Teams back in action after Long Weekend Break
Returning from the Canada Day weekend break, the Ottawa Swans Australian Football Club was back in action last weekend. On Saturday, in wet conditions the men set out to avenge an early season loss to the Toronto Dingos and Sunday saw a trip to Montreal for the Rideau Shamrocks and Carleton Warriors.
In the men's game, Kyle Graham got the game off to a strong start with two early goals and a number of solid marks in the forward line. But the Dingos fought hard in the middle of the ground and were the more physical team early on.
In the second quarter, the Dingos earned multiple scoring opportunities but were unable to cash in, keeping the Swans on their heels, that is until an inspiring tackle by 100 game veteran Jacob Plunett-Latimer led to goal and changed the momentum for the rest of the game. At half time, the Swans led 34-20.
The third quarter is often referred to as the premiership quarter, and the Swans played like it on the weekend by taking full control of the match. The half forward and midfield lines locked the ball in the forward 50 and prevented the Dingos from clearing their zone.
A great defensive performance by the back line held the Dingos to two behinds in the entire second half of the game, and two late goals by Josh La Porta sealed the win for the Swans, who improved to 5-1 on the season.
“It was a better performance for us than the first game of the season when we played the Dingos,” said team captain Nathan Strom after the game.
“We had this game circled on our calendar since that first loss and it’s great to execute the way we did.”
The final score was Swans 11.70.76, Dingos 2.10.22
The women’s teams continued their seasons in Montreal on Sunday, playing under overcast skies both teams came back home with wins.
First up, the Rideau Shamrocks took on the Plateau Eagles in an incredibly physical match. The last-place Eagles gained an early lead, but the Shamrocks quickly answered with 7 first-half goals, two from newcomer Rebecca Rousseau. Despite the Eagles adding a goal in each of the final quarters, the Shamrocks held them off, adding a goal from Holly Vachon and another from Bailey Jones, her third of the game. It was a hard-fought victory for the Shamrocks, with relentless tackling both on offense and defense against an opponent that refused to let up. Rebecca Gomez’s continued dominance in the ruck taps and Mishelle Stott, in her second season, had one of her best games ever, proving to be fearless at both ends of the field. Shamrocks 9.6.60 Eagles 4.4.28
The second match saw the Carleton Warriors facing the top Montreal team, the Notre-Dame-de-Grace Giants. The Warriors initially had trouble moving the ball away from their end, an issue that the strong Giants’ midfielders exploited in the first half with two goals and four behinds. After two quarters, the Warriors found themselves in the unusual position of being outscored, trailing 17-15. However, the Warriors decisively took control of the game in the third quarter, kicking to space and making consistent marks. Belinda Wozniak in particular found her groove, adding five more goals to the one that she kicked in the first quarter. Goals from 3 others players allowed the Warriors to pull ahead to their third win of the season. Warriors 10.7.67 Giants 3.5.23. The win puts the Warriors in first place in the AFL Quebec standings.
This coming Saturday is the Lady Swans take on the Montreal Angels in the second 18 aside women’s match of the year. The game kicks off Saturday at 12:00PM at the Manotick Polo Club.
The men were to take on the resurgent Hamilton Wildcat team, who despite two straight losses have improved immensely from the last time they came to Ottawa in 201, however due to injuries Hamilton has forfeited the game and will not be coming to Ottawa in 2016.