Swans victorious over Eagles

After four rounds of the Ontario Australian Football League, the Ottawa Swans returned home to face the Toronto Eagles at the Rideau Carleton Raceway on an ideal summer day. The Eagles have a storied history in the Ontario League and are looking to return to premiership form in 2012. The Swans, still in search of the first win of the year, were eager to take advantage of a strong line-up and their home ground. The battle was sure to be hard fought.

The Toronto side was fast out of the gate, finding the goals almost immediately from the opening bounce, putting the Swans on their back foot. Accustomed to playing from behind, the Swans bounced back from this early onslaught; Matt Payne and Paul McCosh were key to this turnaround, each taking several strong marks and delivering forward aptly. Darren Roffey, relinquishing the shackles of his previous defensive role, proved a valuable target in the half-forward line, tallying a perfect 6.0 in the opening stanza and a slim two goal lead.

The second term saw much of the same, as both team showed moments of dominance. In this quarter, it was the Swans out quickly, as they continued their accurate kicking, led by Roffey, as well as Ronan Shaughnessy off the half back line and rookie Tyler MacClellan. For their part, the Eagles stormed the goals with vigour and were able to keep pace. The efforts of Mike Kozlowski and Alec Campbell once again this week, repelled the attack and held the talented Eagle forwards in check. At the half time siren, the Swans saw their lead slip to just 8 points.

Interim head coach Chris Lockhart rallied the Swans over the half time break to continue their strong play; “At half, it was clear that this was a seesaw battle. We had let our heads drop towards the end of the second quarter and it was vital that we start out hard in the 2nd half.” Rejuvenated, the Swans answered the bell and battled valiantly. Roffey continued his tremendous effort, notching goals in the each of the four quarters and twelve for the game. Full forward Sean Smallwood, supported by Charles Bernard and Nic Ladoceur, were spectacular in their efforts to trap the ball in the attacking end, resulting in seven goals for the Swans in the third and expanding their lead going into the final term.

With the win still far from secured, the Swans remained poised over the fourth quarter and continued their strong play. Bogdan Rotaru and Chris Bellman were superb on the wing throughout the game, taking several marks and finding the goals for Ottawa. The Swans remained relentless as their fitness shined through and their attacked never wavered. Captain Darren Roffey commented on the day, “It was an impressive team effort today. We were nearly perfect in front of goal and worked hard to win the ball. The work ethic instilled by our coaches and the support of our Club has come to fruition today.” At the final siren, the Swans ran away victors on the day, scoring 140 to 61.


Swans 23.2 (140) defeated Toronto Eagles 9.7 (61)

Goals: D. Roffey (12), B. Rotaru (3), S. Smallwood (2), C. Bellman, J. Goldhawk, N. Ladouceur, T. MacLellan, R. Shaughnessy

Best: D. Roffey, R. Shaughnessy, P. McCosh, M. Payne, M. Kozlowski


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