METROLEAGUE GRAND FINAL REPORT
Suburban Tollmen vs Village Bohemians
The Suburban Tollmen have defeated the Village Bohemians in an entertaining and often spiteful Grand Final of the 2006 NYC Outback Steakhouse Metro League. The Village boys broke out of the gates early and looked the stronger side running on the words of their coach, Ant Hendrie, who fired a few stingers at the Trash whoâ€™d begun to think they had it in the bag already. The signs were good as the VBâ€™s attacked continuously, putting the Boroughs defense under pressure. Brian Jackson was getting the better of Pat in the ruck and feeding the VB runner in Jim Nicholls and Chris Murray. Jacko was also getting around the ground and marking anything that came his way. Two goals were on the board already before the Reds got the ball out of the middle. The Trash began to attack but kicks missed targets, shots on goal went wide and marks were dropped while the VBâ€™s found the big sticks with great accuracy, none more so than VB stalwart, Mike Gluck who goaled on a sharp angle under great pressure. The Purples kept the Trash at arms length and a late goal to the Trash made the difference 8 points at the half time break.
In recent games, the VBâ€™s have started strongly but faded in the dying minutes while the Trash, with its superior fitness have been able to run out till the end. This is where Coach Kelly revved his charges. He knew that if the Boroughs could get a few early ones on the board, they would run over the Villagers. The 2nd half was just as ferocious as the first, with players going in hard and bodies flying everywhere. The skin-hungry surface of Stevens gave no mercy. The ball went from end to end in such quick fashion it was like watching a tennis match. It was goal for goal until roughly the 13 minute mark of the last half when the Trash broke the game open. Their attack was more efficient and kicks were hitting targets, whether that be body or the uprights. Their defense in Lewis, Cameron and Druitt attacked from the backline and with quick handball, set up attacking plays. Exciting youngsters, Reuben Murray and Tim Buxton and old hand Ojas Desai were getting on top of the VBâ€™s in the middle and working extra hard to move the ball forward. Reuben had his best game for the Trash, moving effortlessly, goaling from all angles but also doing the 1%ers to help his team. The Trash began to work harder, knowing their fitness was stronger. The Lower Manhattanites were still giving it their all but it was only a matter of time before the dam burst. Within 3 or 4 minutes, the Trash were up by 5 goals and had secured back to back flags.
The Purple men can hold their heads high as they never gave in. After a disastrous 2005 campaign, Crighton and Hendrie can be assured that the VBâ€™s will be up their again in 07. The Trash secured back to back flags on the back of the most settled side in the competition. 2007 looks to be the same and you can count that the Trash will be pushing for a 3-peat.
In the earlier game, the Touros got up by 1 point over the disappointing River Rats. A late goal to the Yellows ensured they won 3rd spot in the competition while the loss for the Rats resigned them to the foot of the table.
Matt Smith, Nick Molloy and Rhys Ryan were the better players in the Touros win while the Rats worked hard on the back of Tom Thompson and ML father, Andrew Bridges.
Scores to come.
Rumours abound of a 5th team in the ML next season as well as any plan to break up the Trashâ€™s dominance. No matter what happens, Season 2006 has been a very entertaining and productive one. There were great games, blowouts and most important of all, more Americans playing the game and falling in love with it.
Thank you to all who made this season such a success and may 2007 be even better.
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE SUBURBAN TOLLMEN, THE TRASH!
Until then, see ya at the footy!