The LA Dragons traveled down I-405 for another clash with the Orange County Bombers in Irvine on Saturday, and the result was a decisive win for the visitors.
The Dragons held OC goalless in the first half due to a huge effort from the backline and halfback line. Andrew Loewen was valuable off center half back, while Paul Jackson and Lachie Macpherson racked up the possessions on the outside. James Drummond got some valuable touches in the backline, Dre Jansen was once again solid at fullback, and first-gamer Ben Strathmore showed some great field awareness while playing a handful of different roles.
While there weren’t ideal numbers to rotate through the midfield, the Dragons still got some great possessions from veterans like Joe Silvio, Ryan Hitch and Freddy Schulin. First-year player Blake Mansfield was outstanding in the ruck in only his second game with the team, giving plenty of opportunities to Pat Nicholls (six goals) and Will Crandall (one) up forward, who outmanned the opposition.
The Dragons built a strong lead heading into the main break, but the Bombers wouldn’t go away quietly, finally hitting the scoreboard for a couple of goals in the third team. However, LA’s superior ball skills and effective clearances paved the way for a big final term, coming away with an 11.8.74 to 3.3.21 victory.
After the upcoming bye week during the Labor Day weekend, the Dragons will return to Irvine for another round of the SoCal Cup against OC and San Diego. Game times TBD.