Author: Kevin Noble
As the Melbourne spring begins, the Smurfs leave their cozy mushroom houses and make their way over the hill to do battle against the Funny (and mighty) Ducks.
The time was right to legitimise this beautiful rivalry and the inaugural Funny Duck Princes Cup was created – supremacy of Princes Park and bragging rights at stake.
The Ninja Smurfs arrived early and were warming up with conga style drills (?) well before Funny Duck had a full line. They started strong and pulled away for a convincing early lead. The Ducks struggled to balance the near savage female line with the mega-epic 11 male squad. Frustration from lack of game time set in and the team just couldn’t jell.
Ducks tried a zone but Smurfs walked straight through it, and hucks just weren’t coming down. Smurfs countered with their own zone which fared better earning Smurf (and sometimes Drake) Martin Montes a great ninja Callahan interception.
Half was a very welcome break for Funny Duck. We regrouped and managed to finally have a decent team talk. Male subbing was sorted out and the girls had a well-earned rest. Frustrations settled.
The second half saw Ducks take three points in a row to close the gap and make for a close finish. Noy bravely took a Smurf to the face but managed to carry on. The level of play from Ducks and Smurfs peaked as the half went on. Offence was patient, grabs were great and point blocks were epic. Ducks managed to complete the come-back and secure the trophy and we all left wondering when we could do it again!!
A spirt-game of Ninja wrapped the day up nicely, not before a spint-off with 10 contestants across each of the teams. Jose “Speedy Gonzalez” Millan, really wanted to take on Ian “all legs” McDonald in a rematch from earlier in the year. From endzone to endzone the race was on, however the stride length and sprint technique of McDonald was no match for Millan with McDonald beating him by a meter, with Smurf Erik coming in a close third.
Congratulations to Martin Montes and Tut Baldock for being named MVPs from the Smurfs with Richard Edwards and Sangamithra “Dhikka” Rajender being named MVPs for the Ducks.
Let’s hope we meet at VMUC this weekend for the second installment of the Cup rivalry. If not, the cup is up for grabs again on the 8th in Albert Park when the two teams clash in Division 2.