The threat of thunderstorms didn’t deter 28 Bulldogs from showing up for round 4 of the Colorado Cup. With 14 against 14, the set up would be 4-6-4, which provided more space around the small ground at Washington Heights Park. Both teams would be missing a few senior players, so others would have to step up their game, and that they did. With more space, there was less congestion, more open running play, players hit their targets and most looked classy.
The Kelpies jumped out of the box like a greyhound, and with Scott C and Bruce running loose on the wing, the Kelpies kept moving the ball forward, putting a lot of pressure on the Dingoes defenders. Brian R and Marcus kicked 2 quick goals and Nate kicked the third while muscling himself around the forward line and busting packs as usual. Jared was good early on in the middle for the Dingoes, marked down forward and goaled to keep them in touch. But the relentless Kelpies kept moving the ball forward with Sean around the wings, and Kirky got in on the action too, kicking his first for the season. New recruit Paddy was a great target up forward for the Dingoes, kicking his first, and small forward McVicker goaled from running play. The Kelpies 5.2.32 led the Dingoes 3.2.20 at the first break.
The second started out as a battle of the defenses and the intensity lifted. The tackling was tremendous and Max’s tackle on Harko was a great example of how to stop play. Max is definitely out of retirement. The ball went back and forth to each end of the ground, but both Dingoes and Kelpies defenders kept clearing the ball. John, Max, Noble and Brian P held the last line for the Dingoes, clearing the ball numerous times with great run out of defense. Veterans Tim, J Posey, Cody and new American Jo were tested, but defended well for the Kelpies. The Dingoes finally goaled after 10 minutes of play through a mark to Paddy. Around the 15 minute mark, the Kelpies managed quick movement out of the backline, along the wing, and the ball came in to an open forward line with an awkward bounce. Both Oscar and Noble expected it to bounce one way, but Bobby, with his bionic knee jumped like Michael Jordan, reaching for the stars to knock the ball back into the square so Kirky could pick up the loose ball, spin and snag his second. The Dingoes seemed to have more of the ball, but could only manage 1.4 in the battle and the Kelpies kicked 1.2. The Kelpies maintained a slim lead of 10 points going into the final term.
Brian Rippeto was terrific in the ruck for the Kelpies and won most of the taps, but it was the Dingoes mid-fielders – Lez, Phil, Jared, Newq and Pete – who got first use of the ball out of the center. B Posey and Luke kicked great goals from running plays to put the Dingoes in front by 2 points early in the last. Several Dingo long bombs into the forward line were intercepted by Tim and Jo was busting packs in defense too, with both of them clearing the ball out often. However they couldn’t find a link down the wings to move the ball forward. The Dingoes controlled the ball for most of the final term locking it in their half. Both Paddy and Garcia kept presenting for marks and Paddy kicked a major, while Lez kicked one from long range. Noble, getting bored in the back pocket saw an opportunity, so he ran through an open center square after Lez marked on the wing. Receiving the switch kick from Lez at half forward, Noble did a quick one-two handpass to evade a defender, and snapped from 40 out, putting an exclamation mark on the victory for the Dingoes and becoming the #1 contender for goal of the season! The Kelpies only managed 1 behind in the final term and the Dingoes ran out victors by 4 goals. The margin could’ve been a lot more since the Dingoes kicked 5.6 in the last to amass 20 scoring shots to the Kelpies 11.
Brian Rippeto was all but unanimously voted best afield for the Kelpies, with only a mention for Tim and new American rookie Jo, acknowledging their hard fight in defense. On the flip side, it was a great team effort by the Dingoes and they nominated 6 players for their player’s cup best afield and there was 7 individual goal scorers. Aussie rules is a team game.
Thanks to Robbo, Harko and Bobby for umpiring a third each.
Goals: Leigh 2, Paddy 2, Jared, McVicker, B Posey, Luke, Noble
Best: Newq, Paddy, John, Pete, Luke, Leigh
Goals: Brian R 2, Kirky 2, Nate, Marcus
Best: Brian P, Tim, Jo