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Milwaukee Bombers arrow News arrow Club News arrow Match Report: Milwaukee v Atlanta
Match Report: Milwaukee v Atlanta
The Milwaukee Bombers made a simple statement to all clubs in the Mid-American Australian Football League (MAAFL) over the weekend - "We're back!" 
(Atlanta, GA) - The Milwaukee Bombers made a simple statement to all clubs in the Mid-American Australian Football League (MAAFL) over the weekend - "We're back!"  Coming off a convincing victory over the St. Louis Blues, the Bombers made it two in a row by downing the Atlanta Kookaburras 11.11.77 to 8.9.57 on Saturday, August 13, in Atlanta, Georgia.  This was a vital win for Milwaukee as a second-consecutive Division 1 berth in the National Championships now appears to be within their grasp.

  MAAFL Ladder after Round 6

  Won Lost F A %
Dallas Magpies 5 0 395 185 214
Chicago Swans 4 1 436 217 201
Milwaukee Bombers 3 2 379 260 146
St. Louis Blues 3 2 273 342 80
Nashville Kangaroos 2 4 251 419 60
Atlanta Kookaburras 1 4 275 371 74
Cincinnati Dockers 0 5 171 383 45

Last year's match-up between these two clubs was a nail-biter that came down to the end in Milwaukee.  The Bombers victory was a bitter pill for the Kookaburras to take and the boys from Atlanta were looking to return the favor this year.  The odds appeared to be stacked against the Bombers as they were without their top four players on the club, which were currently in Australia representing the USAFL and our country in the International cup.   Also, although the game was played amongst aesthetic scenery similar to the Northwoods of Wisconsin, that is where the similarities between those locales ended.  The Bombers were greeted with "warm" southern hospitality on Saturday - 90 degree temperatures amid pure humidity that had Atlanta certainly living up to the moniker "Hotlanta".

The home team Kookaburras charged out to an early lead by controlling play in the first minutes of the game and accounted for the first scores, including the first goal.  This was significant because under such extreme conditions, tempo was critical and only seven or eight goals might be enough for the victory.  The urgency for the Bombers to respond was displayed as their roving players, Aaron Siegel, Donald "Sir Don" Shadian, and Ross Siegel, were able to gain possession of the footy and keep it in the Bombers forward line for nearly the remainder of the quarter.  After a couple of near misses, Gary "Gazza" Hill was able to put the first goal through for the Bombers, which ignited the Milwaukee offense.  Shortly afterwards, Andrew Ciganek was able to put one through on the run which was later matched by Brad Ruhge and Coach Colin Langley.  The last score of the first quarter for the Bombers occurred just before the siren and began with Jason "Skillsy" Becker winning the ruck which Ryan Rist collected from the ground and sailed a handpass over two Atlanta defenders to Ciganek who scored from 40 meters out to give Milwaukee a commanding 5.3.33 to 1.2.8 lead into the first break.

The second quarter began still favoring the Bombers as the ball was sent into their forward line and amongst a mass of players.  Somehow Ciganek was able to send a rolling kick across the goal line for Milwaukee just one-half step ahead of a charging Atlanta defender.  Perhaps it was that charging spirit from Atlanta that was able to spark the Kookaburras who matched the intensity which Milwaukee displayed in the first quarter.  Once the halftime horn sounded, it was clear among the spectators that Atlanta had won that quarter and had closed the gap to the Bombers, but still trailed 6.5.41 to 3.6.24.  Coach Langley addressed his team on the grounds and did not allow them to leave – his players did not deserve to walk off the field after their disappointing finish to the half.  The spirit was not negative in the Milwaukee huddle, however, as an "honesty" policy implemented by the Coach highlighted room for improvement while the words "premiership quarter" were spoken just before the start of the second half.  Indeed, the game would be won or lost by how the club responded to Atlanta’s charge in the third quarter.

Milwaukee came out in the third quarter determined to resolve their mistakes of the first half and immediately began to regain control of the game.  Marks just outside the goal square by Hill and Coach Langley led to quick scores for the Bombers, while it was an exchange that started from the center square that gave the Bombers a sizable advantage.  After Rist won the ruck, the ball was advanced by Ross Siegel to Ciganek in the half-forward line that hand passed it along to Becker who then disposed of the footy to Mike Perrone who sent the ball through the center posts for the final score of the quarter.  Such teamwork and running football allowed Milwaukee to extend their lead and earned them right to walk off the field after the quarter taking a 10.10.70 to 4.7.31 lead.

As the final quarter began, however, the Atlanta heat finally caught up with the Milwaukee side and began to take its toll as several players succumbed to exhaustion.  Having a solid bench proved to be essential for the Bombers as Atlanta's desperation in the final minutes resulted in several goals from Kookaburra players Wayne Kraska and Justin Biggs that inched their team closer and closer in the contest.  It was the defense of Milwaukee, led by the consistent play of Stuart Smith, Kurt Landers, Mike Perrone, and Kevin Brown, that proved up to the challenge and were able to preserve the victory for the Bombers 11.11.77 to 8.9.57.

In the end, several things were taken away from this game by the Milwaukee Bomber organization.  The first is the depth of the club.  In spite of their four top players playing overseas, Milwaukee was able to prove that their 18 through 24 players likely are the best in the MAAFL.  Next, an important step was taken by the club to secure a Division 1 berth at Nationals.  This is a very telling statement about the club after their ominous start to the MAAFL season.  Finally, this victory proved that the Bombers had the ability to win under adverse conditions.  The mettle of the club was challenged and the Bombers were able to respond with grit and pure determination that makes them one of the leading clubs in the country.  This was never more evident and better epitomized than in the first quarter when defender Kevin Brown had his chin split open in a violent collision which required immediate medical attention.  Refusing to leave the field and abandon his teammates, he had his head temporarily wrapped with a makeshift bandage to hold his wound together and subsequently played the game of his life, contesting every ball with an intensity that defined the character of this club.  This willingness to leave everything on the field starts with the top of the organization and has filtered down into the selfless bond that exists amongst all players.

Congratulations on the day go out to Ashley "Arkansas" Smith and Raechel Spink who made their Bomber debuts against Atlanta in the women’s curtain raiser.  Both women played well for Milwaukee and showed off their skill while Arkansas Smith also scored her first goal in competition.  Congratulations to Atlanta Coach Kraska for organizing the women's game and making it a memorable experience to build on for the Milwaukee players.  Indeed, the Atlanta women appear to be the team to beat at the upcoming National Tournament in Milwaukee this October.

Up next for the Bombers are the Cincinnati Dockers at 2:30pm on Saturday, August 27 at Brown Deer Park in Milwaukee.  Last year in Cincinnati the Dockers held the lead over the Bombers halfway through the game until Milwaukee ran away with the win in the second half.  The Dockers will be sure to not make the same mistake this year.  The curtain raiser for this game at 12:00 noon features the Minnesota Freeze taking on the Milwaukee Bomber reserves.  This match-up may be a potential preview to a meeting in the Division 3 championships in October.  Further details for the final game of the MAAFL season and curtain raiser will become available in the coming days.

Special thanks go out to the Kookaburras for coordinating a fine event and their terrific sportsmanship on the day.  Their efforts have gone a long way to bridge the bitter history between these two clubs.  Despite playing without two of their top players that are also playing in the International cup, they still played hard and determined.  Special thanks also go out to our supporters who traveled to Atlanta and were rewarded with a hard-earned victory.  In particular, Al and Nancy for taking photos and recording player statistics that makes this report worthwhile and also makes playing the game of Australian Rules football fun.

Milwaukee   11.11.77

Atlanta               8.9.57

@ Creel Park, Atlanta, GA


Best:
Perrone, R. Siegel, Brown, A. Siegel, Shadian

 

 

Box Score

 

Milwaukee Bombers

Name # Goals Behinds
Kevin Brown 1    
Ross Siegel 2   1
Heath Moore 4    
Brad Ruhge 6 1 3
Adam Guenther 9    
Kurt Landers 11    
Dennis Rybarik 13    
Gary Hill 14 2 2
Colin Langley 17 2 2
Jason Becker 21   1
Patrick DeFors 24    
Aaron Siegel 28    
Donald Shadian 34 2 2
Ryan Rist 40    
Paul O’Connor 41    
Rock Smith 42    
Stuart Smith 44    
Mike Perrone 48 1  
Andrew Ciganek 57 3  
Barry Arnold 69    

 

                         Milwaukee Bombers                              Atlanta Kookaburras

  Goals Behinds       Goals Behinds  
Quarter 1 5 3     Quarter 1 1 2  
Quarter 2 1 2     Quarter 2 2 4  
Quarter 3 4 5     Quarter 3 1 1  
Quarter 4 1 1     Quarter 4 4 2  
Final Score 11 11 77   Final Score 8 9 57

 

 

Other results from round 6 of the MAAFL

Cincinnati  
    5.8.38
St. Louis    10.10.70
@ St. Louis, MO

Nashville    4.6.30
Dallas       9.19.73
@ Dallas, TX

Chicago - bye

 

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