Contributed by: Troy Thompson
It was the Scott Fleming show yesterday at Ransford Oval. But don’t be fooled into thinking he was a lone hand. Both on Wednesday and again yesterday we repeatedly saw the brilliant passing of Aaron Falcioni (and other team mates) giving Fleming the best possible chance to mark out front on the lead where defenders were unable to have a say in whether he marked or not.
He is not a one trick pony though - we have seen Fleming pounce on the loose ball at pace and snap goals on the run. It was Fleming who started the ball rolling early on with a mark out front on the edge of the arc. However, he had to wait some five minutes to take the kick as Sweden’s full back Mattias Fagersson, who was knocked out falling heavily in a previous marking contest, had to be treated by medical staff and was later taken to hospital. Fleming restarted the game with a solid boot for maximum points.
The Swedes had started solidly and now looked a little shell shocked at the sight of one of their comrades leaving the ground on the stretcher. Chris Buczkowski marked for the Canadians in the same spot Fleming had kicked from one minute before and the result was the same. James Maitland joined the party soon after with a goal from the pocket 30m out. Fleming added his second after George Dimacakos hit Aaron Falcioni who in turn hit Fleming with a quick pass. The goal blitz was tempered in the next few minutes with inaccurate kicks resulting in two minor scores to the Northwind. After some resistance from the Elks the Canadians again moved forward and Frank Luisser scrubbed a kick to the hotspot and was pounced upon at pace by Clayton Holmes who snapped truly.
Big Mats Wurmbach gave the Swedish team some good first use and they were able to get the ball forward but on at least one occasion the ball which was bombed into the square came off hands for a minor score. The Canadians quickly worked the ball forward and looked like setting the forwards for another attack, and a relayed free kick made their job easier. Fleming again with the ball for the set shot after the siren took his time with his Dennis Lillee like run up (Scott probably has never heard of the man) but missed to the left for a minor score. 33 points on the board being a very solid start for the Northwind.
Falcioni got the scoring underway with a behind from the boundary line in the second quarter. Sweden’s captain Andreas Svensson was working hard to get something going for his team and getting plenty of it. The Canadians set up again, now kicking with a very slight northerly breeze but despite great delivery the Swedes spoiled well. Dimacakos hit Buczkowski in the square and he goaled for the Canadians. Sweden then seemed to have things going their way, they worked the ball forward quickly and Hans Andersson lifted his team and their supporters with a great goal. This was to be their last Falcioni and Fleming kept up their partnership but Fleming let him down with another miss. Elks' Patrik Hyberg (wearing the number 0) and Andreas Svennson continued to battle hard in the backline and continually worked to clear the ball from their area or lock it down when trouble threatened. They got the ball moving again to their forward line but the Canadian defence was able to cut it off. Buczkowski kicked another from close range after marking on a hard lead 15m out to give the Northwind a 43 point at the long break.
The third quarter is known as the Premiership quarter but Canadian fans want it renamed the Fleming quarter. The 18 year old spearhead impressed all fans though. Marking on a long lead he goaled from 40, followed up soon after by a mark in the pocket and paid back Falcioni in the same spot he just goaled from with a great pass. Falcioni made no mistake and a minute later he hit Fleming again for another set shot. Fleming missed this one to the right. Within minutes the ball was again in the Canadian forward line from a long pass that missed the lead, but Fleming roved for another goal. Fleming again showed his ability to pounce on the loose ball and snapped around the corner as he ran away from goal for his best of the day. But not satisfied with that he finished off the quarter with another after big Emmanuel Matata who had come into his own since entering the game in the ruck, palmed down to Daniel McIlravey who hit the leading forward at pace 30 metres out. The Swedes trailed by 70 points and looked like it would be by a lot more.
Matata followed on from his good start and Fleming received a free for a push in the marking contest. He missed this one, but a minute later he marked 30 metres out and goaled again. Fleming again returned the favour to Falcioni who kicked the goal from the same distance. Micke Stabo and skipper Svennson kept up the effort when the game was well out of reach But Fleming added another from the boundary as Mike Nabb abused him with full Swedish vigour as he ran in to take his kick, with what those of us not familiar with the language could only imagine to be something fairly unpleasant. Canada capped off an impressive win with a miss from Falcioni and Daniel McIlravey finished roving a loose ball in the square to goal.
The Canadian forwards were impressive and we should not forget that big Chris Cunning sat out yesterday’s clash after kicking six goals in Wednesday’s game against Finland. They will need all the goal kicking power they can muster though and their defenders will need their largely fresh legs after not seeing much action in the two previous games when they come up against Ireland in Warrnambool on Monday. The Swedes coming off two tough matches will be looking to post their first win in the Scandinavian grudge match against Finland. Having seen each team play I would suggest that the Swedes should win the game on form, but such matches tend to bring out the best and no doubt it will be a close one. Finland’s squad is running on bare bones and that advantage sees the Elks go in as favourites.
|5.3 (33)||1/4||0.1 (1)|
|7.8 (50)||1/2||1.1 (7)|
|12.8 (80)||3/4||1.1 (7)|
|16.12 (108)||Full||1.1 (7)|
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