Nottingham Scorpions sting opposition in inaugural Cardiff "Clwb" Challenge
Tuesday, April 28 2009 @ 07:15 am ACST
Contributed by: Aaron Richard
Saturday April 18th was a perfect day for football, with the sun shining and barely a cloud in the sky for the 6 teams from around Wales and England who competed for the inaugural Cardiff British Clwb Challenge in Cardiff hosted by the WARFL at the picturesque Llandaff Fields.
The Nottingham Scorpions were the favourites to take out the cup, however a pumped-up Manchester Mosquitoes side, along with the two WARFL development composite teams at home thought otherwise. ARUK’s Huddersfield Rams, playing in their first competition since their formation this year was also keen to impress, along with the Bristol Dockers who always put a competitive team on the park.
The whole day saw some very tight contests, with no side completing the tournament undefeated and Nottingham winning only by percentage over the Manchester Mozzies.
Thanks to Bryce Stone from the Welsh Australian Rules Football League for this report.
Nottingham Scorpions – 8.7 (55)
Huddersfield Rams – 2.3 (15)
WARFL A - 6.7 (43)
WARFL B - 5.4 (34)
The tournament kicked off with Nottingham accounting for a spirited Rams team. The second game provided a hard fought derby between the two composite WARFL sides. David James, captain of WARFL B and expansion club Gwent Tigers, kicked 3 goals on the trot in the first half. However Cardiff Double Blues’ new gun recruit Liam Corbett eased WARFL A back to a 9 point victory with a few goals himself.
Bristol Dockers - 5.5 (35)
Huddersfield Rams - 5.2 (32)
Manchester Mosquitoes - 3.12 (24)
WARFL B - 2.4 (16)
Manchester Mosquitoes - 5.3 (33)
WARFL A - 3.6 (24)
In the next match there was probably the most controversial umpiring decision of the day, which saw Huddersfield go down to the Dockers by only 3 points. The result surely would have been the other way if the umpires succumbed to the desperate pleas of Rams player Adam Bennett claiming to have touched the ball before it floated through for a Dockers goal only minutes before the final siren.
In game four, Manchester took control of the match against WARFL B and could have won the game by more if they’d only kicked straight. Mosquitoes’ next match was much tighter against WARFL A however Manchester weren’t really pushed and won the game by 9 points.
Nottingham Scorpions - 9.6 (60)
Bristol Dockers - 1.3 (9)
Bristol Dockers - 4.3 (27)
WARFL A - 1.1 (7)
It was north verses south in the following match, where the Scorpions showed why they were the favourites, mercilessly smashing the Dockers by 51 points which turned out to be the biggest winning margin of the tournament. However Britsol bounced back in their next game defeating a lackluster WARFL A side by 20 points.
Nottingham Scorpions - 5.3 (33)
Manchester Mosquitoes - 3.3 (21)
Manchester vs Nottingham was the most anticpated match of the tournament, as this result of this game could have meant the difference between ending up first and second. In a closely fought affair the Scorpions held off a strong finishing Manchester who were desperate to take out the black & white. However Nottingham’s Lee Neicho kicking a couple of goals made sure that they stayed on top of the tournament table kicking a couple of goals which saw the Scorpions win by 12 points.
Bristol Dockers - 8.3 (51)
WARFL B - 6.1 (37)
WARFL A - 1.4 (10)
Nottingham Scorpions - 1.1 (7)
In Bristol's last match of the day they had a good win over WARFL B, defeating them by 14 points.
WARFL A and Nottingham's last match of the tournament saw the Scorpions as favorites to win the game and take the tournament crown. All the Scorpions had to do was win this match and the cup was theirs, but WARFL A wanted one more victory before it was over.
The Mosquitoes were also quietly barracking for WARFL A, as a win for them would keep Manchester in contention to win the title. The game was extremely close throughout, with new Cardiff Double Blues recruit Graham Farrar taking numourous contested marks down back for WARFL A, but it was a goal from the boot of Tom Judson which saw WARFL A win by 3 points in what was surely the upset of the day!
Manchester Mosquitoes - 2.6 (18)
Huddersfield Rams - 1.4 (10)
WARFL B forfeited to Huddersfield Rams
Now it came down to Machester having the tough task of winning the cup - still possible if they could defeat the Rams by 58 points and knock Nottingham off the top of the table on percentage. The Rams didn't make it easy for the Mosquitoes and at the final siren Huddersfield went bravely down by only 8 points, and in turn the Scorpions were now safe.
The final match of the tournament was cancelled as WARFL B could no longer field a team after a spate of injuries, which meant Huddersfield technically had their first win and finished a respectable 5th in a courageous effort from which they certainly learnt a lot.
The individal awards went to Nottingham's goal kicking machine Lee Neicho booting 7 goals and the Player of the Tournament was awarded to slick Aussie Wes Tronson from Manchester Mosquitoes, impressing the umpires with his speed and attack on the ball.
It was a great event and all the teams played with great spirit. The WARFL is already looking forward to hosting this tournament next year, however the WARFL Red Devils will be eagar to bring the cup back to its rightful Welsh home in 2010!
PLAYER OF THE TOURNAMENT:
Wes Tronson (Manchester Mosquitoes)
TOURNAMENT LEADING GOAL SCORER:
Lee Neicho (7goals) (Nottingham Scorpions)