Both the Magpie men and the Lady Pies were crowned champions of the eastern region, in a clean sweep of the tournament at Tibbetts Brook Park on Saturday.
New York Magpies vs Boston Demons
In an exciting clash, the Magpie men faced local rivals, the Boston Demons, in their first game of the tournament. Packed with explosive midfielders, the Magpies dominated the early parts of the game by winning the ball out of the centre. Again, first year player Ben Niergarth battled out the full game in the ruck, while continuing to gain knowledge of the game from his experienced midfield counterparts, Marcus Jankie and Luke Schoen.
With Matt Lovell missing through injury, Toby Carrington filled the Full Forward role to perfection, providing strong leads and taking every marking opportunity that came his way. Even with small crumbing forwards Andrew Manfredi and Brad Davis at his feet, Carrington’s second efforts were extraordinary, chasing and tackling the Boston defenders whenever the ball left Magpie hands.
His dominance prompted Boston to throw an extra midfielder back behind the play, which helped the Demons stem the flow in the second half.
Dan Lehane was a welcome entry back into the New York lineup, playing a key role at Centre Half Back. With his long reach and big jump, Lehane created an impenetrable barrier across New York’s back line.
With such a solid structure, the Magpies clearly dominated the game, but gave away some silly free kicks that lead to late goals for Boston.
In New York’s toughest game so far this season, the Magpies still managed to control the game. Andrew Davis’ goal on the siren gave the Pies a 4 goal win over their old rivals.
New York: 8.2 (50)
Boston: 4.2 (26)
Goals: Carrington 3, Jankie 2, O’Sullivan, I. Orr, Davis.
Best: Carrington, Jankie, Schoen, Lehane, Cowcher.
New York Magpies vs Columbus Jackaroos
The final game of the entire tournament was the one that would determine whether or not the Magpies would walk away with the silverware. After seeing Columbus play earlier, instructions were given to the Magpie forward line to supply unrelenting pressure on the Columbus defenders when they had possession. Right from the start, Andrew Manfredi provided that endeavor, chasing Columbus’ best player all the way up the wing. The pressure was felt, and turnovers were a plenty, with New York’s back line picking up the pieces of a rushed Columbus attack.
On the counter, the open forward line again proved to work, with Carrington leading hard yet again. However this time he had a stronger opponent, who managed to spoil in successive contests. The hard-working big man didn’t let this phase him, crumbing his own ball as it hit the ground and swiveling his way through the opposition to slot a magnificent goal. When Carrington didn’t get to the ball, Magpie captain Michael ‘Magic’ Murphy made sure he did instead. His move from the wing to the forward pocket led to some explosive dominance, as he was quick to pounce on any scraps that fell his way. The experienced USA Revolution played with Cyril Rioli-like flare, managing to snag three of New York’s 8 goals for the first half, and carrying his team into a large lead at the break.
The second half started just as the first had ended, with the Magpies exerting their authority on the game. Ben Niergarth moved forward, as did Frenchman, Nico Alcayde, in search of their first ever Magpie goals. Dave Young and Brenton Hocking worked hard in the midfield, while Centre Half Forward Andrew Davis lead the way, ending with 4 goals for the game.
It was the most impressive effort all year, highlighted by the 9 Americans who needed to stay on the field for the entire game due to injuries and a lack of numbers on the bench. The Magpies had put together a stunning, full-game performance, that earned them the title of Eastern Regional Champions.
New York: 14.5 (89)
Columbus: 3.1 (19)
Goals: Murphy 4, Davis 4, Hocking 2, Carrington 2, Manfredi, Fowler.
Best: Murphy, Young, Hocking, Davis, Manfredi, O’Sullivan.
In other games, the Magpies filled numbers for opposition teams who didn’t have full sides. Fantastic efforts from Angus Twopeny and David Orr caught the eye of both teams, as they controlled the games they were substituted into. Jay Whiting and Judd Kozikowski played well down back, while Isaac Orr and Conor Walsh dominated the midfield. James McLean lead by example in the forward line, kicking a quality goal before injuring his calf early in the day. But it was Harry ‘Houdini’ O’Sullivan who impressed the most, winning the tournament’s ‘Best Rookie’ award. Overall, the tournament was a huge success for the Magpie men, who now take a much-deserved break over the Long Weekend.
New York Lady Pies vs Boston/Columbus/Baltimore/Montreal
by Clare Algozin
The New York Lady Magpies had an exciting opportunity this tournament to play an 18-a-side game against players from the Boston Demons, Baltimore Eagles, Columbus Jillaroos, and Montreal Angels. This combination of all-stars proved to be some tough competition for the day, but the Lady Pies ultimately out-performed for a win of 33 to 21.
Of the 23 Lady Pies to take the field on Saturday, 11 were first-year players. These rookies battled a tough midfield with the experience of Emily Riehl from Baltimore and the speed of Valerie Moreau from Montreal. In her first full-side appearance and second ever game of footy, Natalie Wolff shined in the ruck. Emma Kading, who recently returned to footy, proved to be an effective tag on Moreau and opened the space for midfielders KJ Russell, Grace Koplow and Heather Serpico to move the footy out to the forward line.
With the Pies up two goals at the half thanks to Russell and veterans Kim Hemenway and Lauren Skonieczny, the combined Eastern side came out hungry for the ball, kicking a goal mere seconds after the whistle. Showing greater accountability after getting burned, the Pies were determined to lock in a win and take home the cup.
Koplow, Russell, and Wolff attacked the footy with intensity and set a level of pressure for the team to follow throughout the second half. After a tight competition, the Lady Pies secured a win with another two goals from Hemenway.
New York: 5.3.33
Goals: Kim Hemenway 3, KJ Russell, Lauren Skonieczny
Boston/New York/Montreal vs New York Lady Pies A
Full match report for the Round Robin series by USAFL’s Brian Barrish can be found here!
1st Half Replay: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnRPyNLONao
2nd Half Replay: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVFasMGG1z4
Boston/New York/Montreal: 1.1.7
New York: 4.6.40
Goals: Kim Hemenway 2, Emma Kading, Emily Eastlake
Columbus/Baltimore vs New York Lady Pies A
1st Half Replay: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxhkCaP8N-U&feature=youtu.be
2nd Half Replay: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9SLMOQdZfsY
New York Lady Pies: 6.4.40
Goals: Kim Hemenway 2, KJ Russell, Grace Koplow, Drea Casillas 2