New York Magpie Men vs Denver Bulldogs
The New York Magpies made their annual October pilgrimage to Nationals, which took place in the bustling Wisconsin metropolis of Racine this season. Cold weather and a boggy paddock greeted our fearless heroes for their first encounter with old adversaries, the Denver Bulldogs.
Kicking with a stiff breeze in the first half, the Magpies made good use of it, putting on two goals thanks to the timeless efforts of the Pie Man, Mike Fraietta, himself. In a vintage display reminiscent of days gone by, Jersey reached up and plucked one in the goal square before going back and slotted in. One nameless, cough *Kane* cough, midfielder was overheard saying that shepherding the ball through was perhaps the better option, but the Magpies were up and about at halftime.
The second half proved a dire slog as the gritty bulldogs pulled within a single goal at the late stages. Overworked and underpaid, head coach and star back Shane, who had taken it upon himself to play as the loose man and have zero accountability for the entire tournament, surprised a few by marshaling the troops and repeatedly resisting the bulldog advances.
Despite Shane’s heroic efforts down back more bodies were required. Realizing this, Sean “The Difference” Holmesby noted the biggest difference he could make at that point was to get himself onto the pine in favor of experienced back, Adam ‘Big Cat’ Marr. The Big Cat was soon required to pounce on a loose ball as Paul ‘JD’ Daniels decided to go on a Sunday stroll after the pill before offering perhaps the worst cross to the top of goal square this writer has ever seen, putting serious pressure on his flabbergasted teammates.
Ultimately the tireless work of midfield stars Marcus “We aren’t f***ing waiting any longer” Jankie, Karl “I have two shoes” Schoenmaekers, and Kane “Now watch this drive” Pedler, proved as important as visiting a crucial swing state such as Wisconsin in a tight election is and the Magpies somehow held on for a moral boosting victory!
New York Magpies: 2.3 (15)
Denver Bulldogs: 2.1 (13)
Best: Schoenmaekers, Jankie, Pedler, Lowry.
Goals: Fraietta 2. The Difference 0
New York Magpie Men v Golden Gate Roos
With both teams assured a place in the next round, the second game of the day was for both the number 1 spot in the group and for pride.
Coach Shane ‘Pud’ Lowry reluctantly put his third Four’n Twenty meat pie aside to give an admirable pre-game talk, emphasizing his desire to keep our strong tackling and intense pressure from the first game going into the second game against Golden Gate Roos.
The trio in the middle led the charge, with Marcus ‘Janks’ Jankie, Karl ‘Schoey’ Schoenmaekers and Kane ‘Kano’ Pedler keeping the pressure on the Roos midfield. With us having a place in the semi finals assured, the coaching staff decided to mix it up against the Roos and tested our very own model, Matthew ‘Pretty Boy’ Djordjevic, in the ruck. He did a great job keeping his face away from any damage and even managed to win a contest.
Although we were getting limited opportunities in the final third, our aggression was still keeping us in the game at half time. Our defense was excellent and able to keep us within touching distance of the roos, even with Michael ‘Ze German’ Hiebl occasionally forgetting what game he was playing with his sliding tackles and kicks of the deck.
Our commendable efforts continued in the second half, with our American core Dan ‘Danger’ Lehane, Michael ‘Magic’ Murphy and Nick ‘Bowie’ Bowman tackling hard. Despite this, tired legs got the better of the team and the Roos got a few demoralizing goals.
The team fought hard until the very end, but it seemed that Sean ‘The Difference’ Holmesby’s efforts just weren’t enough to be the difference. The game ended 32 -1 in the Roos’ favor, but the boys went to bed knowing that we had made it through to the next round, where the Austin Crows awaited.
New York Magpies: 0.1 (1)
Golden Gate Roos: 5.2 (32)
Best: Pedler, Lowry, Lehane, Franklin, Djordjevic.
New York Magpie Men vs Austin Crows
Waking up the day after playing football is always tough.
Typically on a Sunday after a game the most that your ailing body has to endure is the sting of your cuts in the shower, and the troubling headache from the celebrations the night before….. but at Nationals…. you have to go an play another game of football, which is always a struggle for the bruised bodies.
Staying off the booze on Saturday night, the boys were feeling fresh…. but the troubling headache was still a problem for Michael ‘Mickey’ Hiebl…. not due to any drinking the previous night, but from a pin-point pass that he didn’t see coming in the warmup. Adam ‘Ringo’ Marr executed the most accurate kick in his entire career by slotting a drop punt on the German’s head from 40m away. Some equated the ‘header’ to a superb Bundesliga goal attack, but Mickey wasn’t so impressed, having to sit out the remainder of the warmup.
The game started on the main field, and most of the Magpies were excited to get a touch and hear their name over the booming commentary. Matt ‘Big Flick’ Djordjevic was ready to show off his modelling abilities to the cameras streaming the game, while Team Manager, Sean Holmesby, was awaiting the call of ‘The Difference’ from the sidelines. The Magpies struggled to get the ball forward early, with Mike ‘Jersey’ Fraietta being the lone target up forward against a strong Crows defence. Michael ‘Magic’ Murphy was sent off for umpire abuse, and Kane ‘Yeah Yeah’ Pedler followed the veteran’s lead by also getting sent off.
Newlywed Nick ‘Bowie’ Bowman got stretchered off with a broken Fibula, with his shattered wife Lisa had to take him to hospital. The brutal game was tougher than ever….but the Magpies wouldn’t give in.
Tim Arakelian ran through packs, and then had packs run through him, while ‘The Difference’ attempted to motivate a New York comeback with a massive specky in the midfield….just dropping it at the last moment.
Matty ‘B’ Barlaz battled up front, and only in the dying minutes of the game did Troy ‘Ragdoll’ Danilo go forward to provide some assistance. ‘The Difference’ played on from a free kick and pin-pointed a pass to the human rag-doll on a lead. After a 50m penalty, the siren went, and Troy-za banged the Magpies only goal home.
It was all too late though, as the Austin Crows monstered the team, as they later went on to win the tournament.
The team battled all game though….never giving in…. and always supporting one another….which was all that coach, Shane Lowry, could’ve asked for. The Nationals weekend had come to a close….but the players had shown their love for the game, their teammates, and the club through a tremendous season together.
New York Magpies: 1.1 (7)
Austin Crows: 7.2 (44)
Goal: Troy Danilo
Best: Shane Lowry, Marcus Jankie, Troy Danilo, Tim Arakelian, Kane Pedler.