The Baltimore Dockers snatched victory from the Washington Eagles in the dying seconds to draw first blood in the Battle of the Beltway.

In a bruising contest, the game edged back and forth all afternoon, as both teams struggled to get clean possession on a very windy Baltimore day. The conditions meant the battle was won in close, with Vigus’ charges leading the clearances and getting first hands on the ball.

The intensity was high throughout the game, with strong tackling pressure from both sides in a hard-fought contest that resulted in several minor injuries.

The Dockers led at every change, but particularly dominated the play in the 3rd quarter, kicking with the wind and suffocating the Eagles’ defense with an effective forward press that kept most of the play in that term in the Dockers’ forward 50.

But Baltimore failed to capitalize on their 3rd quarter dominance, with the Eagles defense holding up and limiting the Dockers to a third quarter score of 1.3.

The door was left open for the Eagles to take charge in the last quarter, with the wind in their favor, taking the lead deep into the last quarter. But several squandered shots proved fatal with Vigus kicking the winning goal moments before the final siren.

Matt Brommell starred for the Dockers with three goals, with Dean Vigus carving it up around the stoppages and Jason Bailey getting plenty of the ball. New recruit Sam Rowley flew the flag for the Eagles, including a strong pack mark in the third quarter, while Ryan Kamauff withstood ferocious Baltimore pressure to hold up the Eagles defense.

The tight contest is testament to the strong recruiting efforts of Baltimore and Washington, who have boosted their ranks over the off-season, with roughly 20 new players in their first outing for their respective clubs yesterday.

It also marks the beginning of what is sure to be a tense rivalry, with four remaining games this year in the Battle of the Beltway. Game 2 will take place in Baltimore in June.

FINAL SCORE:

Baltimore – 6.8. 44
Washington – 6.5  41