Monday, 28 October 2013

Rams Victorious In International Rules

The Huddersfield Rams Australian Rules team and the Brothers Pearse Gaelic Football team faced off against each other in an historic Compromise Rules match at Colne Valley High School to celebrate the International Rules Series in Ireland. Huddersfield's own version of the International Rules game saw both clubs compete in a sport that is a hybrid of their usual activities, mixing the sports of Aussie Rules and Gaelic Football together to enable teams from both codes to pit theirs wits against each other.
The Winning Rams Squad
The Rams started the game with the wind and slope in their favour and soon made this advantage count, racing into a 21-8 Quarter-time lead. Rams captain Karl Haigh was showing his cross-code experience by having a lot of possession of the ball, supported by Eoghan Gill and Paddy Healy in the middle of the park. All three players showing their experience of both sports in adapting well to this new variation quickly. As the Brothers Pearse players got to grips with the increased contact required for this novel sport their main players began to come to the fore. Chris Cassidy lead a second quarter comeback for the Gaelic side combing well with fine displays in the defence from Dave Moynihan and John Paul Kitterick to leave the scores at 34-23 at half-time. The only difference between the two teams being a superb individual goal from Gill, who broke through the Pearse defence with strong running and intelligent play, enabling him to fire home the first goal of the match.

The fight back from the Gaelic team was to be short-lived however. Rams players Matt Whiteley and Graham Bickerdike shored up the defence and then started to push forward and join the now dominant Rams midfield, supplying the Huddersfield Rams man-of-the-day Dave Durrance with a lot of ball. Full-forward Durrance caused chaos in the Pearse defensive lines as his size and strength enabled him to help himself to a third-quarter hat-trick and with Gill grabbing his second of the match with another fine solo effort the tie as a contest was effectively over. Brothers Pearse failed to register a single point in the third period of play as Luke Booth's goal was ably protected by intelligent support play from Stephen Hall and great game judgement from Ross Shirtliffe and Bickerdike in the Rams defence. A third-quarter score line of 80-23 illustrated the dominance the Rams were now having other their Gaelic opponents.

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Huddersfield didn't let up in the final quarter as Haigh once again impacted on the score line by adding a further two goals to the Rams' tally with two powerful close range efforts to put the game out of sight. Brothers Pearse grabbed a consolation goal themselves late on through a great effort from Frannie Warne and additional points from Rory Doyle, but the contest had long since gone the Australian Rules team's way. The final score of 104-35 to the Rams illustrated their greater adaptability but failed to show the commitment and desire the Brothers Pearse players showed and it was a testament to their club that they didn't let up throughout the contest.

As Rams founder and Captain Karl Haigh lifted the inaugural Huddersfield International Series Cup he commented on how both teams showed great spirit and enthusiasm in this unique event and they hope that it will become a regular annual competition between the two clubs. The hope from both Head Coaches, Jason Battye for The Rams and Dominic McKenna for Brothers Pearse, is that these games will develop a strong bond that will prove to be mutually beneficial to both clubs.

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