The Magpie men played at home on the weekend, against an undermanned, but highly skilled Dallas outfit. The lead up to the game was tense, with New York failing to take away the silverware at the Eastern Regional Tournament weeks earlier…and Dallas conquering the Central Tournament a week before than that. In the Central Tournament, the travelling Dallas team managed to knock off the #1 placed Austin Crows, ending their 27 game winning streak, so New York had their work cut out for them with this July 15 game in Yonkers.
The game started in hot, humid conditions, with perfectly clear skies. Quite the juxtaposition from the pouring rain that New York had played in at their previous home game in back in May. Dallas were a couple of players short, so the teams played 16-a-side, opening up the pockets at either end.
With Andrew Davis, Cameron Lockwood and Shane Lowry all missing from the Magpie lineup, the burden fell on the shoulders of Marcus Jankie and Matt Lovell to steer the ship. Despite Lovell protesting his ability to kick goals, he began the game watching for the sidelines, allowing some of the sting to come out of the opening couple of minutes. Michael Murphy went to full forward instead, and selflessly handed off multiple goals in the opening term.
Then on came Lovell….and before even getting near the ball, he expressed his thoughts on the opposition’s goal kicking ability, or lack thereof.
“Leave the goal kicking to the experts.” Shouted Lovell as Dallas missed at close range.
The words needed to be backed up….but the Magpies knew he was good for it. Lovell moved to full forward and managed to kick multiple goals….albeit mostly from 10 meters out, and had 5 to his name by half time.
Marcus Jankie continued to bust open packs in the midfield, while Hampus Goransson forced his body into the contests, fighting off the talented Dallas midfield. Sam Jess and Chris Georgiou fought hard down back, as did Jimmy Polulach, who, despite always being a yard or two behind his opponent, managed to successfully put him off when he was taking the set shots. The ongoing sprays from Polulach weren’t the only consistent thing in the match however, with Ben Morgan dominating the hard ball around the stoppages, and Ben Nilsen streaming forward to grab an opportunistic goal.
First gamers, Tim Arakelian and Matthew Walsh stepped right into the Magpie team showing poise and confidence. Both kicked goals, and both defeated their opponents on multiple occasions.
Sometimes it didn’t all go to plan though. James Mirtschin copped a nice falcon in the back line, Juice Desai had the ball brilliantly smothered off his boot twice in a row, and Dave Young was ignored on his birthday by close mate, Brenton Hocking, who selfishly kicked it over Young’s head while he was standing alone in the goalsquare.
But amongst the chaos, the Magpies stood strong, with Matty Lovell backing up his confidence, ending the game with 10 goals. New York ran out winners by 125 points. A mammoth win for the Pies, who have started to turn their season around.
Next week New York travel to Boston to face off against an old foe. Both the Men’s and Women’s teams will be travelling, and both look to return victorious.
New York: 28.15 (183)
Dallas: 8.10 (58)
Goals: Lovell 10, Gleeson 3, Morgan 3, Jankie 2, Whiting 2, Arakelian 2, Hocking 2, Georgiou, Perry, Walsh, Barlaz.
Best: Lovell, Jankie, Morgan, Nilsen, Goransson.