AZAFL Round 3

Round 3 competition began with the AZAFL adding more groundbreaking history
as the Paradise Valley Gaels met the Tucson Javelinas. The December 1st
action took place at Estevan Park in Tucson with the Javelinas hosting the
Gaels in the first ever Aussie Rules match in Tucson. Tucson club President
Anthony Squirrel Starks and the rest of the enthusiastic Javs welcomed the
Gaels to their home grounds.

Under the bright Tucson sun, the two clubs took the field determined to come
away with their first victory of this young season. Both club took their
warm ups on the University of Arizona Rugby pitch, lush with winter grass,
anxious to do battle.

Richard Clogan, the Javelinas Aussie coach took on the duties as Field
Umpire as hes still rehabilitating a nasty knee injury sustained at the 2001
USAFL Nationals. We hope to see Rich on the field before too long.
The Javelinas Neil Dilfy Dilts and Gaels newcomer Dan Sling Argon faced
off in the ruck for the first Tucson Javelina home match bouncedown. Dilfys
managed to edge Sling in the ruck giving the Javs first possession of the
day. However, the Gael onballers pressed hard for the footy and gained
control of midfield in the early going. The Gaels pushed the ball upfield to
forward Charlie Hollingsworth for the first of Charlies 5 goals on the day.
Doug Doogie Smith scooped up a loose ball on the forward flank and drove it
cleanly through the uprights. The Gael defense smothered each Javelina
opportunity limiting the Javs to 5 behinds in the first half of play. Jared
Kaiser Shrieber at fullback, halfbacks Tom Bobby Passwater and Kenny Wood
(playing in his first match) managed to keep the Tucson club off balance and
off the scoreboard. Mike Bubba Meier worked hard as he ran free across the
halfback line spoiling several intended Javelina marks and consistently
kicking the footy into the Gael offensive zone. The first half scoring for
the Gaels was scattered among Charlie (3), Aiden Henderson (1), Doogie (1)
and John Pops Meier (1). There were several memorable passages of play
throughout the first half, but none quite as remarkable as Pops third goal
of the season. A complete narrative of this beaut of a kick and other Pops
Greatest Hits (including the deranged Oompa-Loompa full field run) will
soon be available on CD or VHS at the AZAFL merchandise page. Just as soon
as I can convince the League of this untapped revenue goldmine.

Aiden Henderson erupted for 3 quick goals in the 3rd quarter of play as the
Gael midfielders continued to control possession of the ball moving the footy
quickly and efficiently upfield. Aiden seemed to scoop up every loose ball
and solidly kicking for goal under the Javelina defensive pressure. His only
misstep was when he found himself alone with the footy on the right flank
just across the midfield. He may well have run all the way to Phoenix had
not the alert field umpire whistled him for running too far with the ball.
Pops had several scoring opportunities in the second half, but the relentless
and unyielding pressure of the swarming Javelina defense forced off-balance
and awkward kicks thus limiting each attempt to mere behinds.

Zack Dorsey exerted himself in the second half of play for the Javs, moving
the ball forward to Jason Pickle McPherson for two nicely kicked goals.
Robert Blossom Massey was quick to the ball on several occasions, spoiling
several PV offensive pushes. An early match injury to defender Trevor
Cottrell limited the Tucson clubs options. The Javelinas continued to play
intensely until the final horn sounded.

Okay, so I had a few easy unhampered shots at goal and missed. It could
happed to anyone. Besides the rugby goals are .8 meters narrower than footy
goals. I neglected to take that into account.

Final score:

PV 13-15-93

Tucson 2-7-19

Best on Ground for PV: Aiden Henderson, Noel OCulain, and Charlie

Best on Ground for Tucson: Zack Dorsey, Robert Massey, and Jason McPherson

I know the Tucson club was hoping for a different result, but the AZAFL is
quite impressed with the level of skill, enthusiasm and commitment of each
Jav player.

Thanks also to each of the Paradise Valley players who made the road trip
especially Jeff Richards and David Donger Pack in their assistance in
umpiring and scorekeeping.

Back to the Valley of the Sun for the second and third installments of the
3rd round of AZAFL action.

The first late afternoon match pitted the 2-0 Scottsdale Dingos against the
1-1 Tempe Devils. The Devils were eager to bounce back from their round 2
drubbing by Chandler. The hot (take it however it appeals to you) Scottsdale
club were determined to continue their winning ways. And continue they did,
converting for 5 first half goals in what was a very clean and sharp half
match of footy. Dingos Jeff Williams and Doug Smith led the Scottsdale
scoring charge with three and two goals respectively. Unfortunately for the
Dingos, team scoring leaders Andrew Noggin Ashworth and Matty Bracher were
kept off the ball and neither player was able to kick a goal for their club
in the first half of play. Andrew did manage to block a kick, sacrificing
the side of his head on a ball that would have most likely traveled the
length of the ground had it not encountered his cranium. Fortunately Andrew
was fine, and thereby confirmed all notions anyone has ever heard about the
contents of a lawyers head.

Strong defensive play by Dan D-Train Reidy kept the Tempe scorers at bay
forcing them to scramble for the footy, winding up taking limited and
difficult shots at goal. Tony Sarge Pham, Jeff Fingers Purcell, Darren
Priscilla Toohey and Jim Speedy Hill each kicked one goal for the Devils
offensive side. Jared Kaiser Schreiber skillfully filled in at fullback
for the Devils regular and sorely missed big defenseman, Steve Mom Hoza.
In a hotly contested and very well played half, the Dingos held on to a 35 to
27 lead.

In the second half of play, the defensive tide shifted into the favor to the
Tempe club. The Devil midfielders attacked the ball limiting the Scottsdale
number of possessions and limiting the pressing Dingos to one goal by Doogie
Smith. Still trailing but closing the gap, Toohey added 2 more goals for
the Devils with strong marks and booming kicks that would have impressed any
woman he had invited out to see him play. Except the game times were
switched and the fine ladies weekend furlough didnt include hours of
darkness even with the tracking device attached to their ankles.

With the score at onset of the fourth quarter at 44-41 in favor of
Scottsdale, Noggin Ashworth finally cleared his head long enough to kick
his first goal of the match. However, the Tempe defense proved to be too
much to overcome for the Dingos as Fingers Purcell kicked three more goals
for the Tempe side. The Dingos pressed hard until the final horn, able only
to muster 2 more behinds for their cause.

The final:

Scottsdale 7-10-52

Tempe 9-5-59

Havent got the best on ground selections yet.

The round 3 finale was played under the lights in a crisp 60 degree night
between the only remaining undefeated AZAFL team, the Chandler Outlaws
against the 1-1 Camelback Crushers. This match shaped up to be a physical
and high scoring affair with three of the leagues leading goal kickers in
the same match. Unfortunately David Clean Haydon developed a mysterious
knee injury preventing him from taking the field this round and defending his
position as a member of the AZAFLs elite cadre of Pretty Boy goal kickers.

Chandlers game plan to force the ball up field and into the hands of the
brothers Purcell was contained early on by more defensive pressure by Dan
D-Train Reidy. The game was the physical match up expected with Buddy
Lee Fraley running hard across the midfield, disrupting the Chandler flow.
Both teams hotly contested every possession. Nevertheless, the Outlaw
onballers managed to get the footy into the hands of Fingers and Bro. Purcell
accounting for five of Chandlers six first half goals. Simon Marshall
gathered up a loose ball and sailed one through the goal for the sixth goal
of the half for Chandler. Crusher Fullforward, Jeff Williams (having been
hounded to death by Toohey to play a match) nailed three first half goals.
Priscilla Toohey connected with an early first quarter goal for the
Crushers. Outlaws captain and coach, Fingers Purcell wisely thanked the
slow-footed (and slow-witted) Pops Meier for filling in at fullback for a
spell and chose to call upon the services of Chris Boot Vaine as Pops
replacement. Along with the insertion of Boot into the Outlaws defensive
scheme, the Crushers were dealt another blow with a knee injury to D-Train.
Brody Vancers and Brad Chop Palumbo stepped up to keep pressure on the
Outlaws, fighting for every possession. By halftime the Chandler club
threatened to run away with another match with a 42-25 lead.

Camelback was determined not to be routed by the Outlaws and came out strong
in the third quarter. Led by Jeff Williams, the Crushers put together a 20
point quarter. Strong marking and good pursuit of the loose balls enabled
Steve Ghost Jerome to get involved with the Camelback offense adding
another goal. The Outlaws answered back with 17 points and found themselves
sitting on a 14 points three-quarter time lead.

Chandler roared through the 4th quarter kicking a total of six goals. Some
dude named Striker, who had been held scoreless the entire match booted an
astounding 3 goals in the final quarter of play. Bro Purcell connected with
two more, running his total to five for the match and Simon Marshall added
his second of the game. The Crusher offense couldnt match the scoring
output of the Outlaws forwards and Chandler came away, their record

The Crushers managed to score the most points against the Chandler club so
far this season; however, the Outlaws are averaging 101 points and 14.7 goals
per match.

Final score:

Chandler 14-11-95

Camelback 8-5-53

Again, I havent got the best on ground selections yet.

Another great round of footy once again by all accounts. Thanks to those who
volunteered their services to the league by umpiring, keeping the time and
score and field set-up.

The next round of matches will be played on December 15th. Tucson hosts
Scottsdale at 12 noon at Estevan Park. Lets make sure to support our mates
in Tucson with another good showing of players.

- John Meier

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