MATCH PREVIEW (OAFL Div. 1 Elimination Final): Hamilton v Toronto Dingos
Well, it's been a historic season in many different ways for the Hamilton Wildcats, as we've seen a number of successes both on and off the oval and a changing of the guard around the Club itself. After starting the season with a solid win over the Toronto Eagles on the road, the Wildcats then lost 5 consecutive games as the Club suffered a few key injuries and a bit of an inflated ego after winning their opening match. They were definitely brought back down to earth by the Hawks in Rd #2, as well as the likes of the Rebels, Blues & Roos in the weeks following. After an early season implosion, the Steeltown boys have really come together over the last month and a half, notching 6 straight wins which saw them finishing 4th on the OAFL ladder and securing themselves a home Elimination Final for the 2nd straight year.
2012 OAFL MEN's Finals Series, (Elimination Final): (#4) HAMILTON WILDCATS (7-5) v (#5) TORONTO DINGOS (7-6)
Venue: Mohawk Sports Park, Hamilton, ON. (@ 1:30PM start!!!)
2012 Match-up(s): (Hamilton is 1-0 in season series)
1) Hamilton Wildcats def. Toronto Dingos in RD #9, 13.7.85 to 7.9.51 at Mohawk Sports Park, Hamilton, ON.
2012 RD #9 Match Report v Toronto Dingos here: http://www.sportingpulse.com/club_info.cgi?client=1-7394-110437-0-14208181&sID=160052&&news_task=DETAIL&articleID=19953530
Key Players: Hamilton - Canadian newcomers Dennis "Bing" Choi, Andy "Neon" Leon, defenders Curtis Sherwood & Alex Mazer have all impressed in their 1st season with the Wildcats, and there's even whispers that "Bing" could be one of hte favourites to win OAFL Rookie of the Year in 2012. Captain Luke "Digits" Lombardini & Vice Captain Justin Settle will also play key roles around the ground for the Wildcats.
HAMILTON Strengths: The Wildcats have come to be known as a very hard hitting team that plays with a lot of emotion and hardness for the footy. They may not be the most skilled team in the OAFL, but great team speed and overhead marking ability are definitely strong points for Hamilton. Team depth has improved as the season has gone along, with several young, athletic additions to the side that's helped guide the Club to it's current 6 game win streak. Great leadership from several veterans as well as their Australian talent, such as Justin "OMG" Johns, Daniel "Boo" Crouch, Nick DiRago & Simon O'Donnell will make them hard to beat on game day and has truly helped to develop the rookies on the fly.
DINGOS Strengths: This definitely insn't their first rodeo, so-to-speak, as the "wild dogs" have pretty much seen it and done it all when it comes to Finals footy in Ontario. The Dingos are 4-time OAFL Premiers, and many of their key players from their championship three-peat (2003-2005), are still playing for or are around this year's squad. They have a wealth of experience, great height around the ground and definitely equal the Wildcats in toughness. Toronto's skill set may be a little bit higher than Hamilton's, due to a greater number of veterans with 100+ games under their belt(s), and they are hoping to prove that age/experience will outplay/outwit the youth.speed of the Wildcats.
2012 OAFL ELIMINATION FINAL Prediction: Hamilton Wildcats def. Toronto Dingos 65-58.
C'arn the WILDCATS!!!