2011 OAFL Season - RD #4 Preview v High Park Demons
This week's match-up will be a "make-up" game from Round #4, as this game was cancelled due to inclimate weather back in early June when they were set to play in Guelph. Since the cancellation of this scheduled game earlier in the season, both Clubs have been on a roll each going (5-1) since Round #4, so this mid-week tilt looks to be one that will have all eyes of the OAFL watching closely as Finals approach. High Park have looked the goods so far this season, and with several new Aussie "imports" to compliment many of their talented Canadians, the Wildcats will definitely have to bring their "A" game if they are to shutdown the high scoring offense of the Dees.
Round #4 "make-up game" for both Clubs: HAMILTON WILDCATS (7-2) v HIGH PARK DEMONS (8-1)
Venue: Colonel Samuel Smith Park (@ Humber College South), Toronto, ON. Thursday, July 28th @ 7PM start!!!
2010 OAFL Record: Hamilton Wildcats (4-9), High Park Demons (2-12) - Wildcats won '10 season series (1-0)
Key Players: Hamilton - many new Canadian recruits have helped in both Wildcat wins this season, and will look to do the same vs the Demons. 1st year players, Alex Pawliwec, Drew Dupras, Justin Hyde, Gary "MCG" Hesmer and Jeremy Taylor all play big roles across the oval for the 'Catters. High Park - Many new imports in Demonland this season from the land down under (Hayden Walter, "Sooty" & crew) in addition to many of the Clubs veterans, the likes of ruckman Dale Simnett, winger Alex Hedrix, backmen Ash Martin, Paul Loughnane & Chris Symonds will make life difficult for the Wildcats as they seem to have hit their stride in 2011.
HAMILTON Strengths: Overall team depth and a very strong backline have kept the Wildcats in each game this season, as well as the hardness of rotating rovers Brett Aiken, Luke Lombardini, Tim Wilson and Kris McKillop. Ruckmen Paul Lawson and Ed DeBruin have done well against all opponents so far this season, winning the ball in the taps more often than not. Strong recruiting over the off-season has blessed the Hamilton boys with several talented Canadian additions, all playing big roles for the Club in '11. Heart & fight for the footy have always been strengths for the 'Cats, but their forward will need to start converting all the hard ball gets by their mid-fielders to push this Club into the Finals.
DEMONS Strengths: Boasting one of the best ruckman in the OAFL for years, the Dees look to have gotten even better in the guts, adding several talented Aussie imports as well as the improving skills of many of their young Canucks over the off-season. Speed and toughness have always been present in Demonland, but getting numbers to the oval week after week has been the biggest thorn in their side in seasons past...and it's never been their skill that's let them down, it was a lack of interchange or enough players to dress a full compliment of 18-24 players. That doesn't look to be a problem in 2011, and it's already started to show in the standings, as the Demons currently sit 2nd on the OAFL ladder (8-1), as well as holding on to one of the highest GF totals in the league thanks to newcomer Hayden Walter (33goals in 7 games). Returning veteran players like Rob "RV" Vallance and Irishman Paul Loughnane have also been massive additions for the "red & blue", as their skill and leadership will definitely be keys to the Club's success in '11.
Round #4 Prediction: Hamilton Wildcats def. High Park Demons 63-61
C'arn the WILDCATS!!!