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Furious George vs The Nomads II


Respect Your Elders.

The Nomads held another training camp last Saturday, and they returned with a vengeance for a rematch against the Monkey.  This time, they had some practice under their belts, and they had added personnel, bolstering their presence both in handling and cutting.

Sometimes we fool ourselves into thinking that Masters’ teams are the pastures for skilled but invariably lazy has-beens.  On occasion, though, and especially as you let your guard down, they rise up like a bear and swat you so perfectly in the face* that you forcibly recall something incontrovertible and altogether dangerous; namely, some of them have won truckloads more medals than you have.  And that — probably with good reason.

Of special note from where I sit on the D-line, the addition of Jeff Cruickshank to the Nomads handling roster created a fresh headache for Furious.   For the Nomads, this effectively provided a reliable huck option on the instant every time the disc met his hands.  That can be a game-changing consideration on its own merit; it has a cascade effect across all the other modes of offense.

Furthermore, though, the Nomads demonstrated a suddenly renewed efficiency in hucking a direct shot down the sidelines overhead of cutters on the same side, frequently quite late in the stall count.  Those who remember the CUC2011 Master’s final would recognize the fearless placement of these throws and their importance to the end result.  The unconventional exercise of this strike option, however, forced Furious defenders to reconsider their angles and to rely more heavily on the assistance of sideline feedback, and the discomfort allowed too many easy in-cuts for Victoria.  And their lazy-poach defense — it now began to look less lazy and much more annoying.

It was a hot, and pleasantly sunny weekend afternoon when the game began, with an ice cream truck circling predatorially around the park.  But thoughts of an easy summer’s day vanished like a mirage within the first few minutes.  Things began looking grim for the Monkey right off the start with the Nomads snatching a 4-0 lead with gusto.  As the Nomads took the first half, Oscar Pottinger — half in disbelief — asked me if I thought we looked tired, but I dismissed it.  In my mind, our trouble lay in miscalculations of execution – all our throws just seemed misjudged by the narrowest but most significant of margins.  On some four occasions, we made good rational decisions and simply threw too far.  On another, a receiver seemingly tried to milk a throw under pressure when he ought to have just lunged for the catch.  On at least two occasions, we threw into poaches.

We had perhaps one trump card in our favour to play in the second half – fitness.  Combined with slightly better turns of fortune, our defensive line eroded the Masters’ lead and finally tied up the score at 14-14 in the nick of time.  We traded four more points to the decisive 16-16 tie-breaker, with the Monkey on defense.  We crashed down hard on the Nomads, forcing them to dribble the disc back and forth for swing after swing, always flashing the lane to contain Cruickshank’s lethal hucks. A turnover finally followed, and Furious capitalized for the win with a silky long throw to Doyle.

Final score: 17-16 for Furious George.

*Literally — Mike Enns smoked me in the jaw so hard that my ears hurt.

Alex Davis

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