2010 Match Reports

2010 Manchester Mozzies Team

Grand Final v Nottingham @Wolverhampton

The mighty Manchester Mosquitoes claimed their first ever AFL Britain CNW League Premiership with a thrilling 17 point win over traditional rivals Nottingham at Wolverhampton on Saturday.

The win capped off a magnificent season for the Mozzies, never losing a game throughout the entire season, enabling them to rightfully claim to be the champion side of 2010 for the CNW League.

It was not easy however, as Nottingham typically rose to the occasion, producing their best performance of the season to push the highly-fancied Mozzies right to the final minutes of the last quarter.

The Mozzies got off to a stuttering start early on as Nottingham clearly enjoyed the underdog status and were the first side to settle early, kicking the first goal of the game after some clean movement of the ball from the backline. The Mozzies kicked a quick reply but were soon assured of a tough afternoon as Nottingham’s big bodies began to win the ball and suddenly the early jitters looked like transforming into genuine anxiety for the players and supporters in the yellow and black.

At quarter time, the Mozzies trailed by five points and coach Matt Shelton appealed to his players to relax, and use the slight wind advantage in the second quarter. Defensibly, the Mozzies tightened and Nottingham were starved to just the single goal as in contrast, the Mozzies began to increase their attacks inside the Nottingham half. Once again, as has been the case all season, inaccuracy kept Nottingham in the game at half time as a return of 2 goals 4 points saw the Mozzies go in with the margin reversed, in their favour.

With the ‘Premiership Quarter’ ahead, the Mozzies needed little inspiration in the dressing rooms, and a no-nonsense address from No.2 Ted had the Mozzies ready for action. Into the wind, Manchester produced some of their best running football of the year, with some classic linking play from deep in defence to the goal line producing goals where Nottingham never got near the ball. Both sides threw everything in during these 15 mins, the Mozzies coming out on top and going into the break with a 13 point lead and the slightest scent of a victory.

With nothing to loose and everything to play for, the final quarter was understandably tough, uncompromising and not pretty early on. However, Manchester’s depth of talent off the bench came to the fore, some inspired changes from No.2 giving the much needed leg speed to produce goals that had never previously been celebrated so intensely! The game finally broke in the final 5 minutes when a moment of madness from a Nottingham midfielder saw him red-carded, and most damagingly had a certain goal reversed. The subsequent goal to Manchester made it 17 points and hammered the last nail in Nottingham’s coffin.

Celebrations as had never before been seen erupted on the Manchester side line as the sound of the siren signalled an unbeaten season.

The win was yet another superb team effort from the playing group, a trademark of Manchester’s wins all through the season. Coach, Wielgosz and Eddo had a hard day at the office controlling Nottingham’s lethal forwards, in particular Rich who finished with a Gary Ablett-esque 8 goals in a losing GF team. Nonetheless many potential goals were repelled and several of Manchester’s were directly the result of rebound play. The sight of Nottingham’s full forward Sam finishing at full back also told you a thing or two about playing against the ‘iron backline’.

Big South Australian Nath toiled most of the day in the ruck against a quicker and more agile opponent, snapping a superb goal in the third quarter and was ably assisted by Chaffers. The engine room was once again driven by the blonde assassin, Granto, who despite carrying a shoulder and ankle injury into the game, dug deep to rise above the close attentions of his opponents. He had great assistance from Dylan (who finished with more injuries than Granto!), fit Badger and Zimbo Phill for pure strength and aggression, whilst Ben, released from his usual ruck duties, took full advantage bagging a couple of trademark running goals. He worked well all day with Bundy, who also found impossible time and space on the small ground to run the ball forward to create goals.

Up forward, Killa was again under enormous pressure but provided match winning efforts to both score and set up goals. In the last quarter, new legs surfaced inside 40 m when Ste arrived and the not-so-unreliable JP Hayes made the forward line his own, and Wayno’s last goal and celebration encapsulated the old St. Helens spirit in the modern day Manchester side.

And not forgetting the tactical guru and Hardest Man in the World, No.2. Pulling moves with partners in crime Nikko and the specialist coach Doc, allowing Coach to concentrate entirely on his opponents.

The final mention however must be reserved for Best-on-Ground James ‘Woody’ Wilson. Country Victorian footy personified, Woody destroyed numerous opponents and had the ball on a string all day. Highlight was undoubtedly Woody copping a behind-the-play punch to the back of the skull, an act that would drive any other Ballarat footballer over the top, but not Woody. Taking the free and the penalty, Woody put the ball straight through the big sticks from 40m, with a sly smile that said ‘bring it on’. Absolute CLASS.

Congratulations Manchester. 2010 CNW League Premiers, and none more worthy.

 

Round 7 (10 July) v Huddersfield @Manchester

 

On Saturday July 10th Manchester Mosquitoes’ Australian Rules Football Club played their last game of the regular season in mild and dry conditions at their new home base of Burnage RUFC. The game was also their last home game for the season in what has been a watershed year for the club in the evolving sport of Australian Rules Football with marked success both on and off the field. With a light breeze providing a 1 – 2 goal advantage to the clubhouse end and making conditions perfect for spectators, there was a great crowd down to support the undefeated Mozzies in this final regular season game against Huddersfield.

Despite a number of key players being unavailable through injury or personal reasons the team were keen to maintain their undefeated record this season, even though their position in the final being already assured. For Huddersfield the game was a must-win if they were to make the final but Manchester took the first advantage of the day by winning the toss and kicking with the breeze in the opening quarter. Against the breeze Huddersfield soon had the first goal of the game, though the Mozzies then settled with their midfield starting to gain control in the centre and the backs strangling Huddersfield’s forwards. At the first change Manchester were up 31 to 18.

The game continued to be tight in the second quarter with both teams applying solid physical pressure but in the third quarter Manchester piled on the pressure to kick away to a 29 point lead at the final change. Despite appearing mentally fragile in the face of what looked as though it could have turned into a blowout for Manchester, Huddersfield rallied and capitalised on Manchester taking their foot off the pedal to kick some late consolation goals in the final quarter, Manchester running out eventual winners by 14 points 10.13.73 to 8.11.59.

With the regular season now over Manchester’s complete focus is on their final game for the season, the Grand Final to be played at Wolverhampton RUFC against arch rivals Nottingham on Saturday 24th July.

 

 

Round 6 (19 June) v Huddersfield @Sheffield

 

Manchester Mosquitoes booked themselves a place in the 2010 Central North West Division Grand Final with a hard fought 22 point win over Huddersfield Rams at Sheffield on Saturday.

The win sees the Mozzies remain undefeated, plus the honour of knowing they now cannot be dislodged from their top position on the table no matter the results of the final rounds.

The build up to the match had been intense, with several reports out of Yorkshire indicating the Rams were putting in their biggest preparation of the year. Coach Matt Shelton had also been the victim of his opposite number’s (Neil) psychological warfare, being on the receiving end of a bbq and booze fuelled mid-week call from the charismatic Huddersfield coach to remind him of the Ram’s intensions, just in case he had forgotten. Shelton returned fire with assertions he already knew the Yorkshire team’s likely line-up, but the wily Neil simply responded that he was returning to the white board early the next morning to further confuse the Mancunians.

The pressure on the Mozzies increased on Thursday night at training, when suddenly the true extent of the Mozzies’ challenge became apparent. The names Dr. Spieler, Bazz, Woody, Nik, Backdoor Freak Out, Chaffers, 4, Martin Johnson, Arman and Eddo found their names under ‘Unavailable’. An asterix was added next to Eddo, for a particularly embarrassing excuse of choosing instead to go for a walk in the Lakes to smell the summer flowers rather than play.

Suddenly, with the knowledge Huddersfield were desperate to secure a win and keep their chances of a Grand Final spot alive, the fixture loomed as a danger game for the Mozzies.
The response was an emphatic team performance that rivalled any of the Mozzies great victories of the past for its gutsiness and excitement.

The game started at a fast and furious pace, the ball moving quickly from end to end as the midfields battled for early ascendancy. Manchester had the upper hand early, with Dylan and Granto winning early possessions to give Killa and Wayno some early opportunities to score. Enter the Badger. A brilliant roving goal off Coach’s marking attempt in the goal square had the Mozzies firing early, with JP Hayes, eager to abandon the title of ‘Unreliable’ establishing himself across half back with some strong marks. Mozzies looked good early, going in at quarter time with an 14 points lead.

Things changed suddenly in the second quarter as the Rams hit back with quick goals. Goals were then traded as the pace intensified and both sides struggled for control. Chaffers and Backdoor, working the interchange, swung a telling move with Killa and Big Bad Nathan Blake swapping, and the response was immediate, Blakey climbing high over Huddersfield’s Danny to claim a screamer and slot through a telling goal. Manchester were marginally on top, and the scoreboard reflected this as the Mozzies went in with a slender 13 point lead at half time.

Huddersfield were far from beaten however. The quarter started somewhat controversially when cult favourite Bundy found himself slung in a good tackle and faceplanted into the Sheffield turf. Quickly it became apparent he was concussed when he began asking about which quarter it was. This rattled the Mozzies momentarily allowing some quick goals and the Rams suddenly had the opportunity to steal back the lead.

At three quarter time, Coach pleaded with his players to dig deep for one last quarter. Performances lifted across the ground as Ste and Dr Quinlan displayed calm and composure deep in defence, whilst Dizza began combining with team mates to create goals up forward. Physical encounters ensued, none more earth shattering than Doc’s hip and shoulder on Dicko. There was everything to play for and both sides threw their all at every contest, and when the Rams’ powerhouse forward Ally snapped a left foot goal the difference was just 5 points. The Mozzies fought back, however, Granto showing why he is one of the premier midfielders in the competition, helped by some superb contested marking in the middle from partner in crime Dylan. It was left to the finishing of Fabulous Phill, the Zimbabwean assassin who ignored Coach’s instructions to play as a loose back man and embarked on a one-man rampage across the half forward line, to bring it home for the Mozzies, the final margin a gutsy 22 points.

After the match, Coach Shelton said the game was one of the most satisfying wins he had ever been a part of in his career. He was also quick to give credit to Huddersfield for such a spirited performance.

Manchester will now have a welcome break before their next league fixture on Saturday 10 July, when they take on Huddersfield again – this time at their home at Burnage Rugby Club.

Scores

 Q1

Q2 

Q3 

Final 

 Manchester

3-4-22

6-5-41

10-5-65

12-10-82

 Huddersfield

1-2-8

3-4-22

6-5-41

9-6-60

 

Round 5 (12 June) v Nottingham @Manchester


The Mozzies are smiling this week as their team remains undefeated – albeit due to unexpected circumstances.


It was a bitter sweet weekend for the Manchester team, after their scheduled home game against arch rivals Nottingham (fresh from a bashing at the hands of the Mozzies the previous week) was forfeited on the morning of the game due to player unavailability at Nottingham.Exactly what caused the case of mass AWOL at the Scorpions camp at the last minute is unknown, although we all have our theories! But what is certain was the enormous disappointment felt by Manchester at a lost opportunity to improve on their 5 goal win in Huddersfield and hand out a good-old fashion drubbing on their home turf. Damn it!

 

Anyhow, fortunately for the many supporters who turned out at Burnage RFC in the glorious June sunshine, the second scheduled game proceeded as planned. The Mozzies faced a combined Sheffield/Wolverhampton team in a non-league fixture, which the Mozzies were expected to win comfortably. Unfortunately nobody told the boys from Sheffield and Wolverhampton, as early on an upset was truly on the cards! Playing in an unfamiliar 12-a-side format, and still smarting about the forfeit, Manchester’s start to this game was less than ideal, as the plucky Wolves/Thunder outfit displayed great run and link play early on. Manchester was on the back foot as their opposition got the better of them with a string of consecutive goals. Not helping the situation was Manchester’s atrocious accuracy in front of goal, the blame shared by a large number of players. The quarter was well and truly won by the visitors and the Mozzies knew they were in for a tough afternoon.

 

This prompted some choice words from the coaching staff, aimed at jolting the home side into some form of consciousness, during the quarter time break. It seemed to work, and the Mozzies sparked into action and began gradually edging their way back into the game with some goals during the second quarter. Half-time, and the Mozzies sought shelter from the blazing Lancastrian sun, content to be back in the game.

 

Manchester started the third quarter with quick goals and looked in command however the combined Sheffield/Wolverhampton were determined not to go down without a fight.  A superb solo performance from Sheffield’s Irish forward gave the experienced Mozzie defence an enormous headache, and an arm wrestle ensued. Goals were traded for goals, plus the obligatory missed opportunities for the Mozzies, resulting in the visitors being only 4 points down at three quarter time.

 

Some more water, and a plea from the Coach, and Manchester finally took command over their brave but tiring opposition with their strength and experience shining through in a one-sided last quarter to give the home side a comfortable 29 point victory.Whilst the Mozzies displayed a lot of character to hit back after the psychological impact of the forfeit and the slow start, there was no rendition of the club song in recognition of a huge challenge facing the club this week against Huddersfield, to be hosted in Nottingham. Manchester must improve its goal kicking and be prepared for a fast and furious encounter with a team boasting some of the UK’s most outstanding talents, if it’s to maintain its reputation as the division’s premier side in 2010.

 

Round 4 (5 June) v Nottingham @Huddersfield

 

Manchester Mosquitoes maintained their undefeated run in the 2010 Central North West League with a crushing defeat of Nottingham Scorpions on Saturday.

The Mozzies were never headed throughout the entire game, at one stage leading by over 50 points, before finishing comprehensive winners by 30 points, 87 to 57. The win was only the second occasion that Manchester have had the better of their arch rivals in their last three seasons.

After a solid preparation at training on Thursday, Coach Shelton challenged the team to build on their impressive start to the season and try and deliver a rare win over the formidable Scorpions. Remembering the crushing defeats of the past, the older Mozzies in particular were especially keen to finally see the tables turned against the old enemy.

The Mozzies responded to Coach in style, hitting the ground running despite a slight wind advantage to Nottingham, and got off to a great start with their midfield dominating their opponents early. Granto, Bazza, Dylan and former St. Helen’s veteran Woody were instrumental, beating the Nottingham midfield to the ball and applying enormous pressure in their tackling and smothers when they didn’t have it.

The result was the ball stayed in Manchester’s attacking half for most of the quarter, and if not for some unlucky misses in front of goal from superstar forward Killa, Nottingham would have found themselves out of the game. Nottingham made the most of their few scoring opportunites however and at quarter time, Manchester had a lead of just 13 points.

Coach Shelton asked for more in the second quarter, and again the Mozzies answered. From here on Manchester asserted its dominance, with the rock-hard defence of Eddo, Bundy and Coach rebounding all of Nottingham’s attacking forays, and Killa and Silver Fox found their kicking boots and started putting the goals on the board. Perhaps the standout moment for the half was Dylan’s harassing and pressure on the Nottingham captain, forcing him to fumble and Dylan to gather and kick a telling goal. Added to that a typically stylish running goal from Backdoor and the Mozzies went in at half time with a commanding 28 points lead.

Assistant Coaches No.2 and Nik worked on some new structures at half time to ensure the blow torch was turned up in the third quarter as the Mozzies, determined not to let the Scorpions back in, piled on the goals. Again, the midfielders dominated with Bazza in particular continuing to win the hard balls and capitalising on Killa’s rucking, despite the tough attention of his taggers. Faz showed some real star potential also in the ruck, as well as true Mozzie grit and determination as he bravely put his head over the ball and copped a late high hit from Nottingham’s president, winning the free kick and a bloody nose but also the admiration of his team mates in the process. Doc came into the forward line providing another leading option and Fittus Badgerus got stuck in as only a fit Badger knows how, harassing and tackling the now demoralised Scorpions. By three-quarter time, Nottingham were completely outplayed and frustrated, and the Mozzies went into the final break with a 30 points lead.

The final quarter saw a large number of positional changes and Ste, Johnno and Silver Fox worked tirelessly in different roles across the ground, their efforts allowing ‘Woody Show’ to go into overtime, nailing the coffin lid on Nottingham’s afternoon. When club veteran Dizza combined well with his old mate Badger to provide another goal, Manchester could finally afford to take the foot off the pedal. Some late consolation goals in the final minutes of the last quarter flattered the scoreline for Nottingham however Manchester will still gain much confidence from the convincing win.

Coach Shelton praised his side for a superb team effort, but emphasised the importance of the club keeping up the work rate leading into this week’s tasty rematch against Nottingham on our home ground, at Burnage RFC. The match will start at 12pm, and will be followed by Sheffield versus Wolverhampton.

 

Scores

 Q1

Q2 

Q3 

Final 

 Manchester

2-9-21

6-10-46

8-13-61

12-15-87

 Nottingham

1-2-8

2-6-18

4-7-31

8-9-57

 

Round 3 (22 May) v Sheffield @Sheffield

 

Manchester Mosquitoes Australian Rules Football club secured a third round win against Sheffield Thunder on Saturday 22nd May in Sheffield.  Playing the first away game of the season, a smaller than usual ground required Manchester to adopt a slightly changed approach.  Sheffield had a number of their key players back on the ground this week causing Manchester to be caught napping in the first quarter and within 7 minutes were 3 goals (18 points) down.

 

Manchester have traditionally struggled to come back in a game once down, but a tighter team leadership helped the players to be able to identify what they were not doing well , re-gather, and pull the scores back to almost even at half time.  In Aussie Rules the third quarter is known as the premiership quarter and generally the team that wins this quarter goes on to win the game.  Manchester started the third quarter with 3 quick goals such that at 3 quarter time they had a 14 point lead.  The final quarter saw a similar start with a number of quick successive goals by Manchester, breaking Sheffield’s spirit.  In the end Manchester ran away to a 24 point win with the final score 59 points to 83.  While not playing their best football, The Mozzies were able to overcome a challenging start, and a fired up Sheffield, to win the game and remain top of the league ladder.

 

The warm day certainly suited the Australian members of the team and a great turnout of player numbers for The Mozzies forced the need to create a social game to be played at the end of the day in order for all players to get a run on.  This proves the increasing success and popularity of the club and the sport within the North.

The next game on 5th June will be Manchester’s toughest challenge yet when they face their arch rivals Nottingham who won very convincingly against Huddersfield on Saturday.  The game will be away in Huddersfield.

 

Scores

 Q1

Q2 

Q3 

Final 

 Manchester

2-2 14

 6-2 38

 10-4 64

 13-6 84

 Sheffield

4-3 27

 6-5 41

7-8 50

8-11 59

 

Round 1 (8 May) v Sheffield @Manchester

 

Manchester Mosquitoes Australian Rules Football club started off the Central & North West League’s round 1 of the season on Saturday 8th May with a convincing win over Sheffield Thunder.  Four clubs played at the Mozzies new home of Burnage Rugby Club – Manchester, Sheffield, Huddersfield and Nottingham, with a social team made up by newcomers to the league, Wolverhampton Wolves.

 

Manchester played to their game plan practiced at training, utilising their accurate kicking and passing and an open forward line allowing the ball to be delivered to their full forward players who kicked 16 goals amongst them.  In the middle the Mozzies demonstrated solid stability which provided the half back line with a good base for attacking and moving forward while limiting Sheffield’s scoring opportunities.  A fantastic contribution from all players, some of which had their first game with the Mozzies, meant Manchester did not let up at any stage during the match and stuck to their game plan.  The win, along with a forfeit from Birmingham, puts Manchester at the top of the Central & North West ladder and augers well for the rest of the season.  Thanks to Moo Marketing, the Mozzies new major sponsor, for their contribution and for coming along and supporting their new team.  Sunday 16th May sees the Manchester Mosquitoes compete in the Great Manchester Run and raise money for The Christie as well as other well deserved charities.  The next league game will be played in Sheffield on Saturday 22nd May.

 

A social game was played against the Wolverhampton Wolves which gave a lot of the new comers, from both Manchester and Wolverhampton a further chance to improve their match skills, as well as the experienced players the opportunity to demonstrate some tactics and game plans.  The exposure will hopefully assist the Wolves in encouraging more players to join the team allowing them to put forward a full team for the competitive league in 2011.

 

 Scores

 Q1

Q2 

Q3 

Final 

 Manchester

6-3 39

 11-6 72

 14-11 95

 15-16 106

 Sheffield

 0-2 2

 1-4 10

 1-6 12

 1-8 14

Manchester v Birmingham

Birmingham forfeited

 

Manchester Pre Season Carnival (10 April)

 

Manchester Mosquitoes

Midland Tigers
Chippenham Redbacks
Wimbledon Hawks
Sheffield Thunder

 

Saturday 10th April saw the pre-season carnival of the Manchester Mosquitoes Australian Rules Football Club, working as a one-day lightening premiership competition with teams from around the UK and Ireland.  The first game for Manchester was against Sheffield where the Mozzies were keen to get their feet moving.  Being a new team to the league, the majority of the Sheffield players had never played a competitive game before and although they put up a good fight against an experienced Manchester side they went down 44 points to 2.

 

With only a fifteen minute break between games the Mozzies faced a very strong Wimbledon side in their second match.  Both teams went in hard physically with Manchester applying fantastic pressure to keep the scores fairly even at half time.  The second half saw both teams squandering a number of opportunities for goal with Wimbledon making slightly more of theirs and winning by 21 points to 11.  A bye in the third game gave the Mozzies some time to rest and talk tactics for the final 2 games.  An undermanned Midland Tigers team made the trip all the way from Ireland, demonstrating the spread of Aussie Rules in Europe.  Unfortunately for the inexperienced Tigers, Manchester was just too strong winning with 52 points to nil.  The last game of the day saw Manchester face Chippenham.  Even though Chippenham had fewer numbers, they utilised their hard running and the game was goal for goal in the first half.  The Mozzies mixed it up a bit in the second half but 4 games of hard physical competition had taken its toll and Chippenham got the upper hand to win by 27 points to 20.

 

Being a pre-season carnival the Mosquitoes weren’t playing for points and the games were all about getting as many people as possible out on the field – some for the first time in a competitive game of Australian Rules Football.  Having a turnout of 18 players for the carnival was a great showing for the new season and we now have a few weeks to work on areas for improvement to be ready for the start of the 2010 season on Saturday 8th May at our new home, Burnage Rugby Club.  The players and supporters are looking forward to a great season with some serious competition – come on Mozzies!   A big thank you to all the teams for travelling to Manchester and playing good, honest Australian Rules Football.

 

Congratulations to Wimbledon who took out the cup and to Garth Nevin from Sheffield who was the overall Best & Fairest on the day.

 

Final Results of the day were -

1. Wimbledon
2. Chippenham
3. Manchester
4. Sheffield
5. West Midland

 

Below are all all the match results -

 

Manchester 1 5 11  V Wimbledon 3 3 21

Wimbledon 6 3 39 V Sheffield 3 2 20

 

West Midland 1 3 9 V Sheffield 6 3 39
Wimbledon 2 9 21 V Chippenham 1 0 6
Chippenham 5 3 33 V Sheffield 2 1 13
Chippenham 5 3 33 V West Midland 0 0 0
Manchester 7 2 44 V Sheffield 2 2
Chippenham 4 3 27 V Manchester 3 2 20
Manchester 7 10 52 V West Midland 0 0 0
Wimbledon 6 6 42 V West Midland 0
Best & Fairest  -

1. Garth Nevin – Sheffield

2. Tom Case – Chippenham

3. Rob Fielder – Chippenham

4. Ross Ashman – Wimbledon

5. Chris Sproule – Manchester
Craig Niven – Wimbledon
Grant Aubrey – Manchester
Pat Leavy – West Midland
Tom Carpenter – Sheffield
Matt Wielgosz – Manchester

6. Tom Cleary – West Midland
Brendon Kenny – Wimbledon
Matt Shelton – Manchester
Rob Kerr – Chippenham
Ben Freke – Manchester

7. Dean Anderson – Wimbledon
Paul Francis – Wimbledon
Paul Canny – Chippenham
Nick Katsivelos – Wimbledon
Nick Heath – Sheffield
David Fearnley – Manchester