It was with a backdrop of clouds and rain that round 2 of the NYCAFL got underway at Steven’s Institute in Hoboken. Several teams were impacted by rain related withdrawals and it was a different looking Times Square Tourists line-up that took on the Suburban Tollmen (Trash) in the first game of the night. With Todd Smith of the Trash and Alex Kwiatkowski of the Tourists starting in the ruck both teams got good service early with debuting Tourist Joseph Hocking and teammate for the night Brendan Murphy getting plenty of it. The first half was an arm wrestle with goals to Mike ‘Wolfman’ Speilman and Ojas ‘Juice’ Desai for the Trash quickly matched by goals to Adam Overall and fill-in Tim Buxton for the Tourists. At half-time the score was all tied up at 4 goals a piece.
The second half was no different from the first although the game opened up and goals flowed more freely for both sides. Brian Jeep and Blake Boles did some good things for the Tourists while David ‘Digger’ Kyle and Nick O’Sullivan were getting plenty of it for the Trash. The ball was slipping and sliding in the wet (as were the players) and quick, long kicks were the order of the day. Desai benefited from a couple of lovely passes from Tristan Keefe to slot consecutive goals and the Trash were up by a goal with less than a minute to play. Quick forward movement from Kwiatkowski and Brett Felsenthal gave the Tourists the chance to tie it up and they did so with seconds to play, both teams finishing on 11.0 66 in the first NYCAFL draw for at least a few years.
With the Recfooty game postponed for the week, the Hudson River Rats and Village Bohemian game got underway with both teams supplemented by talent from the Trash and the Tourists. The River Rats superior level of talent showed early however with ruckman Scott McMaster giving good service to his midfielders Buxton, Felsenthal, Murphy and Nick Brooks who delivered well to their forwards. Primary Rats target Andy Bowen presented and kicked well to put his team up by a few goals early in the game. The Boho’s showed their fighting spirit however with Eddy Buckingham, Brad Davis, Matt Barlaz and Dylan Martin getting plenty of the ball and it was only the efforts of Rats full-back, Glenn Ormsby to touch a couple of kicks on the line that prevented Boho from being right in the contest. The Rats continued to move the ball well for the rest of the half and led 7.1 43 to 1.3 9 at half time.
The dark clouds regathered at the start of the second half and the Rats increased their urgency posting two quick goals through Bowen and Brooks before Boho regrouped and kicked two of their own. Unfortunately the lightning and thunder commenced shortly after that point and the players were instructed to vacate the ground by Steven’s Institute, ending the game. Final score was a strong win to the River Rats, 10.2 62 to 3.3 21.
Their win gives the River Rats the leg up to a NYCAFL final berth as the only team to win both games although mathematically any combination of the Rats, the Trash and the Tourists can still make the decider. Unfortunately last years champions, the Village Bohemians are no longer in the race for the 2012 NYCAFL championship having been devastated by injuries to key players. All NYCAFL teams now have 2 weekends off before the next round on Friday July 13th. The Lady Pies travel to Boston on June 30 for a tournament also involving Baltimore, Columbus and Montreal.