New York retains ANZAC Plate
The New York Magpies kicked off their 2012 season with 2 hard fought wins against the Boston Demons in Massachusetts. After the long bus ride from New York to Boston, the day began with Magpies coach Glenn Ormsby announcing the leadership group for 2012, consisting of Jordan McIntyre, Todd Smith, Jack Taylor, Bryan Caine, Brad Davis, Mike Murphy and David Kyle. The game started fast and furious with plenty of stoppages and both teams’ backlines repelling plenty of attacks. Taylor and Mike Fraietta were attacking the ball relentlessly and the pressure from the midfielders and contests of the forwards saw New York sneak the first goal for the day via Fraietta. The Demons responded almost instantly though and the Magpies led by a couple of points at quarter time.
The second quarter continued as the first had ended with players throwing themselves into the contest. The backlines continued to dictate the play with Alex Kwiatkowski, Smith and Hawkins all showing poise under pressure in the backline. Glenn Caldwell played strong to take a couple of big marks and the Magpies gradually worked their way ahead on the scoreboard. With Rob Donner and Chris Walsh presenting well up forward, rovers Matt Barlaz and Brad Davis had plenty of chances to crumb the packs. However, Boston kept coming and at halftime the difference remained mere points, the Magpies up 3.5 23 to 3.1.19.
After a halftime rev up, the Magpies hit the pitch with greater intent and through strong work from undersized ruckman Nick Kerr and midfielders Mike Dixon and Brett Felsenthal, gradually grinded out to a 4 goal advantage. The going remained tough as debutants Tai Scott and Zach Katsof got involved and the coaching staff worked continuous rotations. Bryan Caine began to get an advantage over his opponent and a Magpies’ goal towards the end of the quarter saw them take a handy 3 goal lead into the final break, 7.7 49 to 5.1 31.
The last quarter remained tight with both teams butchering the ball under pressure and tired legs starting to show. The Magpies appeared to stop running and Boston could sense it, making a late surge to try and pull off an upset. Although Boston had the better of the play they were wasteful in front of goal, missing several scoring opportunities. The Magpies’ rotations increased in response with Ben Metten, Dylan Martin, Joe Hocking and Tom Burke all having an impact on the game. The backline continued to provide strong resistance although work is required on the kick outs. After a tough game, the Magpies held on to run out victors 8.7 55 to 6.5 41 and retain the ANZAC Plate.
The coaching staff were pleased to get the win, saying, “It’s always good to get a victory first up and over rivals Boston. I thought that our new players showed some encouraging signs; however, there is plenty of work to do as we were very rusty today. We’ll definitely be having a hard week on the training track before heading up to Chicago.”
Best Players: Kwiatkowski, Taylor, Hawkins, Walsh, Dixon
Goal Kickers: Davis 2, Felsenthal, Taylor, Dixon, Scott, Walsh, Fraietta
Following the four quarter game, the Magpies’ reserves battled Boston’s reserves in a two quarter game. The Magpies, aided by a strong midfield featuring Ormsby, Martin, Jones, Burke and Bennett, burst out of the blocks and were never really threatened with the backline of Mick Maguire, Conor Walsh, Myles Walkington, Paul Martin and Tristan Keeffe holding particularly strong. Troy Danilo and Tai Scott were lively up forward with a couple of goals. All players who travelled got a decent run and the coaching staff will no doubt have plenty of headaches at the selection table when picking the starting team for Chicago.