Men’s Divisions 2011 Nationals Recap
Nationals – Division 1
Game 1 – New York Loses Game 1 in Dying Moments
Everyone knew that Calgary was going to be a tough contest coming into the tournament and Game 1 proved to be almost the match of the season. New York kicked against a strong wind in the first half, however the backline and midfield worked tirelessly to ensure the ball didn’t penetrate Calgary’s forward 50 too often. The forward line also exerted plenty of pressure and although New York had more of the ball in the first half, wayward kicking meant the Magpies lead was only 2 points at the major change.
The second half was again another enthralling contest, two of the top teams in North America playing hard, contested and unrelenting football with neither team giving an inch. The Magpies had a few chances to ice the game but Calgary’s run and carry from defense troubled the Magpies. The scores were tied with just a few minutes remaining, however, Calgary took their chances and ran over the top of the Magpies in the last few minutes, kicking what ended up being the match winning goal.
New York 2.5.17 def by Calgary 4.4.28
NY Best: Brennan, Taylor, Stone, Keating, Dixon
NY Goals: Brennan, Dixon
Game 2 – New York bounce back to OC
The OC Bombers have always been a tough match up and NY knew this would be no exception. However with NY needing a win to stay in the championship the coaching staff didn’t need to say much to players.The game was an arm wrestle from the first bounce, but New York worked their way into the game and the last 10 minutes of the first half was all New York allowing the Magpies to take a 2 goal lead into the major change.
The second half was much of the same and New York’s class rose to the top allowing them to run out comfortable winners and bounce back solidly with a win. After the game New York’s James McLoughlin said, “It was good to bounce back with a win, especially after the first game was a toss of the coin, so the boys showed what character there is in this group.”
New York 5.7.37 def Orange County 2.2.14
NY Best: McMaster, McLoughlin, Smith, Davis, Brennan
NY Goals: McLoughlin 2, Lin, Brennan, Keating
Game 3 – New York beat Golden Gate to Keep Hopes of Championship Alive
Needing to rely on other results to make it into the championship game, New York came out hard and dominated the first half. Unfortunately they couldn’t turn that game dominance into scoreboard pressure and with the windy conditions only went into the major change 1 goal up. The second half saw Golden Gate launch a number of counter attacks, however New York’s defense stood tall and only allowed 1 goal for the game which enabled NY to run out winners and finish with a 2-1 record, and waiting for the other results to see if they made the championship game.
New York 3.3.21 def Golden Gate 1.6.12
NY Best: Stone, Keating, Taylor, Spielman, Smith
NY Goals: McLoughlin, Taylor, Spielman
In the end the results didn’t fall in the Magpies favor and they were unable to defend their National Title. This loss has left the Magpies determined to get back to the top in 2012.
Nationals – Division 3
The New York Magpies second team (playing in Division 3 after winning Division 4 last year) were undermanned in their first game against Atlanta. They put in a brave effort and were down by only 3 points at half time. The Magpies were defiant, however, in the second half Atlanta had to much run and won by 5 goals.
Game 2 – New York Bounces back in a thriller over Kansas City
In their second game the Magpies received a boost with a few key players coming back into the team. In a tight game that saw the lead change 6 times in the second half, the Magpies stood tall and showed plenty of character to beat a strong Kansas City outfit.
Game 3 – New York powers past Columbus hoping to make the Grand Final
With their division title hopes still alive NY came out hard in their last round robin match. The Magpies dominated from the opening bounce but were wasteful in front of goal. Despite poor kicking, the Magpies easily accounted for Jackaroos winning by 7 goals.
Even though both teams didn’t make the Grand Finals, the club can still be very proud of the effort and results at Nationals. Finishing top 3 in the country and fielding 2 teams, along with winning the Eastern Conference made 2011 another successful year.
Not winning the 2011 National Championship has left the Magpies hungry for more success. Whilst 2011 saw some club legends retire from the club, the core group has been maintained and the players and club as a whole are looking forward to preseason training and getting back on the ground in a bid to climb back to the top of mountain.