Monday, April 30, 2012


Montreal Angels show off the 2012 Pre-Season Cup
Biting cold, stinging winds and the torment of a little taste of sunshine greeted the visiting Boston Lady Demons and New York Magpies who made the trek to Montréal this past Saturday. Their journey earmarked the start of the new football season, squaring off against the Angels for the 2012 AFL Québec Women’s Preseason Cup.

The Angels unveiled a host of promising rookies, new head coach Ronan Shaughnessy and amidst a purple haze, a completely new and redesigned jersey. The former royal blue strip was replaced with dark purple, topped in white and emblazoned with an angel straight from the pages of a super-hero comic book.

The round-robin format pitted the Magpies against the Lady Demons in game one, both teams benefitting from top up players from the newly established Ottawa Swans women’s club. The Demons were looking the fresher of the two travel weary teams as play got underway.  Lydia Holt was in awe inspiring form up front booting three first half goals for the Demons, rookie Eileen Hansen made a sensational debut kicking her first goal in Aussie Rules, the Demons eclipsing the Magpies in the first half to emerge 24 points in front, Demons 4.1 (25) to Magpies 0.1 (1).

Andrea Casillas and Emma Dickinson fought hard for the Magpies in the second half, but with Emily Reihl putting on a football clinic through the centre and kicking her first goal of the match, the Demons were still able to extend their lead. By the time Leah Yoffe had started to make an impact on the game and Lydia Holt kicked goal number four, the Demons had run away to 40 point win. Demons 6.5 (41) to Magpies 0.1 (1).

Game two between the Lady Demons and Angels would give Boston a chance to clinch the cup with a victory. Kicking in to a stiff breeze the Angels started well, Aimee Legault destructive through the midfield kicking the team’s first goal of 2012. The Demons refused to give up, Emily Reihl helped by excellent performances from Amy Williams and Kristina Calvillo inspired Boston to rally against the flow of play. However, Angels Mirabel Eboka and Kate Allbon-Sargeant made scoring almost impossible for the Demons, the visiting team’s advantage with the breeze fading with every passing minute. Aimee Legault kicked the Angels second and the Demons were finally able to respond with a goal to powerhouse forward Lydia Holt. The Angels with their noses in front at the halftime break. Angels 2.1 (13) to Lady Demons 1.2 (8).

With the breeze at their backs the Angels broke free in the second half. Lindsay Belzie showed she had been developing a ‘signature move’ over winter by spinning out of packs and snapping two sensational goals for the half. The Demons hope to stem the tide came to a crashing halt when star player Jennifer Vogel collapsed with a serious knee injury. A goal to impressive rookie ruckman Emily Legault and another to Aimee Legault put the game beyond doubt, the Angels coasting to a 32 point victory. Angels 6.4 (40) to Boston 1.2 (8).

Montreal Angels 2.1 6.4 (40)
Boston Demons 1.2 1.2 (8)
Goals: A.Legault 3, L.Belzie, E.Legault 1.

The Angels were in the prime position to claim the cup in game three against New York, a victory or even narrow loss ensuring the silverware would stay in Montreal. Despite kicking in to the breeze the Angels got off to a flying start, Lindsay Belzie continuing her stellar day up forward booting the game’s opening goal. The Angels controlled the play, Tara Cools-Lartigue another magnificent find for the home team shutting down any time and space the Magpies had with her tough attack on the ball. Despite having the run of play the Angels would be wasteful in front of goal, behinds to Emily Legault, Pamela and Aimee Legault keeping New York in the match. Lindsay Belzie would kick her second of the match and fourth of the day to give the Angels a commanding 17 point halftime lead. Angels 2.5 (17) to Magpies 0.0 (0).

With one hand on the cup and the breeze at their backs the Angels headed in to the final half brimming with confidence. Emily Legault had been sublime in the ruck and again gave the running brigade first use of the ball. Margo Legault again the unsung hero of the team worked the ball forward and before long the Angels had extended their lead courtesy of a goal to Aimee Legault, her fourth of the day. The Magpies had been fighting hard but simply had not had the ball bounce their way. Against the odds, and the flow of play they won the next centre clearance and kicked a long ball forward. The ball found its way in to the capable hands of Alison Vorsatz and her kick at goal brought up a much deserved first goal of the day to the travelling Magpies. The joy was to be short lived for the visitors, Madison and Ashley helping the Angels go forward again, Aimee registering her second goal of the game. It would be a hat-trick of goals for the Angels number 10 before the siren sounded, the Angels claiming the cup with another 32 point victory.

Montreal Angels 2.5 5.6 (36)
New York Magpies 0.0 1.0 (6)
Goals: A.Legault 3, L.Belzie 2.

Boston’s Emily Reihl was crowned tournament MVP after her mercurial display for the Red and the Blue.