Welsh Australian Rules Football League's (WARFL) round 3:
Gwent Tigers v Cardiff Double Blues
Vale Warriors v South Cardiff Panthers
SADLY for Gwent Tigers, they could not field a sufficient size squad in this round, and forfeited and conceded automatic defeat to Cardiff Double Blues.
It was therefore the first ‘home’ game of the season for Coach David Morgan-Kane and his Vale Warriors, that is to be the focus of this round in the WARFL 2010 season, playing their first game against the 2009 league champions and longest established WARFL club, South Cardiff Panthers.
Only minutes after the first ball-up, Stuart Morgan for the Warriors put the first point on the board, closely followed by fellow Vale player Neil Bragg giving the newest of the WARFL teams a 2-0 lead.
But it was not long before Englishman Chris James put up the first of two 6-point goals for South Cardiff. At the end of 15 minutes of play, with the addition of a further goal from Panthers player/president David Saunders and other points awarded, the score was 23-3 to South Cardiff.
At the beginning of the second quarter, Vale rookie Andy Gardner managed to hold back a continuous midfield attack despite only having had a 30-minute crash course in AFL on the sidelines prior to the game. He created an opening for Stuart Morgan to add to the Vale’s points, however, with goals from Australian Ryan Freeman and Chris James, South Cardiff’s further 15 points left the Warriors down at half time 4 points to 38 – although from the fantastic play with no subs bench, they had nothing to be ashamed of.
Tired legs stretched out onto the field for the Warriors in the 3rd quarter. This was compounded by Vale ruckman, Rhys Eskins, taking a knee to the ribs and having to leave the field, which left play wide open for the Panthers to capitalise.
They hit hard with 5 goals, allowing Kim Swain and Dougie Young to also make their mark on the scores whilst new Vale player, Kyle ‘Lama’ Lowry, got his first point over the score line.
But the quarter’s victory was with South Cardiff with a running total of 68 to the Vale’s 6.
The final quarter saw continuous use of the South Cardiff subs bench, allowing Panther Morris Attard to score 2 goals amongst those of his team-mates. After many attempts, Vale Warrior Jake ‘Longo’ Haysham finally got the break he deserved with a spectacular ‘mark’ taking him to the ground but remaining in complete control, and this was skilfully converted onto a text-book 6-point goal, dead-centre into the opposing goal.
Further points from Shaun Lee and again from Neil Bragg left the final score 99-14.
Excellent, clean football was played throughout by both sides. The five-year veterans were certainly made to work hard for their victory. In only their second league game, the Vale Warriors showed they have the skills; all they need now is the experience and more players.
In round 4 next week, our boys will play the Cardiff Double Blues away at Lawrenny Avenue in Cardiff this Saturday (May 30) at 1pm. Simultaneously, the Gwent Tigers should be playing away against 2009 finalists, Swansea Magpies at their ground at Swansea University.
Anyone wishing to get involved with the Vale Warriors should contact President Nick Baker on 07887 524661 or Coach David Morgan-Kane on 07805 838933.