The Chicago Swans have finished their final regular season game with a huge win over the Minnesota Freeze. This was the perfect result for the home team who had yet to register a win in 2013 including a narrow loss to the Freeze earlier this year. The selected side also had 12 missing from the disappointing loss to Columbus 2 weeks ago. That said the 25 blokes that put on the Swans jersey were determined to give it a red hot go!
Chicago set the tone early with repeated forward entries set up by Jason Wilhelm giving the on ballers first sniff of the ball. A few close misses finally turned into goals and at quarter time the Swans had a 4 goal lead with the ball barely entering the visitors forward half. The early signs looked ominous for the Freeze with Swans’ midfielders, Porter, Young Pat playing most likely his best game for the Swans, Pedro, Sainty & Keefy dominating the center clearances and the forwards locking the ball in the forward 50 in an impressive display.
Full forward Leigh Rees showed his overhead skills was going to be a handful for the Minnesota defense, and the likes of the 2 Nolans, Doddsy, Dougy Malcolm, Dorsett, Henry Knoop all doing their bit to turn a defensive action into a scoring opportunity. Such was the domination in the first quarter the Freeze didn’t look close to scoring and failed to register a single point.
The 2nd quarter was a continuation of the first with the Chicago on-ballers taking advantage of the clever ruck taps from Revo Ruckman Ponyboy and working strongly together to clear the ball and deliver effectively into the forward line. Chicago’s defence held together by club stalwarts Hoyt & Prez Poncho, along with first gamer James Rapley & Russ holding the Freeze game breaker, Tiger to a few inneffective touches, were tried only slightly but held strong and worked well to clear the footy when the time came. Not being quite as wasteful in front of the big sticks the Swans were able to extend their lead with another couple of goals while the the Freeze still couldn’t get themselves on the scoreboard.
The Swans went into the main break with a commanding lead, 5.9 (39) to the Freeze 0.0 (0).
No score in the first half would be eating away at the Freeze and we knew they would rebound from such a one sided first half and with a little bit of luck and some classy play from a few of their guns, Zach & Tiger managed to finally score. Still, the Chicago backline kept the visitors busy and provided a great springboard for their forward thrusts. Fitzy & Nolan Schmelzer came out on the wings and played like men possessed; Fitzy really did turn back the clock on Saturday. This type of form from these two blokes makes for a difficult match up for the opposition.
Even with Minnesota kicking a couple of quick goals the Swans still won the quarter kicking 3 majors of their own to extend their lead to 45 points. it was clever play that won the premiership quarter, working in numbers, leading hard and not afraid to take the opposition on when it counted. A couple of key attacks from patiently going backwards to progress forwards was a clear indication that the Chicago boys weren’t only playing harder than their opponents but also working smarter.
The last quarter was more of the same. The midfield didn’t let up, full back Hoyt, Fitzy were almost toying with their opponents thrusting the ball repeatedly into the forward line, and kicking almost as many goals in 20 mins as they had in the previous 3 quarters. Even the midfielders were sharing the honours desperate to get their name in the paper.
Minnesota did manage to score another couple of goals but it was too little too late. The domination shown by the Chicago Swans was highlighted by an an absolutely fantastic end to end goal which the Freeze had no answer to. Young Pat El Zoghbi capped off a magic day with a goal on the siren.
In the end the Swans ran out 70 point victors 14-14 (98) to Minnesota 4-4 (28). It was great effort by Chicago who were keen to round out their season with a comprehensive 4 quarter effort leading into the final few weeks before Nationals in October.
If the boys can take this effort and keep moving forward then there is a most definite chance that they can bring back more Silverware from Austin and continue their climb to the upper ranks of the USAFL.
|Swans: McKeegan (4), Rees (4), Porter (2), Fitzgerald (2), Wallach, El Zoghbi
|Swans: McKeegan, Rees, Porter, El Zoghbi, Hermann, Hoyt B, Jimenez