Chicago, IL- The barnstorming Tigers of Lincoln Square have won the 2009 Metro Grand Final after completely demoralizing an undermanned and completely shellshocked Rhino outfit that still can barely sit down due to the pain emanating from its hind quarters.
From the outset it was going to be a big ask of the Rhinos with Scher, Ambrosino, Kia Forte, Aussie Mike, Kansas Hattery, Bashford, Crash Borchardt and the OBK missing from the line up and a full strength Tiger outfit that was snarling from the outset.
With Big Al and Hendrie taking umpiring duties in front of a handy crowd on a lovely Chicago day, the ball was bounced and play got under way. The next 80 minutes were as scary for the Rhinos as any poacher hiding in a bush with a high powered rifle. The middle was where the Rhinos were going to have a chance with new ruckman Nick Redmond feeding Drake, Deehan and Herrmann. The plan was to take out Dhoory and Brennan and apply as much pressure to the tiger backs as possible. The plan failed.
The Tigers controlled the midfield, especially at the stoppages and were running rampant. The rhino backs were under the pump immediately and despite their best efforts, Fish Dhoory was a huge spark for the Tigers and kicked two big ones to open proceedings. These were followed up with a lovely goal from the flying peanut in William Uhlmann who was back to some of his best form, a great sight for United selectors. Joey Trimberger continues to get better and better and his size across half forward was yet another thorn in the Rhino side and after he hauled in a grab from an errant Brian Hoyt kick, he went back and kicked the Tigers fourth. With runners everywhere and a backline that was dominating the few Rhinos that were down there, it appeared a long day ahead was ahead for the Wrigley lads… it soon got longer. Just before the qtr time siren, Aussie ring in Tobias went down when the old hammy went “cablammy” rendering him as useful as the proverbial tits on a bull. To rub some salt in the wounds, Oscar Meyer got a late one to almost kill the game in the first 20 minutes.
At quarter time, The Tigers had shot out to lead 5. 3: 33 to 0. 0: 0 and Wrigleyville went looking for an answer, any answer.
The second stanza delivered more of the same as the Tigers had winners all over the ground and it became harder and harder to find Rhinos that could win the ball. With a backline that was tiring, the Rhinos tried everything but to no avail. Oscar Meyer in particular smelled blood and began to feast on a lovely Rhino dinner that was being cooked medium well by Brennan, the Dhoory’s, Uhlmann, Fitz and everyone else in yellow and black. Frenchie was on fire and Hoyt was getting a tonne of it and they all helped Meyer kick 3 for the term. Tommy Gunn kicked another and even Hoyt got in on the action and kicked truly to pour on the misery for the Rhinos and effectively kill the game. The Rhinos had no answers and could not muster a point for the quarter and at the half, the Tigers led by 69 (giggity) points, 10.9: 69 to 0.0: 0.
Pride was the only thing on the line now as the Rhinos took the field. A dressing down at the half had the desired effect and a much more committed Rhino team actually managed to take a bit of control and almost win the quarter. Herrmann, who was easily the Rhinos best was getting a lot of the ball and along with Clarke and Deehan they managed to slow the easy ball gets by the Tigers. Drake went to the forward line and Wolfe into the ruck and as the rhino staged a counter attack. Tobias, despite being on one leg was able to snap truly twice and start the rhino scoring. For the Tigers, who were resting their main charges by now, Brennan managed to kick his first to match his BOG effort and the Warrick Capper look-a-like got his 5th. At the orange break, the Tigers led 12. 12: 84 to 2.0: 12
The final quarter was another close affair as the Tigers continued to win plenty of the ball and their backs, namely Poncho Bradley went looking for goals. Highlight of the game may possibly be Ponchos sensational kicks on goal, one of which somehow ended further away than it started, winning him the coveted Golden Goose. Fitz was also pushing forward and bagged himself a goal and Fish Dhoory netted another two before the Rhinos got their third through a dashing Sammy Blundell. When Clarke found Drake on the death nell, his kick sailed through the big sticks to notch up his first (goal and possession). With the siren ending a disappointing day for the Rhinos, the Tigers went into celebration mode with cars being flipped and naked worms everywhere.
To the victor the spoils and it was a dominant Tiger team that after a slow start to the season got their shit together and steam rolled the competition. Their mid field is electric and their backs dominant. The only question mark hanging over their heads was the form of their forwards but that has been put to bed with a final score of 14. 14: 104 to 4.0: 24. The Rhinos can take away a solid second half which showed a bit of guts on their part but at the end of the day, the Rhinos were lucky this wasn’t a bigger margin. Their grand final may have been played in their big win over the Piranhas.
After the game, a very happy Mustard De Jong paid homage to his charges stating “beauty mate, farken great stuff. Everyone put in, from the flamboyant frog to the flappin’ fish and the crabs and worms in the middle, everyone was on fire and it was a great finale to a great year of metro footy”.
A devastated Paul Drake refused comment preferring to have Morgan attend the post match press conference. All Morgan had to say was “what the hell just happened?”
All players are asked to continue their recruiting efforts over the off season and come back bigger, better and stronger for season 2010. The United squads results have proven beyond doubt the effectiveness of a strong metro competition. Our aim is to one day have 5 metro teams up and running but for now, three independantly strong teams is a bloody good effort and a tribute to the hard work being done by all. The CAFA (and especially Wrigleyville) is sad to say goodbye to two of the most promising American recruits in their team in the form of Timmy Herrmann who is off to Dallas and Glenn Clarke who prefers the sands of Iraq and Afghanistan to the golden shores of Lake Michigan. We all wish him the best as he dons the famous Marines uniform.
|Goals||Tigers: Meyer (5), Doorhy J (4), Uhlmann, Trimberger, Hoyt B, Gizynski T, Fitzgerald, Brennan
Rhinos: Allen T (2), Drake, Blundell
|Best||Tigers: Meyer, Doorhy J, Trimberger, Hoyt B, Fitzgerald, Brennan, Doorhy V, Perry, Marthouret
Rhinos: Blundell, Wolfe, Hermann, Clarke