The Cincinnati Dockers Australian Rules Football Club, reigning USAFL Division 4 champions, ended their 13th regular season in dramatic fashion with a last-second goal to pull ahead of and defeat the reigning USAFL Division 3 champions, the Kansas City Power by a score of 65-59 and gain some much needed momentum heading into this years USAFL national tournament in Mason in October.
The St. Louis weather was scorching, and so was the action for all 80 minutes. Kansas City took control of the match early in the first quarter, wanting the ball more and being more aggressive in picking up loose balls, and turning those opportunities into points. Kansas City earned three times as many scoring shots as the Dockers in the opening quarter taking a sizeable lead at the first break. Overall, Kansas City scored 4 goals and 2 behinds for 26 points, while Cincinnati scored 1 goal and 1 behind for 7 points.
In the second quarter, the Dockers got their aggression up and seized control, being both tough and accurate, earning a straight 4 goals in that quarter. While Kansas City were stunned, they were not completely phased, adding 2 goals of their own in that quarter. The halftime score read Kansas City with 6 goals and 2 behinds for 38 points, and Cincinnati with 5 goals and 1 behind for 31 points. The Dockers bench could sense that the momentum was shifting in their favor, with Coach Kyle Strenski emphasizing that the second half would be a brand new game.
Both teams played hard in the third quarter, and the scores indicated that. Each side kicked three goals in this period, allowing the Power to maintain a slim seven point lead entering the final quarter. Kansas City lead with 9 goals and 2 behinds for 56 points, and Cincinnati had 8 goals and 1 behind for 49 points.
The finish of the match was truly frenzied and fierce, at times forcing inaccurate kicks from both sides, as each side kicked more behinds in that period than the rest of the match. However, the Power were not able to find the goals at all that period, while Cincinnati found them once early on in the period, and then again with just seconds left, full forward Matt Seuling kicked the final goal of the game. The final whistle blew, and the Dockers had capped off an amazing comeback in a match that lived up to the hype of a champions vs. champions match. The final had Cincinnati with 10 goals and 5 behinds for 65 points, to Kansas City with 9 goals and 5 behinds for 59 points.
This concludes the regular season for the Cincinnati Dockers, who now have less than 2 months to train for and prepare to defend their USAFL Division 4 national championship trophy at the USAFL National Tournament in their backyard in Mason, OH. The tournament will take place at Heritage Oak Park on the weekend of October 10th and 11th, with game times to be announced.
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. Last year, the Dockers were co-winners of the USAFL division 4 national championship. 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 for this non-conference match.