Des Moines 80/35 Tournament - June 22, 2019
Back on the road, the Swannies headed to arguably the most exciting state on the map: Iowa. A shortened tournament in every sense, with rugby-sized fields and only 10 per side, the men were looking to defend their title from 2018, and the women were excited to again be pulling on the Swannies jumper.
Match #1 Minnesota: We had five girls who traveled to Des Moines to take on our first tournament as a team. Filling half of the 9 a side team, we had the honor to wear our red and white colors for the first time in a USAFL match! Joining us were girls from Houston Lonestars, Wisconsin Wombats and North Star Blue Ox. Our first match was against Minnesota Freeze, who as always had a very strong lineup! Rookies Kelsey, Melissa and Julia proved their potential very early in the game with Kelsey taking on the ruck, Melissa in the center and Julia in the backline. Combined with the swans captain Bekah in the center and Aish, our new recruit from New York Magpies, in the back. Despite the low score, or lack of, we definitely made a great impression for our upcoming Swans Womens team!
MVP: Melissa "Tank" Geldmeyer
Match #2 Denver: After playing our first official game as a team, we came into this game a lot more confident. Stand outs were Bekah who kicked two goals and Kelsey who kicked her first ever goal! The swans girls have shown so much potential, we are excited to continue our recruiting efforts for the rest of the season and into 2020.
MVP: Kelsey "Big Girl" Lawson
B: Julia Townbridge, Aishlin Greig, Jackie (Hou)
C: Bekah Quinn, Kelsey Lawson, Melissa Geldmeyer
F: Olivia (Blue Ox), Helen (Blue Ox), Nafla (Wis)
Int: Beth (Hou)
Match #1 Denver: We were met first up by Denver, a Div I team from 2018 and one of the favourites for the tournament title. However, they had clearly not anticipated The Great White Hope. Cliffy dominated the game kicking 3 and even managing to mark most of Dave Martin's rubbish kick-ins from full back. Tim Hermann was again resolute at full back on a much taller opponent. We took a two goal lead into half time and carried on from there. With AJ and Vinnie "wrecking ball" Lewis controlling the midfield, we ran over the top of Denver.
Match #2 Des Moines: This would prove effectively a semi-final, with both teams having beaten Denver before. We knew what Des Moines was capable of after their first game, and with a full bench of 7 and a large fan base. Unfortunately they managed to get the jump on us. This was not for lack of possession, but our inaccuracy was doubly cost. Not only did we miss out on kicking crucial goals, but we were unable to defend the rapid Des Moines kick-ins, which led to at least 3 coast to coast goals. Despite being down 6 goals at half time, the Swannies boys stuck at it but ultimately did not have the legs in their second consecutive game to come back against a rested Des Moines. Credit again in this game must go to the Wrecking Ball, as Vinnie in his first full game in the midfield showed exactly what he's capable of.
B: Richard Strapps, Tim Herrmann, David Martin
C: AJ Crosley
F: Stu Nicols, Bill (MN), Ben (MN)
Foll: Jeff Dick, Brad Clifton, Vinnie Lewis
Int: Tim (MN), Gloves
Best on ground: Vinnie "Wrecking Ball" Lewis
Best off ground: The entire women's team
Golden Goose: David Martin (for being too much of an all-round legend)
- Rebekah Quinn