Saturday 1 March 2014
Domestic Game 3 welcomed three more debutants from rugby land – Jim, Jason and Bronson, The Jumbo Fridge – and former Vietnam Swan Matt Townsend. Samo had also overcome his niggling neck injury and was seen pulling his socks up over his impish calves. The large crowd consisting mainly of Jason’s chick posse and Charlie the puppy were all expecting a classic hitout – and they weren’t going to be disappointed.
The pre-game message from Dog was a simple one – concentrate on playing a disciplined style of footy built on defence. The Reds started in blistering pace with winners all over the field. Paddy and Al had plenty of the ball and EJ and Skinny were causing the Blue’s defenders headaches, scoring two and one goal respectively for the term. The Blues on the other hand took Dog’s advice a little too literally, by defending so much they barely scored. The game looked over.
Quarter time – Reds 3.2 (19) Blues 0.1 (1)
The Blues meandered back out to their positions to start the second term, looking knackered and in need of an inspiration. Or perhaps a player. That came in the form of none other than Chucky Beumer. His calming, zen-like presence in the midfield eased the pressure on Gator, and allowed Jim to concentrate on nullifying Paddy. His tackle on the club captain set the tone and led to the Blues’ first goal, kicked by big Lawrence. With Twoey getting a bit more of the ball, the Reds defenders needed to stand up, and they were ably led by Coxy on the last line and Auskicker dad, Dave Rainsford at centre half back. Their work combined nicely to set up Saul for the Reds’ fourth. Jim then finished off a scrambling play for a Blues goal, before Skinny stretched the Reds’ margin with his second. As half time approached was there anyone, on either side, willing to stand up and say, “I won’t lie down just yet”..? It turned out to be Bobcock, that’s who. Seemingly reinvigorated by his solo Indian sojourn, the veteran Welsh rookie marked and goaled to put the Blues back in the match on the stroke of half time.
Half time – Reds 5.2 (32) Blues 3.1 (19)
Many in the Reds camp felt the Blues’ playmakers would tire after their 2nd quarter heroics, but that wasn’t to be the case. Victor belied his years by dominating in the ruck, while Drew and the rebounding galloper, Matty T, continued to thwart any Reds attack. Samo was playing a general’s role at centre half back, and his calf busting run and long goal was inspirational. When Gator ran onto the ball and passed to the Jumbo Fridge who went back and scored his first, the game was up for grabs.
Three quarter time – Reds 5.6 (36) Blues 5.2 (32)
With the Reds struggling to score since quarter time, many expected the Blues to finish them off. But it was not to be. The Reds midfield started to regain control and the defenders stood tall once again. Paddy seemed to be everywhere and he set up the Saul goal that seemed to turn the tide. But the Blues had their chances. The Jumbo Fridge was a menace up forward and a couple of set shots in front that missed were met by some encouraging words from Paddy. The skipper then popped up near the centre to kick a wonderful running goal that iced the game. Dave R starred for the Reds in his first game back in a decade, and when he hobbled off with a strained hamstring with a few minutes left, the Blues had an extra man on the field but not enough legs.
Final scores – Reds 7.7 (49) Blues 5.4 (34)
Reds – EJ 2, Skinny 2, Saul 2, Paddy 1
Reds – Lawrence 1, Jim 1, Bobcock 1, Bronson 1, Samo 1