Welcome back to another season of CAFA Metro Footy! We’re excited to get the season underway and boy did we ever. It was a blustery, cold and wet night at Waveland Oval where the Piranhas took on the reigning premiers, the Tigers. Could David slay the mighty Goliath on opening day? What a statement that would be. All In all, 28 men braved the conditions in a 14/side Mud Bowl on opening day. And it was a crackah.
Quarter one began in a downpour making for extremely slick and slippery conditions. From the moment Umpire Drakey McBurny tossed the first ball up, the taps were generally dominated by Piranha’s Ruckman, Jason “Pony Boy” Wilhelm, who was very good around the ground amassing the possessions and kicking two goals on the day. His opponent, Henry “Man Mountain” Knoop was able to win his own footy at ground level and was opportunistic kicking one of his own. Both midfields worked extremely hard; however it was The Piranha midfield that seemed to take the game on. Piranha Rover, “Keefer” Campion amassed 12 contested possessions in the opening two minutes, while Tigers Rover “EZ” Zukowski seemed comfortable back on the footy field. Both had solid games. The first quarter was a lot of rebounding off of half back. On Debut, and impressing, was Tiger Alex “Yeah, this Footy stuff is no problem” Wallach who showed good hands and a nose for the footy. Another solid contributor for the Piranhas was another Debutant in Tim “Don’t worry, I got this” Hermann, who kicked a goal. At the end of one, the Piranhas led Tigers 12-8.
By the time the second quarter started the rain had stopped but the slippery conditions continued, and prevailed. Coming out of the gate, the Piranha’s work at ground level was sloppy, yet they continued to pump the ball into their forward line through the tireless work of both Andrew “Sainty” St. James (who looked great, returning from a shoulder injury that sidelined him all last season) and Jason “Pep” Schmelzer. They seemed to be everywhere yet were consistently under pressure by the Tiger defense led by Al “Robo-Knee” MacGlashan who was leading by example from start to finish. Fellow Tiger backmen, Mike “Disco” Panek, and newcomer Rick “what do you mean we should have scored on ourselves?” Pasquesi were courageous defenders and their efforts led to a goalless quarter for the Piranhas who had plenty of opportunities but couldn’t capitalize. In the closing seconds of the first half, The Tigers nearly kicked a goal through an outstanding effort by last Season’s MVP, Russ “Rusty” Adams. Adams appeared to slot one on the run from 55, but instead the goal umpire believed it hit the post. the replays were apparently inconclusive and it went in the books as a minor score. The Piranhas hang on to the lead, 2.5.17 to 2.3.15.
The third quarter was much of the same for both sides. Piranhas utility Doug “Dougie” Malcolm was his usual combative self and word around town was he could be standing in front of the match review panel for his tackle on Tiger debutant Randy “Bells” Andrus. He was cleared, however, as the hit was deemed legal and without malice. Pedro “Pedro” Jimenez did some great work at ground level and looks to have had a great offseason while Tyler “Minutes” Dorsett provided a lot of forward pressure, putting his body on the line for the Fish. Another impressive pair of debutants, Quinten “Q,” and Joey “Joey” K, took a number of contested marks on the wing and provided some inspiration in what was an otherwise uneventful quarter which saw both teams kick 1.1 and they went into the final quarter at the same difference as the third. Goals to both David “Deutzy” Deutz, and Wallach. Piranhas lead by two: 3.6.24 vs 3.4.22.
Knowing the lead could be theirs, the Tigers turned on the burners, and had an outstanding opening to the 4th quarter. Not even the great goose, “DK” could contain Graham “Crackers” Brennan who was the main target up forward. He a great night racking up 4 goals and coming alive when his side needed him. Providing him the opportunities was reigning Metro MVP, Nolan “Wheels” Schmelzer who worked hard across half forward, but their efforts were not enough. David “Fitzy” Fitzgerald and his left foot finally got warmed up too and put the nail into the coffin after Joe “Grizzly Adams” Swierupski apparently forgot how to play football giving away the last of 37 free kicks for the evening. At the final siren, and after much deliberation and flip flopping, the umpires agreed the final score to be: 6.5.41 to 6.8.44 in favor of the Piranhas.
|Goals||Tigers: Brennan (4), Knoop, Wallach
Piranhas: Fitzgerald (2), Wilhelm (2), Deutz, Hermann
|Best||Tigers: Brennan, Wallach, MacGlashan, Zukowski
Piranhas: Fitzgerald, Wilhelm, Campion, St John
|Injuries||Tigers: Brazendale (Hammy)
BOG (Blue Jacket) – Pony Boy
Oxford Landing – Alex Wallach
Swans Flag – Sainty
Golden Goose – DK