The mighty Beijing Bombers have pulled off one of our most famous of victories to claim the 2014 China Cup, beating our mischievous rivals theShanghai Tigers Australian Rules Football Club 11.11.77 to 9.11.65 in front of a big crowd at Austcham Beijing’s Great Aussie BBQ.
Down 23 points early in the third quarter and needing to win by at least 4 points after losing by that same margin in Game 1 in Shanghai, the Bombers found inspiration through some hard tackling, gut running and sensational goals from the ever improving China Dragons representatives Jumping Chen, Ken and the legendary Zhang Hao, all just back from representing China at the AFL International Cup.
Inspired player-coaching from Nigel Godde, shuffling the chess pieces at half time to move into the ruck Beijing Bombers life member Grant Keys, on loan from The Viet Nam Swans, with the Bomber engine room of Stevie Zonneveld, Andrew White and Jack lifting around him to win some valuable centre clearances. With the irrepressible Andrew ‘Fabio’ Sobal providing a handsome target up forward, the Bombers dominated the Tigers 7 goals to 2 in the second half, the Bomber back line also doing their bit to keep the Tigers goalless in the last quarter. Keys taking the Best on Ground honours back to Hanoi and the Bombers levelling this most famous of AFL Asia rivalries, now in its 11th year, to 7 wins a piece.
Unfortunately a great day of footy in China was later marred by some typical Shanghai shenanigans, with the Tigers (led by North Melbourne legend Shannon Watt and former Bomber Matty Bahen no less) tarnishing their reputation and bringing shame onto their club and themselves by stealing the China Cup at the ground, denying they had taken it at the after game function and then posting photos of it in their possession on train back to Shanghai the next day.
While we hope this tomfoolery provided some giggles for our China Reds teammates on their train home, we hope that when the Shanghai Tigers sober up from drowning their sorrows they are able to find some self respect and dignity by returning the Cup back to its rightful owners.
May only shame and indignation from the AFL Asia community be brought upon any Shanghai individual or establishment that displays the Cup as their own after losing in such spectacular fashion. If thievery is the only way in which the Shanghai Tigers can claim the China Cup these days, then we don’t need to say anything more about the quality of their organisation. In the mean time the Bombers will be basking in our glory and be happy in the knowledge that the record books won’t lie!
How good is footy in Asia!!