Another beautiful Friday night welcomed the latest edition of the Metro League with the Piranhas taking on the Rhinos down at Waveland Field. With a number of regulars MIA, it was a great opportunity for a number of the newer players to step up and take accountability for their side. It was great to see out of the two sides, 7 are new recruits playing their first season of Footy. The game got underway with Coach “Play on” Hendrie taking up umpire duties on a shorter field. The field was shortened due to expected numbers, but was expanded at the end of the first quarter as the game resembled more of the proposed AFLX game rather than a footy game. Every now and again, the Metro League sees a legend return to the oval, and this week, the players and spectators were graced with the Swans greatest goal kicking machine, Al MacGlashan taking to the field for the first time in quite a while.
It didn’t take long for the first goal of the game as the Piranha’s Stu “About to get rattled” Nicol snapped one from the boundary on his favored left foot. The Piranha’s continued the onslaught for the first 10mins or so with Tom “Bearded Beast” Shearman and John “Fend-off” Reynolds roughed up the midfield. After that, it was all Rhinos with Nathan “My mate’s coming, can we play a footy game” Bird linking up with Gordon “Pikmin” Barnett to slot several before the break. Newcomer Dan “Hispter Socks” Armstrong played a pivotal role in moving the pill out the center and into the forward line. The experienced Mike “Panic@theDisco” Panek provided another newcomer Troy “Mr. Vape” Kuziel with valuable direction in the backline and Kuziel is a quick learner, which came to the annoyance of his man, Barnett. The Rhino’s confidence rocketed, however this was soon to bite Bird after he was through on goal with no one ahead of him, his lack of urgency and la-de-da finishing saw him get caught by Kuziel and Panek. While Bird was able to get a generous point and the endeavor of the backline was second to none, the goose award was all but sealed by this point.
The second quarter started with much of the same as the end of the first with Shearman, Nicol and Reynolds struggling to get the ball to the point man in MacGlashan in the forward 50. Pedro “Bring your brother to footy day” Jimenez and his brother Vicente “The Rib Rattler”, brought the physicality to the Piranhas midfield with Vicente laying a particularly strong tackle on Nicol that left him counting his ribs. As if the Piranhas day couldn’t get much worse, Micah “Fab Movran” Brown, who was quiet in the first, sprang to life just before the halftime. Sprang is an appropriate term as the agility of Brown is freakish and he left all in his wake.
At the half there was some changes with Shearman having to leave to feed his horses back in his village in Wisconsin and Brad “Never on time” Clifton, well… showing up late. Kev “Topper Harley” O’Reilly landed his plane and with suitcase in hand, showed up to lace up his uggs and get a run in. O’Reilly’s rust, thankfully, subsided after a few possessions as a couple of his teammates were starting to wane after a few floaters and hospital passes. Clifton and Paul “DJ Gloves” Enzinger solidified the Piranhas backline and plugged the one way traffic that was being lead from the Rhino’s stalwart backline in Rob “Watch how loose I can get later” Schmidt. Amy “One of the lads” McGuiness was able to keep the Piranhas from bottoming out with a couple of late goals after some fine footwork.
Barnett’s accuracy never wavered in the third and the only saving grace the Pirahnas had was that “Mack Truck” MacGlashan snagged numerous sausage rolls with some sensational snaps. A bit of comic relief for the spectators, opponents and well, teammates saw Nicol and MacGlashan collide front on whilst chasing a wild ball out on the boundary. Needless to say, physics was not kind to Nicol who by this point had enough ribs for a family BBQ on the 4th.
Speaking of the 4th, an epic rivalry consumed the 4th quarter when Armstrong and Steve “such a nice guy” Stavropoulos seesawed in dominance over one another that highlighted the grit and determination of both. Both these players are ones to watch and come Columbus is a couple of weeks, it’ll be great to see them working side by side.
Some more magic from MacGlashan, some fancy footwork from former dancer O’Reilly and some hard running from Reynolds wasn’t enough to pip the Piranhas over the line, with them going down by 3 goals at the siren. Another great hit out as we lead up to the July 15th tournament in Columbus. Next round of Metro is July 7th, 6pm @ Waveland Field.
Best: Shearman, Reynolds, Brown, Clifton, McGuiness