Five Angels joined forces with the Boston Lady Demons to tackle a New York/Baltimore/Ontario hybrid in a 14-a-side, full-field showdown in the city of brotherly love.
Having squared off against the Angels at the Pre-Season Cup, Angel/Demon’s coach Jennifer Vogel had firsthand knowledge of her new Angel imports. Plotting the demise of the Magpies Vogel sent the ever reliable Kate Allbon-Sargeant and rookie Emily Legault to duties in defence, Lindsay ‘Spinorama’ Belzie was placed at full-forward and the dynamic duo of Margo and Aimee Legault were sent to their familiar midfield positions.
Boston/Montreal 2.4 3.5 4.6 8.10 (58)
New York/Baltimore/Ontario 1.1 1.1 1.2 4.2 (26)
In sweltering conditions the game got underway and the early running was in favour of the Boston/Montréal outfit. However, playing on the larger field, the Demons midfield dominance wasn’t translating into goals as the classy Magpie half-back line strangled their forward opponents and continually rebounded the ball from defensive 50. After a registering a series of behinds, it was Montréal’s own human highlight reel Lindsay Belzie who outfoxed her defender to run in to an open goal. With spirits lifted another Boston/Montréal goal followed soon after and there was a hint that the Magpies needed to respond to stay in the touch. The Magpies although on the back foot were far from out of the contest, and after some tough in and under work from #45, the black and white army had their first major on the board, the Angel/Demons edging out a 9 point first quarter lead. Boston/Montreal 2.4 (16) to New York/Balt/Ont 1.1 (7).
The Angel/Demon duo of Aimee Legault and Emily Riehl continued to dominate the clearances in the second term thanks to some brilliant ruck work by rookie Eileen Hansen. Still stifled by the Magpies solid defensive effort the Angel/Demons eventually broke the lines extending their lead to 15 points with the team’s third goal of the afternoon. Rallying in the second half of the quarter, the Magpies began to get the ball deep into their attacking zone. The issue now was that the Angel/Demons back six were giving nothing away. Kate Allbon-Sargeant was playing the giant role of Magpie killjoy as she defended both in the air and on the ground with scrooge like endeavour, the Magpies simply not having an answer to the determined Kiwi defender. Although the Boston/Montréal forwards were only able to put through one major, their defence had held firm and not given away a single point, the Magpies heading in to the halftime break 16 points adrift. Boston/Montreal 3.5 (23) to New York/Balt/Ont. 1.1 (7).
Goals were proving hard to find and it would be no different in the third term. Andrea Casillas was in deft touch across half-back for the Magpies and was well supported by Sarah Ennor and Siobhan McHale who were both stand-out players for New York. Their good work was being matched at the other end however; Emily Legault blanketing her opponent as the Angel/Demons went another quarter of football without conceding a goal. Boston/Montréal eventually squeezed a single goal through the Magpie defence and at the final change had slipped away to a 22 point lead. Boston/Montreal 4.6 (30) to New York/Baltimore/Ontario 1.2 (8).
After three quarters of lock-down football the final quarter turned into a shoot-out. Despite being injured in the second term, Kate Allbon-Sargeant was still doing the hard work at the bottom of the pack winning the ball at ground-level. It helped Aimee Legault run riot, giving the Angel/Demons plenty of opportunity up forward. It would ultimately be Margo Legault’s sublime brilliance across half-forward that would give her team enough room to score, the veteran Angel adding multiple score assists to her stat sheet as the goals began to flow. The increase in opportunity also suited full-forward Lydia Holt, the spearhead proving unstoppable in front of the big sticks. While the result had been well and truly determined, the Magpies finally found a formula that worked also stringing together some impressive plays starting from half-back. It would result in their best return yet; three goals in the final term, but all too late and still not enough to top the Angel/Demons haul of four in the fourth quarter. In an impressive spectacle of women’s footy from both sides, the Boston/Montreal combine claimed victory by 32 points, the final margin flattering the Angel/Demons who were made to earn every small increase to their lead at each change.