Denver Bulldogs

by Paul Renouf, April 28, 2001

The Denver Bulldogs took to the oval for the first time since winning the 2000 National Championships for the fifth International Series game between the Bulldogs, and the Gaels at the ANZAC Day tournament. In the International Rules games, laws from both Australian Rules Football and Gaelic Football codes are integrated.

The match started as usual with the Denver Bulldogs challenged by having to kick and judge the flight of a the round 'soccer-style' ball. The Gaels meanwhile, appear to find the more rigorous tackling of the Australians unconventional to their play. Nevertheless, in the tidiest play and officiating of a Denver based International Rules match yet, the ANZAC weekend game was played under beautiful 80 degree weather. Disputes, common from both clubs in the past, were well diminished.

In the first quarter, the Dogs scored their only six-point goal early and looked to be off to a great start. But the Gaels held the Dogs and the remainder of the match was always close. Gaels scored a six-pointer in the forth term that brought the Irish within striking distance of the Bulldogs. But the Dogs held on with great goal keeping and better fitness which resulted in most of the second half play in the Bulldogs offensive zone - albeit with bad goal kicking. After 60 minutes of play, it was the Dogs up with a score: 1.7.14.(41), 14 point winners over the Gaels with a score of 1.4. 9.(27)

First gamer, Brian Colkins had a blinder, and was awarded the most valuable player from the Bulldogs coaching staff.

Much thanks to the Denver Gaels for a good run with many of their fellas not yet begun training for the season. Denver now has a demanding lead, 5-0, on the continuing series. Stay tuned to the Bulldogs website for information on the next International Rules game in the coming months.

The Ladies Goal Kicking Competition had 15 entries and three ladies tied it up, requiring a breaker. The winner was Geraldine Coyne with an amazing 5 goals, 1 behind, out of 6 set shotsCongratulations Geraldine.

Denver then took on the Boulder Saints in the first game of what is sure to be a long tradition of local Denver footy.

With the ellipsoid ball back on the ground, the action was high quality with plenty of team handball, running players, and desperate crumbers throwing themselves at the hard ball gets. At the final siren, The Denver Bulldogs had won by 10 points.
Aussie Rules Results: Denver Bulldogs 6.13.(49), Boulder Saints 5.9.(39).

Ben Harling got the Best on Ground Award (BOG). Many exceptional efforts from the entire club, but worth mentioning are the outstanding performances of the new recruits that the Dogs decided to blood. Matt Richards, brother of veteran clubman, Charles, showed that he indeed is an imposing addition to the Dog's tall brigade with a strong presence. New American, Willie "Sled-Dog" Taylor, a transplant from the hockey troops, was all over the ground picking up possessions. In his first game ever, Steve "the Mechanic" showed great potential and impressed the coaches with an incredible overhead mark in a pack of defenders. Filthy Phil Raff showed that the skills he picked up with the Singapore Wombats aint half bad with his many disposals. Tulio Farias, "the Australian Venezuelan", had an amazing debut and snapped a goal off the left boot, and Brian Stranger Colkins had an abundance of touches. The only bad news to report is an ankle injury to star on-baller, Chris Candyman Candelaria, which is sure to give the Doggies' selection crew a little anxiety.

The Bulldogs now prepare for their first trip of the season to Kansas City on May 19/20 to defend their KC Cup for the third year straight. Keep your eyes posted at: for all the information about playing, watching and supporting the US Footy powerhouse, the Denver Bulldogs.

- Paul Renouf

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