Saturday September 7, 2013, will go down as a significant day in history for a number of reasons. Mr Abbott was voted into office, the Fremantle Shockers gutsed out an unlikely victory in the first ever AFL final at Skilled Stadium, and a cricket ODI was abandoned in England due to rain. China Cup Game #2 at Dulwich Sporting Fields however, makes these events pale into insignificance.
On a glorious autumn day, over 100 spectators turned up to watch the 12th instalment of the China Cup. Now into its 10th year, and with the ledger set at 5 games to 6 in Shanghai’s favour, the Bombers were hungry to square it up. After a narrow loss in Shanghai earlier in the year, the boys knew they needed an 18 point victory to secure the Cup.
The first quarter began slowly, with both sides testing their opponent’s defence and missing several gettable opportunities. A soft free kick and goal to Bomber’s Co-captain Boss got the scoring started, and gates opened. With fellow Co-captain Fab giving his direct opponent a bath in the goal square, a formidable Bombers machine clicked into gear and piled on three more goals before quarter time. Bombers 4.6 Vs Tigers 1.2
If the first quarter signalled our intentions, the second sent a statement, with Bombers controlling the contest all over the ground. Tess’ individual effort from half back to score goal of the day, along with Whitey’s long range bomb from 55 (made even better by the exuberant celebration as it sailed through) contributed to a highlight reel rivalling that of the great Naitanui. The Bomber’s Geraldton contingent (and brothers-in-crime) Roo and Jimmy, tackled ferociously through the centre of the ground, putting enormous pressure on Shanghai’s disposal and allowing our elite back six to mop up again and again. Another six goals in the quarter put the game firmly in the Bomber’s grasp. Bombers 10.7 Vs Tigers 3.3
At halftime, not unlike an AFL fixture, the ground was invaded by a host of kiddies, eager to have a kick during the Auskick Clinic. Players from both teams rested their legs as the lively crowd devoured pies, hamburgers, champagne and ice-cold Aussie beers in magnificent sunshine.
The Bombers kept their foot down after the main break, smashing through another seven sausage rolls. Pagan-like structuring in the Bomber’s forward line gave Twin-Towers Fab and Fitzy plenty of space to lead into, while the mosquito fleet sat at their heels and reaped the rewards. Stevie Z, Harry, Lovell and more all hit the scoreboard and put the game beyond doubt going into the last quarter. Bombers 17.8 Vs Tigers 5.3… Party time
With the last quarter merely a formality, the Bombers boys relaxed a bit and simply enjoyed their footy. Captain Fab slotted his 8th, honorary Bombers Luc and Nobby continued to keep the forward line open and the backline tidy, while local boy, Dong Hao, went about cleaning up unwary Tigers who were absolutely out on their feet. It was a tough day for the Shanghai boys, who must be admired for putting up such a good fight despite their small touring squad and subsequent lack of rotations. The final siren marked the end of a high quality game of footy, Beijing 20.13 Vs Shanghai 6.5
Raffles, presentations and speeches followed as players and spectators alike cracked a can and toasted to a brilliant day. Massive thanks to everyone involved in what was a highly successful and enjoyable day for all.
Disclaimer: No monkeys were harmed in making of the above photo