26/06/2012 Wildcats claw Swans

Coming off their first win of the season, the Ottawa Swans Australian Football Club were eager to return to the confines of the Rideau Carleton Raceway to take on the Hamilton Wildcats in Round 7 of the Ontario Australian Football League. While the RCR ground has always served the Swans well, the home side, in their short 5 year history, has yet to record a victory against their Steeltown foes and was looking to rectify this record this past Saturday.


The key for the Swans would be to once again replicate their quick start mentality by winning the battle out of the centre and establishing a forward attack. With the wind at his back Paul McCosh was quick to deliver out of the ruck and propel the Swans forward; providing ample opportunity for the forward lines of Darren Roffey and Sean Smallwood, who both delivered on the day for the Swans. Returnees Tom Fuller and Dave Martin each had strong opening terms, taking several contested marks and progressing down field. For their part, Hamilton was able to stem the flow, but at the close of the first term, Ottawa held a 20 to 9 advantage.


In the second, the Swans quickly realized the strength of the prevailing wind, as Hamilton responded with an aggressive attack. Mike Kozlowski, although succumbing to injury, held strong in the opening terms and defended valiantly. Jake Plunkett-Latimer and Alec Campbell also proved their might as they continually injected themselves in the contest and challenged the onslaught of the Cats. Although the defense stood headstrong, the Cats were simply too much in the quarter, kicking 9.2 and putting themselves well in front.


With a significant deficit facing them at half, Head Coach Chris MacLean implored the Swans to return to form and regain their assailing of the goals, albeit, with a little more accuracy, “It was a potential turning point in the game. Hamilton came out strong in the second and we needed to respond in the premiership quarter.” While the Swans, led by Ronan Shaughnessy, gained considerable possession in the opening moments, the team’s precision and tenacity proved to be the downfall time and again, as the turnovers and missed tackles quickly added up. Captain Roffey, who added to his yearly totals, was supported across the front line by Chris MacLean and Bogdan Rotaru who both ran out solid days across the ground.


Unable to mount a response, the Swans saw themselves down mightily going into the final term against a Wildcats side that clearly came well prepared to play in the Nation’s Capital. In typical Swans fashion, the home side ran out every last minute and refused to allow a single inch. Assistant Coach Marc Magierowicz applauded the effort, “On a day where our skills failed us, we can certainly be proud that we put forward a hard effort. Our men continue to develop each and every day and we can only hope that this will just be one more step in that development.” At the final siren, the visitors came away convincing winners on the day, leaving the Swans to re-group for the coming rounds.


Ottawa Swans 5.11 (41) defeated by Hamilton Wildcats 20.12 (132)

Goals: Darren Roffey (4), Sean Smallwood
Best: Paul McCosh, Darren Roffey, Jay Goldhawk, Tom Fuller, Ronan Shaughnessy


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