Special thanks to Kev Dacey – who goal umpired and played (no official complaints have been received yet from the Hong Dragons about that!) – for preparing the following match report from yesterday’s game between the Vietnam Swans and the Hong Kong Dragons.
Following on a hard night of partying at The Office and sundry other bars round Saigon as part of the Jackal’s farewell tour the Hong Kong boys plus one soon to be wife arrived at RMIT by bus and immediately started a serious warm up.
Coach Scotty Stacey was looking worried. Not only were we playing in the Saigon Geckos jerseys, the shorts had still not arrived and at 1.45pm he only had about six or seven players. Eventually Daryl Taber arrived with the shorts from Hanoi and players drifted in, or in some cases were coerced into having a run.
President Phil almost didn’t make the starting side as the coach was considering benching him for his late arrival. With the assistance of the rugby boys, a number of new debutants in Danny Armstrong, Matty Johns and Tom Shanahan, Scotty was able to announce a starting side and had four on the bench.Prior to the match the umpire called both sides into a huddle and Pago did his usual MC trick and presented the Jackal with a women’s wig and liberally applied lipstick to his mouth. Not a good look but set the tone for a good afternoon.
The game commenced under leaden skies with the rumble of thunder in the distance accompanied by some viscous lightening, causing some nervous glances at the sky. The heavens opened up just as the match got under way and the game understandably suffered. The Dragons jumped to a early lead with a couple of quick goals from Besty and the Swans / Geckos replied with a neat soccer goal from the Pres and another from BJ and went to quarter time only four points down.
The second quarter developed into a hard slog in the wet conditions with the Dragons kicking three goals whilst Vietnam managed a couple courtesy of Tom Shanahan and Daryl Taber. The sides went to half time with the Dragons leading by one goal three behinds. Not a bad effort considering we were missing many of our better players and some of the troops had only met as they ran on to the field.
Super Coach Scotty gave his usual morale lifting speech at half time and implored his players not to worry too much on the lightning which was hitting the ground just over a mile away and to concentrate on making sure the Dragons hit the ground just as frequently.
The third quarter belonged to the Dragons as they kicked four goals to a solitary sausage roll from the Pres to give them a comfortable four goal buffer at three quarter time. The Dragon’s ring in from the WAFL continued to impress and had obviously played some good football in his day. Just too classy for the Swans.Scotty rung the changes at the short break but it was not enough to halt the rampaging Dragons. With Besty holding strong marks at full forward and Mals roving the packs well the Dragons kicked seven goals in the final quarter, including one by the Jackal to the delight of his team mates.
Vietnam’s sole contributor was Scotty who neatly twisted and turned his way through a big pack to slot home a goal. The goal umpire and the Pres swapped jerseys for the last five minutes and even this wasn’t enough to add to the Vietnam total and the Dragons eventually ran out winners by ten goals to send the Jackal out in style.
Final scores: Hong Kong Dragons 16/14/110 Defeated Vietnam Swans / Geckos 6/7/49
Goal scorers: Dragons Best 7, Mals 4, Davis, Knights, Lips, Jackal, Matty. Swans Johns 2, BJ, Shanahan, Taber, Stacey
Special thanks to the central umpire Richard Beecher. And to goal umpires Biggles and KD for putting up with the wet conditions.