The OC Bombers hosted the San Diego Lions on Saturday July 21 in Irvine, and got home by the narrowest of margins.
The Lions won the toss and went with the aid of a 3 goal breeze into the opening quarter, and proceeded to dominate all over the ground. Most of the quarter was played in the Lions forward half and on the rare occasions the Bombers did go forward they were quickly repelled by San Diego's backs. The Bombers were scoreless at the first break while San Diego had 3.5 on the board, and a big turnaround was needed. It came in the form of RJ Meza.
RJ was late to the game due to a Union meeting in LA (go RJ!) and didn't come into the game until the start of the second quarter. At the same time another midfielder, Bryan Saunders (who had been sitting in a forward pocket to this point due to an injury and doubts about his fitness) decided to get involved and moved into the middle to combine with Meza and Brad Wetherall to start winning some clearances. Ruckman Mac Oroke was dominant as usual, and suddenly the midfield started to click.
These moves also enabled Paul Lima and Jon Collins to go back to their regular roles as key back and forward respectively. With a structure more in line with what they were used to, the Bombers were able to work their way back into the game in the second quarter.
An even third quarter meant that the Bombers were still 18 points down at the final break, but with the breeze and some momentum the players believed they could pull off an unlikely victory. OC started well and kept the ball in their forward half for most of the quarter, but like the Lions in the first quarter were unable to convert. A lot of this was due to the small field and the congested play that resulted from the conditions, but nevertheless the Bombers were not hitting the scoreboard apart from 5 behinds. Goals were needed, and they came from an unlikely source. Seb Aguiari was playing up the ground and instructed not to crowd the forward line unless he saw a real opportunity. He made the most of his opportunities and ran forward into space to kick two vital goals and give the Bombers a chance.
Full forward Ryan Lorseyedi had a good day kicking 3 of the Bombers 7 goals, none more important than his third which sealed the game with a minute remaining.
Bombers: 0.0 2.3 2.2 3.7 7.12 54
Lions: 3.5 1.2 2.4 1.0 7.11 53
Goals: Lorseyedi (3), Aguiari (2), Oroke, Wetherall (1).
Best: Collins, Meza, Mounce, Wetherall, Oroke.