Major League Dodgeball’s inaugural Div 1 Footscray Mixed League Finals Series was held on Wednesday, April 16 at Victoria University’s Nicholson Campus.
Overall, five matches were hosted, with the Minor Premiers, Dodgefathers taking out the Championship prize.
The evening commenced with the top of the table and double chance clash, between Dodgefathers and Footscray Mules. While the match was competitive, the Dodgefathers’ brilliant start, proved a hurdle too far for the Mules, who were playing catch-up for the majority of the match. The Dodgefathers illustrated their superiority, triumphing 12 – 6, to book their place in the Grand Final later in the evening.
In the Quarter-Final 2 fixture – effectively an elimination final – Dodgey Style hosted Globo Gym. While the meeting was rather competitive, Dodgey Style had too much firepower at their disposal, prevailing over their their fourth-placed rivals 13 – 7, to progress to the Semi-Final stage. Globo Gym chances of locking in a Grand Final place were extinguished, although they were still placed in the Play-Off for Third tie, and a chance at winning the Bronze medal.
With Dodgey Style’s win over Globo Gym, they had to play back-to-back matches with no rest – against Footscray Mules, who lost their opening game.
The Semi-Final, was without doubt, the most intense and exhilarating match-up of the season. With a large contingent of people viewing from the sidelines, it only added to the drama that unfolded throughout the next 40 minutes.
After having a 40-minute break between fixtures, Footscray Mules looked the fresher of the two sides, beginning the game in blistering fashion, by taking an early lead in the opening minutes. However, Dodgey Style somehow managed to hold on and stay in the contest, playing catch-up for the majority of the contest.
On several occasions, rounds would be decided by a moment of brilliance from both teams. With the match almost in the bad, Footscray Mules lead Dodgey Style 10 – 8 less than five minutes remaining. However, once again, Dodgey Style pulled some tricks out of the bag, to level the contest at 10 – 10 with only enough time for one-round remaining.
In the final round, Footscray Mules looked to have secured the win, holding a three to one player-advantage. With Dodgey Style’s vice-captain, Michael Ciarlo, clearly fatigued and short of breath, elimination seemed inevitable.
However, somehow Michael weaved, dodged, and ultimately found an ounce of strength to eliminate his final-three opponents, to send Dodgey Style and the room into raptures, and importantly secure his team a Grand Final berth.
Without doubt, one of the more memorable moments we’ve experienced in any Finals Series fixture.
After the heartbreaking loss, Footscray Mules had to back up instantly, for their Play-Off for Third tie against Globo Gym. In another thrilling contest, there was nothing between the two sides. After full-time the scores were deadlocked at 9 – 9, with the match going into Overtime.
The Mules didn’t leave the competition empty handed, prevailing in Overtime to claim the Div 1 Bronze medal.
The Grand Final, saw a fresh Dodgethers – who had only played the one match after winning their opening fixture – play Dodgey Style, who had to fight hard to both their back-to-back matches, to secure their place in the title decider.
Evidently, Dodgey Style didn’t have much left in the tank, and were convincingly defeated by Dodgefathers 16 – 4 – a team which thoroughly deserved the honours, following their masterclass display in the Finals Series, and also throughout the regular season.
Congratulations to all teams who participated in the Div 1 Finals Series. The standard of Dodgeball had significantly improved from the beginning of the season, which was fantastic to see.
We still have the Div 2 Finals Series coming your way, staged on Wednesday, April 23.
The new Footscray League season begins on Wednesday, May 21. Registration is now open for any New Team and Individual Players wishing to join.
• Footscray League Results / Ladder – http://majorleaguedodgeball.com.au/footscray-mixed-league-wednesday/
• Footscray Records Page – http://majorleaguedodgeball.com.au/footscray-records/
• Photo Album: Div 1 Finals Series – (To be Updated this week)
• Footscray All Stars team – (To be announced by next week)