It was a windy day as the New York Magpies took on the Chicago Swans in their second away game in a row. New York hadn’t travelled to Chicago for 7 years and were looking forward to testing themselves against the Swans. The Magpies were severely impacted before the first bounce with the withdrawal of Smiley, Squires, McLoughlin, Overell, Spiteri and Blandford due to injuries and unavailability. Despite the distractions, co-captains Todd Smith and Jordan McIntyre called correctly at the coin toss (performed by the Chicago Australian Consul-General) giving the Magpies the first use of the strong 4 goal breeze.
Collins competed well in the ruck from the outset and gaveÂ use of the ball to midfielders Taylor, McIntyre and Wheeldon and with the benefit of the wind the Magpies were soon on the attack with Norman and Mitchell getting busy up forward. After some impressive defensive efforts by Smith, Kwiatkowski andÂ Kerr the Magpies were able to take advantage through Dixon who booted the first goal which was soon followed by another from Mitchell.
The Magpies managed to lock the ball into their forward half but were inaccurate in front of goal, failing to convert many gettable shots until Norman managed to bang one through from 50. After a 3 goal to none start the Swans managed to get back a goal late in the quarter.
Fighting into the wind in the second quarter the Magpies knew it would be a tougher task and this was proven when the Swans started quickly showing strong rebounding skills and putting the Magpies defense under attack early,Â slamming through a couple of quick goals. Gradually, New York worked their way back into the game and 2 goals to McIntyre in the second half of the quarter meant that New York held a 2 goal lead at half time, 5.9 39 to 4.1 25.
The coaching staff made several changes at the start of the second half with Kwiatkowski moving into the ruck and Solly being inserted into the midfield. Chicago’s backline proved difficult to crack however despite the best efforts of Mitchell, Katsof, Walkington and Donner. Midfielders Metten and Desai kept busy though and Dixon and Mitchell added an extra goal each. Caine and Davis continued their strong form, however Chicago remained in touch with a goal of their own and were confident going into the last quarter, coming home with the aid of the breeze. Three quarter time saw the score at 7.10 52 to 5.3 33.
Co-captain Smith fired up the Magpies at three quarter time and challenged the players to win the quarter despite playing into the breeze. The players responded well with Desai continuing his good game and Pezanko putting in several fine second efforts, including one massive shepard to prevent Smith being run down. The Magpies maintained heavy pressure on the Swans and goals to Dixon, Mitchell, McIntyre, and Ormsby put the game beyond doubt. In the end the Magpies ran the game out the stronger of the two teams, however Chicago showed tremendous spirit and fought hard until the end. The final siren went and the Magpies ran out winners, 11.13 79 to 7.3 45, however the scoreboard didn’t reflect how close most of the game was.
Assistant coach Adam Overell said after the game “Chicago play a strong contested brand of football which made it a tough game. I was pleased with the form of some of the new guys and it was good to notch up consecutive road wins.” The Magpies now look forward to a trip down to face the Baltimore-Washington Eagles on Saturday May 12.
NY Magpies 11.13 79 def Chicago Swans 7.3.45
Best: Kwiatkowski, McIntyre, Desai, Taylor, Dixon
Goals: Dixon 3, McIntyre 3, Mitchell 3, Norman 1, Ormsby 1