Round 3 kicked off on the last Saturday of August, on a toasty, sunny, summer morning. Conditions were perfect for a ripping match up between the Toronto Rebels and the High Park Demons. The Rebels turned out in big numbers showing all why we are the envy of the league, while the Demons were doing their best Miami Heat 2010 impression, assembling a squad with late signings from pretty much every other club in the comp, including the Rebels' rising star Ruckman, Wade Slaughter (more on this later...) and teen sensation Hunter. These are not nicknames... they took our Hunter and Slaughter...
The game was off to a flying start. This was the start that we had been looking for all season, spirits high from the first bounce courtesy of a milestone 150th game for the evergreen Aubrey Harris. We took the field on his lead, running through a banner made by first time artists Spencer, Uds and Rho. A massive achievement for Aubs and we got around him to say the least! Major controversy later saw Rho being banned from all future banner creations due to inappropriate marker abuse...
Back to the footy! The opposition kicked two quick opening goals and immediately put us under pressure. However, new Rebels were showing their fast growing poise, with a beautiful handball chain in the middle from Fabs, to Udai to Joshy (4.0?) and ending in the hands of veteran Rebel, Jordo for our opening major of the game! Rebs Ruckman, Spencer who has been in fine form in the middle this year, was in a compelling battle with the on-loan Wado, and the Rebs soon equalized with another clean clearance in the middle from Alex and another hard hitting veteran, Trevor "Bull" Osborne. Goals were being kicked at either end and we ended the first quarter down the tightest of margins - 3.1 to 4.1.
The Rebs continued to lift, and it was the back line that shone in the second quarter keeping the Demons goalless for the entire period. With a mix of veterans and rookies in defense, Captain Scuba showed poise and command, and 2nd gamers Gator Colin and Silky Satty responded with massive efforts. The Rebs continued to control the momentum and took the lead into the half with more goals coming from Fabs and Wizza, who is back in form this year with no monkeys to be seen on any backs! Half-time, 5.1 - 4.4 for the good guys!
As the sun peaked in the day, the second half saw us in a battle of strenght and endurance. The footy was hot and the arm wrestle was on. Rookies Jedi and big Jello got in on the fun, laying some big tackles and showing strength, giving an experienced forward line with Wizza and Behie an opportunity to get a look at goals. New recruit Mathis, fresh off a flight from Germany the day before, showed he was no fish out of water on the pitch and made his case for a permanent spot on the list. The Rebels continued to put their heads over the ball but the third quarter turned out a stale-mate.
The game eventually came down to the last 15 minutes. This was when the experience of our opponents showed as they took a scrappy 2 goal lead to start the quarter. Having learned so much in this shortened season, we continued to bring the fight as promising rookie, Alex, showed his class on a pressure set shot to bring us back within one. But in a cosmic karmic shift it was the Rebels very own Wado who sealed the game with his second AFLO Goal, of which both were with the Demons, and both against the Rebels. The Rebels front office management kicked off a club review later that day at the annual Rebels street bus gathering. All things were settled and Wado was offered a bonus payment (in the form of beers) to stay with the Rebs for the rest of the season. Final, 6.3 Rebels to 8.4 Demons.
Goals: Jordy 2, Fabs 1, Wizza 1, Bull 1, Alex 1