Round 1 – Guelph
The Blues men ventured down to Guelph for the season opener against the Gargoyles in disgustingly hot and humid conditions.
The Gargoyles were clearly put off by the dirty moustaches of the Blues men as they kicked an inaccurate 2 goals 5 in the first term to our single goal. Cory Tester showed a lot of promise early on in his first game of Aussie rules and helped our boys fight back in the second to go into the main break with a 3 point disadvantage. The third quarter was an arm wrestle and with scores level going into the final term, Victor “Ocho” Cinco, David “Fritzy” Whittington and coach Sean “Shorty” Goedheer really put the foot down to ensure we would return home with a 19 point round one win.
Goal kickers for the day were Shorty (4), Chris Daws (3), and one each to Steve “Snorkel” Rutledge and Richard “Tubby” Taylor.
In disappointing news, Ewan “Obi” Williams is now experimenting with a calcium only diet after fracturing his arm.
Round 2 – Demons
Round 2 saw us come up against the High Park Demons in an early match at Humber College. While we ran away 75 point winners, our boys failed to capitalize on many chances didn’t really play to the standards expected by Shorty. The coach slotted a bag of five goals himself and Chris “Travis Cloke” Daws earned himself a new nickname with his inaccurate kicking (4.4) and general spud like performance. Jackson “Jacko” Ward (3 goals) dominated the midfield all game, feeding off the dominant rucking provided by Matty Knarston.
Round 3 – Hawks
U of T Scarborough was the scene for our third round encounter against the Broadview Hawks. While the Hawks were winless heading into the match, they are not a side you can underestimate and our boys expected a tough encounter.
We could not have asked for a better start to the game with Sean “Shorty” Goedheer roving the opening bounce perfectly and sending the ball inside 50 to tall forward Chris Daws, who took the mark and kicked truly. The Hawks soon got one back and the remainder of the quarter was tight, with the Hawks taking the lead into the break by the narrowest of margins.
In his first game for the year, Sean “Pins” Lynch lifted the boys in the second term by threading a goal from the tightest of angles in the Eddie Betts pocket. Pins’ addition to the side saw Brendan “Shakesy” Shakes relocated from forward to back, where he roamed freely collecting possessions at will. Blues took the first half honours, up by 51-44 at the main break.
The third quarter was much of the same story; both sides added two goals to their score lines and the Blues entered the final term up by 9 points. A nervous final quarter saw our boys kick out to a three goal lead, only to be cut back after the determined Hawks kicked successive goals. Hard work from the experienced heads of Bruce Parker and Riley “Vossy” Armstrong saw the ball move forward and converted successfully by the Blues. With little time remaining, the Hawks cut the margin back to three points and then won the clearance from the center bounce. The backline worked together to repel the attack and the final siren sounded to give our boys a well fought out win.
Goals came from Daws (5), Matty Knarston (3), Pins, Tubby, Shorty, Vossy, and Victor “Ocho” Cinco.
After a late night debating Irish politics, no one was more excited by the win than Tristan “Nips” Zammicheli, who told the boys how much he loved them all in an uplifting post-match speech straight out of a D grade Hollywood sports movie.
Round 4 – Hamilton
Our men’s first loss of the season came at the hands of the Hamilton Wildcats. A promising opening term saw our boys kick 3.3 to the Wildcats inaccurate 6 behinds. Both sides added four goals apiece in the second, with the Blues leading 46-32 at the major break. Tristan “Nips” Zammicheli thought he was on Hamilton Island back home in Australia, rather than in Hamilton, Ontario during the break after he copped a head knock in the first half.
The third quarter was a different story; the Hamilton boys found some motivation at half time and piled on six goals, while our boys played the way Nips was feeling and only added a single goal. Both sides added four majors in the final term, but the damage had already been done with the final margin being 18 points.
Club President David “Fritzy” Whittington continued on with his consistent form as was the standout player for us down back. Diarmuid Moroney was solid in the midfield and Sean “Shorty” Goedheer was the dominate scorer of the day, slotting 8 majors. While coach Shorty was disappointed with the loss, he was even more shattered that he only had 7 goals officially recorded against his name.
However, the saddest news of the day came later on in the night. After the first round, former captain Steve “Snorkel” Rutledge had decided to keep his deliciously creepy mo from the moustache bash until the Blues men lost a game. Sadly this meant it had to be removed from his lip during the fifth quarter. Clearly disappointed with the way he now looked, Snorkel took off a couple of days later on a journey of self-discovery, road tripping to Edmonton. I’m sure everyone in the Blues family is hoping the mo will make a reappearance when Snorkel returns back to Toronto in the upcoming weeks.
Round 5 – Rebels
Round 5 was one to forget as the Blues men came up against undefeated league leader, the Toronto Rebels. The final score is too ugly to publish, so we won’t get into that. The last term was definitely the most interesting quarter of the game. Nick Pan made the wing his own, with a couple of dominating runs along the far side. Unfortunately for us, Nick was running the wrong way both times. I’m sure Nick will enjoy the calls of “wrong way!” every time he gets the ball at training for the rest of the year.
Not long afterwards there was a minor scuffle which resulted in a red card – easy $20 fine towards the footy trip. At the following centre bounce, coach Shorty roved the tap and then collapsed as if he had been hit by a sniper. Hopefully the wound isn’t too bad and he can get himself right for the next game.
In positive news, Club Stalwart Bruce Parker pulled on the boots for the 250th time in his career. Bruce is one of the founders of our club and no one has done more work for the Blues on and off the field than this man. It is astonishing that a man of his age is still able to deliver on the field week in and week out. However, this is not a testimonial so we can’t pump him up too much. Congratulations on the massive milestone, Brucey!
Jackson “Jacko” Ward was pretty happy with himself after kicking, and I quote, “50% of the team’s goals”… That’s two goals out of four for those playing along at home. Well done on your career highlight Jacko!
So after the first five rounds, the Blues are sitting 5th on the ladder with three wins and two losses. With some tough games coming up against the Eagles, a rematch against the Gargoyles, and a journey to Ottawa to face the Swans, we will have a better idea of where we sit just after the half way mark of the year.