Each week AFL Europe will take a look around the continent at the Australian Football highlights and thrilling matches. This Around the Grounds article delves into the standout performances from the weekend’s action and is presented by PSS International Removals.
HAMBURG DOCKERS COMPLETE CLEAN SWEEP
It was celebrations all round for the Hamburg Dockers on Saturday as both their men’s and women’s teams won their respective AFLG Grand Final’s. Both matches saw the Hamburg Dockers play the Berlin Crocodiles in Cologne, including the inaugural AFLG Women’s Grand Final. In the women’s game, it was tight during the first half of the game, as the Crocodiles managed to control the game and create a number of opportunities in their forward 50. At half time, it was Berlin who was leading by seven points having had two more scoring shots. However, the Dockers came out firing and turned the game around thanks to some rapid attacking play and a resolute defence that kept the Crocodiles to just one more goal for the rest of the game. When the final siren sounded, the Dockers had produced a fantastic turnaround, winning the first AFLG Women’s flag by 28 points. In a repeat of last year’s men’s Grand Final, the Dockers came out firing, kicking three goals in the opening term to lead by 12 points at the first break, with Berlin kicking one goal from four scoring shots. The second quarter was tighter than the first, with only two goals kicked by the Dockers helping them to extend their lead to 21 points. The Crocodiles were creating plenty of opportunities but couldn’t quite get the ball through the goals as they had kicked six behinds to go with their only goal at half time. Like the women’s game, there was a change in momentum in the third quarter as the Crocodiles managed to show their class that got them to this year’s Grand Final, kicking three goals while keeping Hamburg to just two as Berlin reduced the margin to 14 points with one quarter left. There might have been a couple of nerves in the Dockers camp, but a strong defence, restricting the Crocodiles to just a goal in the last quarter, combine with two more goals of their own meant the Dockers won the 2019 AFLG Grand Final by 19 points. These results mean that the men’s team have now won back-to-back premierships and the women are the inaugural AFLG Women’s premiers for 2019.
Final Scores (AFLG and AFLGW)
Men’s: Hamburg Dockers (9. 6. 60) defeated Berlin Crocodiles (5. 11. 41).
Women’s: Hamburg Dockers (9. 7. 61) defeated Berlin Crocodiles (4. 9. 33).
FINAL POSITIONS CONFIRMED IN DAFL
The month of August saw plenty of action in the DAFL after their summer break in July. Since then, the battle for a spot in the finals has been tightly contested and the battle for final positions in the top four has also been one to keep a close eye on. The game between the Copenhagen Giants and Port Malmo Maulers on the weekend confirmed the final positions for all DAFL teams, and more importantly looking forward, the order of the top four sides to compete in finals. It started off in attacking fashion, with six goals kicked in the opening term as the Giants lead by 14 points. They extended their lead in the second quarter with yet again six goals kicked, four going to the Giants and two for the Maulers, meaning Copenhagen led by 28 points at the main break. The pattern of the game continued in the third, as the Maulers created enough opportunities but the Giants were always a step ahead and extended their lead, thanks to another four goals, to a nearly unassailable 44-points. Both teams continued to attack, with three goals kicked by each side in the final term as the Maulers just couldn’t create enough of a comeback in the last quarter as the Giants won by 45 points to close out the 2019 home-and-away season. After this result, the Farum Cats finished top of the DAFL, with Odense Lions in second followed by the Maulers in third and the Giants in fourth. Finishing in fifth, outside the final were the Aalborg Kangaroos who will be looking ahead to next season.
Final Scores (DAFL)
Men’s: Copenhagen Giants (15. 13. 103) defeated Port Malmo Maulers (9. 4. 58).
DOCKERS RECORD FIRST WIN OF SEASON IN ENTHRALLING ZAGREB DERBY
After a long summer break, the AFL Croatia league got back underway on the weekend with a men’s game and a women’s game, with teams from Zagreb and Sesvete battling it out. In the men’s, it was a Zagreb derby as the Dockers and Hawks did battle. This particular game was a tough battle, as expected between the two teams, and it came right down to the final quarter. The Hawks started off strongly, controlling the game but couldn’t manage to kick away on the scoreboard and as a result, the Dockers kept the belief that they could still get the win. In the second and third quarter, the Dockers edged back into the game and were matching it with the Hawks across the ground in terms of pace, physicality and fitness. Heading into the final quarter, the game was still very much in the balance, and it was the previously winless Dockers who managed to get in front. Despite the Hawks giving their all in the final moments, it was the Dockers who won by just three points to record their first win of the season in a fantastic game of football. This result also had implications on the final standings, and with the Hawks suffering defeat, it meant the Sesvete Double Blues claimed the 2019 Premiership without playing this round. In the women’s game, the Zagreb Panthers took on the Sesvete Redlegs, and it was the Redlegs who ran out as comprehensive winners by 115 points. Despite the scoreline, the Panthers showed glimpses of their potential as they did get on the scoreboard a number of times throughout the match, but they couldn’t keep up with the Redlegs who were too fast and strong as they recorded an impressive victory.
Final Scores (AFL Croatia)
Men’s: Zagreb Cvjetno Dockers (72) defeated Zagreb Hawks (69).
Women’s: Žkan Zagreb Panthers (27) defeated by Žkan Sesvete Redlegs (142).
BLUES WIN DERBY AND PLACE IN GRAND FINAL
Over in Sweden, the two teams competing in this years SAFF Grand Final have been confirmed after a close battle in the Qualifying Final on the weekend. This match had not just a Grand Final spot at stake, but also bragging rights in the south Stockholm derby as the Sodermalm Blues took on the Arsta Swans. It was a close game between the Blues, who finished the season in second place, and the third-placed Swans, with their final positions on the ladder reflecting how close the two teams were in this game. The Blues have had the better of the Swans this season, winning the three home-and-away season games by comfortable margins on each occasion. However, the Swans produced a high level of footy on this occasion and challenged the Blues for the majority of the match. It was an entertaining and attacking match, with 41 scoring shots for the whole game between the two teams, but it was the Blues who took advantage of their opportunities as they kicked 13 goals for the game, highlighting their attacking prowess. For the Swans, they will probably look back and wish that the 10 goals and 13 behinds was different, as they had enough chances to win this game. When the siren sounded at the end of the game, it was the Blues who held on to record a 13 point victory to confirm their place in next weekend’s Grand Final against the Norrtalje Dockers in what is set to be a blockbuster match to decide the SAFF premiers.
Final Scores (SAFF)
Men’s: Sodermalm Blues (13. 8. 86) defeated Arsta Swans (10 .13. 73).
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