Round 3: Div.1 win big against the Hamilton Wildcats; Dingos notch up first win in 2014
The Toronto Dingos got their first win of the 2014 season this past Saturday, cruising to a 19-goal victory over the undermanned Hamilton Wildcats. The game was played 16-on-16 at the 'Cats request, which gave the Red and Black midfielders plenty of room to run on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. It was by far the best game the Dingos have played this season, with every player on the field contributing in some manner and the goals themselves spread out over numerous players - including a couple first goals ever for AFL footy rookies Paul Browne and Eoghan Flynn.
To their credit, the benchless-Cats did have the Dingos back on their heels in the opening minutes of the match, moving quickly off the opening tap and getting the footy downfield in some well coordinated plays. However, the early goal by the Cats was quickly answered by the Dingos on the ensuing tap, and in the space of about 30 seconds the Dingos went from ruck to half-forward to goal and knotted things up.
The Dingos never really looked back from that point on, as the legs woke up and began to use that extra space the shortened lineups presented. While the centre bounces continued to be challenged well, the stalwart Dingo defence tightened things up in the backline and began to push forward on the rebound, as big long kicks from Shaun McKay and Dave Wells got the Dingos moving time and again. As for the forwards, they made good on the hardwork of the back and midfielders, as the Dingos got multi-goal games out of Everett Wells, Mick McFarlane, Paul Tinkler and new-comer Heath Neville (who was outstanding in place for the missing Wade Edwards).
But the real story of this game was the work of the Dingo midfielders, whether it was in the form of goals (James Duggan, Alex Aitken, Tom Humphries) or raw athleticism out of the wingers, with Andrew Andersen making a couple incredible full-sprint spoils on the wing. As the lead grew, so did the confidence of the Red and Black, as the kicks and disposals became that much crisper and on target. The team followed the coaching strategy to a T, and were rewarded with four quarters of solid, fun footy.
DINGOS - 20.10-130
Wildcats - 1.8-14
DINGO GOALS: H. Neville 5, P. Tinkler 3, J. Duggan 2, E. Wells 2, A. Aitken 2, M. McFarlane 2, T. Bell, P. Browne, E. Flynn, T. Humphries
DINGO BOG - Tom Humphries
The Dingos must now reset and focus on the next game, a huge match against the Grand River Gargoyles. Match stats can be found here, though there are unfortunately no photos posted as of yet.