Gaelic Football Match Week #5 : Recap and Results

Match 1: 10:00 AM @ St. Vincent’s Park – Main Pitch

Ferguson Brewing Co vs. AOH St. Charles

With the wind whipping and the clouds rolling in, we braced for a fantastic match Saturday at St. Vinny’s. AOH St. Charles with their high powered goal machine was facing off against an extremely talented and well-captained Ferguson Brewing Co. For the first half, AOH had the advantage of a solid 10-15 mph wind and would look to go up in the first minute like last week. However the first blood was drawn by Matt Anglin of FBC. Last week’s man of the match picked up where he left off by ripping a wicked shot from just outside the corner of the small box. That’s 3 up for FBC. 2 minutes later, it was Anglin again. As Ryan Limb carried the mail, he found Anglin with an amazing pass at the 20m line and Matt instantly popped it over the bar for 1 more. at 7″ in, FBC was quickly up by 4. AOH finally found their stride 10″ in with Pete DaPrato breaking in on goal from the right side. Left with no alternative, Matt Stuart had to wrap up Pete and give away a free from the 20. With ball in hand, DaPrato went for the immediate impact of 3 points, but the shot found the keeper’s gloves and the ball was quickly cleared out to the sideline. Phil Hawkins grabbed the clearance and motored the ball up the sideline until a harsh challenge from AOH’s Tim Buckley punted him over the line and resulted in a warning from the reiteor. AOHSTC and Pete DaPrato found themselves another opportunity at 15″ and this time didn’t walk away empty handed. As DaPrato charged in from the right wing, he let loose a bomb from 30m away that found the net inside of the left post – amazing strike.

As if to quench the AOH flames, only minutes later Ferguson’s Joe Byrne was seen ambling up the path towards the pitch. Like manna from heaven, captain Sterling Hayden looked upon Byrne as a welcome and necessary source of sustenance. “There he is, my guy” said Hayden. As the match heated up, FBC’s Michael Keane was shown a yellow for a trip that could be seen as a little casual. Even though the possession firmly favored them, at this point Ferguson was only up by 1. With 4 minutes left in the half, Byrne sent a rainmaker of a kick over the bar from way, way out – immediate impact from a talented young man. Only a minute later, Angel Garcia for FBC got loose at the edge of the large box and sent a shot on goal that was parried away by keeper Tim Renz. Unfortunately the rebound went right into the path of Garcia and he gave Ferguson a little breathing room at the half by depositing the 3 points into the bank.

Halftime:

Ferguson Brewing Co: 2-5-11

AOH St. Charles: 1-3-6

Within 3 minutes of the 2nd half throw in, Joe Byrne once again made his presence felt by sending a point in from just inside the left sideline. Only a few minutes later, Ferguson decided to take over the match with back to back goals from Phil Hawkins and another 3 point tally for Byrne. And just like that, what was a 4 point lead at the half blew out to 11 before you got back from the concession stand. At 35″ FBC’s Keane decided this all looked like fun and he wanted in as well, rocking a strike off the crossbar from 15m out. Not to be denied, Keane swooped in from the right only 2 minutes later and went for a highlight reel goal. Keeper Tim Renz had other ideas though. Keane caught Byrne’s eye and JB sent a beautiful ball over towards the right post where Keane used a 2 handed punch to try and beat Renz. Only he didn’t, as Renz was the one that stole the highlight on this occasion and made an amazing save with some very strong hands.

The majestic save from Renz served to motivate AOH and they were throwing everything at Ferguson in the last 10 minutes. A lovely strike from a serviceable John Krause brought AOH 3 points closer, but it was never going to be enough as the goal only halved the score 22-11. A final impressive clear off the goal line by AOH’s Mikey Orbin in the last minute of play showed that the Hibernians hadn’t lost their fight and that there is always pride to play for.

With more points than goals in this match, it shows that AOH can play with a bit of finesse and movement. Unfortunately the goals didn’t come along for the ride and there was never any real threat to Ferguson Brewing Co. If AOHSTC can keep pouring in the goals and use their new found ability to score points, then they look like they could make a real push in the 2nd half of the season.

Final:

Ferguson Brewing Co:  4-10-22

AOH St. Charles: 2-7-13

 

Scores:

Ferguson Brewing Co: Angel Garcia(1-0), Dan Cowin(0-3), Joe Byrne(1-3), Matt Anglin(1-1), Mike Keane(0-2), Owen McQuiston(0-1), Phil Hawkins(1-0).

AOH St. Charles: John Beard(0-2), Jeff Brown(0-2), John Krause(1-1), Pete DaPrato(1-2).

Man of the Match: Joe Bryne – Ferguson Brewing Co.

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Match 2: 11:15 AM @ St. Vincent’s Park – Main Pitch

Happy Apples vs. Pat Connolly Tavern  

With the weather looking as if it was going to threaten, the wind had shifted to a steady cross-pitch direction – no real advantage would be gained for this one. I was really looking forward to this one, with both sides having some real speed on tap to make for a wide open, aggressive contest. Imagine my surprise when it took almost 10 minutes for the scoring to start.

At 4″ Anne Glaser sent a superb point attempt towards the PCT frame, only to have it called wide after a little consultation. Hat’s off to Anne though, as she made her own space and got a great foot on the shot. The Apples’ ball movement was sublime in the first 10 minutes and captain Ryan Lobbig’s leadership was clearly evident in the team’s wide play. The problem for the redshirts was that NOTHING was going over – the first 3 point attempts were all wide. To that, the PCT responded ‘hold my pint young lad, lemme show you how it’s done’. The 10″ mark saw PCT’s Matt Green put an elegant point over for the first score of the match, followed closely by points from Kieran O’Shea and Tony Cowin. 14″ in, the Apples’ co-captain Ryan Hallows had a golden chance on goal to get the redshirts on the board, but it wasn’t to be. At this point it was evident that Lobbig was sacrificing personal offensive contributions in order to keep a speedy Matt Green in check.

Finally 18″ in, Jeff Fowler let fly with a Byrne-esque skyrocket of a point to put Happy Apples’ first mark on the score sheet. But only a minute later, PCT’s Mike Reynolds broke in with a burst of speed and drove a blast off the upper 90. The rebound off the frame conveniently found Reynolds in stride and he slotted the ball home for a grand goal. Happy Apples bounced back from the goal very well though and took the play to PCT. The Apples desperately need a score with halftime on the horizon and Anne Glaser obliged. With a looping drive, Glaser found a little daylight over keeper Kara Richardson’s head and hit side netting for a sorely needed 3 points. This would be the final score of the half and only the 2nd score of the match for Happy Apples.

Halftime:

Pat Connolly Tavern: 2-5-11

Happy Apples: 1-1-4

A fiery and strategic halftime talk for the Happy Apples got them ready to rock & roll for half #2. By this time, the sky had turned pale grey and there were rain drops being felt in the wind. Apples were about ready to turn up the heat. 1 minute into the 2nd half, Chance Evans wearing his Hannibal mask (to protect broken facial bones) slipped into the PCT penalty area and drove home a goal for the redshirts. 5 minutes later Joey ‘the Godfather’ Abkemeier got a toe to a loose ball in the box and tallied another goal for the ‘starting-to-get-a-little-happier-Apples’. From near disaster at halftime, Happy Apples with 2 quick goals pulled to within 1 point of the Pat Connolly Tavern. NOW we’ve got ourselves a match.

After another point from Matt Green – who was ALL over the pitch – Kelly DaPrato pulled the Apples back to within 1 with a well-earned point. This is as close as the match would be. 36″ in, PCT’s Reynolds strikes back with his 2nd goal of the game, driving one low out of the keeper’s reach. Another goal from Reynolds 43″ in completes his hat trick and stretches the lead to 8 points for the PCT. The man was virtually untouchable on the day and his 2 goals in succession in the 2nd half essentially put this match to bed. If a Mike Reynolds hatty wasn’t enough to kick Happy Apples in the gut, a 44th minute strike from Tony ‘this ain’t your grandpappy’s beard’ Cowin surely sucked the life out of the Apples. After Cowin’s blast, a rallying cry from captain Lobbig let the redshirts know that ‘we need goals people – goals now’. Although Happy Apples dialed up the pressure in the last 10 minutes, the only goal that came was from Lobbig’s own boot in the last minute of play. On the ensuing kick out, the final whistle blew.

Although the final score wouldn’t suggest it, this was a very tight match. I was very impressed by Happy Apples’ response after halftime and the fact that they were very close to taking the match back from PCT should put other teams on notice that the Apples will never quit. The problem with the Apples 2nd half comeback is that the Pat Connolly Tavern is VERY good team and they had the strength to thwart the comeback and take over. It’s the old adage of ‘poking the bear’.

Final:

Pat Connolly Tavern: 5-9-24

Happy Apples: 4-4-16

Scores:

Pat Connolly Tavern: Eric Weber(0-1), Kieran O’Shay(0-1), Matt Green(1-3), Mike Reynolds(3-0), Tony Cowin(1-4).

Happy Apples: Ryan Lobbig(1-1), Anne Glaser(1-0), Chance Evans(1-0), Jeff Fowler(0-1), Joe Abkemeier(1-0), Kelly DaPrato(0-1), Mike Guinn(0-1).

Man of the Match: Tony Cowin – Pat Connolly Tavern

Gaelic Football Match Week #4 : Recap and Results

Match 1: 10:00 AM @ St. Vincent’s Park – Main Pitch

Happy Apples vs. Ferguson Brewing Co

The first time these 2 sides met was match #1, which was an absolute cracker. It was a well-played, cagey affair ending up in a 3 point victory for Ferguson Brewing Company. That match saw one Joe Byrne arrive out of the mist up the St. Vinny’s cart path with 15 minutes left to play. There would be no such apparition for the Fergies this time though, and Happy Apples was ready to have their revenge.

As the sides lined out, the most notable sight was that captain Ryan Lobbig was absent for Happy Apples. His skill and speed were crucial if the Apples were going to win this match. Without the captain’s contribution, I feared this match could be one-way traffic.

From the throw in it was a fairly even match, with both sides showing some free-flowing play. At the 5″ mark, FBC’s Matt Anglin hit a stellar short angle point from the left side. This will not be the last time you hear his name… As the match settled in, the Apples were forging ahead without the possession game that Ryan Lobbig brings to the side. A flurry of activity in the Ferguson end by the Apples saw 3 consecutive wides in a short span at the 12″ mark. This was not coincidentally the same time frame that captain Sterling Hayden left the match for Ferguson with a strained hip flexor – he would not return. However 20″ in, Ferguson Brewing Co turned up the wick. After a foul in the Apples’ end, a free sent in fell a bit short giving Ferg a gilt-edged chance at goal – only to be blocked on an outstanding effort by Apples’ defense. 23″ in, ‘the teaching Brit’ Ryan Limb bombed over a free from 45m to extend Ferguson’s lead to 10-2. That would be the last score for the Fergies in the half, with Happy Apples adding 2 late points to their tally.

Halftime:

Happy Apples: 0-4-4

Ferguson Brewing Co: 1-7-10

As Happy Apples tried to rally for a 2nd half comeback, the absence of Ryan Lobbig was crippling. What the Apples needed was some possession and ball movement and being without their most mobile player made that virtually impossible. The 34″ mark was the beginning of the end for the Reds as they conceded a penalty which Mike Keane was happy to put into the ‘ol onion bag. A 40″ goal by Eric Caldwell pulled the Apples back into the match if only for a few minutes. At this stage, Ferguson’s Matt Anglin put his stamp on the match by scoring his 4th point from play.  The last 15 minutes was basically a clinic in possession from Ferguson Brewing Co, with Bob O’Mahony, Dan Cowin, Phil Hawkins and Ryan Limb all spending quality time with the ball.

Final:

Happy Apples:  1-6-9

Ferguson Brewing Co:  2-13-19

Scores:

Happy Apples: Ryan Hallows(0-2), Eric Caldwell(1-0), Joe Driefke(0-1),  Mike Guinn(0-3).

Ferguson Brewing Co: Angel Garcia(0-1), Keith Mayers(0-1), Matt Anglin(1-4), Mike Keane(1-3), Ryan Limb(0-4).

Man of the Match: Matt Anglin – Ferguson Brewing Co.

 

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Match 2: 11:15 AM @ St. Vincent’s Park – Main Pitch

Pat Connolly Tavern vs. AOH St. Charles

Not unlike the first match of the day, the first time these 2 sides met in week #1 it was magical. The Pat Connolly Tavern squeaked out a W in that one, with their keeper Kara Richardson under constant siege.

The 2nd match of these 2 teams was much like the first. From the opening throw in, AOH’s John Beard got loose down the left side and a long ball found him in stride, allowing him to stuff the ball home for a 3 point lead within the 1st minute of play. Could this be a case of ‘here we go again with all the goals?’. Yes, yes it could. Only 1 minute later PCT’s keeper was under attack again with Kara making not 1 – but 2 point blank saves. That run of play right there saved this match from getting out of control, as the Pat Connolly Tavern crew buckled down and worked the ball around with some nice possession play. 13″ in featured yet another turning point for the PCT when AOHSTC’s Jeff Brown scored an apparent goal resulting from a free attempt sent short – but was ruled to be in the small box, allowing the PCT to dodge another 3 point bullet. At this stage midway into half #1, there were 7 combined scores for the sides; all points for PCT and all goals for AOHSTC. Just before the half, the referee showed a yellow card to AOH’s Greg Hake for what looked like a regular high ball challenge with PCT’s Tony Cowin. After Cowin went to ground holding his head, Hake was shown the yellow.

Halftime:

Pat Connolly Tavern: 0-6-6

AOH St. Charles: 3-1-10

1 minute into half #2, AOHSTC found themselves in the principal’s office again as Jimmy Orbin was shown a yellow card for overly aggressive play. Just minutes later things went from bad to worse for AOH when Greg Hake was shown yellow #2 in the 38th minute. But the AOH offensive onslaught continued when the referee awarded them a penalty 42″ in. Once again, PCT’s Kara Richardson proved to be the difference as she thwarted the spot kick and the rebound, eventually relenting on attempt #3 when AOH flooded the box and put the rebound away.

After the sending off of AOH’s Hake, PCT did not change their approach and kept the points from play flowing regularly. Playing 1 man up for virtually the entire 2nd half, PCT enjoyed even more room for the big man from Co. Kerry, Kieran O’Shea. The man was unstoppable on the day scoring 9 points and dictating play with his physical presence on the ball. With AOH’s focus on goals, the points from O’Shea were crucial in keeping this match close. Pat Connolly Tavern had a chance to edge out in front with some breathing room at 44″, but a rocket from the 20m line hit the upper 90 of the frame – literally – as the ball struck the post, crossbar and ultimately the goal line. After a bit of a scramble AOHSTC was able to clear the ball to the outside and out of danger.

As if things weren’t difficult enough for AOH, Jimmy Orbin joined Hake on the sideline with his 2nd yellow on the day at 50″. That left the PCT primed to take advantage of being 2 players up and put this match to bed. However PCT was only able to muster 2 more points from the short advantage and at the final whistle – we were tied.

For the purist, you will love the Pat Connolly Tavern’s style of play with quick movement, wide play, sublime points and quality possession. The video game generation will salivate over AOHSTC’s method of route 1 football: middle of the pitch, long balls over the top to the forwards who will pump in goals regularly. They’ve no interest in points at all as they have exactly 2 points in 2 matches vs. PCT – it’s all goals, all the time.

2 completely different ways to get to the same place: goals vs. points.

Final:

Pat Connolly Tavern: 1-13-16

AOH St. Charles: 5-1-16

Scores:

Pat Connolly Tavern: Ken Buckholtz(0-2), Kieran O’Shea(0-9), Matt Hoffman(0-2), Tony Cowin(1-0).

AOH St. Charles: John Beard(1-0), Alex Cooke(0-1), Jeff Brown(2-0), Pete DaPrato(2-0)

Man of the Match: Kieran O’Shea – Pat Connolly Tavern

STLGAC Football Team Previews

Welcome to the 2017 version of the STLGAC Gaelic Football City League.

Our polished journalists will be keeping the world abreast of all the on (and potentially off) field action all season long right here on STLGAC.com. So please check in weekly for match results, commentary, insights, rumors and general craic.

With the team reveal concluding only just last night at the Pat Connolly Tavern, we haven’t had much time to digest the team sheets. However here in the newsroom, we never rest. Sometimes you need some training wheels to get through the task at hand, and here at HQ the Tito’s and Red Bull quite possibly could be said training wheels.

Without further ado, let’s dig into the 4 teams contending for this season’s Monkey Cup.

 

St. Charles Ancient Order of Hibernians

http://stcharlesaoh.com/

Captains Joe Kinealy (r) and John Beard (l)

Joe Kinealy
John Beard
Alex Cooke
Greg Hake
Jeff Brown
Jimmy Orbin
John Charlton
John Krause
Jordan Finnegan
Juan Villa Torrecilla
Maggie Faul
Mal Freeman
Mike Hertfelder
Mike Hill
Mike Orbin
Pat Fitzgerald
Pete DePrato
Ricky Whalen
Tim Buckley
Tim Renz
Wes Werner

Hot Take:

When I look at this roster, I immediately think ‘BEEFY’. Make no mistake – this is going to be one physical team. In fact, this writer has personally shown a red or yellow card to at least half of these people over the years.

What to Watch For:

This team is chock full of veterans, so no matter how a match is going you’d be a fool to count them out. There are more former champions than not on this roster. Also as I alluded to above, these guys (and ladies) are flat out bruisers. Both of the Orbin brothers have been known to step well over the line in terms of physicality. Tim Buckley is a solid, tenacious presence on the pitch and the only question on the day is what shade of yellow card would he prefer. Jeff Brown is essentially a man-child and will run over anyone or anything to make a play. Greg Hake is a tall, strong individual and will be a presence in the air. And then you’ve got Pete (Pedro) DaPrato. All this guy does is win stuff. Touched by the hand of God, (surely his family emigrated from Rome) this guy hasn’t ever been on a sub-.500 team as far as I can remember – and we go pretty far back. The 2 Captains themselves are nothing to sneeze at either. Both will make massive contributions on and off the pitch for this team.

Last Word:

This is a playoff team. I expect to see them in the Monkey Cup Final. If these old farts can stay injury free, they’ll do some damage. This isn’t a run and gun team, but they will be steady, smart and solid. They could be in danger if attendance is an issue, as some of the younger and faster teams could take advantage of the space on the pitch when AOH STC wears down. Overall, a well drafted team by Captains Kinealy and Beard.

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Ferguson Brewing Company

http://www.fergusonbrewing.com/

Captain Sterling Hayden (not pictured: Scott Stevens)

Sterling Hayden
Scott Stevens
Andrew Malone
Angel Garcia
Bob O’Mahony
Bruna Prates
Chris Buck
Dan Cowin
Fiachra Lennon
Joe Byrne
John Severs
Keith Mayers
Lauren Delaney
Matt Anglin
Matt Stuart
Mike Keane
Owen McQuiston
Phil Hawkins
Ryan Limb
Will Bennett

Hot Take:

When I look at this team, I see effort, graft, grind, sweat, heart. There is no quit in this roster. On top of that, Sterling always has a plan in his draft. I have learned not to question his judgement and it’s easy to see the direction he intends to take this season. This is mos def a blue collar team.

What to Watch For:

I have to say, it’s a good thing they have a lot of heart on this team – they’re going to need it. I see some ‘boom or bust’ potential here. There will likely be some attendance issues in my opinion, and hard work will only go so far… If Joe Byrne – who is without doubt the most talented player in this league – shows up for 50-75% of the matches, this is a very solid Monkey Cup final team. If the lad is AWOL, they will have to rely heavily on captain Hayden, LFC Youth Academy leader Mike Keane and ‘ol Bobby O. If you look up ‘desire’ in the Oxford English, there is a photo of Bob O’Mahony plain as day. This man can simply force a team to perform just by his effort. He will pull the last bit of effort out of each of his teammates. And not to leave out Andrew Malone, as solid a player as we have in the league. The question there is when he will hit peak form. Can he sprint out of the gates and impact the match, or will it take him 3 matches to get up to snuff? Questions abound. Luckily we will start seeing some answers on Saturday.

Last Word:

Like I say, all or nothing with this group. They could go on a mad run and devastate teams or they could have slim attendance and be .500. I do believe in Sterling’s draft nous though, so I expect to see this team battling for a spot in the Monkey Cup final more likely than not.

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Happy Apples

http://happyapples.com/

Captains Ryan Lobbig (r) and Ryan Hallows (l)

Ryan Lobbig
Ryan Hallows
Andrew Lally
Andy Moran
Anne Glaser
Brian Hendrick
Chance Evans
Ed Reidy
Eric Caldwell
Gabe Crabson
Jason Kenny
Jeff Fowler
Joe Abkemeier
Joe Driefke
Kelly DePrato
Leo Perez Mereno
Luke Wilmes
Matt Carroll
Mike Guinn
Steven Kieran
Will Stewart

Hot Take:

This is a fit and talented team. The 2 captains themselves will lead by example. This group will be able to mix it up on the physical side as well, with a few players that also moonlight with rugby. Plenty of good veteran experience here too. A very steady side that won’t hit the valleys, but may not quite reach the peaks either.

What to Watch For:

This side, far more than the other 3, will rely HEAVILY on their captains this season. If ‘The Ryans’ can rise to their potential from the off, I see good things ahead for this lot. If they struggle to get a grip on the match from the whistle, this team will have to slog it out each week. A force in the middle of the pitch, tall and lanky Mike Guinn will be key in transition from defense to offense. If not man-marked by a skilled defender, he could dominate the flow of the match. Brian Hendrick is another talented piece to this Happy Apple puzzle. A veteran of the game, he’s as good a teammate as you could ask for. Selfless, experienced, positive are all adjectives pointing to Brian. Fitness is a question mark for your man though. We all get beat up over the course of the Fall – can BH stay on the pitch and out of the infirmary? Again, a lot of smart veterans in the red and black as well. That experience will be a huge asset in keeping this team from hitting any significant slumps in play. Will the skilled pieces of this roster perform to put the Apples over the bar?

Last Word:

If the Ryan’s can lead by example AND the team has a good strategy week in / week out, the Apples could be dangerous. Nothing about the roster screams out ‘oh dear!’ – which will work to their favor. Underestimate this team at your own peril. The key here will be having everyone moving in the same direction each week with a solid game plan. If disorganization somehow seeps in, we could see some very bad apples. The kind that turn your stomach and make you frequent the spartan loos at St. Vincent’s Park. But I remain positive and see these Apples in contention for the MC Final.

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The Pat Connolly Tavern

http://www.patconnollytavern.com/

Captains Landon Zirkelbach (l) and Shane Brennan (r)

Landon Zirkelbach
Shane Brennan
AJ Hale
Barry McDaid
Brian Finn
Brian Flatley
Dave Grattan
Eric Seyfert
Eric Weber
Eze Valguarnera
Jen Harnness
John Donovan
Jordan Hildebrand
Kara Richardson
Ken Buckholtz
Kieran O’Shea
Matt Green
Matt Hoffman
Mike Reynolds
Pete Ladell
Tony Cowin

Hot Take:

Talent. Loads of it. This could be a dominant team. When this team was announced last night, I was thinking ‘how did this happen?’. I favor the PCT to appear in the Monkey Cup. However, things can happen. All things being equal, this roster is a championship team. Again, we have to see who shows up week in and week out.

What to Watch For:

Captain Landon Zirkelbach is the backbone of this team. Landycakes, with his thighs of thunder, could squat his mom… and my mom… and probably your mom too… simultaneously. He knows the game inside and out and is experienced enough to make tactical changes on the fly. Not only is the PCT talented and skilled, but they will have top level organization and strategy to go along with it. Matt Green is one of those athletes that is good at damn near everything without even trying and his impact could be huge – depending on his availability. Mike Reynolds comes off of gardening leave to feature in this season, but how fit is he? The last time I saw Mr. Reynolds, Obama was still making decisions. Shane ‘what’s the craic?’ Brennan is also champing at the bit to get the season underway and his attitude is infectious. He will rally these boys and girls every minute on the pitch. Let’s not forget Tony Cowin’s impact either. This guy pushes himself every step of the way. He’s a fantastic teammate and makes everyone around him better. If there is enough oil on hand to lube up the ‘ol joints and he’s able to stay on the pitch, he’s as valuable as anyone on this team.

Last Word:

A spot in the Monkey Cup Final is theirs to lose, essentially. They will well and truly have a target on their back all season. If they keep their head down and concentrate on the effort rather than letting the talent carry them, they will be tough to beat. I think if they can start off the season 3-0, they could very possibly run the table. If they suffer a shocker in the first few however, the wheels could come off. My bet is the PCT lives up to expectations and finishes in the top spot at the end of league play.

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Thank you all for reading! Your feedback is always welcome and if there are certain features you’d like to see, just let us know. This is a work in progress and we aim to give the people what they want.

Look for exciting updates in the future and make sure you check back in periodically.