Chicago was finally able to snap its 6 year drought and return the MAAFL cup home after an emphatic 46 point win over the Milwaukee Bombers. Bolstered by the return of Warrick Burgmann (6 goals) and inspired by fellow United legend Al MacGlashan (3 goals), the boys from Chicago were to strong for a determined yet undermanned Milwaukee squad.
The conditions for football were perfect. On Chicago’s magnificent lakeshore, with nary a cloud in sight, these two old foes met once again in battle with 14 a side. Chicago struck first through Big Al but the Bombers bit back almost straight away. Chicago found it hard to move the ball with the quick heeled Bombers dominating scrimmages. The play seemed to be all Milwaukee as they ran the ball with ease and put tremendous pressure on the Chicago defense which looked fractured. Seemingly against the play, Gambas was able to goal for Chicago and after a lovely mark, Burgmann put the United boys further ahead as the tall timber up front in MacGlashan, Burgmann and Ternes started to give the Bombers headaches. After two quick goals by Milwaukee, Ehlers goaled followed by a freak goal from MacGlashan that sent the 200 strong crowd into hysterics. Patty Hoyt slipped through a classic crumbers goal on the siren to send United into the first break 6.0: 36 to a very disappointed Milwaukee 3.0: 18 who had done enough to be a lot closer.
The Chicago defense was given a lovely dressing down by their injured coach and they were able to respond in kind with a marvelous second quarter led by club President Drew Ehlers and last gamer ‘Biggun’ Jackson by shutting down Milwaukee. At the other end, Burgmann was able to add another while a free kick to Billy Uhlmann set up Chicago’s second. Chicago still struggled with movement through the middle but the move of Palmer (wing) and Deri Morgan into the center late in the quarter had an instant effect as the two were able to set up several forward thrusts. At the long break, United led 8.3: 51 to the Bombers 3.2: 20
The premiership quarter belonged to Chicago as they could taste their first MAAFL flag in United colors and their first in six years since the barnstorming Swans of 01. Three players, MacGlashan, Frank Bradley and Dan Kastilahn remain from that famous team and each was putting in their best as Chicago slammed on 6 big ones for the quarter. After a quiet first half, big, bustling Roofy was moved into the ruck where he was able to take the game over. He kicked truly to start the Chicago onslaught. Ambrosino kicked truly followed by MacGlashan for his third. Ternes went to the bench and Burgmann to full forward where the boy from Katandra became an irresistable force. He banged on three, all from huge grabs which sent at least 4 girls in the crowd into hysterics. But for some bad kicking, the big fella may have had another three. At the long break, Chicago seemed to have the game in the bag as they led by 68 points 14.5: 89 to a shell shocked Milwaukee 3.3: 21.
Milwaukee went into the final quarter knowing they had only kicked 3 points in the previous 2 quarters of football. 10 minutes after the bounce, they had added 6 straight goals and were on fire as the Chicago midfield collapsed, along with their much vaunted defense. A flurry of activity on the Chicago bench saw Jackson, De Jong, Roofy and an injured Funky Miller thrown back into the game to stem the bleeding out of the middle and down back. The game to and fro-ed as Chicago tried to wrestle the ascendancy from the upbeat reigning premier who sniffed an improbable come back. A goal to Roofy stopped the rot for Chicago and when Burgmann hauled in another big one handed grab before kicking his sixth, the game was over and wild celebrations started across Chicago. Best On Ground Warrick Burgmann, interviewed after the game praised ‘his’ supporters and his teammates stating “yeeeeess mate, nice one. Happy to be back in the United colors showing both big Al and Ternesy how to mark and kick”. For Milwaukee, the game showed what could have been. They were able to play sustained, attacking football in short bursts but were completely outgunned in their backline as they gave away several inches to Burgmann, Ternes and MacGlashan. The Bomber forward line was starved of quality balls as the suffocating Chicago backline took its toll but their midfield was able to run all day and they always bought numbers to the ball as evidenced in their sensational final term.
Chicago were well below their best but had enough to win the game. Burgmann and MacGlashan were unstoppable up front and after a poor start, Miller, Ehlers, Poncho and Jackson headed an impenetrable defense. The move of Deri Morgan, Roofy and Betty Palmer into the middle was the impetus that created the run that finally got the United team going. All up though, this was a fantastic season for United as they take an undefeated MAAFL season into the Nationals in Louisville, full of confidence.
|United: Burgmann (6), MacGlashan (3), Ward (2), Uhlmann, Gambas, Hoyt P, Ambrosino, Ehlers
|United: Burgmann, MacGlashan, Ehlers, Palmer, Bradley, Jackson, Miller