EAFL R2 – Magpies Sweep the Day in the hot Baltimore Sun

Life is a game of inches, but the Magpies showed they were miles ahead as the New York Magpie Men and Women traveled to Baltimore for Round 2 of the EAFL.

New York Magpies (Men) vs Baltimore Dockers

The Magpies were pitted against the Baltimore Dockers for the first game of the day.

The first year Dockers jumped out to a quick lead over the Magpies, after the men jumped straight off the bus and onto the pitch for first bounce, by grabbing a couple quick behinds. But the Magpies would find a way to heat up faster than the hot and humid day they played on. The center field of the Magpies would control the flow of the game, led by Karl “Schoey” Schoenmaekers and Shane “Pud” Lowry through the center, Adam “Buddy” Franklin and Benny “Nails” Naylor in the ruck, and Raeden “Richo” Richardson pushing up the wing.

When the Dockers were able to move the ball up the pitch, they found little breathing room as the backfield of Dan Lehane, Paul “Jack” Daniels, Matt Barlaz, and Simon Varley smothered, and cleared any opposing threat before it could materialize.

The forward line of the Magpies was where the real parity between the two sides was shown. First timers Bobby McDowell and Adam Alvarez fought tooth and nail for every loose ball inside the 50. The midfield of Franklin, Naylor, and Shoey provided consistent support to the men up front. The constant pressure opened up the field for tremendous play for Sean “The Difference” Holmesby (the Umpires called him that, and he was all too happy to accept that title again).

Holmesby opened up the Men’s side scoring, and the Pies wouldn’t look back as they won in all three levels of the field. Baltimore had no answer for the fast and physical play, as the Pies kicked goal after goal. Holmesby kicked three goals, Franklin added two, and Magic Murphy and Mike Columbus had one apiece. The Magpies would prevail in the opening game by 43 points.

New York: 7.7.49
Baltimore: 0.6.6
Goals: Holmesby 3, Franklin 2, Murphy, Columbus.
Best: Franklin, Lehane, Daniels, Holmesby, McDowell, Shoenmaekers.

New York Magpies (Men) vs Columbus Cats

After surviving Baltimore’s midday heat, the Magpies took to the field for the last men’s match of the day, facing the in-form Columbus Cats who were hot from their earlier contest against the intimidating Baltimore Dockers. A notable inclusion to the squad was Kevin “Deadlift” Connelly, who, fresh from a judo lesson out in the Baltimore burbs, joined the team to make up numbers. The Magpies continued their hot form from the outset, with centre square stalwarts Shane “Pud” Lowry, Adam “Buddy” Franklin and Karl “Schoey” Schoenmakers winning the ball from the coal-face and pumping the footy inside-50 long and strong. Parked at full-forward and cutting a formidable presence, Deadlift joined the illustrious club of first-kick-first-goal footballers, snagging his first after the footy spilled over the pack and into his welcome arms, and after Mike “Magic” Murphy’s inspirational call to get around him, was well and truly engulfed by players from every end of the field. Buoyed by the debutant’s flashiness, Sean “The Difference” Holmesby and Ben “Nails” Naylor provided stout offensive options, with the former holding his man off with one hand to juggle a contested mark and the latter turning on the jets for two goals, including beating his man in the contest, using his strength and skill to prove that he is much more than your average Recruitment Consultant. The Magpies were solid across the ground. Tim “Bane” Arakelian and his bionic mask gave many a fright in the bombarded Cats’ forward line. Josh “Vacay” Genner consolidated the defence to prove that a good man takes his footy pizzazz wherever he travels. Adam “Ump” Alvarez also bobbed up, ditching his whistle for the second time and providing a notable foil up forward. The half concluded with the Magpies leading 4.4 (28) to Columbus 0.0 (0).

After a brief half-time rev up, Pud shuffled the magnets and led a rejuvenated Magpie outfit onto the field for the last half of the tournament. With the mercury pushing high-thirty degrees, and the deck as dry as a bus bound loaf of rye sans-peanut butter, the Magpies’ entered a war of attrition. Troy “Ragdoll” Danilo hit the ground with a calf-strain. Simon “English” Varley fell likewise, his biggest act of the day (excluding his human Tetris skills on the bus ride home). Any hint of New York fatigue was put to bed when Schoey hit Raeden “Richo” Richardson lace out. Tucked into the boundary from forty-five out, Richo hit the footy flush with his natural left-right inside out and kicked his first career goal, leading to a ruckus both on the field and in the dug-out where his missus watched with pride. Buoyed by the youngsters goal-nouse, Pud carved through the centre square to kick his second from sixty-five out, and Nails followed suit with another flush set-shot. In with a sniff, Richo piled on three more goals, assisted by the hard-working Paul “Jack” Daniels and Matt “Bionic” Barlaz, including a right-foot banana from the pack and a joey-the-goose special from a inside-50  mongrel-punt to the top of the unattended goal square. “Four goals earns him four minutes,” came an astute observation from the cooldown, suggesting Richo had another performance awaiting once the tournament wrapped-up. The team played their role across every line, working hard to support and fighting for every possession. At the final siren, the Magpies trudged to the shade with cramps aplenty, capping off a memorable stint in Baltimore with tans dark enough to last until the next big hit-out, winning 10.10 (70) to the Cats’ 1.2 (8).

New York: 10.10 (70)
Columbus: 1.2 (8)
Goals: Richardson 4, Naylor 3, Lowry, Franklin, Connelly.
Best: Richardson, Daniels, Lehane, Franklin, Barlaz, Lowry.

The Saturday was highlighted by the Magpie debuts for Bobby McDowell, David McNair, Paul Daniels, Adam Alvarez, and Josh Genner. The first timers held their own through the matches, and helped push the Magpies to gigantic wins against Baltimore and Columbus. Guest appearances by Martin Coventry and Mikey Columbus helped seal the deal for the Magpies.


New York Magpies (Women) vs Baltimore/Washington Eagles

The Pies were ready for a rematch against the Baltimore Eagles who narrowly took the Eastern Regional Championship away from them two weeks earlier. With a side back to full strength, the Pies came to EAFL Round 2 ready to play their game and prevail. With the help of a couple of players from both Philly and Columbus, the team was well-rounded in terms of talent, and able to meet the challenge.

The Pies’ midfield was anchored by the strong trio of veterans Grace Koplow, Danielle Gallagher, and Emma Kading with first year players Jess Taylor and Lara Musser complementing with additional speed and rotations on a very hot day. Meg Ford debuted in her first game of the season and dominated play on the wing with her courage at the footy and physical play. The backline stalwarts – Casillas, Greig, and Lockett – played their game and made any advances into the Pies’ territory difficult to execute. Algozin, Hamilton, and Skonieczny worked well together creating opportunities for one another to capitalize in the forward line.

New York came straight out of the gate in the first quarter determined to get ahead fast. Koplow set the tone with the first tackle of the game and the Pies were away. In her last game before heading out west, Lauren “Schnitz” Skonieczny scored the first goal for the Pies with Hargrave to follow running on off a kick on the full and a side slow to stand on the mark. While the Pies wouldn’t score any more goals on the day, New York’s defensive pressure and fight at each and every contest proved to be enough. In a well-umpired, hard fought, and flowing game of football, the Pies knocked off Baltimore Washington by just 2 points. It was a nail biter.

New York: 2.2 (14)
Washington DC: 2.0 (12)


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