Hamilton Hammers Swans to Improve to 4-1!!!
ROUND #6 GAME REPORT: Hamilton Wildcats (3-1) v Ottawa Swans (0-5) (@ Mohawk Sports Park, Hamilton, ON.)
This past weekend, the Hamilton Wildcats played their 2nd consecutive home game, playing host to the Ottawa Swans at Mohawk Sports Park. Ottawa (0-5), was heading to the "Hammer" with a full compliment of players, looking for their 1st win on the 2011 season, while Hamilton (3-1) was hoping to extend their winning streak to 3 games with a victory over the Swans. After beating the powerhouse Toronto Eagles at home a week earlier, the Wildcats were hoping to keep their momentum rolling against a steadily improving Ottawa Swans side.
As the temperature slowly rose into the 30's and a slight cross-oval breeze, you couldn't have asked for a better day for footy. Normally, Ottawa has had trouble getting a full list of players down to Hamilton for their road games over the past few seasons, but due to one of the players having a wedding in St. Catherines that same evening, they rolled up to Mohawk Sports Park with one of their best sides on the 2011 season. Hamilton on the other hand were missing several players due to personal/work commitments, as well as resting a couple key guys due to injuries; as Kris McKillop (injury), Luke Lombardini (umpired match w/ Brian Duncan), Brendan Major, Connor Lowry, Paul Lawson (injury), Nick DiRago & Michael Visser to name a few, were all out of the line-up for the 'Cats. On the flip side, with several veterans out of the line-up Hamilton looked to give many of their 1st & 2nd year players the bulk of the playing time in new positions around the oval, in hopes of building-up their on-field confidence and possibly uncovering a diamond in rough as the team challenges for a 2011 OAFL Finals spot. 2nd year Wildcat Jeremy "JT" Taylor, rookie Drew Dupras & newcomer Cam Teague (playing in only his 2nd game w/ the Wildcats), all started in the guts along side aussie gun Brett Aiken. This new look middle 4 hoped to catch the Swans on their heals after the long drive down to the "Hammer", but it was Ottawa that started the game off with a bang. Despite battling hard in the ruck, Hamilton’s' Teague was up against one of the league's best, as Ottawa's Ryan Gregory won the opening bounce and the Swans quickly moved the footy down field with a couple quick hand balls, then a long kick into the forward 50. After 2 quick games to open the game for the visitors, the Wildcat backline pulled together and shutdown the Swannies attack for the remainder of the 1st quarter, while answering Ottawa's offensive burst with 3 goals of their own. At the end of 20mins, Hamilton held on to a slim 3.1 to 2.0 lead, but was looking to assert themselves heading into the 2nd quarter in front of a very enthusiastic home crowd.
Unfortunately for the hometown boys, the visitors were not going to roll over that easily, and come out even stronger in the 2nd, kicking 2.3 to Hamilton's 2.1, and closing the score to only 4 points. After a very energetic half time speech from Head Coach Matt Lowry, Captain Aiken & Vice Captain Justin Settle, the 'Cats hit the ground in the Premiership quarter with a team goal of kicking 3 goals and holding their opponents to 0 points over the next 20mins. By the end of the 3rd frame, Hamilton increased their lead by kicking 3.4 and holding the Swans scoreless, all thanks to the incredible play of their backline lead by Justin Johns, Eben Schaeffer (Best on Ground v Swans), rookie Justin Hyde, J. Settle & the ever improving Steve Assel.
After a very slow start the by Wildcats, the boys really pulled together and lifted themselves thanks to the inspirational individual efforts by many of the newer players on the Club. Rover Drew Dupras, ruckman Cam Teague and follower Jeremy Taylor all played one of their best games with the Wildcats, and only look to get better with each game the put under the belt. A big thanks to the Swans for putting together such a talented, tough squad for the day, as it was a very hard fought match that definitely impressed everyone watching from the sideline.
The Club would also like to thank Team Manager Bonnie Wallingford for helping to organize and run the fundraising BBQ on the day. The Club was able to raise a great sum on the day, the food was great and the beer was in abundance!!! Great job Bonnie, and Kudos to our "Beer Baron" Dan Gibbs, who was a very busy man post game.
HAMILTON WILDCATS 10.10.70 def. OTTAWA SWANS 5.3.33
HAMILTON GOALS: B. Aiken (3), H. Graef (2), S. Dostal (2), D. Crouch (1), T. Wilson (1), J. Settle (1)
HAMILTON BEST: E. Schaeffer (BOG), D. Dupras (Hard Hat Award), J. Hyde, J. Settle, J. Taylor, C. Teague
*for full GAME STATS, please click link: http://www.sportingpulse.com/round_info.cgi?a=MATCH&fixture=123329032&c=1-7394-110437-142013-14207859&pool=1
NEXT GAME: Saturday, June 25th/11, (4-1) Hamilton Wildcats v (4-2) Guelph Gargoyles at Margaret Greene Park, Guelph, ON @ 2pm.
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C'arn the WILDCATS!!!