Kangaroos win 2016 USAFL Central Regional Division 3 Championship, improve to 4-3
Round 1: Des Moines/Milwaukee
The Nashville Kangaroos kicked with a strong breeze in the first half and quickly ran out to a two goal head start. Des Moines came back strong and kicked three goals to take the lead, but Tim Dunn steadied the ship with a timely goal. A slick team effort by Maurice “Mo” Howell in his 50th game brought Nathan Caldwell‘s third goal, and Dunn’s second goal moments before half time had the Kangaroos with a handy 5.6 (36) to 3.0 (18) lead over Des Moines at half time.
However, three goals was not much of a cushion with Des Moines taking the three goal breeze in the second half. The Roosters responded well with the breeze at their backs, putting defenders David “Frosty” Harris, Jeff “Peeps” Persson, Dee “Weeman” Vsetecka and Douglas “Zac” Smith through their paces. The back line did their job, and a late goal by Eric Toepfer had Kangaroos win by four points.
Nashville Kangaroos 6.8 (44)
Des Moines Roosters 6.4 (40)
Goals: Nathan Caldwell 3, Tim Dunn 2, Eric Toepfer.
Round 2: Indianapolis Giants
If you missed it live, you can still see the entire game against the Indianapolis Giants at http://golivesportscast.com/2016/06/usafl-us-australian-footy-central-region-tournament-june-11th-2016/ -
it starts about 1:12:15 into the Field 1 part 2 video.
Again kicking with the wind, the Kangaroos looked like they were running a training drill for the first few minutes. James “JD” Duty consistently won the center tap, and Howell, Tim “Squirrel” Fulwider and John Freeman efficiently delivered to the forwards. Enjoying his 50th game, Caldwell soon added two more to his tally for the day, and Toepfer added another one. Not to be outdone, Cliff “Nugget” Cosnahan booted an astounding 70 yard goal from midfield, then added another two to put Nashville well in control 6.4 (40) to 1.3 (9) at the half.
With the breeze strengthening, the Giants looked almost as good in the second half as the Kangaroos had in the first. Again the Harris-Persson-Vsetecka-Smith back line was put under pressure, but they held up to the Giants onslaught. A handy goal by Freeman put the game barely out of reach for Indianapolis, with Nashville holding on for a two goal win.
Nashville Kangaroos 7.6 (48)
Indianapolis Giants 5.6 (36)
Goals: Cliff Cosnahan 3, Nathan Caldwell 2, Eric Toepfer, John Freeman.
Round 3: Cleveland Cannons
The Cannons were 0-2, but very keen to spoil Nashville’s day. Cosnahan continued his fine form with another two goals, and Caldwell, Fulwider and Dunn each chipped in to give Nashville a respectable four goal lead at half time, 5.2 (32) ahead of Cleveland’s 1.1 (7)
But it was that breeze again, and Cleveland had the scoring end in the second half against aching and tiring Kangaroos. Nashville pushed on to find that the Cannons were no less tired after a long day of footy with temperatures in the 90s. Cosnahan again took his game tally to three goals, Fulwider kicked his second, and Toepfer had his fourth successive game with a goal.
Nashville Kangaroos 8.4 (52)
Cleveland Cannons 3.1 (19)
Goals: Cliff Cosnahan 3, Tim Fulwider 2, Nathan Caldwell, Tim Dunn, Eric Toepfer.
With a 3-0 record on the day, the Nashville Kangaroos improve to 4-3 for 2016 and 145-97-1 all time.
The Nashville Kangaroos will enjoy a well-deserved six weeks break before their next USAFL game on July 23, against arguably their strongest competition of the season: the Ohio Valley River Rats. In the meantime, Game 2 of the local East Nashville vs West Nashville challenge is on June 25, followed by Game 3 of East vs West on July 16 at Elmington Park.