The biggest rivalry in US Sports – New York vs Boston – was back for all to see. No, it wasn’t the Yankees vs Red Sox, Giants vs Patriots, or the Knicks vs the Celtics.. It was the New York Magpies vs Boston Demons in a battle for north-eastern pride and bragging rights.
After a convincing 135-point win against Dallas the week prior (after Dallas themselves had just knocked-off an unbeaten Austin side), the ‘Pies were full of confidence heading to Boston. The Demons were hungry for an upset in front of their home crowd and camera crew.
The travelling New Yorkers felt the pinch of the transient Summer line-up, with 17 players from the New York Div. 1 2016 Nationals team unavailable for the game with various summer holidays / excuses. This gave rising local American stars Ed Heppt, Rob Chapruet and Tim Arakelian a great chance to get plenty of game time in under Nationals-like defensive pressure from the Boston team, and all three had big afternoons with plenty of possessions.
Boston controlled the majority of play for the 1st quarter, but weren’t able to convert their dominance onto the scoreboard. Dave Young, Brenton Hocking and Ed Heppt worked tirelessly through the midfield, keeping things pretty even to quarter time, and Swedish model Hampus Goransson impressed onlookers with his relentless attack on the footy, multiple clearances and boyish good looks.
Play started to open up in the 2nd quarter, with Boston asserting their dominance with fresh legs and run-and-carry on the outside. Patty O’Leary presented up the field strongly and took multiple contested marks, and Ben Morgan showed some creative flair up & down the wing, but by half time, the Demons had opened up a 5-6 goal lead.
The deficit was certainly not impossible for the Pies to claw back, but it was going to be an uphill battle in the 90+ degree conditions, even more so after some player injuries. The Pies were run off their legs without any spare men on the interchange (versus Boston’s 5-man bench), and were sweating more than a sumo in a sauna.
Nonetheless, they regrouped and battled it out for the rest of the afternoon, under-manned but playing with the true Magpies’ competitive spirit. Toby Tornay was superb in defense, winning & rebounding countless inside 50s from Boston and putting his tackling skills on show for all to see. He was ably supported by Jay Whiting who won his position hands-down, and James Mirtschin was solid across the half back line, offering some much needed counter-attack.
A special shout-out to Tim Arakelian, one of the few men on the planet whose looks actually improved after a broken nose, and also to Troy for playing through a re-broken rib (despite his girlfriend’s ultimatum).
Unfortunately, in the end, the Demons were just too strong on the day and prevailed as victors, but the Pies will look to regroup against Philly in a week’s time.
Boston: 10.6 (66)
New York: 3.6. (24)
Best: Goransson, Mirtschin, Tornay, Hocking, O’Leary, Young
Goals: Lovell 3