It was another hot day on Saturday, as the Magpie men went on their third consecutive road trip in three weeks. This time it was a shorter trip to Philly, where the Hawks were ready to swoop on an under-manned, tiring Magpie lineup. It wasn’t the case though, as the Magpies held strong to fend off all sorts of physicality in the opening quarter of the game. Battling a slight breeze, and an uphill slant, the Pies struggled to make an impact on the scoreboard. Despite courageous efforts by first-gamer Rob Chapruet, and leading forward Andrew Manfredi, the Pies only managed to be one goal up at quarter time.
The second quarter showed the true strength of the Magpie army, as centre clearances from Brenton Hocking and Luke Schoen lead to a six goal quarter. Hard running off the back line from Shane Lowry and Judd Kozikowski proved to be the difference, as supreme forward entry setup veterans Jimmy Polulach and Troy Danilo for a majority share of the goals. The quarter had it all, with high-flying marks from first-gamer, Andrew Senyszyn, and hard hitting tackles from ruckman, Ben Niergarth. Down back, Toby Tornay had returned from injury to provide a solid, impenetrable wall, letting nothing past as the Magpies turned up the heat on the Hawks.
The coaches words on defensive running from last week must have resonated through the ears of club legend, Mike Fraietta. “Jersey” as he is affectionately known around the club, was instructed to give an extra effort to run both ways, providing an extra boost for the defenders whenever the ball was in opposition hands. Heeding the advice, Jersey’s attack on the ball was second-to-none, providing no hesitation to attack, and defend at all costs. Following on from that intensity was second gamer, Eddy Heppt. The speedster sprinted back and forth, helping out his teammates at every opportunity. The hard running was much appreciated by fellow teammate Adam “Ringo” Marr.
“It’s easy to drop your head, and switch off after a free kick is paid against you. But even when Eddy was pinned for holding the ball, he just got straight up, moved on and ran back to defend. It was fantastic to see his dedication to the team….never once stopping to rest”, said Marr, a father-son acquisition from a few years back.
“Eddy’s last quarter was phenomenal. He must’ve had about 20 disposals in the first 5 minutes, and he still continued to do all the defensive work that was asked of him.”
Marr himself played a huge defensive role on the day, starting at full back, but then swapping through the middle to relieve Brenton Hocking for a rest. At half time he was moved up the ground to solidify an smaller-than-usual forward line. With Lovell, Carrington and Davis all missing from the lineup, ‘Ringo’ provided hard leads and pack-crunching contests that the likes of ‘Plugger’ Lockett would’ve enjoyed. Stamping his authority on the game, the stand-in captain inspired the Magpies to a 45 point win.
With three wins in a row, the Magpies now host the Eastern Regional Tournament in Yonkers this Saturday. A tournament sweep there will stamp New York’s authority on the competition, preparing them for a big 2016 season that lays ahead.
Philadelphia: 1.2, 2.3, 3.7, 3.8 (26)
New York: 2.1, 8.2, 10.2, 11.5 (71)
Goals: Marr 3, Senyszyn 2, Danilo 2, Polulach, Hocking, Carney, Spataro.
Best: Marr, Hocking, Heppt, Kozikowski, Niergarth, Danilo.