Review: Berlin League Round 1
The first round of the Berlin League featured an eagerly anticipated rematch of last years’ Grand Final with the East Berlin Mariners taking on the North Berlin Crows while the West Berlin Eagles were up against the 2014 wooden spooners in the South Berlin Giants (previously known as the Demons and this year sponsored by sister club the Greater Western Sydney Giants). Rumors abound that the South Berlin Club are in negotiations to have Jeremy Cameron play a game this year should his form drop off in the AFL competition, and Jonathon Patton may be likely to make a return through the BL during his comeback from knee surgery. Stay tuned!
The first game of the day provided an intriguing contest by two strengthened outfits: the Eagles and the Giants. Both teams had profited greatly from lowly finishes last season and had been topped up with some prized draft picks before season begin. The main-season debuts of Tiger Trev, the Real Jan and Connors “the irish experiment” were all eagerly awaited by the Giants, after impressing in the pre-season cup, while top draft picks Jack “Huckleberry” Flynn and Soda-Pop-Jim-Bob were bound to make an impact for the Eagles. Captain Pete had his boys fired up from the first bounce as the Giants took an early lead. Wiley Pickles and the Real Jan provided some sparkling run from the back line while first gamer, Frenchman Baptiste, contested well in the ruck. But the Eagles soon got back into the game with spearhead Miegs and Rockstar (who during the week was announced as „the face of Mokum” before having it revoked after crashing his moped) leading from the front. Nonetheless the Giants seemed a bit too strong by the end of the first half, giving themselves a handy lead, with BJ (PG version) competing well down back and Tiger Trev, despite continually leading into the dead pocket, contesting well and playing up the ground when needed. The second half saw a rejuvenated Eagles fight their way back into the game with Syd, Alex and The Great Scott Jamie providing handy targets forward while Soda and Jack cleared everything from the middle. Nonetheless the game finished with a few steadying goals from Woods, Gerrit and Pickles to help the Giants to a 41-25 win.
Game number two found an under strength Mariners side facing a red hot Crows. After winning the inaugural pre-season cup the Crows looked as likely as ever to be there again on the last day of the season. The Mariners by contrast had been racked by injuries and retirements during the off season and only could produce one regular player: Nick. But with it being JP’s last first-round Berlin League game for season 2015 the players from the Eagles and Giants decided to band together to help the Mariners form a team. JP knew he had to play a good game, and with immigration offices circling, he helped the Crows hit the ground running kicking out to an early lead. Buckets was on fire up forward for the Crows grabbing everything that came near him and the midfielders in Will A. & new recruit Jos, as well as Tommy and Vince – the other Irish experiments – toiled away in the centre. After the game had settled the combined force of the Mariners soon got themselves back into the game but it was the Crows who ran out eventual winners with captain Bartman instrumental down back. The Crows commemorated JP’s last game before the next round in style and ensured that he passes John Farnham’s record of most come backs.
The club would like to thank Nils from Munich for umpiring both games as well as kicking on to the after party at Belushi’s.