The Cincinnati Dockers concluded their 13th consecutive season of Australian Football in the grandest and most dominating way possible; going a perfect 4-0 en route to winning the United States Australian Football League (USAFL) Division 4 championship this past Saturday and Sunday at Heritage Oak Park in Mason, OH. The Championship is the Dockers fourth overall, and marks the first back-to-back titles in team history.
Cincinnati were named the top seed in Group A, and they showed why in their first match on Satruday afternoon against the Golden Gate/Las Vegas Roos, coming out victorious by 51 points, thanks in no small part to the great hands and accurate kick of Full Forward Matt Seuling, who accounted for most of the goals in the game. The final score had Cincinnati with 8 goals and 5 behinds for 53 points against Golden Gate/Las Vegas with 2 behinds for 2 points. The Dockers forwards worked hard, while the midfield kept the ball out of the defense for most of the game.
There would be no rest for the Dockers though, as they only had 2 hours to rest up before playing their second game of the day, this time against the Orange County/Des Moines Bombers. The short rest would be all they needed, as they easily handled the very physical Bombers in a 53-point victory. Once again, Seulings play in full forward helped rack up the goals, and the midfield and defense shut the Bombers down. The final score had Cincinnati with 11 goals and 4 behinds for 70 points to the Bombers 2 goals and 5 behinds for 17 points.
After a nights rest, the Dockers hit the field on Sunday morning on top of Group A, which earned them a slot in the morning semi-final match against the team from Minnesota/Kansas City. This would be the Dockers most dominating match of the tournament, with the Dockers coming out 75 point victors. The final score had Cincinnati with 14 goals and 1 behind for 85 points to Minnesota/Kansas City with 1 goal and 4 behinds for 10 points.
Confidence and spirits were high as the Dockers waited patiently after their semi-final match to play in their second Grand Final in as many years. They would once again play Orange County/Des Moines by virtue of their semi-final victory against the Baltimore/DC reserves. The coaches emphasized that this match would be a completely different match than the previous once, as they had time to adjust to the Dockers dominating forwards.
The Bombers made a simple adjustment and moved an extra man into their defense for this game, and in the first few minutes, this change paid off, as the Bombers kicked the first goal of the match to take an early 6-0 lead. The Dockers would soon dominate the time of possession in their half, but the extra defender forced many inaccurate scoring shots. By halftime, the Dockers would regain the lead, but only by 7 points, scoring 1 goal and 8 behinds for 14 points to the Bombers 1 goal and 1 behind for 7 points.
In the second half, the Dockers would thoroughly dominate the time of possession on their side of the field, but still had trouble finding the goals, only kicking 2 the entire period. The Bombers would eventually break through dominating midfield towards the end of the game and kick 1 goal. However, this would not be enough, as the siren sounded, ending the match and giving the Dockers their fourth USAFL Championship, and their second in as many years. The final score had the Dockers with 3 goals and 15 behinds for 33 points to the Bombers with 2 goals and 1 behind for 13 points.
After the games were played, Full Forward Matt Seuling won the Paul Roos medal for MVP of the Division 4 tournament, and On Baller Eric Floyd received the Geoff Cann medal for MVP of the Division 4 Grand Final.
The Cincinnati Dockers are an Australian Rules Football club based out of Fairfield, Ohio. Established in 1996, they are the oldest club of its kind in the United States. The Dockers have been winners of the USAFL division 4 national championships in the last two years. For more information about the Dockers please visit their website at www.cincinnatidockers.com. To contact the Dockers, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scoring note: In Australian Rules Football, a goal is worth 6 points, and a behind is worth 1 point.
Note: The Cincinnati Dockers combined with the Louisville Kings and the St. Louis Blues in this tournament.