me, wifey(Our runner) and Robin(OurScorer) a lift to Manhattan and was a great example of the “USAFL” family we have. Many thanks to New York and bring on the nationals!
In my opinion, it was one of the best games of football I have seen here in the USA, even our opponents thought it was a great contest!! Good effort fellas, and lets get after 2015 and become the best of the best!!!!!
Final Score: G B T
Dallas: 10 13 73
NYC: 11 11 77
BOG – The big Will
Best Players: Will, Derek, Dobbs, Moff, Jake, Jacko, Grant, Diggs
Goals: Selby 3, Grant 3, Lashay 1, Brenn 1, Jake 1, Will 1