Third Time Was Charming

On a punchy day in Cincinnati, St. Louis scored more than 100 points for the third game in a row, coming away with a 17.12.114 to 5.2.32 win over the Dockers.  The tilt on July 24 included a third term in which the Navy Archers outscored the Teamsters 7.3.45 to 0.0.0.  St. Louis led 24-1 at the end of the first stanza, and the only real suspense was who was going to win the Blues barefoot sprint competition outside the pub in the wee hours of the night.  The weekend was enjoyable from start to finish.  The Seaside Boys played hard and clean and never gave up on the field, and they were gracious hosts afterward.  The Blues tried to repay the hospitality by voluntarily cleaning the windshields of area automobiles.


Meanwhile, back at the game, after the one millionth "I am going to be stern but fair even if I'm not very good, and I am going to protect the man going for the ball" opening speech by a referee since footy began some century and half ago (it's been played in St. Louis for a slightly shorter period of time), the ball went up and the Blues took control.  At the start of the fourth quarter, the Dockers had only thirteen points because the defense, including the defensive play in the midfield, was magnificent.


The whole defensive group, recently dubbed the Moose Claw, was anchored in back by the Meat Curtain.  Michael "Classic Gaffney" Gaffney and John "Caffeine Free Gaffney" Molnar started on the back line, but did not have much work early on because of the midfield.  The few times the ball made it to them in the first period, Caffeine Free seemed to get a hold of it and barge through to the half-back line to get the ball moving up field again.


The stellar defensive midfield play was highlighted throughout the game by the breakout days of Steven "Don't Call Me Brian, Call Me Jolt Gaffney" Aderholt and Dan "Lemon Twist Gaffney" King.  The surprise is that Jolt spent the quarters taking mark after mark and Twisted kept throwing men to the ground.  There's just no telling with some things.  The two earned a tie for the most coveted award in all of Match Reportdom, The One-Percenter Award.


But others contributed, as well.  Matt "R.C. Gaffney" Hans has earned a spot with the Meat Curtain, Colin "Blond Gaffney" Carroll was virtually impenetrable, and Kevin "Diet" Gaffney shot through the Dockers like the latest low-carb craze through Miami.  And of course, as the ball moved up to the forward half of the field, Chris "C2 Gaffney" Cicci took his usually fearless marks and broke his usually broken nose.  But he surprisingly attempted no kicks.  Just like there was no World Series in 1985.


Even controlling the ball, though, the Old Azure had some trouble slotting their kicks early on and scored three behinds to start the game before The Venerable One, D-1, hit the bulls-eye with the first major of the day after taking a mark on a perfect kick from Jason "Jerry Gaffney" Goodger.  Jerry had a typical day for him, with more marks, behinds and outs-on-the-full than anyone can count.


Jerry really got things going in the second quarter when he smothered a ball with his nose, managed to pick the ball up then cleverly handballed it into the unexpecting groin of one Christopher "Cherry Gaffney" Carroll.  Cherry notched the major anyway, one of his five or six on the day, and then left the field so superfan Larry Hagman could help him ice down.  In Cherry's place, Dan "Name Everybody A Cola Reference To Gaffney" Kocka managed to kick balls at angles unfamiliar to Euclid.  And so it was that the first half came to a close.  At the break, the Blues stood atop the scoring (no easy feat- you try standing atop a concept) 51-13.


In the premiership quarter, the defending MAAFL Premiers showed why premier is used so often in this sentence.  During halftime, Team President/Captain James "Pop Rocks And Gaffney" Martin challenged the team to score seven goals during the third specific amount of time set aside for play between the start and end of the game, and did the Boys Who Wear The Color Of The Ocean ever.  They scored seven goals in the third quarter, thus fulfilling the command to score seven goals in the third quarter.  Anyway.


The grooviest goal of the premiership quarter came from the boot of Dan "Sprite Gaffney" Sarbacker who gathered a ball around midfield, threw down a handball juke that would make a music box proud, and then sent the ball into the goal square for one of the forwards to mark.  However, Sprite failed to judge the wind, which carried the ball a bit too far.  The forwards shepherded a Docker or two as the ball sailed through for six, and Sprite acted like it weren't anything but a thing.  In the meantime, during all of the offensive excitement, the Blue Bowmen held Cincinnati scoreless in the third quarter, thanks in no small measure to the near speckies and crunching play of Jolt and Twisted.


Though the outcome was no longer in doubt, the Dockers refused to give up, and even outscored the Blues by a point (19-18) in the final term.  The Blues scoring wrapped up when Phil "Amatil Gaffney" Brereton ordered Joe "The Soda Ate My Stomach Gaffney" Schomaker to score a goal and leave the field.  Soda followed orders, and the sigh you heard was Soda's relief at finally kicking one straight through the narrow uprights.  After that, it was on to the celebration.  And celebrate the Blues did.  But that's a whole other story.


Footy- yeah, that's the game.


Best On Ground: Jason Goodger, Matt Jagger, Chris Carroll, Kevin Gaffney, Colin Carroll, Steve Aderholt and Joe Schomaker


Goals: Chris Carroll (5), Jason Goodger (4), Benjamin Lipman (3), Phillip Brereton (2), Dan Sarbacker, Dan Kocka and Joe Schomaker

- Benjamin Lipman

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