G’Day, Ladies and Gentlemen, and welcome back to another addition of Friday Night Footy at the Wavo! The weather is smiling as are the faces of the crowd here on the Lake Front. The fight for the second/third on the ladder is shaping up to be an interesting one. Tonight, the Wrigleyville Rhinos take on the Lincoln Square Tigers in what should be one heck of a match.
With the final sides decided, Umpire Anthony “Razor” Hendrie said, “Let’s get this underway, boys,” and sent a beautiful bounce skyward. As with every ball up on the day, it was immediatly followed by an intense Ruck competition. It was the Battle of Jasons, pitting Jason “Pony-atta-Boy” Wilhelm against first year giant, Jason “Sandilands” Holmes (3 Goals). These two lads were at each other all night and it was a beauty to watch. Holmes is sailing away to train with the Sydney Swans for a month so, “Good onya, mate” and learn everything you can. The opening bounce led directly to a goal through some beautiful work by Tiger’s Vet, Paul “Oscar” Meyer who was active all day on the wing. Garrath “Sneaky” Carragher was lively in the forward line for Lincoln Square, kicking one goal for the night. The Tigers controlled the footy for much of the first quarter seeing them kick 3 goals 2 against a Rhino defense that seemed out of sorts. Will “Well” Hyung went down early with an ankle while Josh “Goose” Stenger tried to lead by example with some extraordinary efforts in the back pocket but unfortunately only aquired the Golden Goose as his prize. After a massive effort by Jayson “Long-Stocking” Schmelzer, the Rhino Defense found its feet. The second half of the first quarter saw Wrigleyville come alive and they ended the quarter with 2 goals 2 making the score at the end of one, the Lincoln Square Tigers leading the Wrigleyville Rhinos 3.2.20 to 2.2.14.
The Rhinos decided to make things very interesting when they opened the 2nd Quarter with a goal. Xavier “Rated X” Burton was like a war torn battleship out there, tossing blokes aside and kicking a beautiful goal off of Half Back, showing that you can never keep a big man down. Tyler “not Hattery” Dorsett was providing some great forward pressure while Aussie recruit Wade “Stewy” Porter was simply exhilarating in the mid field and across half back. His beautiful delivery was inspiring his teammates left and right. There’s only so much one man can do, however, as the defense of the Tigers were like plumbers out there: patching up all the leaks. Tiger Captain, Brian “Red Shorts” Hoyt made life tough for Rhino forwards, Joel “Dammit” Bennett and Mark “Macintosh” Appel who were the victims of bad bounces and a lack of support all evening long. Tiger Eric “Tricky” Conway was stingy in defense, but took a hard knock that hopefully proves to be nothing more than a corked thigh. Finally, Doug “Flash” Malcolm, was able to find space for the Rhinos and kicked a nice goal, 30 out on the run. At the long break, it was the Tigers 7.5.47 to the Rhinos 3.6.24.
The third quarter simply belonged to the reigning Premiers, Lincoln Square. Alex “Yep, I’ve only been playing for a few months” Wallach was on fire, taking a snapshot at goal on the left and starting an onslaught that would last nearly the entire quarter. The Tigers piled on 7.7 in a third period that left the Rhinos a bit punch-drunk. Russ “Not so Rusty after all” Adams had a great game coming off injury and kicked 2 goals for good measure. Al “Tatonka” McGlashan seemed likely to mark anything that came his way and proved too elusive for the Rhino defense, kicking 3 goals for the night. Joining in the fun was Paul “They Really Work” Enzinger who came from nowhere, putting up a bag of 3 as well. Henry “Thank God I don’t have to Ruck” Knoop was outstanding at Center Half Back where he was able to rebound the few oppurtunities that Wrigleyville had. At the end of three, the Tigers had a comfortable lead over the Rhinos who only managed one behind: LIncoln Square 14.14.98 to Wrigleyville 3.7.25.
The Rhinos had little but pride to fight for in the fourth quarter. And this came in droves as Nolan “Torpy” Mckeegan hoisted a magnificent Torpedo through the uprights from 60 out. He, David “Dewy” Fitzgerald and Woody “Brian Lake” did all they could to get on the board by kicking 3 goals between them, but alas it was not to be. The Tigers again, surged as Joe “Parking Ticket” Swierupski roved a pack and found Nolan “Blinded by Puppies” Schmelzer in space which led to the 2nd of 6 fourth quarter goals for Lincoln Square. the final score: the Lincoln Square Tigers 20.19.139 to the Wrigleyville Rhinos 6.6.45.
It was an absolute thrashing by the Tigers, but the Rhinos can hold their heads high. Anything, it seems, can happen this season. One thing is for sure, the Chicago Australian Football Association has a lot to look forward to in the coming years. The youngsters are making a difference and the future looks bright heading into a big away game in the coming weeks against the Division II Premiers, the Minnesota Freeze. This is a great rivalry and should prove to be an exciting contest.
||Rhinos: Fitzgerald (2), McKeegan (2), Malcolm, Burton
Tigers: Wallach (4), Enzinger (3), Holmes (3), MacGlashan (3), Adams (2), Jimenez (2), McGettigan (2), Carragher
||Rhinos: Burton, Porter
Tigers: Wallach, Holmes, MacGlashan, McGettigan
||Rhinos: Huynh (Ankle)
BOG (Blue Jacket): Alex Wallach
Oxford Landing Wine: Jason “PonyBoy” Wilhelm / Pedro Jiminez
Golden Goose: Josh Stenger (for taking the kick out from outside the goal square)