Eagles Soar, Giants hungover
Last Saturday saw round 1 of the Berlin League kick off for season 2016 and boy were we treated to some good football. The boys were met with great weather and after preparing the field the new players waited anxiously to find out where they would be playing there football this year. Fifteen new players found their way to Berlin League clubs and all will make the league a lot stronger.
Eagles: Rhys, Benny, Puss (drafted), Seth, Eamon, Scott, Toddy (friend/colleague)
Mariners: Luke, Brent, Irish John (drafted)
Crows: Trickey, Ash, Mitch (drafted)
Giants: Gerrit, James (drafted)
Game 1: Crows 61 def Giants 43
Game 1 saw the reigning premiers take on the evergreen Crows with both teams missing some key personnel. The Crows started the better with their midfield getting on top and ever reliable Bart keeping things solid at the back and kicked away to a 3 goal lead at half time. New Draftees Mitch and Ash were influential with Mitch winning plenty of the ball in the middle and Ash controlling the ruck and sneaking forward to kick a couple goals. For the Giants Trev (I love to get in the umpires ear) Meinecke was prolific getting plenty of the ball all over the ground and Haroon gave the Giants a great option up forward. After half time the Giants tried to fight back into the contest but every time they got a goal back the Crows would answer straight away. Adeo showed his old legs still have plenty of football left in them putting the iceing on the cake with a couple late goals. The Giants looked like they are suffering from a Premiership hangover but will be hoping to regain some of their grand final team for the next round in Woodsy, Petey and Baptiste. It is hard to see the Crows losing too many games this year as they had winners all over the ground and seem to have drafted really well to complement their existing team.
Game 2: Eagles 66 def Mariners 42
The second game saw two teams trying to put a disappointing 2015 behind them and from the get go it was evident both teams had points to prove. An unprecedented 13 players were wearing the Eagles colours in a show of intent for the coming season. An error from Rowan led to Luke kicking his first of I’m sure many goals for the Mariners but it was quickly followed by Eamon in his first game kicking truly to even the contest back up. This was the pattern in the first half and at the interval the Eagles led by a solitary point. The second half started with a contender for mark of the year from the 2016 number one pick Rhys as he soared above 2 players to pull in a screamer. Unfortunately it aggravated a previous ankle injury and he would take no further part in the game. This left the Eagles wondering where there goals were going to come from. Cometh the moment, cometh the man, Jamie was this man and he went on a rampage pulling in arguably both the mark and goal of the day as he kicked 3 second half goals to take the eagles to Victory, there first for over a year. For the Mariners Luke was everywhere and his pace and leap will continue to cause headaches for all opposition, Brent rucked really well giving his team first use and Simon was his courageous best (imagine what he would be like if he didn’t smash 20 beers the night before). For the Eagles there were positive signs from all the first gamers. Todd Bennett put in a defensive masterclass, spoiling and tackling and the eagles will hope to see him again. Eamon, Seth and Scott fitted straight in and all contributed to the win. Benny in his first ever game jumped straight into the middle of the ground and held his own with seasoned veterans. Could this finally be the year of the Eagles, this writer surely hopes so.
A huge thankyou to all the people who came down to watch as it was amazing playing in front of a vocal, energetic crowd and here’s hoping that continues throughout the season. It was great to see a lot of people sticking around after too and soaking up the rays with a beer and a sausage as well as watching on and standing in a fiery soccer match.
Next berlin league is on the 30th April and will see the Eagles play the Giants and the Crows play the Mariners. Hope to see you all there.