2012 Manchester Mozzies Team

Grand Final 11th August 2012 – Manchester 17.11 (113) def Nottingham 13.6 (84)

The last day of the season had arrived.  Grand Final Day 2012 – the undefeated Mozzies versus their long-term rivals Nottingham.  Huddersfield Rams put on the show at Lockwood Park and the atmosphere was buzzing!  The Mozzies were proud to welcome Steve Jackson, the team’s major sponsor (Minova Weldgrip Ltd) representative, and along with a sizeable crowd of family and friends knew they had the advantage off the field.  On the field, the boys had all prepared well and were eager to get the match started.  Mozzies Hosking and Jennion had starred in the curtain raiser where the CNE Demons defeated Huddersfield.

At 2pm sharp, the game got underway and it was the Scorpions who got the first score on the board with a quick opening goal.  The Mozzies responded immediately with a quick clearance and a sharp kick down to Mike Kilheeney in the forward pocket, who converted the Mozzies opener.  Both teams knew it was on.  Captain Matty Wielgosz and centre half forward Taz McAlister capitalised on early opportunities, and the Scorpions fought hard at every contest, producing a very tight first quarter; the Mozzies trailed at the first break 27 to 21.

The Scorpions came out firing in the second quarter kicking a couple of successive goals, and the Mozzies looked stunned for a short time.  To their credit, the boys rallied and pulled one back with goals from Wielgosz and Daff, the latter taking some strong marks and kicking truly despite the pressure of the big day.  The Mozzies still could not get in front and the crowd were watching nervously, trying to keep the boys upbeat with chanting and cheering.  A late hit from Scorpion Lee Neicho saw him sent from the field for the remainder of the quarter, and the Mozzies were able to capitalise on the spare man advantage with a couple of late goals.  With both teams kicking straight and scoring five goals apiece, the difference at half time remained 6 points, Nottingham leading 57 to 51.

The Mozzies went into the changerooms to regroup, knowing they had to dig deep for the Premiership third quarter.  They didn’t let the fans down, returning to the pitch with newfound enthusiasm, aggression and perseverance – well lead in the ruck by both Cunningham and Radloff, the latter having to move around the ground to track key Scorpion Andy Kraefft.  Matt Kilheeney and McAlister also stepped in for the ruck contests, allowing the Mozzies to control the hit-outs, and with excellent crumbing from the likes of Norris, Hocking and Lindop, the ball moved forward swiftly into the forward line where it was sent through the goalposts more often that not.  Directed by Sproule and Gurry, runner Mick Gaff kept the boys focused and position changes smooth.  The Scorpions remained well and truly in the game, putting the pressure on the Mozzies at every contest, but the Mozzies managed to gain the upper hand, finally hitting the lead late in the quarter to see them up by 2 points at the final break, 84 to 82.

The Mozzies knew it was make or break, with the Premiership cup standing on the line.  They needed to give everything they had in their tank for the last 20 minutes, and each and every one of the boys stepped up to the task.  The backline, lead by Edwards, Lindop and Daff, ran every opponent down, spoiling marks, tackling and gathering the ball to clear, and with the midfield operated like a well-oiled machine, the forwards were kept busy.  The Scorpions meanwhile could not get anything past the Mozzie defence and did not add another major score for the remainder of the game.  The Mozzies kicked a couple of goals to stretch the lead into double figures, and the crowd started to breathe again.  Sumner ran hard in the forward pocket and had a couple of missed opportunities, but enough was converted and by the final siren, the Mozzies had run away with the game, winning by a fantastic 29 points!

The umpires awarded Scorpion Andy Kraefft “Man of the Match”, but the Mozzies knew he was well held by Ben Radloff and without his persistent tagging could have had a much greater impact on the game.  It was no surprise then that the player voted Mozzie “Man of the Match” was convincingly won by Radloff, whose teammates kept the pewter mug full for him for the remainder of the night (much to the detrement of his bathroom walls upon his return home later in the evening).

Congratulations to Matt Wielgosz who was awarded the CNE League Golden Boot Award for kicking 48 goals during the season proper – 59 including today’s efforts!

Celebrations kicked off at sponsors O’Neills, and continued well into the night on the Walkie dancefloor.  The whole club (players, committee and supporters) have contributed to a fantastic season, epitomised by an unforgettable win in the most important match – congratulations to everyone involved, it’s been a pleasure!!

Goals: Wielgosz 11, Daff 3, McAlister 2, Mike Kilheeney 1

Best: Radloff, Daff, Wielgosz, Matt Kilheeney, Hocking

Semi Final 4th August 2012 – Manchester 26.34 (196) def Huddersfield 4.1 (25)

The Minova Mozzies cemented their place in the 2012 Grand Final with a comprehensive victory over the Huddersfield Rams in Saturday’s Semi Final.  The coaches revved up the boys knowing that their performance would make or break the 2012 campaign, and the team responded with a resounding first quarter and never looked back.  An injury to Matt Wielgosz kept him on the sidelines, leaving Lachie Daff to step into full forward.  With big shoes to fill, Daff lead fiercely, marked truly and kicked straight, combining with McAlister to put five majors on the board before the first break.  The defense, led by Bud Norris and Edwards, alongside Lindop and Wheeler, kept the Rams scoreless for the whole quarter.

With a rolling bench to showcase a full strength 16-man side, the Rams never stood a chance.  Cunningham and Radloff were equally strong in the rucking contest, and fantastic displays of crumbing from Sproule, Hocking, Norris and Clarke kept the forwards’ hands full.  Both Kilheeney boys had shots at goal with the elder converting in the second quarter, and British Bulldog Matt kicking truly in the third and fourth quarters.  Daff piled on the goals up until the final break when he was rested after converting nine, and McAlister mopped up to grab seven of his own, leaving the Mozzie Golden Boot contest well open.

It was an excellent all-round performance by the Mozzies, who showed their determination and spirit is as strong as its been all season.  O’Neills “Man of the Match” votes were difficult to place but few could go past Daff, with his bag of nine goals showing a new depth to the Mozzie forward options.

Next week’s Grand Final against a full-manned Nottingham Scorpions will be a much tougher match, but the boys will go in with confidence following an undefeated season.  Here’s hoping we’ll come home 2012 Premiers! Carn the Mozzies!!

Round 9 – Manchester 26.13 (169) def Wolverhampton 5.12 (42)

The Mozzies were keen to finish off the home and away season with a strong display against the up and coming team from Wolverhampton. Things couldn’t have started any better for the boys as the Mozzies came out firing kicking 9 goals to the Wolves 2 in the 1st term. Matthew Wielgosz was having a field day up forward while the around the ground work from Ben Radloff and Pete Cunningham enabled the Mozzies on-ballers plenty of opportunities to pump the ball forward. This theme continued in the 2nd quarter with the Mozzies pilling on 5 more goals to go into the half time break 10 goals up. The highlight of the half if not the year was when Stuart Jennion burst onto the pitch on put on a huge hip and shoulder which lead to a Mozzies goal. This was made even more special as the boys surrounded Badger before he sprinted off showing the true togetherness of the Mozzies.

Coach Chris Sproule was keen for the boys to dig deep and put in four solid quarters for the 1st time this year. With Ric Clarke thrown into the middle and Alec Herron pushed up forward, the boys continued to dominant. James Connor continued his stellar season down back while Jake Norris had the ball on a string in the middle. The only worry for the Mozzies was when skipper Matthew Wielgosz limped off with a hamstring injury but the game had already been well and truly won at that stage. Late goals to Wayne Sumner and Tazz Macalister put the icing on what was a convincing win for the Mozzies who go into the semi finals top of the ladder and full of confidence.  

Jake Norris won the O’Neil’s Best on Ground award while Stuart Jennion took home the Deli Play of the day.

 

Final Score: Manchester 26.13 (169) def Wolverhampton 5.12 (42)

Goals: Wielgosz 9, J Norris 5, Hocking 4, McAlister 3, Matthew Kilheeney 2, Mike Kilheeney, Jennion, Sumner, Radloff 1.

Round 8 – Lightning Cup (Huddersfield)

The sun came out for another round of AFLCNE footy with this week’s action hosted by Huddersfield Rams. A lightning cup round was planned where the Mozzies were booked in to play 2 short games against rivals Nottingham and Sheffield. With finals on the horizon, this would turn out to be a great test for the boys from Burnage.

The Mozzies first game was against local rivals Sheffield who were looking to cement a finals spot with a win over the ladder leaders. After the Mozzies piled on a couple of quick goals, the Sheffield boys hit back ensuring an even contest. The midfield duo of Chris Sproule and Jayden Hocking were winning the midfield battle due to the supreme ruck work of Ben Radloff and Pete Cunningham. Chances were coming thick and fast however the Mozzies forwards couldn’t capitalize on the excellent work being done around the ground. The Mozzies went into the break with a slight lead at half time.

The contest never seemed over throughout the 2ndhalf with Sheffield pushing for equalizers; however Brendan Edwards, Alasdair Lindop and James Connor were able to limit their forwards to a rare few shots on goal. A nice snap (pass) from Mike Kilheeney and further goals to skipper Matthew Wielgosz put the icing on the cake with the Mozzies running out 43 point winners.

Final score: Mozzies 87 def Sheffield 43

In the day’s 2ndmatch, Manchester took on 2ndplaced Nottingham in a fiercely contested match. The Mozzies took an early break and were able to get on top of Nottingham’s ball winners. With Jake Norris and Matthew Kilheeney working well together in the centre of the park, the Manchester forwards had the best of the opportunities. Again leading by a small margin at half time, it was the next 10 minutes which really blew the game open. Nottingham came out firing kicking a quick succession of goals and looked like running away with it. However having been undefeated all season, the Mozzies upped the tempo and with Wayne Sumner and Taz Macalister combining to boot a couple of late goals, the boys in black and yellow sealed a close fought 8 point win.

Final Score: Mozzies 54 def Nottingham 46

It was a real eye opener for the Mozzies who could end up facing both teams again in the finals. With one round left, the Mozzies will be looking for a solid away win over Wolverhampton to finish top of the table after the home and away season.

 

Round 7 – League Lightning Round (LLR)

 

The Mozzies travelled to Sheffield to participate in the second of three LLR’s taking place in the 2012 season.  The Mozzies prepared to face Birmingham and Wolverhampton in two half-length matches, and were eager to come away with the full four points available.  Conditions were challenging with a mix of rain and wind, though this eased for the second match allowing cleaner disposal of the ball.

 

Manchester 11.9 (75) defeated Birmingham 8.2 (50)

 

The Mozzies lined up with a squad outnumbered against Australians, reflecting the development of the clubs newer recruits over the past season and a half.  As has been the case all through the 2012 season, the boys came out all guns firing in the first half against an undermanned Bears squad.  Sumner kicked two goals early on, but the highlight was a sensational goal from seasoned Mozzie Stuart “Badger” Jennion, sprinting into the forward line and kicking truly.  Almost as good was the goal celebration which is up there with the best (cough, Taz, cough).  The defence, led by the Norris brothers with assistance from Wheeler, Daff and Connor played tight on the Bears, limiting them to just two goals.  Midfielders roved truly and kept the ball in our forwardline, allowing the Mozzies to enter half time with a 23 point lead.

As the rain eased off, Birmingham came out with a thirst for victory after the break and really put the pressure on the Mozzie defence.  Kicking straight, they managed to get a few consecutive goals, forcing the Mozzies to dig in their heels and lift – and that they did.  McAlister led the way up forward, with strong hands in the air and the boot to match, he put four majors on the scoreboard for the Mozzies, which allowed them to keep the Bears at bay.  Birmingham were looking to win the half, but Sumner and Mike Kilheeney each slotted through another goal, and Manchester held on to win comfortably by 25 points.

Badger’s first half goal earned him the Deli “Play of the Day” award. 

 

Goals: McAlister 4, Sumner 3, Jennion, Mike Kilheeney, Matt Kilheeney, Wielgosz 1.

Best: J Norris, Sumner, Matt Kilheeney, Radloff, McAlister

 

Manchester 12.19 (91) defeated Wolverhampton 1.5 (11)

 

 

After a three hour break between matches, the Mozzies warmed up in order to face the Wolverhampton Wolverines for the final game of the day.  Third-placed Wolves were an unknown to the Mozzies, who haven’t faced them thus far this season.  The boys knew they needed to prepare well and take nothing for granted.

Once again, the team started strong and put a quick goal through the middle to gain an early lead.  This was promptly answered by the young Wolverines, allowing them to draw level, but it was the last they would see of major scores for the day.  The Mozzies put their foot down and ramped up the skill level, marking strong, handballing quickly and kicking accurately.  The WAGs showed an unforeseen level of enthusiasm in response to seeing such a fabulous brand of Aussie Rules football, especially with the likes of Brits Connor, Sumner, Knight and Banks carving it up, and the Kilheeney brothers showing style roughing up the opposition with well-placed hip and shoulders.  Goals were shared about, one of the highlights a booming goal from Lachie Daff from the boundary, just inside the scoring goal, demonstrating the consequences of kicking out on the full against the Mosquitoes.  Wielgosz and McAlister continued to notch a few more goals as they compete for top placed goal-kicker, and Banks kicked a fantastic goal in the first half.

The sun appeared long enough to appease the crowd and get all the boys sunburnt before disappearing again (in true English style).  The Wolves continue to develop their confidence and skills, but they were seemingly at a loss for answers as the Mozzies continued to litter the goalposts with scoring opportunities.  The wind accounted for more than a few inaccuracies, but nonetheless the Mozzies came away with a resounding victory, finishing up 80 point winners.

O’Neills “Man of the Match” was awarded to Jake “Burra” Norris who showed strength and flair over both matches.  Close behind was Matt Kilheeney who also had a blinding day.

Goals: McAlister 3, Matt Kilheeney, Wielgosz 2, Hosking, Sumner, Banks, Daff, J Norris 1.

Best: J Norris, Matt Kilheeney, Edwards, Radloff, Sumner.

 

The Mozzies now head into a two-week break and will return on the 14th July to play in the third and final League Lightning Round at Huddersfield. 

Round 6 – Manchester Mozzies 17.18 (120) defeated Leeds 5.10 (40)

 

The Manchester Mozzies headed off to Leeds full of confidence after last weekend’s huge win over second placed Nottingham. Knowing full and well that this could be a danger game for the Mozzies, coach Chris Sproule was keen on hitting the scoreboard hard in the first quarter.

With Pete Cunningham and Ben Radloff dominating the ruck contests, it was left to Brendan Edwards and Paddy Duggan to deliver the ball to the forwards. The boys did this with precision passing as skipper Matthew Wielgosz and Taz McAlister had the ball on a string with the two key forwards combining for three of the opening five goals. The Mozzies bossed possession and went into quarter time with a 27 point lead.

This continued in the second quarter, and with Lachie Daff, Al Lindop and Bud Norris controlling the backline, the boys in Black and Yellow had free reign to stamp their authority on the game. The most pleasing aspect throughout the second quarter was seeing new players Alec Herron, Mikey Knight and Andy Hosking get amongst the action and make a positive impact. The Mozzies dominated the quarter and went into half time with a 74 point lead.

 

Not wanting to get blown away, Leeds came out firing in the third quarter putting pressure on the ball carrier and not letting the Mozzies get a cheap kick. Mike Kilheeney and Ric Clarke were thrown into the middle to help stem the flow while Pete Cunningham put his body on the line and took a huge hit for the team. James Connor was moved down to full back and was a revelation, helping to keep the Leeds dangerous full forward to a limited number of chances. The Leeds outscored the Mozzies by 3 goals to 1 however the Mozzies were 66 points up with a quarter to go.

 

The rain started to fall heavily throughout the last quarter which put a dampener on the contest as the standard fizzled out. With the game well won, the boys from Burnage kicked a further three goals with Lachie Daff providing a couple of highlights while Hosking added a second from close range. The Manchester Mozzies ran out 80 point winners and cemented their spot at the top of the table.

 

 

James Conner won the O’Neill’s “Man of the Match” award for his coming of age performance in the backline while Lachie Daff won the Deli “Play of the Day” for a brilliant goal snapped from deep in the pocket.

Goals: McAlister 6, Wielgosz 4, Daff, Hosking 2, Edwards, Duggan,  Lindop 1.

 

Best: Edwards, Radloff, Connor, Hocking, Wielgosz

 

 

Round 5 – Manchester 15.17 (107) defeated Nottingham 10.9 (69)

 

Round 5 in Huddersfield posed the biggest challenge yet for the League leading Mozzies as they were to face long-term rivals and 2nd-placed Nottingham Scorpions, who were also undefeated to date.  It was a wet morning leaving Manchester, however the rains eased off in Yorkshire which stabilised conditions somewhat.  

 

Coaches Sproule and Wielgosz urged their boys to hit the ground running to gain the pscyhological edge early on – and that they did!  The Mozzies came sprinting out of the gates fromt the first ball up, putting three goals on the board in quick succession from the boots of Jake Norris, Wielgosz and McAlister.  Radloff was strong in the ruck and in the midfield the Kilheeney brothers and Lindop won the ball and sent it forwards.  The backline dominated, led by Edwards, denying the Scorpions a window into the game, and the Mozzies went into the first break with an impressive 40 point lead. 

 

That quarter proved crucial as the Scorpions came out hungry in the second term.  They put two early goals on the board, but the Mozzies rallied to get their own back.  Later in the quarter, Mike Kilheeney ran on from the interchange bench and put a quick snap through the middle to add another to the Mozzie scoreboard.  The Mozzies showed plenty of depth as Wheeler, Clarke, Cunningham and Daff brought experience off the bench and worked hard to stem the Scorpion attack.  With the wind behind them, Nottingham made their first statement for the day, adding five goals whilst the Mozzies kept their heads up with four of their own.  The Mozzies jogged into the rooms for the half time briefing with a 35 point advantage, whilst the Scorpions (looking a little dejected) stayed out on the pitch as the rain started to fall.

 

The third quarter is always important, and the Mozzies won most of the ball although had trouble converting it to major scores.  Matt Kilheeney put his second through, and McAlister showed some more strength in the air with a fantastic speckie.  There was some controversy whether he was deserving of the “Play of the Day” when he didn’t follow it through with a goal, however an unselfish handball over to Wielgosz in the final quarter was respected by his teammates and he earnt himself another coffee and cake date at The Deli. 

 

Having been outscored in the second and third quarters, the Mozzies dug deep for the final 20 minutes.  Showing our Minova representative Steve Jackson why they are the flag favourites, captain Wielgosz kicked two goals, with McAlister adding a third to keep the game out of reach.  The defensive line continued to excel, with the Norris brothers mopping up and restricting Nottingham to just two goals.  The midfield provided fantastic support and a channel to bring the ball forward as the Mozzies continued to pepper the goals.  Sumner, Thomas and Knight all got their hands on the ball with important possessions.  Despite inaccuracy in the second half, the Mozzies ran away convincing winners by 38 points.  The O’Neills “Man of the Match” was awarded to Jake Norris for a consistent performance off half-back.

 

Goals: Wielgosz 6, McAlister 5, Matt Kilheeney 2, Mike Kilheeney, Jake Norris 1.

 

Best: Edwards, Jake Norris, Radloff, Bud Norris, Matt Kilheeney. 

 

Round 4 – Lightning Cup Round

 

The Mozzies came into the first lightning round of the season full of confidence after three wins on the trot, looking to make it five from five with games against Huddersfield Rams and the Leeds Minotaurs on their home ground at Burnage. Despite a season opener big win against the Rams, the Mozzies knew they would have to be on their guard against a full strength team hungry for revenge, and the league new boys Leeds who had already posted impressive wins.

Manchester 9.7 (61) defeated Huddersfield 1.6 (12)

The Mozzies started the game impressively, with quick goals to Matt Weilgosz and Taz McAllister. Although Huddersfield attempted to hit back, they couldn’t find the goals needed and strong midfield work from veteran Chris Sproule, combined with goals from both Kilheeney brothers meant the Mozzies were going into half time with a 27 point lead.

In the second half, strong performances from debutant Andy Hosking in defence and Mikey Knight throughout defence and midfield stemmed any fight back that Huddersfield attempted to muster. Ben Radloff in the ruck continued to pick out loose balls kicked from the Rams’ back line, and some midfield bite on the rotation from Badger Jennion as well as an inspired performance and goal from Wayne Sumner (out-of-position at full back), meant the Mozzies increased the lead by full time, running out winners by eight goals.

Goals: McAllister, Matt Kilheeney 2, Wielgosz, Mike Kilheeney, Lindop, Sumner, Thomas 1.


Best: Sproule, McAlister, Duggan, Lindop, Sumner

Manchester 15.12 (102) defeated Leeds 2.7 (19)

Having watched Leeds post an impressive win earlier against Birmingham, the Mozzies went into the game determined to play hard and control the game from the start. What happened though, few could have expected.

 

With dominant ruck work from Kester Banks and inspired crumbing from half forward Spike Kilheeney, the Mozzies stormed to a 4 goal advantage within the first 2 minutes. As Leeds flooded the defence to try and stem the yellow and black charge, the Mozzies continued to turn the screw with strong marking and accurate goal kicking from Wielgosz and McAllister. Taz McAllister’s impressive hanger over the back of a pack earned him The Deli “Play of the Day”, despite it taking the wind out of him and his opponent. The Mozzies never let off, with support to the forwards coming from all areas of the park, and went into half time 10.5 (65) up to 1.3 (9).

After a long day of games in a hot sun, the Mozzies could have been forgiven for taking their foot off the gas as the Minotaurs’ demoralisation increased, but with continued strong rucking from Banks and Pete Cunningham, and Ric Clarke being dominant around the ball, the Mozzies carried on where they left off, sharing the goals around the team with Cunningham, Kilheeney, Gaff, Sproule and Lindop all getting on the scoresheet.

 

The coveted O’Neills “Man of the Match” pewter mug was awarded to Spike (Mike) Kilheeney, who, to understate, was quite chuffed with his achievement.

 

 

Goals: Wielgosz, McAlister 4, Gaff, Mike Kilheeney 2, Lindop, Sproule, Cunningham 1.

 

Best: Sproule, Lindop, Mike Kilheeney, Wielgosz, McAlister.

 

 

Round 3 – Manchester Mozzies 17.17 (119) defeated Sheffield Thunder 13.11 (89)

The Minova Manchester Mozzies continued their current run of form by beating rivals Sheffield Thunder by 30 points on Saturday. After last week’s sluggish start, the boys were keen to hit the ground running. Quick out of the middle, the momentum seemed to be with the Mozzies however they were unable to capitalize on the scoreboard, kicking 5.9 to 2.1 with a strong wind behind them. Forwards Matthew Wielgosz and debutant Taz McAlister were creating havoc in the forward line however Sheffield never seemed to be out of the contest.


Using the wind to their advantage, Sheffield were able take the game to the Mozzies in the second quarter. Getting numbers around the ball, the Thunder were winning the contests and giving their forwards plenty of opportunities to claw back the Mozzies. Big defensive efforts were needed from Chris Sproule and Alisdair Lindop, which helped the Mozzies go into half time with a slight 19 point lead.


Captain Wielgosz had strong words with the Mozzies at the break, pushing them to make sure effort was there and sustained for the next two quarters.  The third quarter started much like the last two with the Mozzies winning the hit outs thanks to a monster effort from Ben Radloff.  Patrick Duggan was throwing his weight around creating space for Chris Sproule and Alisdair Lindop to get the ball down to the Mozzies forward line. Taz was the focal point up forward and his kicking didn’t let him down in the second half, booting goal after goal to help the Mozzies to a game winning lead.  Up by 24 points going into the last quarter, the Mozzies just needed to hold on to win their third game in a row.


Sheffield really wanted this game and quickly booted a goal to bring the margin back to under three goals, however with Taz kicking straight and fellow debutant Mikey Knight and Lachie Daff curtailing Sheffield’s key players, the Mozzies looked home. A couple of quick goals to Manchester saw Sheffield drop their heads and allowed the Mozzies to run over the top winning by 30 points.


The O’Neill’s “Man of the Match” went to Taz who finished with eight majors, while the Didsbury Deli “Play of the Day” went to Mikey Knight who produced a stellar defensive spell when the game was in the balance. The Mozzies are exactly where they want to be heading into their home fixture this week. A lightning cup tournament will be held at Burnage Rugby Club on Saturday the 26th with all of the leagues teams involved.

Best: Taz Macalister, Ben Radloff, Chris Sproule, Alistair Lindop

 

Goals: Taz Macalister 8, Matthew Wielgosz 4, Chris Sproule, Alistair Lindop 2, Ben Radloff 1.

 

Round 2 – Manchester 12.18 (90) df Birmingham 8.12 (60)

After a solid first round win at home against Huddersfield, the Minova sponsored Manchester Mozzies hit the road to take on a young Birmingham Bears side. The Bears were one of the form teams last year and took the game up to Manchester from the start. Kicking with a slight wind, the Mozzies struggled to get near the ball in the first quarter, and if it wasn’t for Matthew Kilheeney who booted 4 goals, the Mozzies would have went well behind.

The Bears started strongly again in the 2nd quarter, beating the boys in yellow and black to the ball and used their pace well to break open the game. Jake Norris and Chris Sproule were fighting hard in the midfield while Ben Radloff dominated the ruck contests. Despite lacking the intensity needed, the Mozzies went into half time with a slight lucky lead.

After a good old fashioned spray, the Mozzies came out knowing what was needed to win the game, the coaches changed a few players around and Brendan Edwards took the contest by the scruff of the neck, throwing his weight around in the middle and kicking an important goal. Jake and Ben continued to set the tone while Bud Norris provided a target up forward. The Mozzies upped the tempo and piled on a few goals which came from dominating the centre clearances. Alasdair Lindop and Nik Wheeler were strong in defence and stopped the Bears forwards from having an impact on the scoreboard. Things were looking better at 3 quarter time but the Mozzies knew a big effort was needed as the Bears had the wind in the final term.

After a shaky few minutes, it took a couple of big grabs by Lachie Daff to set the tempo and after converting the run of play into scoreboard pressure, the Mozzies looked to have won the game. Mike Kilheeney was creating contest after contest and the game was won when Alasdair Lindop snapped a brilliant overhead goal from close range to sink the Bears. In the end the Mozzies ran out 30 point winners with a 90 to 60 win. Ben Radloff dominated all day and was a deserved winner of the O’Neil’s Man of the Match pewter mug, while Bundy’s freak winning goal won him the Deli’s Play of the Day award. The close encounter was a clear wake up call for the boys who are now 2 wins from 2.

The Minova Mozzies are on the road again next week with a trip to Nottingham to play Sheffield Thunder before Round 4 will see them host the leagues’ other teams in a lightning cup Tournament at Burnage Rugby Club.

Goals: Matt Kilheeney 7, J Norris, L Daff 2, A Lindop, B Edwards

Best: Radloff, J Norris, Daff, Te-Boekhorst, Sproule

 

Round 1 – Manchester 23.18 (156) df Huddersfield 8.13 (61)

 

The Minova sponsored Manchester Mosquitoes got their season underway on the weekend with a thumping win over last year’s grand finalists Huddersfield Rams.  With perfect conditions at Burnage Rugby Club, the day was all set up to be a cracker.  In a double header, the earlier kick-off saw League new boys Leeds defeat Sheffield 17.18(120) to 13.13(91) in a closely fought encounter.

After a long pre season, the boys in Black and Yellow were keen to stamp their authority on the competition.  In what was a key decision, Mozzie Captain Matty Wielgosz decided to kick with the wind, and following two seasons playing at half back, put himself in the attacking goalsquare.  The Mozzies came out firing, putting a massive 13 goals on the scoreboard to go into quarter time with a 73 point lead.  The highlight for the quarter was a goal from newcomer Paddy Duggan who squeezed it through from the tightest of angles. 

 

The real test however would be how the boys responded in the 2nd quarter, kicking into the wind, but with Wielgosz grabbing everything and helping himself to nine goals in the first half, the Mozzies were well on their way to a comprehensive win.  The Kilheeney boys were causing problems around the half forward line while Pete Cunningham, Dean Te-Boekhorst and Jake “Burra” Norris were winning the contest in the middle of the ground.  After going into half time 97 points up, the Mozzies coaching panel decided to mix things up and trial players in a few new positions.  The risks paid off with Brendan Edwards and Ric Clarke providing goals for the home team.   

Determined not to go down with a fight, the boys from Huddersfield rallied in the final quarter and put four goals past the Mozzies. Despite their last ditch attempt, the domination of the Mozzies was unsurpassable, and at the final whistle, it was the Mozzies who triumphed 23.18(156) to 8.13(61).

The O’Neills “Man of the Match” Award went to skipper Wielgosz who proved there is plenty left in the old legs by kicking 10 goals.  The Deli “Play of the Day” was awarded to Paddy with his spectacular first quarter goal.  European squad member Matthew Kilheeney added 5 goals while Edwards, Te-Boekhorst and Norris were named in the best.

The Mozzies now have a week off (League Bye) before travelling to Birmingham to take on the Bears in the 2nd round of the AFL Central and Northern England season.

Goals: Wielgosz 10, Matt Kilheeney 5, Mike Kilheeney 2, Edwards, Te-Boekhorst, Duggan, Hayes, Clarke, Daff 1.

Best: Wielgosz, Edwards, Matt Kilheeney, Norris, Te-Boekhorst

 

Pre Season Competition – Mozzies crowned winners!

St Pats Cup – March 17th 2012

After a long few months without any footy, the St Pats Day tournament rolled around at just the right time. Held at Burnage RUFC, the home of the Manchester Mozzies, the local club were looking to put their hard work into practice and test out a few of the new recruits. Coach Chris Sproule was pumped for the cup, saying it is a fantastic opportunity to get a bit of game time into everyone’s legs. Along with the Mozzies, teams from the Central & North Western League came down for the day with last years premiers Nottingham keen to continue their form. It also gave the club the chance to say goodbye and cheers to one of the founding members, Forefather who was moving on to greener pastures in Holland.

The first game saw the Mozzies take on Birmingham and it was like the break had never happened. Both teams were hard at it from the start, with the Mozzies flying out of the blocks putting a number of goals on the board before the Bears had a chance to reply. The highlight was Mike Kilheeney’s left foot snap around his body. After going into half time a few goals up, the coaching staff decided to mix things up which allowed the Bears back into the game. Order was soon restored with the Mozzies running out 17 point winners. Best players for the 1st game were new boys Deano and Ben who dominated in the middle and the returning powerhouse Killer.

After a quick break, Manchester were up against arch rivals Nottingham, this was to be a real test of how far the Mozzies had come during all those cold training sessions throughout pre season. The intensity was there from the start with both teams throwing themselves into contests however it was the accuracy of the Mozzies who were able to hit targets through the middle of the ground which helped them onto a tight victory, winning by 10 points. Killer and Lachy dominated up forward while Bundy controlled things running off the half back line. Votes for the 2nd game went to Bundy, Buddha and Killer.

The Mozzies were riding high after their victory in the early matches and continued marching on with a 44 point victory of Wolverhampton. The bigger and more experienced bodies of the Manchester players were able to run Wolves off their feet, who to their credit staged a mini fight back in the second half. The game was won through the centre of the ground with new French recruit Gui Gui and JP Hayes running the show. Wayno and Jordy were kicking them from everywhere, while Wheeler, Zimbo and The Doctor marshalled the defence. Votes for the 3rd game went to Lachy, JP Hayes and Bundy.

Next up were last years losing finalists Huddersfield who would provide another tough test for the Mozzies. A win and the Mozzies would be through to the final. After a long day of footy, the bodies of the Rams looked to be tiring and it was the Mozzies who came out of top. Four father and Badger threw their weight around, while Mike Kilheeney continued to impress. The Mozzies ran away with the game winning by 34 points, votes went to Ben, Deano and Killer.

After holding off all day, the rain finally began to fall but the Mozzies would not let this dampen there enthusiasm for the final running out winners by 12 points. In an extremely tight contest the Mozzies teamwork was first rate, pushing them selves to each contest, outnumbering the Thunder. Thommo battled until the end in the middle while Deano was his usual prolific self. It was essential in the wet conditions that the players continued to support each other which was highlighted with the winning goal, Clarky sprinting forward to help out and was on the end of a series of handballs to slot it through.

Bruised and battered bodies at the end, The Mozzies were unbeaten throughout on what was an extremely successful day both on and off the pitch. Bring on the season!

Goals

7 – Killer, Lachie

4 – Wayno

2 – Jordy, Bundy, Spike, Buddha

1 – JP Hayes, Deano, Thommo, Clarky

Votes

7 – Bundy, Ben

5 – Deano

3 – Killer, Lachie, Buddha

2 – JP Hayes