Thursday afternoon’s Newtown at Barlow matchup was guaranteed to drop one of the two South-West Conference contenders from the ranks of the unbeaten. It just may have set the stage for a combustible rematch — should it come to pass in the SWC tournament — in the process.
The Falcons owned (and won by) a 17-4 margin but were still shooting prior to the final whistle, to which Newtown junior long stick midfielder Jack Kearney did not take kindly. After the whistle, Kearney struck Barlow’s Mike Mattson (he of the four-goal, two-assist performance) across the neck, besetting a scrum near midfield before both coaching staffs could corral their players.
Newtown coach Glenn Adams made it known that Barlow’s late pursuit of a wider margin of victory had indeed rankled his players.
“That’s what you get for shooting when it’s 17-4, Distler,” Adams barked.
It was unclear whether Adams could see the slash — blatant as it was — from his spot on the Newtown sideline. He might have been shouting generally in response to the game’s feisty ending.
Asked if he was bothered by Barlow’s shooting so late with such a commanding lead, Adams declined to comment.
Barlow coach John Distler, on the other hand, was happy to illuminate on the subject.
“They were getting very chippy at the end so I put my starters out there,” Distler said. “I said you know what? If you want to get chippy, I’ll put another goal in. If you play like you should play this game, I’ll leave my second team out there. The game had ended and (Kearney) just hauled off and slashed (Mattson) across the neck. We showed it to the ref. The ref’s saying he agreed it was a dead-ball foul. The game ended and he took a cheap shot knowing there would be no consequences. The kid should be suspended for the next game. I’m going to write it up. I have to evaluate (the officials) after every game so it’s going to get written up.”
The two coaches shook hands cordially but that was the end of the exchange. At about the quarter pole, the Nighthawks are 5-1 and Falcons are 4-0.