Utrecht Saints come up short in Netherlands' first domestic fixture
Wednesday, May 20 2009 @ 03:22 PM ACST
Contributed by: Aaron Richard
In the first match of Australian rules football between two Dutch teams, the Utrecht Saints came up against the Rest-of-Holland components of the Flying Dutchmen.
The nine-a-side match at the Olympos Sportcentrum in Utrecht was played on May 9th in sunny conditions, with excited supporters clamouring for a spot in the sun while the two sides clashed.
Right from the first bounce, the Flying Dutchmen, composed of players from the Eindhoven, Amsterdam and Den Haag sides, took control of the match. The Utrecht Saints for their part had four first-timers, who put in impressive performances which demonstrated the progress made in just a few weeks of training.
The second and third quarters saw the Rest of Holland increase their lead, with their own collection of new players acquitting themselves well in their first match.
The final term saw the Saints stage a comeback and keep the game interesting. With four goals, they won the quarter, but with strong defence from the Rest of Holland the game was never in doubt.
The match was the first for the Saints as a stand-alone team, the first of four planned clubs for the DAFA's local league. The other three sides are still on the search for new players, but leagues and clubs across Europe have regularly shown that establishing a local competition has been the best recruiting tool.
Final score: (Rest of the) Flying Dutchmen 14.9 (93) def Utrecht Saints 8.10 (58)