After a hard fought 2012 NYCAFL season, the Suburban Tollmen (“Trash”) came out the winners, beating the previously undefeated Hudson River Rats to take the championship trophy. The Village Bohemians were also winners on Grand Final night, beating the Times Square Tourists by less than a goal to win the first pick in the 2013 NYCAFL draft.

On a beautiful evening for football the action got underway with the now standard mixed rec-footy game. Teams were selected and the Yellow team, led by the in-form Drea Casillas, and the Red team, led by Christina Licata, took the field. The game was played in tight to start with lots of clever hand passes and more running with the ball than had taken place in the other games. The yellow team got on the board first but Red answered quickly before the quarter locked down with defenders Lissette and Sophia for the Red team being matched by their Yellow compatriots in Melissa and new Lady Pie Janet. Eventually continued pressure resulted in an extra goal for each team before half-time and it was tied at 2 goals each at the break.

The Red team came out the stronger at the start of the second half with Autumn marking everything that went near her while Bryan and Magic got their team-mates involved. The game continued to be close though and the Yellow team responded to 2 goals from Red with a booming goal from Ciara and with a couple of minutes to go trailed by a straight kick. Despite the best efforts of Toby and Rebecca for the Yellow team, Red got the key takeaway and when Magic kicked truly from right in front, the game was all over with Red winning 5 goals to 3.

It had been a tough year for Boho and the Tourists with the team sharing 1 win and a draw between them over the first 3 weeks of the competition. Both teams had good turn-outs however, as they played for the second week in a row, this time with the first pick in the 2013 NYCAFL draft up for grabs. The number 1 pick in the 2012 draft for the Tourists, Alex Kwiatkowski started well for the Tourists giving them a significant advantage in the ruck and good service to his midfielders, Josh Auchetti, Chris Casey and Mike Fraietta. The Boho’s kept it close though with Nick Walker competing hard and Jack Taylor and Jordan McIntyre marshaling their teams. Both teams went goal for goal in the first half with all players putting in their best efforts, including 3 new American players who were involved in their first AFL games. At half time there was nothing in the game.

Both teams came out fired up in the second half and gradually Boho exploited their superior skill level to open up a 2 goal break. Dylan Martin, Paul Martin and Aaron Hawkins were key in building the lead and urged their team-mates to join them. Credit to the Tourists, they found another gear to stick with the Boho’s as acting captain Adam Overall and Ed McCormick started to find more of the ball and the Tourists managed to draw level with 2 goals of their own and then took the lead via a rare point. Boho realized they needed one last effort and Dylan Martin was the man of the moment kicking truly from about 30 metres out to give his team the win. In a low scoring contest Boho won by 5 points, 6.0 36 to 5.1 31.

Finally the main game of the night took place with both teams missing a few first choice players to other commitments. Unfortunately for the River Rats the combination of some early injuries and a well-executed game plan from the Trash proved difficult to overcome and the Trash took an early lead with goals to David Kyle, Nick O’Sullivan and Tristan Keefe. Despite being double teamed Rats spearhead Andy Bowen got his hand on the ball a couple of times and converted truly to put the Rats right back in the contest.  Trash loose man in defense Jason Clifford was getting plenty of the ball however and continued to drive his team forward with Barry Dry and Duncan Schieb taking advantage. The River Rats got 1 more via Adam Routledge before the break but trailed 5.0 30 to 3.1 19 at half time.

The captains of both teams implored their players for extra effort in the second half and both made key changes at the break with Bowen and Routledge moving up the ground for the Rats and Hamish Keith being inserted into the midfield for the Trash. The Trash maintained their physical pressure on their opponents and despite the best efforts of Tom Burke and Brett Felsenthal the Trash added a couple of extra goals via Juice Desai and Keefe to stretch the lead. Bowen added another for the Rats but the Trash responded immediately and when the Rats sustained injuries to Adam Mantzaris and Felsenthal the game was beyond reach. The Trash controlled the tempo well and ultimately ran out comfortable winners, 9.1 55 to 4.1 25. For his excellent performance as the extra man in defense Jason Clifford was selected best on ground, winning a carton of Coopers and a bottle of wine from Magpies sponsor the Australian Bar & Restaurant.

After a highly successful season the 2012 NYCAFL was in the books and the players and supporters celebrated and commiserated at the Australian over a complimentary keg from proprietor Matt Astill. Special thanks go to departing Magpies legend and NYCAFL umpire Michael Payne, guest umpire for grand final night Rhys Ryan and everyone involved from the venues, Steven’s Institute in Hoboken and Pier 40 in Manhattan. The NYCAFL will return in 2013 bigger and better than ever!

 

 

For the last time in 2012 the NYCAFL visited Hoboken and the results saw the Hudson River Rats book a spot in the NYCAFL Final with a win over the Suburban Tollmen (“Trash”) and the Village Bohemian’s record their first win for the season beating the Times Square Tourists. Despite their loss the Trash will face the Rats in the NYCAFL Final on Saturday July 21st at Pier 40 in Manhattan while Boho and the Tourists will also rematch with the first pick in the 2013 NYCAFL draft at stake.

First up on the night was the mixed Recfooty game and it was the red team that came out firing, scoring the first 3 goals via Andrea Casillas and new recruit Gabe before the yellow team got on the board via another new recruit, Zak. The middle of the half saw back and forward football with Bryan Caine, Siobhan McHale and Lisette Hinojosa exerting their influence. Unfortunately for the yellow team Casillas and Gabe each added another goal before the break to put the Red team up 5.0 30 to 1.0 6 at half time.

The second half saw a closer contest as Christina Licata got more involved and Rebecca Wax and Autumn Ervin made some searching runs up the wings. Casillas and Gabe continued to be the difference for Red however, each adding another goal. The Yellow team decided it was time to make a game of it with Zak adding another for the Yellow team and McHale exerting her influence with 2 majors to make it a 3 goal game. Unfortunately for them as they had for the whole game Casillas and Gabe kicked truly to finish with 5 and 4 goals respectively and the Red team won 9.0 54 to 4.0 24.

The River Rats knew that they could confirm their spot in the 2012 NYCAFL grand final and continue their unbeaten run with a win other the 2nd placed team on the ladder, the Suburban Tollmen. The game started exactly as they hoped with Rats captain Jeremy Spiteri collecting the ball from the opening tap by Adam Mantzaris and goaling with mere seconds on the clock. Not to be out done the Trash roved the next contest and kicked truly to make it 1 goal a piece with less than a minute played. The next possession continued the trend as the Rats got the ball down quickly to their full forward, Andy Bowen who converted to put the Rats up again. Unfortunately for the Trash, they couldn’t answer straight back and the Rats managed to be more productive during the half with Rob Donner, Brett Felsenthal and Brendan Murphy particularly busy. At half time the Rats led the Trash 10.0 60 to 5.0 30.

After a pep talk from coach David Kyle the Trash came out the more determined in the second half with Nick O’Sullivan throwing his body into the contests, Jason Clifford getting more involved across half back and fill-in Tai Scott doing a sterling job. The strong work translated into goals with the Trash adding 5 to the Rats 2 in the first 10 minutes, reducing the gap to 2 goals. The rest of the half was an arm-wrestle as Rats backmen Tim Buxton and Ben Squires locked their opponents down and their Trash equivalents Bryan Caine and Myles Walkington did the same. Ultimately though Bowen put through the sealer and the Rats confirmed top spot on the ladder and a grand final place with a 13.0 78 to 11.0 66 win.

The final game for the night pitted the Tourists against the Village Bohemians with both teams looking for their first win of the season and the Tourists still a mathematical chance of making the grand final. The first half was a back and forward battle with returning Boho leaders Jordan McIntyre and Jack Taylor finding their feet after injury related time on the sideline. With Boho full back Dylan Martin doing a good job on Chris Walsh of the Tourists and Tourist Brett Smiley keeping Boho full forward Eddy Buckingham quiet it was left to both teams midfielders to do the scoring and Chris Murray for Boho and Joseph Hocking for the Tourists kicked truly. At half time nothing separated the 2 teams with both kicking 3.0 straight.

Boho came out the stronger in the second half and with Taylor and McIntyre getting more involved built up a buffer of a couple of goals. The Tourists were not to be discouraged however and captain Sam Mitchell added a goal before Boho enforcer Toby Tornay soccered one through on the goal line. Smiley moved into the ruck for the Tourists and gave them a sniff of a victory but ultimately Boho held on to record an 8.0 48 to 6.0 36 victory.

With the Tourists failing to beat Boho the NYCAFL final was confirmed as a rematch of the Round 3 clash between the Hudson River Rats and the Suburban Tollmen. For the Trash it will be a chance to gain some revenge for a close loss while the Rats will be able to cap an undefeated season and their 2nd NYCAFL championship in 3 years with a win. The Tourists and Boho will also get the chance of a rematch with the first pick in the 2013 NYCAFL Draft up for grabs. Both teams will no doubt be keen to get the win and the opportunity to add the best new talent to their squad for next year.

Both games plus the final Recfooty game for the year will take place this Saturday July 21st at Pier 40 in Manhattan (west end of Houston St) from 6pm. Spectators are welcome to attend the New York Magpies only games in Manhattan for 2012 and are encouraged to bring food and drinks (no alcohol is permitted). The games will be followed by the trophy presentation to the 2012 NYCAFL champions at The Australian Bar and Restaurant on West 38th Street (between 5th and 6th Avenues) from around 10pm. The owner of the Australian, a generous sponsor of the New York Magpies, has also offered to raise the stakes for the Rats and the Trash with the winning team to receive a happy hour and the player voted best on ground a couple of cartons of Coopers.

 

 

It was with a backdrop of clouds and rain that round 2 of the NYCAFL got underway at Steven’s Institute in Hoboken. Several teams were impacted by rain related withdrawals and it was a different looking Times Square Tourists line-up that took on the Suburban Tollmen (Trash) in the first game of the night. With Todd Smith of the Trash and Alex Kwiatkowski of the Tourists starting in the ruck both teams got good service early with debuting Tourist Joseph Hocking and teammate for the night Brendan Murphy getting plenty of it. The first half was an arm wrestle with goals to Mike ‘Wolfman’ Speilman and Ojas ‘Juice’ Desai for the Trash quickly matched by goals to Adam Overall and fill-in Tim Buxton for the Tourists. At half-time the score was all tied up at 4 goals a piece.

The second half was no different from the first although the game opened up and goals flowed more freely for both sides. Brian Jeep and Blake Boles did some good things for the Tourists while David ‘Digger’ Kyle and Nick O’Sullivan were getting plenty of it for the Trash. The ball was slipping and sliding in the wet (as were the players) and quick, long kicks were the order of the day. Desai benefited from a couple of lovely passes from Tristan Keefe to slot consecutive goals and the Trash were up by a goal with less than a minute to play. Quick forward movement from Kwiatkowski and Brett Felsenthal gave the Tourists the chance to tie it up and they did so with seconds to play, both teams finishing on 11.0 66 in the first NYCAFL draw for at least a few years.

With the Recfooty game postponed for the week, the Hudson River Rats and Village Bohemian game got underway with both teams supplemented by talent from the Trash and the Tourists. The River Rats superior level of talent showed early however with ruckman Scott McMaster giving good service to his midfielders Buxton, Felsenthal, Murphy and Nick Brooks who delivered well to their forwards. Primary Rats target Andy Bowen presented and kicked well to put his team up by a few goals early in the game. The Boho’s showed their fighting spirit however with Eddy Buckingham, Brad Davis, Matt Barlaz and Dylan Martin getting plenty of the ball and it was only the efforts of Rats full-back, Glenn Ormsby to touch a couple of kicks on the line that prevented Boho from being right in the contest. The Rats continued to move the ball well for the rest of the half and led 7.1 43 to 1.3 9 at half time.

The dark clouds regathered at the start of the second half and the Rats increased their urgency posting two quick goals through Bowen and Brooks before Boho regrouped and kicked two of their own. Unfortunately the lightning and thunder commenced shortly after that point and the players were instructed to vacate the ground by Steven’s Institute, ending the game. Final score was a strong win to the River Rats, 10.2 62 to 3.3 21.

Their win gives the River Rats the leg up to a NYCAFL final berth as the only team to win both games although mathematically any combination of the Rats, the Trash and the Tourists can still make the decider. Unfortunately last years champions, the Village Bohemians are no longer in the race for the 2012 NYCAFL championship having been devastated by injuries to key players. All NYCAFL teams now have 2 weekends off before the next round on Friday July 13th. The Lady Pies travel to Boston on June 30 for a tournament also involving Baltimore, Columbus and Montreal.

Round 1 of the New York City Australian Football League (“NYCAFL”) kicked off on a perfect evening for football in Hoboken, just across the Hudson River from the city. After a successful draft night on Wednesday there was a good turn-out for the games which would see the Hudson River Rats take on the Times Square Tourists and the Village Bohemian’s take on the Suburban Tollmen. The night also featured a co-ed Recfooty game including many of the Lady Pies plus some new players.

The Recfooty game started the night and with several players new to the format (which involves tags rather than tackling) the game went several minutes before the first goal was scored. Eventually the red team got on the board first with Christina Licata combining well with Bryan Caine, Jeremy McMahon and Aminah Sulayman. The rest of the half was back and forth and the yellow team managed to peg things back to lead 5 goals to 4 at half time with Emily Royer and Philip Boyd playing particularly well. The second half was even closer than the first with both teams struggling to score initially. It all came down to the last 2 minutes and with the two teams tied on 8 goals each the red team managed to get the last goal, winning 9 goals to 8 goals.

Next up the Hudson River Rats took on the Times Square Tourists with both teams looking to bounce back from tough 2011 campaigns. The River Rats had the better start with ruckman Nick Brooks combining well with rovers Tim Buxton, Brett Felsenthal and Brendan Murphy and the Rats had quickly jumped out to a 4 goal lead. The Tourists were not discouraged however and smart tap work from 2012 NYCAFL draft number 1 pick Alex Kwiatkowski to his rovers Sam Mitchell and Chris Casey saw the contest tighten. The rest of the quarter was fairly even and at half time the River Rats led 8.1 49 to 4.0 24.

In the second half the River Rats continued to score consistently but the Tourists remained solid with both team’s backlines standing strong under constant pressure. Tourists debutant Brian Jeep did a great job on his Rats opponent while Rat defenders Ben Squires and Mike ‘Buckets’ Farrell also played well. In what was truly a midfield game the River Rats had more depth with Jono Rush, Olivier Tresco and Tom Thompson complimenting the starting midfielders and ultimately the Rats ran out victors, 17.1 103 to 7.0 42.

The final match of the evening pitted the defending NYCAFL champions the Village Bohemians against their opponents in the 2011 grand final, the Suburban Tollmen (‘Trash’). The game was noticeably more physical than the previous game with Trash midfielders Todd Smith, Hamish Keith and Nick O’Sullivan fighting a strong battle with the their Boho’s counterparts Eddy Buckingham, Dylan Martin and Rex Roberts. After the Boho’s got the first couple of goals the Trash fought back and by the end of the quarter had managed to open up a 2 goal advantage to lead 6.0 36 to 4.0 24.

Both teams made several changes at the start of the second half with Smith moving into the ruck for the Trash and Chris Murray and Juice Desai, for the Boho’s and Trash respectively, restarting an old rivalry in the middle. After a tight first 5 minutes that saw both teams slot a couple of goals, the Trash begun to pull away with Digger Kyle and Jason Clifford getting amongst the goals and Bryan Caine and Tristan Keefe restricting their opponents down back. The Boho’s kept working hard and scored a couple of late goals via Brent Wheeldon and Cam Sinclair to keep the result respectable however the Trash managed to gain a measure of revenge for their 2011 grand final loss, running out winners 15.0 90 to 9.0 54.

After a high scoring first week the River Rats have jumped to the top of the ladder courtesy of their large win over the Tourists. The NYCAFL continues next Friday back at Steven’s Institute in Hoboken as the Suburban Tollmen take on the Times Square Tourists and the Village Bohemians take on the Hudson River Rats.

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