Germany vs Denmark
Denmark have finally broken through for their first win of the tournament by easily accounting for Germany in the opening match of round 3 in the 2013 AFL Europe Championship. Having been narrowly beaten in their first two games, the classy Danes were leaving nothing to chance in this encounter and came out strong from the opening siren.
Led superbly by William Andersen, Mikkel Kjoge and Chris Campion in their midfield, Denmark were winning the majority of ball ups and were able to enter their forward 50 metre zone time and time again.
Denmark’s full forward Mikkel Norlander had his best game of the championship and kicked 4 goals in a dominant display. Rene Toft Palsgaard, Christian Mau Rose and Troels Ottesen were great contributors for the Danish defence and managed to move the ball swiftly into attack whenever they were challenged.
For the Germans, who have been rocked by injuries this tournament, there were some brave performances from Fabian Cordts and Johannes Sartory in their backline and Matthiass Klusemann who made the most of his opportunities by kicking two goals. Jakob Jung and Matthias Oeser were also gallant in the midfield but ultimately no match for the classy and well drilled Danes who ran our eventual winners 60 to 13.
Denmark: Norlander 4, Sorensen, Ottesen, Mau Rose, Campion
Germany: Klusemann 2
Denmark: Andersen, Ottesen, Kjoge, Norlander
Germany: Sartory, Oeser
Great Britain vs Sweden
Great Britain has won their way into the 2013 AFL Europe Championship Grand Final next Saturday with a comfortable 40 – 20 win over Sweden in their round 3 clash.
Great Britain got out to an early lead with goals to David Saunders and Sam Willatt and were able to keep Sweden goalless in the first quarter. They stretched that lead in the 2nd quarter before breaking the game open in the 3rd quarter.
The battle of the midfields was a tightly contested affair for most of the match. Sweden’s Emil Aberg and Johan Lantz saw plenty of the football and were using it well to set up attacks. For Great Britain Sean Walton and Alastair McKinnell were busy and creative.
The difference between the two teams in the end was the effectiveness of the GB forward line who made the most of their opportunities and had dangerous targets in Chris James, Saunders and Willatt. The GB defence was also well served by Mark Ireland, David Gamble and Paul Harris.
Sweden was well served by their excitement machine in Natis Johannson who kicked another amazing goal to add to his tournament highlights. Eric Sahlin and Joel Sprang also looked dangerous when the ball was in their vicinity but weren’t able to shrug the strong British defence for long enough.
Great Britain now head into the Grand Final on Saturday with their confidence sky high and will look to win their first ever AFL International silverware. The match promises to be a great spectacle, especially if they end up playing their great rival Ireland.
Great Britain: 6.4.40
Great Britain: Willatt 3, Saunders, Rich, Kilhenny
Sweden: Johansson, Sprang, Sahlin
Great Britain: Dilieto, Ireland, Ryland, Willatt
Sweden: Aberg, Lantz, Martensson
Ireland vs Croatia
Ireland will meet old foes Great Britain in the Grand Final of the 2013 AFL Europe Championship after easily accounting for Croatia in the last round of the group stages at the DCU Sportsground in Dublin 83 – 7.
Ireland led from the first goal of the match and were rarely challenged by an unusually subdued Croatian team. It was meant to be a battle of the two most physical teams in the tournament but Ireland’s swift ball movement and skilful kicking never allowed their opposition to turn it into a tight tussle.
For Ireland, Captain John O’Regan was again tireless in his running and effective with his ball use. When the game was there to be won, it was Brian Roche at centre half forward who provided the focal point of the Irish attack where he was well supported by Ryan McCloskey and Brian O’Connell. There were eight goal kickers for the Irish in what was easily their highest score of the tournament.
Ireland have now won all three of their games for the tournament, as have Great Britain, who earlier in the day were far too strong for Sweden and sit undefeated at the top of Group B.
It will be an intriguing Grand Final, with Great Britain have nothing to lose having come into this tournament as underdogs against an Ireland team who will have to deal with the expectation of favouritism and the home crowd.
The challenge for Ireland will be in stopping Great Britain’s forward trio of Chris James, Sam Willatt and David Saunders who have dominated every defence they’ve played so far.
Great Britain will be spending the next two days contemplating how to shut down the influence of key play makers O’Regan, James Flavin and Paul O’Halloran.
The Grand Final starts at 5pm this Saturday at the DCU Sportsground in Dublin. Sweden will play Denmark beforehand at 3pm and Germany will play Croatia in the curtain-raiser at 1pm.
Ireland: O’Connell 3, McCloskey 2, Joyce 2, Lenihan, Manning, P. O’Halloran, Roche, C, O’Halloran
Ireland: O’Regan, Roche, Bartley, McCloskey
Croatia: Obad, Cvetko, Murkovic