Wildcats Pound Reigning Premieres to Improve to 2-1!!!
ROUND #3 GAME REPORT: Hamilton Wildcats (1-1) v Central Blues (1-1) (@ Margaret Greene Park, Guelph, ON.)
HAMILTON WILDCATS 7.9.51 def. CENTRAL BLUES 5.4.34
After starting the 2011 OAFL season off with a bang, the Wildcats were humbled by the class of the comp in Round #2. They were hoping for some redemption to a poor showing a week prior v the Etobicoke Kangaroos, with a solid win over the reigning OAFL Premieres, the Central Blues. In 2010, Hamilton fell in both games versus the Blues, but were hoping for a much more positive outcome in their first meeting of 2011.
Unfortunately for the Hamilton Wildcats, this game was originally scheduled to be held in Hamilton, but due to incliment weather the City of Hamilton pulled all field permits and this game was moved to Margaret Greene Park in Guelph at the 11th hour. A big thank you goes out to the City of Guelph, and the Guelph Gargoyles AFC, for hosting the Wildcats & Blues on such short notice. Despite the craziness leading upto this game off the field, it was time to get down to business on the field, and a great game it promised to be. The (1-1) Central Blues, coming off their 1st OAFL Championship in Club history in 2010 were looking to defend their flag, but the new look Wildcats were standing in their way and were definitely not going to be anyone's stepping stone into the Finals in 2011. One of the side stories to this game, was that of former Bentleigh FC (http://www.bentleighfc.com/) teammates Brett "Nuts" Aiken (playing for Hamilton) & Daniel Wills (playing for Central). More on this battle later.
As the game got underway, it was evident that the wet conditions were going to keep this a low scoring, hard hitting game. As both Clubs had difficulty scoring in their previous Round(s), tensions were running high, as both Clubs knew that the team that got on the board first would definitely gain the upper hand and much of the momentum. Thanks to some incredible 2nd & 3rd efforts in the guts by Wildcat Luke "Digits" Lombardini, Hamilton's leading scorer, Brendan "Peaches" Major, added to his '11 haul by putting the "yellow & black" on the board first with a great goal from outside 40m. After the opening goal, the Blues answered back, but the battles across the middle of the ground seemed to be consistently won by the Wildcats. Fantastic games by midfielders Brett Aiken, L. Lombardini (BOG on the day), ruckman Ed "Das Boot" DeBruin, B. Major & Harley Graef definitely bouyed the spirits of the Hamilton fiathful and their courage spurred the rest of the 'Cats on for the remaining 80 mins.
Hamilton's backline, lead by Fullback for a day Justin "OMJ" Johns, 1st gamer Drew "DD" Dupras, Vice Captain Justin "Purple Tripod" Settle and the ever improving HBF Steve "Sassel" Assel all played a phenominal game, holding the Blues to only 34 points on the day. The strength of the backline & midfielders were the story for the Wildcats on the day, as they eventually ran out winners earning 4 big points against a top side, and improving to 2-1 on the season. As for the match-up between former Oz teammates and now rivals, B. Aiken & D. Wills, well...it definitely didn't disappoint. Both players had incredible games for their respective Clubs and could have easily won BOG on the day. The heart & hustle displayed by both, were massive learning experiences for all new players on how football should be played; hard to the ball, fair and with passion!!!
Hamilton will head back up to Guelph for Round #4 to face the top of the ladder High Park Demons (3-0). It's been some tough competition to start the year for the Wildcats, as they have already faced the 2008 OAFL Preimieres (Roos - LOSS), 2010 Premieres (Blues - WON) and now go up against the high scoring attack of the Demons away from home. Please come out to support the Wildcats as they look to improve their record to 3-1 on the year and slingslot themselves up the OAFL ladder!!!
HAMILTON GOALS: B. Major (3), L. Lombardini (1), J. Steinmetz (1), M. Krikke (1), K. McKillop (1)
HAMILTON BEST: L. Lombardini (BOG), A. Pawliwec (Hard Hat Award), B. Aiken, B. Major, J. Johns, J. Settle
*for full GAME STATS, please click link: http://www.sportingpulse.com/round_info.cgi?a=MATCH&fixture=123164407&c=1-7394-110437-142013-14207859&pool=1
NEXT GAME: Saturday, June 4th/11 v High Park Demons (3-0), 11AM START @ Margaret Greene Park, Guelph, ON.
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C'arn the WILDCATS!!!