The New York City Australian Football League opened up its season with the OUTBACK Pre-Season Challenge on the weekend.
Three teams competed on Saturday, the Brooklyn Tigers, the Bronx Warriors and the Manhattan Scorpions.
The first match between the Tigers and the Warriors was a game dominated by talented forwards on both sides.
The first half saw James Hawkins in rare early form for the Tigers kicking six, some reminding observers of a young Diacos. While the Tigers dominated the match in the first half it was the Warriors who owned the game in the second half, with Zac Keane and Tim Buxton combining for five goals. The Tigers were able to hang on for a 30 point victory.
Â Â Â Â Brooklyn: Jimmy Polulach, James Hawkins, Toby Tornay
Â Â Â Â Bronx: Zac Keane, Tim Buxton, Ed McCormack
Â Â Â Â Brooklyn: Hawkins 6, Desai 1, Flavel 1, Lonergan 1, Polulach 1
Â Â Â Â Bronx: Keane 3, Buxton 2
The second match was played between the Manhattan Scorpions and the Brooklyn Tigers.
This turned out to be a crackerjack contest. The game was played at a ferocious pace plenty of hard at the ball contests and tackling at a level not usually seen in early season games. Toby Tornay particularly led the way in this area for the Tigers. A feature was the ruck contests between Adam Mantzaris and Brett Smiley of the Tigers. The Scorpions had done their homework and were able to restrict the dangerous Hawkins in the first half. Ormsby and Batty driving the center field for the Scorpions helped create a one goal lead at the half.
The second half was played at a similar pace, but Hawkins refused to be contained any longer and opened up finishing the game with five goals. The lead see-sawed throughout the half Ormsby and Batty kicking 7 goals between them, while Big Mike â€œBucketsâ€ Farrell was engaged in a tough physical contest with newcomer Nick Walker, Farrell finishing with 3 goals. Just when you thought the Scorpions were done back they came to kick a tying goal. The game finished with the ball in the hands of Jimmy Polulach but the siren went before he kicked and the game ended in a tie. Special mention to Monica Robbins, a member of the USA Freedom team, who played for the Scorpions finishing the game with 4 goals.
Â Â Â Â Brooklyn: Jimmy Polulach, James Hawkins, Toby Tornay , Brett Smiley
Â Â Â Â Manhattan: Shane Batty, Glen Ormsby, Nick Walker, Paul Guarino
Â Â Â Â Brooklyn: Hawkins 5, Farrell 3, Polulach 2, Flavel 1, Lonergan 1
Â Â Â Â Manhattan: Robbins 4, Ormsby 4, Batty 3, Guarino 1
The final match saw the Bronx Warriors take on the Manhattan Scorpions. A Scorpions win could give them bragging rights for the day.
The Warriors bounced out of the blocks and played hard man on man football from the first second. Cleary not wanting to go through the day without a win, Zac Keane leading the way in the ruck and around the ground creating opportunities for his team mates. Ben Squires and Glen Ormsby were involved in a fierce contest on ball. Tim Buxton was at his creative best causing havoc in the forward line. The Warriors took a substantial half time lead.
The second half saw a fight back from the Scorpions with Mantzaris fighting back against Keane in the ruck and quick goals to Batty and Ormsby. Paul Guarino was active and dangerous in the forward line providing the goal of the day with sensational play and a snap across the body.
However the Warriors steadied and ran out comfortable winners.
Â Â Â Â Bronx: Zac Keane, Ben Squires ,Tim Buxton, Ed McCormack
Â Â Â Â Manhattan: Shane Batty, Adam Mantzaris, Glenn Ormsby, Paul Guarino
Â Â Â Â Bronx: Keane 4, Squires 4, Buxton 3, Adam 1
Â Â Â Â Manhattan: Batty 4, Ormsby 1, Guarino 1, Robbins 1
Special thanks to Rod Marr and Michael Payne who umpired all games and did a terrific job.