16/07/2012 Swans Fall to Blues

At the halfway point of the Ontario Australian Football League’s regular season the Ottawa Swans Australian Football Club’s men’s team were still searching for success on the scoreboard in what has been a season mired by injuries and fluctuating numbers. Coming off a hard fought battle against the Guelph Gargoyles, the Swans welcomed the Central Blues to the Rideau Carleton Raceway this past Saturday under steamy conditions.


The Blues, undeterred by the long trip down the 401 and the hot sun, were quick out of the gate and found the goals early. Ruckman Pete Fisher was in tough all day against a talented opponent but was relentless in the bounce and contested valiantly. Followers Nic Vautour and Matt Payne worked tirelessly to win possession and to deliver out of the centre. While the Central Blues were dominant in the opening moments, the Swans battled back and held great pressure at the close of the quarter.


The second stanza proved to be much of the same as the seesaw match continued to ebb and flow as both teams showed moments of control, challenging both defensive corps. Following a spectacular performance the previous week, Alec Campbell once again put forward a fantastic effort holding his opponent off the board. Likewise, back pockets Jake Plunkett-Latimer and Fred Manny, were consistently under attack but thrived under the pressure. Unfortunate for the Swans, this proved to be a day where the Blues, when able to gain possession, simply couldn’t miss and added to their lead at the long break.


While behind at half, the lead was certainly not insurmountable, as the Swans looked to re-group and return to form. Darren Roffey proved an effective target in the forward line, flanked by David Martin, who was superb in collecting possessions and consistently beating his opponent to the contest. Tyler MacLellan, Sean Smallwood and Bogdan Rotaru were each efficient with the ball and contributed to the forward pressure, however, the Swans were unable to capitalize on the scoreboard, as their attacks continued wayward time and again.


In the final term, the Swans still held a reasonable chance for their second victory of the season. As the ball ping-ponged on the hard, dry confines of the RCR, the Swans were simply one step behind as the Blues’ skills came to the forefront and they pulled away early in the term. For their part the Swans did not let up and quickly added to their tallies on the board, but they would prove too little, too late. Head Coach Chris MacLean, disappointed with the loss, but appreciative of the effort on the day, “As always, the men ran out a hard fourth quarter and never relented. The result today exemplified the work we need to put in at training and our need for consistency. As our skills come around and a more consistent list, we’ll start to see better results on the board.”


The Swans face the Etobicoke Kangaroos July 14th at the Rideau Carleton Raceway at 2pm.


Swans 6.10 (46) defeated by Central Blues 15.3 (93)

Goals: D. Roffey (2), B. Rotaru, R. Shaughnessy, M. Payne, T. MacLellan

Best: P. Fisher, D. Roffey, T. MacLellan, J. Goldhawk, A. Campbell, J. Plunkett-Latimer


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