Cambridge Friendly - Feb 15th 2014
Setting off bright and early on a weekend morning is perhaps not the easiest task for a Demons team in pre-season but miraculously everyone made the 9:50am train from Liverpool to the picturesque Cambridge for our first hit out of the 2014 season.
With the weather much improved on last year’s snow storm the sun was (mostly) out but with a fair, old gale blowing across the ground it was clear the skills were going to be tested.
Fielding 15-a-side on a rugby ground with some added width, the game begun a bit slowly with neither team really able to get any clear possessions or space to attack the goals. That is until the gates were blown open in remarkable fashion. About 10 minutes gone, in his first ever game of AFL footy, after only a couple of training sessions, The Pasta Rasta, big Luca “Spider” Rossi, was thrown into the forward line. Leading out strong he hung onto a good mark on the half forward line with his first touch only to be dumped to the ground afterwards and awarded a 50m (30m) penalty. This saw him lining up from about 10m out and with his first kick in football, he duly slotted home the first goal of the 2014 season. It was the stuff of fairy tales which he rightly celebrated with a quick on-field limoncello.
This was the beginning of the end for Cambridge whom, whilst fought hard all day, found themselves outclassed by a fairly slick Demons outfit. As we gradually wrestled control across the ground our forward line proved ruthless in converting the chances created by the good work up the ground. Especially impressive was the contribution of all the new players to the team whom not only featured heavily on the ground but also took out the boat race against a highly fancied, Irish-laden line-up. Another special mention to Crossy who put in a Ryan Crowley-esque tagging effort all day on their best player, and that after working a night shift the night before!
The final margin was somewhere in the region of 70 odd but as we all know the real winner was the Regal Weatherspoons which took about the same amount from each of our wallets after the game. Big thank you to Cambridge for the game and the hospitality they showed us - even organising a hearty meal at their pub… once the potatoes finished growing. Other stories of the trip will no doubt be shared in what will be an entertaining fines session. Finally thanks to all who came along and to Vulture and Eoin for organising the trip. Demons are on their way to 2014 Premiership Glory!
2014 Pre-season in full swing. 1pm Sundays Clapham Common
Preseason started with great numbers on the common early January and good to see a lot of new guys continuing to come down. (A few old timers have also made an early apperance for once as well!).
As well as the usual contingent of Aussies, English and Irish, we've gone more multicultural than ever this year with a number of Italian, Kiwi and Canadian blokes find their way to the Demons so far.
Every session is followed by refreshments at the Alex and there's a BBQ every other week.
For those that are new, we meet at the Alexandra, aka Alex 15 mins before and walk over to the common together. This is the home pub which is right outside Clapham Common Tube station.
Training will be on Sundays until the clocks change at end of March, when we’ll switch to 6:30pm Tuesday & Thursday. Don’t worry if you don’t have boots or have never kicked a Sherrin before in your life. None of that is needed, so just come on down and get amongst it all. (We also have a bucket full of spare boots for those who want them, COME EARLY).
10th August 2013
And so our playing season comes to an end, a week earlier than we all would have liked.
In a very low scoring affair the 2’s just couldn’t find the couple of goals they needed. In the 3’s a full strength West London side had too much for Haydos and his merry men. In both matches the opposition had full benches to work with whereas we struggled with numbers which was a sign of the season for us.
Heads were held high however, as a large contingent stopped off at the Earl Beatty to drown a few sorrows and run a 1’s v 2’s v 3’s boat race (duly won by the 3’s) before making way back to the Alex for another long and crazy night
Seconds: North London def Demons by ~ 21 points
It was not the result we had hoped for on Saturday going down by a couple of goals to a strong North London team. The boys fought hard for the entire game and we were in with a chance until the last 10 minutes of the game when we eventually ran out of legs. Unfortunately by the end of the game we were running out of fit players and North’s 8 man bench helped them come home the stronger..
Throughout the game the back line stood up well with Josh Deane and Conor rebounding plenty of ball and easily beating both their opponents. In the midfield Qualey and coach Jimmy played some hard footy laying plenty of tackles and also providing good drive into the forward line.. Unit continued his rich vein of form amassing plenty of touches on the wing with great delivery into our forward line.. In the end we only managed to play our best football in patches and weren't consistent enough over the four quarters to win the game. However it was still a mighty effort up against a team that will certainly push Wests in next week’s final. Thanks to all the boys that played on Saturday and throughout the season, I can't fault anyones efforts and hopefully you all stick around for another crack at it next year..
Cheers to the coaches Conor, Jimmy and Haydos for all the time they have put in this year and Marko and the committee doing plenty of good stuff off the pitch. Also thanks to Reesa, RDK and any other blokes that helped look after the 2's in my absence..
Thirds: Ealing Emus def Demons by ~ 53 points
Well, not the result that we wanted; going down to the Emus by 53 points after beating them both times during the year and in the last time we played them holding them scoreless.
Fourteen a side was played for this preliminary final with the Demons having four on the bench to the Emus eight. Our spirits were high before the game and we were pumped up ready to play the game of our lives led by a great pre-game speech from Ange. Unfortunately for the Demons we went into the game with a number of players carrying injuries and many of our key position players away so we had to fight with what we had. What we did have were eighteen Demons players who ran all day, put their head over the footy, talked and never gave up until the final siren. What we didn't have was enough legs and we finished with only one on the bench by the end of it.
We kicked the first goal of the game and it was a couple of points in it at the first quarter. At half time the Emus managed a couple more goals then us despite some brilliant Demons plays and we were down by ten points at half time and were still right in the game. The third quarter they kicked about four goals on us with the breeze and a couple more in the last to win by 53 points. Yours truly kicked two goals and Joiner kicked one. Apart from that goals were pretty hard to come by for the Demons with a lack of targets.
Fritzy was cleaning up everything in the backline and working hard. Alex M had plenty of the football in the engine room and was well supported by Joiner, Crossy and Damo. Viking was again doing well in the ruck.
A disappointing way to finish the season after having a percentage of 70% higher than the nearest opponent but finals footy is a different breed. Ealing Emus looked a very different outfit to what we beat earlier in the season and with their ones and twos both winning the Saturday semis they dropped a number of quality football players back into the side. It really does show the importance of getting that top two position and having players available when it really counts - for finals.
I would like to thank Conor and Jimmy for running the training sessions and for the leadership of the club. 2s coach Masha, hard working Prez, ever reliable Ange and Doaks for his help on match days and all those that pulled on a Demons jersey this year. It is a great club with a fantastic bunch of blokes. We may not have won any silverware this year but it certainly was a lot of fun on and off the field and I enjoyed coaching the 3s boys. I am pretty excited about next year and I think we have some solid foundations to bring some cups back to the Alex. Let’s try and stick together and do some more recruiting to strengthen our squads and have another crack at it in 2014.