Posted by Thomas Shearman

Burgmann Fields, IL- The Chicago lakefront was abuzz both before and after this titanic struggle Friday night. The return of Rod Bashford brought out some 3 extra supporters to add to the Gore army and after their impressive win first up against the Tigers of Lincoln Square, it was a confident Wrigleyville club that took the field to take on last years premier, the incredibly tall and strong Piranhas.

In a turn for the ages, it was Wrigleyville who lobbed with the numbers, bringing every player on their list excepting legendary figure Craig ‘Funky’ Miller who is as reclusive as Warrick Burgmann these days. Reports that the two old mates have begun shacking up at the corner of Belmont and Halsted and winning tonnes of money in the ‘shower competition’ held every friday night at the Man Hole have not been confirmed…. nor denied. The Rhinos actually had to hand over their latest recruit, Sammy Blundell to the Piranhas and like a bastard, he must have picked up 10 possessions in the first half to piss Morgan and Drake right off. The Piranhas managed 14 or so and the cheating bastards roped Crackers Brennan into the game which we will discuss no more in this media (Ku*ts).

Anyway, back the foooty (you can tell the Piranhas coach is a bloody Collingwood supporter can’t you, cheating bastard… not sour grapes, more like sour bloody lemons, how the hell did we lose this Rhinos? SHIIIIT!). Now, back to it, I’m good again and apologise to the Lincoln Park fans and the scumbags that play for them. The game started with Mustard (or as he shall be known now… the blind bloke in white, I thought it was knee that was the problem, not his eyesight?) tossing the Sherrin skyward as big Stace and Wolfey stared each other down. The Piranha was first out of the gate with impressive sorties forward which were marred by some dodgey kicking and a staunch Rhino defence ably lead by Forte (someone find a nickname for him on this trip please…. Hoyt, get him drunk, naked and tied to a pole and see what we can come up with) and Disco who was starting to come back into some form ahead of the big one in Cinci.

The Piranhas were on top in the middle as Brennan, Isadore and Stace repeatedly won it out of the center but around the ground the Rhino was reigning supreme but they hit a wall in the name of Bluey everytime they went forward. His run, coupled with St Louis’s other favorite son in Gambaro was a privilage to watch. Big Roofy was again being frustrated up front as Forte was doing a stellar job on him and the Rhino backs kept them in it as John ‘high and happy’ Scher, Glenn Clarke and Jeffrey Borchardt all provided excellent opportunities for their forwards. It wasn’t until Forte, creeping up the ground, was able to take a bounce and kick long that the Rhinos finally were able to score. His bomb found the OBK who took what many called mark of the century. The kid, not missing a beat, played on and drilled the Rhinos first from about 50 (inches) out. At the quarters end, the Rhino loomed large, 1.0:6 to 0.3: 3.

The Piranha was not to be denied though and came out full of piss and vinegar as the game rose a notch. The tackling was sensational and there wasn’t an easy kick to be found (trust me, I looked everywhere for one). New gun Nolan was the first to score with an impressive goal to put the Piranhas in front and when Bluey, after another of his damaging runs out of defence took a bounce and went BANG from 40 put the Piranhas further in front it was a worried Drake that threw himself into the ruck and Wolfe to full forward to see whether the Rhinos could get something going. The ploy worked with Wolfe banging home a snap in heavy traffic to send the game into half time with the Piranhas in front 2.5: 17 to 2.1: 13

With the Piranhas on top through the center, Ambrosino went into the middle but with the move of Roofy into the ruck, the Pirnahs continued to dictate the flow of the ball but were unable to break the back of the Rhino as their youngsters continued to frustrate. Jack Thompson again showed he is a class act as did first gamer Elijah (Oscars mate hence a future Tiger) and the unsung Rhinos such as the two Tylers (Hattery playing a great game on Al and then tristan), Scher and panek were able to weather the storm and turn the game for the Rhino. Drake threw the dice and moved Morgan to defence and Forte up front and the big fella saluted his coach with two big 3rd quarter goals to put the Rhinos back in front and send MacGlashan sprawling as he searched his stacked team for answers to the big blonde. Forte could’ve had number three were it not for a ‘Golden Goose’ moment from the other big blonde in Wolfe. A Forte bomb was met by the lone Wolfe in the goalsquare whose attmepted mark hit him in the chest, knocked him over and dribbled through for a behind. The ensuing Gambaro kick in found the one Rhino in amongst about 8 Piranhas as BJ raised his hand for the Golden Goose too. Luckily for the other big blonde (sounds like the pages of playboy!), Borchardts shot flew wide and the Pirnhas were able to clear. Enter Rohan Ward. Well beaten last week and constantly frustrated by poor Piranha delivery, the great man finally said enough is enough and went on his way to winning the game by himself. MacGlashan went down back to get out of his way and the Roof took over. His goal, on the trot late in the third was important as it wrested the lead back from the Rhinos, who had had most of the play and were now going into the orange break 4.1: 25 to 3. 9: 27 down.

The last quarter had everything as both teams threw everything they had at each other. The backmen for both teams were under incredible pressure but didn’t crack. The piranhas, preffering the long bomb, took away their big advantage in Roofy, providing easy fodder for Drake who had put himself back to try and stem the Ward onslaught. Kastilahn was given the big job on Forte and MacGlashan played himself free across the backline and he took some telling grabs. Roofy’s next opportunity came via a very suspect ‘handball’ (can’t complain though, everyone except for mustard saw the first one for the Rhinos!) which he duly snapped over the shoulder for number 2 to send the Piranhas fans into a frenzy. The Rhinos continued to attack though and if not for some stanuch defence, would have won. A telling play by the OBK on the goal line where he rose above a pack of players like Michael Jordan himself and tapped it to Basher let the little man nail his first and get the Rhinos to within a point. She was hairy stuff as following the bounce, Borchardt marked and drove the ball forward urging his forwards to take one last grab but like a Greek God, big Al was able to mark in front of Forte and clear the danger. The whistle sounded like a poachers gun shot to the Rhino heart as the Piranhas ran out winners by one freaking point meaning all teams have a win each after the first round of Metro.

Results

Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Piranhas 0.3.3 2.2.14 1.4.10 1.1.7 4.10.34
Rhinos 1.0.6 1.1.7 2.0.12 1.2.8 5.3.33
Goals Piranhas: Ward (2), Carroll, McKeegan
Rhinos: Forte (2), Wolfe, OBK, Bashford
Best Piranhas: Ward, Carroll, Isadore, Elmore, Cisco
Rhinos: Forte, Wolfe, OBK, Hattery, Panek
Umpire De Jong

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