Round 1 of the 2011 NYCAFL saw hard fought wins to the Village Bohemian’s and the Hudson River Rats over the Suburban Tollmen and the Time Square Tourists respectively. Attendance at round 1 was excellent with each team having 12 or more players to select from and team captains having to make some hard decisions with their starting line-ups. The night also saw the inagural Recfooty game played by a bunch ofÂ enthusiasticÂ Magpies and Lady Pies.
The Village Bohemian’s and the Suburban Tollmen kicked off the NYCAFL for 2011 with the Boho’s looking for their first win in a couple of years. Signs looked positive for last years wooden spooners with returing Boho Jordan McIntyre, reigning NYCAFL MVP Jimmy ‘Pistol’ McLaughlin and 2011 draft selection David Schultz driving the Boho’s forward for the first couple of goals. To their credit the Trash battled on with number 1 draft pick Todd Smith and Trash legends Doug Lewis and Juice Desai racking up the touches. Despite their efforts the Boho’s led convincingly at half time, 6.1 37 to 3.0 18.
The Trash came out with renewed vigor in the second half and the insertion of late arrivals Matt Hine and Tristan Keefe had an immediate impact. A couple of quick goals had the Trash right back in the contest and the game was tight for the remainder. The Boho’s were able to cover the loss of Nick Kerr to a head collision with a strong team effort and ran out the winners, 10.2 62 to 9.0 54. Boho captain Nick Walker, who wasÂ ecstatic after his first win as captain, said ‘it was a strong team effort that got us the win tonight and with 2011 first round draft pick Jack Taylor and ruckman Eddy Buckingham yet to play, we are feeling confident about the rest of the season’.
Prior to the second NYCAFL game, the New York Magpies played their first Recfooty game with thoughts after the game ranging from ‘right on, Recfooty rocks’ to ‘why the hell am I wearing these streamers and being penalised for making contact with Toby?’ Recfooty is something that the Lady Pies are using to enhance skills, bridge the divide for new players into AFL and further improve the social nature of the club. The games will continue to beÂ trialedÂ during the NYCAFL season and next week special guest Brett Kirk will hopefully be involved.
The second game of the night saw a rematch of the 2010 NYCAFL grand final between the reigning premiers the Hudson River Rats and the Time Square Tourists. With the River Rats fielding an almost full strength team and the Tourists missing inspirational captain Andy Brennan, stand-in Tourist skipper Chris Georgiou called on a couple of one-off recruits to bolster his ranks. The game got off to a cracking start with River Rats midfielders Glenn Ormsby, Jeremy Spiteri and Nathan Watts giving their forward line first use of the ball. Full forward Andy Bowen capitalised on their strong work to boot a couple of goals and the River Rats lead comfortably at half time, 8.1 49 to 3.0 18.
The Tourists made a couple of adjustments early in the second half with Walt Lin and Adam Overall moving into the midfield and managing to get the bulk of the clearance possessions. Quick use of the ball on the short ground proved a boon for the Tourist forwards with Sam Mitchell and Joe Repice kicking 5 goals in 5 minutes between them to put the Tourist’s back on level pegging. A tough shot that just missed by Repice would have given the Tourists the lead however the River Rats steadied from that point on with experienced players Nick Stone and Tim Buxton wresting back control in the midfield. Both teams had their chances to win at the end of the game but the River Rats managed to hold on winning 11.2 68 to 11.0 66.
With both games tight, little separates the teams after round 1. The biggest story is the Boho’s early rise up the ladder, holding first position by percentage. Â Round 2 will see the top 2 teams clash with the River Rat’s taking on the Boho’s while the Trash and the Tourists have the chance to record their first win for the season. A special guest at round 2 will be former Sydney Swans premiership captain Brett Kirk so get along for the chance to meet Brett and see some high quality football.