It has been a hot and steamy month this August in Dockerland. Not to mention the weather, which has been rather warm of late too. After a few disappointing weeks with low numbers at training we have seen a surge of late with nearly 20 on the track the last few sessions.
This has helped us to continue our match simulation drills and full field pieces.
We believe that if we can continue training in this game play style with a good number of players we will start seeing the results on the field. We have the talent in our ranks. We just need to continue working together to learn the most effective ways to limit scoring at our defensive end and transition down the field to maximize damage.
We have played 3 games since the last issue. The first was a full 4 quarter game against North Carolina Tigers. They unfortunately only had 14 or 15 players that travelled with them to Baltimore to face us and we won convincingly. The delivery to Ian Payne in the forward line was crisp and allowed him to run on to mark the ball out in front. He finished up with eight or so goals, and was the major goal kicker on the day. The biggest takeaway from this game was the attitude and team spirit that was evident from the start. We wanted to win and were willing to work together to make it happen.
Last weekend saw the Dockers travel up to Philly to play a mini tourney against them and D.C. We finished up 1 & 1. We easily took care of D.C. who unfortunately were missing a plethora of their usual best. They tried, but were unable to impact the scoreboard. Josh Richards led the way for the backline, the midfielders owned the middle and Ian Payne, Kit and the rest of the forward line finishing off with near constant scoring. Another team effort with all on the field putting their head and body on the line.
The Philadelphia Hawks have shown what it takes to win in this Eastern Division and have been the benchmark this year. We Dockers can take a leaf out of their book in relation to ball movement from the back half- something we will be working on every training session. We had a tough hit out against them, unfortunately going down by about 4 goals. Most of the Dockers (myself included) were out of legs and the fresh Hawks got away from us in the 2nd half. It was a good hit out though and I look forward to playing them again next month over 4 quarters to see where we really lie. Rocket ended up best on ground over the 2 games. Unfortunately, we say goodbye to Rocket until Nationals but we have improved as a playing group with the time he has spent with us.
August has been a good month for us. With consistent training and a well set game plan, there is no limit to how far this team can go in the USAFL. We continue to prepare for Nationals and have a very busy schedule in September.
Come see us play at our next home game. Bring a chair, bring your dog, and enjoy a sausage roll and a beer as we take on Philadelphia on September 8 (unless you want super fan credentials and travel to Boston next weekend!)
The Baltimore Dockers have been very busy this summer. Training, playing, socialising and saying goodbye to a couple of midfield legends we have been playing alongside with over this year and for some many years. It is sad to see Brent Bates and Neale Williams head back to Australia but we wish them the best and thank them for being such good clubmates.
These departures have created a good opportunity for some new blood in the middle of the field, or “the guts” as it is known. These positional changes have occurred not only in the middle, but right across the field as we are trying to find the best suited positions for both our new and veteran players. This is one of the many challenges we face as a new club.
To paraphrase Jay Z, we got 99 problems, but lack of numbers on gameday ain’t one.
We have been very fortunate to have great numbers at our games this year, typically above 25 people. This is due to the incredible work being done behind the scenes by the Docker’s board and the commitment being shown by the players.
On the field of late we have had mixed results. We went 1-2 in Div 2 at the Eastern Regional Tournament hosted by Philadelphia, with a great win against DC following losses to Columbus and Boston. We have been playing with a lot of heart and endeavor, and I firmly believe that once we get more experience playing together and iron out the problem areas we have identified then we will turn the corner.
We had the opportunity to host NY and Columbus this past weekend in Baltimore and over all we had a very successful day in Baltimore. We played NY first and showed great promise in the first half, however in the second they showed why they’re considered the best of the East, coming away with a 6 goal win.
We were trailing against Columbus when in the second half we showed how good we could be. Great field movement followed by strong marking and conversions from Ian Payne pulled Baltimore right back into the game. The clock got the best of us with all the momentum and the siren went with us just one goal behind Columbus.
This 10 minute spell highlighted how well we can play and shows the potential this Dockers team has. Exciting times are definitely ahead of us.
Stand outs players for us of late have been Josh Richardson, Nick Sisca, and Rocket. A special note to all the new recruits who have been learning the ins and outs of footy and training as often as they can.
Thanks to all those that helped on the sidelines over the weekend.
Saturday June 9th saw the Dockers host their first EAFL tournament that saw three outstanding Eastern Region teams converging on Baltimore, MD. The teams consisted of the Philadelphia Hawks and DC Eagles with the Baltimore Dockers serving as hosts. The game was played at Bocek Park in Baltimore City and in true Baltimore City fashion the day turned from a hot sunny day to a wet cold monsoon in a matter of hours that saw teams playing in water ankle deep.
Game 1: Battle of the Beltway, Game 2
The rain held off for the first game where the DC Eagles took on the Baltimore Dockers in the second game of the “Dennis Ryan Cup”. The first half went back and forth, with DC pulling ahead at halftime. As the second half began, the Dockers where able to trim the Eagles lead but in the end fell short. Game 2 went to the Eagles by a score of 6.4.40 to 8.3.51. In the end, DC’s midfield with standout performances from Jake Moyer and Sam Radcliffe served too much for the Dockers to overcome. Standouts for the Dockers were Josh Richardson and Mike Horney.
Game 2: Dockers vs the Philly Hawks
The second game started shortly after the first one ended and saw the Dockers take on the Philadelphia Hawks. Hawks jumped out early on the Dockers kicking three quick goals. The Dockers were able to answer in the first half with a goal of their own two behinds. At halftime the heavens opened up and it was a torrential downpour that lasted for about 20 minutes. As players and spectators took shelter the rain, thunder and lightning lasted for about 20 minutes.
With a break in the weather the second half started. With ankle deep water all over the field it turned to a very sloppy game of footy with each team just trying to gain territory in each other’s scoring half. The Hawks were able to pull away with some timely marks and straight goal kicking to come out on top of the Dockers by a score of 3.3.21 – 6.8.44. The Dockers were led by Ian Payne, Terrance McAuliffe, and Mike Horney who won Iron Man honors for his effort in both games.