Milwaukee, WI- After battling floods and some shocking road conditions to get to Milwaukee for the honor of battling the Bombers for the MAAFL crown, the Chicago United, on the back of a suffocating backline led by Big, Bad Frank Bradley, produced one of their greatest efforts to leap frog the Bombers and lead the fight for premiership glory.
The game started in what, considering the amount of rain that had fallen, were very good conditions. A tender breeze blew across the ground but the good news for the United hierarchy was that goals could be kicked and it was a very fired up Chicago team that took the field in the annual meeting of these two old foes.
Big Spider started in ruck with support from Wolfe, Crackers and Bretty Isadore and as mentioned in the warm ups, this is where the game had to be won so Chicago went with 3 physical on ballers to break a few packs and set the game alight. The game couldn’t have started better as the ball was won and sent forward where the defingered big man in Roofy showed why he’s such an integral part of this team with a telling mark and goal to set the United faithful in raptures. Seconds later, Drake marked after some great work down the field and his set shot from 40 out sailed through to set the tone for the day where the two big fellas gave the Bomber coaching staff headaches as they tried to cope first with the height, then the pace of Hoyt, Gordo, DT and Oscar.
Milwaukee settled though and dug in for a rear guard effort as their midfielders started to get more of the ball especially through Noonan and perenial pain in the arse for United, Ross Siegal. They were able to find big Heath at Center Half Forward who was having a classic match up with Poncho and the two walruses (or MAAFL legends as they prefer) down back in Plugger and Big Al were duking it out like old time prize fighters but the United backline stayed strong and great movement through the middle by Funky, Fitz and Hayse resulted in Roofy latching onto a loose ball and soccering home Chicago’s third of the quarter and send them into the break 3.3: 21 to 0.2: 2 up.
Drake and the coaching staff resisted the urge to make changes but brought Deri Morgan on to control the dangerous Noonan and he did a fine job until the top of his head came into contact with the equally hard head of Joe Casanovas sending both to the canvas and knocking Deri out of the game. More bad news was that Milwaukee were able to hit back with 2 goals of their own as they insured Chicago were not going to have the day to themselves. Chicago was able to kick a settler before Haysie ran onto a loose ball and snapped, on the left just quietly, goal of the year (and yes, to Haysies later chagrin, as he asked his loving wife Katie about it, she looked at him puzzled then stated those famous words, ‘Oh sorry Ryan, I misssed it, must’ve been when I went to get another 312 from the car’) that set the United boys alight and they continued to attack the Milwaukee backline which bent but didn’t break. Ambrosino was having a fine game and was rewarded with a late goal to send the United boys into the long break 5.7: 37 to 2.3: 15 up and full of vigor as an unlikely win became more of a possibility.
The third quarter is where games are won and lost and the coach pointed to one spot where this game was going to be won and it was the massive clash of Poncho and Heath going on at center half forward for the Bombers. For once, Drake was correct as Poncho’s third quarter gave Chicago an even bigger step up as he completely dominated Heath and controlled the Milwaukee forwards with plenty of help from Funky, Al, Disco and Betty Palmer. On the top side, Chicago had stacked Fitz, Hayse and Oscar and as the Bomber on ballers started to tire these three started to dominate as they found plenty of space. Big Stace was starting to take over in the ruck and Isadores tag on Noonan was wearing the West Aussie down.
All this meant plenty of opportunites for the United forwards who sensed a feeding frenzy. After an errant Milwaukee kick in, Drake was able to mark and was assisted to the ground by Bomber stalwart Gary earning a 50 m penalty which he duly popped through. Big Roofy was next in line as fine play from MacGlashan found Miller who kicked to an unmarked Crackers on the wing. His kick to his coach was a classic as it let the big fella run onto it and hit big Roofy on the left tit as he led from full forward. roofy somehow dropped it but buttered up better than a Hoyt at 3am in the morning and snapped truly.
From the ensuing center bounce, Poncho was able to gather and burst through a pack and send the kangaroo skin gyrating forward where Drake marked 45 m out dead in front. His third for the afternoon was the first nail in the Bomber coffin as they threw men left, right and center trying to stop the incredible run the Chicago boys had got going.
The third quarter ended with Chicago leading 8.10: 58 to 2.5: 18 and with the rout on, Chicago looked to kick more goals as the Bombers tried to stop them and keep their MAAFL hopes alive.
With the Chicago runners completely dominating the center bounces and blokes like Hayes, Brennan, Casanovas, Fitzgerald and Tyrekos running wild out wide, Milwaukee dropped 3 spare men back to stop the bleeding and they were able to control the flow of goals but not the constant delivery. Ambrosino was the first to break the blockade with a smart soccer goal that was his second for the afternoon. Chicago continued to push everything and everyone forward trying to pile on the goals but it took a checkside from a vocal Oscar Meyer to bring up Chicago’s second for the quarter. The game ended, with Milwaukee kicking a late goal that had hearts racing as the triumphant Chicago team left the ground and headed straight for the calculators. Realising no one on the team knew how to use it, a phone call to Mustard revealed the news that all had hoped for, that United had leap frogged the highly fancied Bombers to lead the MAAFL fight.
I think I speak for everyone… GO MINNESOTTA!!!!!
United: Drake (3), Ward (3), Ambrosino (2), Hayes, Meyer
United: Ward, Ambrosino, Hayes, Fitzgerald, Bradley, Wolfe