NO SCORE FOR BORDER CROSSING
A fantastic day of football was heralded for Saturday 25th August as a large group of players headed south. The Cougars and Eagles players left in a timely fashion from the infamous Esso gas Station at Burrard and Davie, hitting the road at 8.15am. After a brief 2nd stop in Kits to collect the remaining players we all headed to the US/Canada border!
The border - oh what a joy! Arriving at the Peace Arch it was clear that word had spread throughout Canada of a huge game of footy being held in Seattle - fans from far and wide were lined up to clear customs and make it to the ground early enough to snag the best seats. Indeed, two and a half hour waits at both the Truck and Peace borders were being blamed exclusively on the the game - people with scarfs and streamers draped from their cars could be seen as far back as the famous Staples store on 32nd!
Due to the commotion, the BC footy hierarchy had managed to secure an escorted route away from the most well known border crossing and headed straight for Aldergrove - Cooper and Grills taking the low side and Campion and Murray taking the higher 16th Ave option. We planned to cut each other off at the pass!
The Eagles boys were hemmed in at the Truck crossing and rolled the dice with attacking from the west. ...... 3 votes Cooper!
Cooper/Grills 45 minute cross, Campion / Murray 1.5hr cross and Mick Pedler and the boys took 2.5hr cross (ouch!@).
Dedication to footy - unbelievable, and thanks for the pesistence fella's!
At 3pm the "Game" began! It was a great ground setup for a great battle.
The Grizzlies came out firing on all cylinders and peppered the goals early. Full credit to the accuracy in front of goal for the Seattle boys - at the end of the term having snagged
Seattle 6.1.37 to the Couegs (Eagles and Cougars combined side) 0.3.3.
Grills kicking at goal needed some severe accuracy adjustments! It was evident that the Couegs needed to lift the intensity and gain more of the ball. Ward and Brad played solid first quarters collecting a bag of kicks across the HB line. NSWelshmen Dan and Mick were adapting well to the cramped style of play. The Dr and his namesake James W suffered some hard hits throughout the early stages of the game.
The boys came out harder and faster in the second quarter and quickly put pressure on the Grizzlies back line. Sam Bonney snagged a lovely goal and new tall Ashley Steier took some great marks up forward and managed to register the Couegs 2nd major.
Dave Miller and Justin were playing hard across the forward line and provided many options for our attacks forward. Ben Howe (the come back kid) was applying lethal tackles around the ground aided by some handy dash! Half time saw the Grizzlies held to a 4 point gain -
Seattle 6.5.41 to Couegs 2.5.17
In came the support of the Mark Fraser, Steve harper, Steve Polit, James Harper and Mick Peddler. With a few injured players starting to have an impact on the interchange it was great to actually have players to switch around. Steve Polit provided great effort in the ruck allowing Scott Flemming to roam across the CHF region and collect possessions. Peter Campion could use his experience both up forward and down back and provided great plays all day - solid game Commish. Consistent Cam made the move from Full Back to the forward and it appeared that the game would become a real battle.
Cam slotted truly up forward as did the impressive "jumping jack" Steier. Alas the first quarter blow out continued to haunt the Couegs score! 3rd Quarter score - Seattle 10.8.68 to Couegs 4.5.29.
The directives given at 3 quarter time was for the Couegs to win the last quarter - to make the trip worth while! All players took up the challenge.
Ted Murray attacked the ball hard thrawting Grizzly attacks. Tony Cooper finished off a great game with "hard at the ball", "surfing", "twister" plays. Irish Cathel provided pace and poise showing that he is picking up AFL faster than his ability to chat up girls!
Ed put his niggling injuries aside and fought hard for the ball. James Harper worked hard across the forward line and Mark Fraser had some fantastic "at the ball" tussles resulting in a great goal! Mick Pedler and Steve Harper played solid games across the centre and half back lines. Scott Fleming had a great last quarter and kicked two great goals - a 45 degree set shot and an impressive "on the run" shot from 45m. The Couegs had been true to word scoring 3.2 to the Grizzlies 2.3 in the final term. End score Grizzlies 12.10.82 defeating Couegs 7.8.50.
Interesting analysis of footy - "one quarter can be devastating scenario". If you take out the first quarter score - the result would have been 6.10.46 Grizzlies to 7.5.47..........but ...........
Well done to the Grizzlies for a great day of footy and a really great game. Thanks to the umpire - who did a great job (solo) and made the day an even bigger success (it truly is a thankless job!). Also thanks to Ted, Coops, Campo, Stu, Justin, Ashley and Mick for driving all the players down and back. And specific thanks to all the players;
Ben Howe, Justin, Dan Keating, Cathel O'Loughlin, Mick Viret, Sam Bonner, James Warfe, Scott Flemming, Tony Cooper, Dave Miller, Campbell Baird, Ed, Ashley Steier, James Donkin, Ward, Brad Teasdale, ted Murray, Peter Campion, Stuart Grills, Steve Harper, Mark Fraser, Steve Polit, Mick Pedler, James Harper.
Goals - Ashley Steier (2), Scott Flemming (2), Campbell Baird (1), Mark Fraser (1), Sam Bonney (1).
Best (from) - Peter Campion, Scott Flemming, Steve Polit, Ashley Steier, Sam Bonney, Ward, Tony Cooper, Brad Teasdale, Mick Viret, Steve Harper.