USAFL National Championship Win – Reserves Match Reports

Division 4 – Game 1

New York Off to a Flying Start

New York fielded a strong team in the reserves side and wanted to send a message to the competition early.

Buckingham started on fire in the ruck putting the ball down the throats of midfielders Ormsby, Squires and Walkington. They used this advantage to get the ball into open space where the Magpies could use their skills and pace to break the game open. McCormick, Norman and McLoughlin all presented strongly up forward and were marking everything that came their way, allowing the Pies to pile on 7 goals to 1 in the first half.

In the second half, New York continued to dominate the play with Captain Polulach, Walker and Steiner all controlling the backline allowing Broeren, Dutton and Murray to capitalize on the scoreboard. Spataro, Flavel and Campiglia all knocked up getting possessions and New York ran away with a commanding victory.

Nick Walker said after the game that “Minnesota put on a tough contest, but we were able to come out on top.  It was a great all around team effort from our veteran players, right through to our new guys.  We did the little things like putting on the shepherds, quick hand balls, and getting around each other for the second efforts, which helped us get the win.  Overall a great start to the weekend.”

Final Score: New York Magpies   13.10.88 def   Minnesota Freeze 2.1.137

Goals: Murray 3, McLoughlin 3, Norman 2, Broeren, Walkington, Dutton, Squires, Lin

Best: McLoughlin, Squires, Buckingham, Polulach, Dutton

Injuries: Nil

Reports: Nil

Division 4 – Game 2

New York out run Columbus/Nashville

With spots in the seniors up for grabs, every player wanted to push their case for senior selection which saw New York jump out to another impressive start. Smiley was leading from the front in the ruck and the midfield combination of Squires, Ormsby and Dutton got on top to continually put the Columbus/Nashville defense under pressure. The half backline of Walker, Polulach and Caldwell also provided plenty of attack and this allowed New York to put plenty of scoreboard pressure on. New York went into the break leading by 4 goals.

The second half saw Norman and McLoughlin control the forward line. Norman kicked 3 goals in 5 minutes and McLoughlin was marking everything that came near him.  Defense pressure all across the ground, in particular special efforts from Lin, Campiglia, Spataro and McCormick, all contributed to New York controlling the game. The icing on the cake was provided by Flavel, Steiner, Broeren and Murray in the second half which ensured New York ran out convincing winners and the club finished the day (with 2 Lady Pie wins): 6 – 0.

Goal kicking machine Chris Norman said after the game “Ash and the boys in defense conceded only one shot on goal and 3 goals in 2 games which was awesome. That combined with the hard running and physical pressure in the middle makes it easy for guys like Pistol, Muzza and myself up forward.  It was a real team effort”.

Final Score: New York Magpies   9.8.62 def   Columbus/Nashville 1.0.6.

Goals: Norman 3, McLoughlin 2, Lin, Murray, Smiley, Dutton

Best: Norman, Ormsby, Smiley, Walkington, McCormick

Injuries: Norman (Finger)

Reports: Nil

Division 4 – Game 3

New York books their place in the final with a commanding win over Dallas/Austin

The early start was a little rough for all players but New York thought they could take advantage of the cooler morning conditions.  The game was very physical to start with neither team getting on top early.  New York’s midfield of Smith, Squires and Davis worked hard ensuring the strong work, and nice taps, of Smiley were taken to optimal advantage.  The back six of Polulach, Steiner, Walker, Campiglia, Flavel and Caldwell ensured New York setup a wall and provided plenty of attack. Towards the end of the first half, New York split the game open with a few goals but Dallas/Austin continued to fight and went into the break just a few goals down.

New York came out full of running, knowing a win would get them into a grand final and set the scene for the day.  Smiley continued to get on top of his opponent and Dutton Broeren and Ormsby provided plenty of run and carry in the guts. This allowed the forwards in Murray, Norman and McCormick to break the shackles and capitalize with goals and send New York into the Grand Final with their tails up.

New York’s ruckman, Brett Smiley, was impressive all game and said after the game: “Having played a Division 1 game yesterday against the Texans, I knew it was going to be important to get on top early.  We needed to start the match with high intensity and I think we were able to do this. To their credit, they came out hard in the 2nd half but we wanted it more and went on to book our seat in the first Magpie GF of the day – you beauty!”

Final Score: New York Magpies   8.10.58 def   Dallas/Austin 1.1.7

Goals: Norman, Smith, Murray, Dutton, Polulach, Davis, McCormick, Broeren

Best: Smith, Squires, Walker, Smiley, Steiner, Davis

Injuries: Norman (Finger)

Reports: Nil

Division 4 – Grand Final

New York dominates Grand Final to take Division 4 Title

The New York Magpies were primed for the contest as Coach Daniher fired up the team just before the bounce.  The Magpies jumped out of the gates by kicking 2 early goals through Smiley dominating the ruck and giving the advantage to his on-ball unit of Ormsby, Dutton and Smith. This allowed New York to gain an advantage at the stoppages and apply the pressure on Denver by pumping the ball long into the forward line. The forwards of Norman, Murray and McCormick capitalized on the scoreboard and kept the ball in the forward line. They managed to kick 2 more goals for the first half and the Pies took a 4 goal lead into the break.

New York knew that if they could get a couple of quick goals the game would be blown wide open, and after an impassioned speech by Polulach at half time, the Pies came out full of running. The backline led by Polulach and containing Walker, Flavel, Caldwell, Campiglia and Thompson stood tall and repelled all attacks, not allowing a single goal for the entire game in a magnificent display of accountable and hard running football.

This provided the springboard for New York with 9 goals kicked in the second half.  After Flavel, Dutton and Ormsby all put their hands up for goal-of-the-day but Spataro trumped them all with a magnificent 50-meter running goal that started from the wing.  Steiner, Davis and Walkington all joined the party as they ran out the game strongly and New York recorded its first Division 4 title in convincing style.

Team Captain James Polulach said after his final game with the Pies (after an illustrious career) that “the Pies stuck to their game plan of a hard attack on the ball, and long direct kicking to the hot spot, to keep the pressure on Denver. Constant midfield rotations meant that fresh legs were always around the ball and everyone contributed which was very pleasing”.

Final Score: New York Magpies   13.4.82   def   Denver   0.3.3

Goals: Norman 2, Smith, Murray, Dutton, Polulach, Davis, McCormick, Ormsby, Spataro, Walkington, Flavel, McCormick

Best: Dutton, Ormsby, Smith, Smiley, Polulach

Injuries: Nil

Reports: Nil

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