Toronto Dingos lose heartbreaker to visiting Ottawa Swans
In the final round of the AFL Ontario regular season the Toronto Dingos found themselves facing the visiting Ottawa Swans. While the Dingos were already out of the race for a finals spot, they still had a lot to play for as they celebrated founding member Paul Tinkler’s 200th game with the club. Before the game “Tinks” and the team ran through a banner created to mark the milestone cheered on by supporters, past players, friends and family.
Afterwards, however, it was time to focus on the match against perennial top-side Ottawa who were looking to maintain positive momentum going into their finals’ run. . In the first half, the Dingos were quickly able to establish themselves as a credible threat, with team “spirit animal” Steven Speers again excellent in the middle and Greg Gilbert, playing for the first time in the ‘guts’, doing plenty around the contest. Rob McNaughton as always provided a strong target up front with support from Michael Ladd coming off the half-forward line to clean up the crumbs. The Swans also spent some time with a short bench due to a yellow card, with Dingos ruckman Stephen Gordon capitalizing on the resulting free kick right in front. All told the Dingos were able to head into half-time with a lead and some wind in the sails having surprised the visitors out of the gate.
Things continued in much the same fashion early in the third quarter when Dingos veteran David Wells who had been a stabilizing force in the half-back line landed awkwardly and had to be helped off the ground. After the short break that ensued, Ottawa started to turn the tide, piling on a couple of quick goals to leave the Dingos in a hole entering the final term. With nothing to lose though the Dingos were able to fight back through hard work all around the ground and regain a slender lead late in the game. After a period of back and forth play in the end though it was the Swans who were able to break free and kick what would turn out to be a match sealing goal with limited time remaining. The Swans ultimately prevailed by a single point, 8.4-52 to 7.9-51 with the Dingos unable to get out of the middle to make another parry.
Michael Ladd was named best on ground for another outstanding performance. However, the day belonged to Patrick Bossey who was named in the Canadian All Ontario Team and All Ontario Team later in the evening at the AFL Ontario League Awards’ Night. Thomas Santibinez-Espinoza was also honoured on the Canadian All Ontario Team for another great season.
For his part veteran Paul Tinkler was no doubt disappointed not to be able to cap his 200th with a win, but did contribute a goal. After capping a tough year on the field with a heartbreaking loss, the Dingos know there will be plenty of work to do in the off-season. Here they again showed that they are capable of competing with one of the top ranked teams in the league in spurts but will need to work on consistent effort over four quarters of play.
In the meantime the Dingos will now look forward to their 22nd Annual AFL Grand Final Party at The Office Pub on September 29th.
GOALS: M. Ladd 2, S. Gordon 2, R. McNaughton, E. Bergin, P. Tinkler
BEST: M. Ladd, P. Bossey, G. Gilbert, R. McNaughton, S. Speers
PHOTO CREDITS: Rob Colburn, Thanya Duvage
Proudly Sponsored by:
The Office Pubhttp://www.theofficepub.ca/
Our downtown sponsor since the 2015 season, The Office Pub - located in downtown Toronto at 117 John Street - has 3 patios, full food/drink menu with a great atmosphere to watch sport, partake in some karaoke or take the better half for a glass of wine.
The Office Pub is the home for the Red & Black for post-match celebrations every Saturday night during the season, as well as special events including the Australia Day Party and the Dingos' legendary Grand Final Party.
Scallywags are the Dingos' midtown pub and post training refreshment specialists as well as your destination for the BEST international sports coverage, fantastic selection of beers and delicious food served all day and night. Scallywags are also home to Midtown's fabulous, Year-Round Patio which has been recently expanded for your enjoyment.
The Dingos' will be at Scallywags Thursday evenings after training and to catch special events including the games of the Toronto Wolfpack who also call Scallywags their midtown home.
A proud supporter of the Toronto Dingos since 2008, the fine folks at Downunder Travel specialize in travel arrangements to Australia, New Zealand, South Pacific, Asia, and Africa.
If you are travelling to any of these locations, please contact the helpful staff at Downunder Travel for the best price around. Just mention you're from the Dingos!