Match of the Round

 

Last weekend, Milan became the host for the Central European Australian Football League (CEAFL) Tournament. The tournament saw 5 teams from the Central European league battle it out against each other to compete for the top place on the 2017 CEAFL Ladder. The Zagreb Cvjetno Dockers, Sesvete Double Blues, Zagreb Hawks, North West Footy Eagles, and the Styrian Downunderdogs played 12 hard matches throughout the day with the Zagreb Cvjetno Dockers eventually coming away with the victory after defeating the Sesvete Double Blues in an extremely close grand final. See what the top two teams had to say about their tournament experience and their hopes for taking out the CEAFL top spot at the end of the 2017 season.

 

 

Zagreb Cvjetno Dockers:

In the group stages, we first played the Downunderdogs who put up a great fight, but we managed to gain the upper hand and ran away with a 59-17 win. We were surprised by how well some of their younger players performed and they really helped with the Dog’s fast forward skills.

Our next game was up against the Sesvete Double Blues, who we saw as our biggest competition in the Tournament. Thankfully, we managed to take away another win and defeated the blues 52-34. Our third match of the day was against the Zagreb Hawks, who made some fantastic plays but it wasn’t enough for them as we took our third win of the day with a final score of 73-32.

The final match for us in the group stages had us up play the North West Eagles, which was a fairly close game thanks to a few star players on the Italian side, but we were on a roll from our earlier wins and managed to close out the group stages in first place with another victory of 62-25 over the Eagles.

The grand final had us going head to head with the Sesvete Double Blues for the winners of the CEAFL Tournament. It was an extremely tough match and at the end of the 15-minute halves we were tied up at 33-33. The match was forced to go into extra time, and with both teams giving it their all we managed to take them down and kick three more goals with a final score of 57-39. We were ecstatic to win the tournament as this brought us one step closer to being the 2017 winners of the Central European League – if we can win against the Downunderdogs in two week’s time, we will be CEAFL winners for the first time ever.

Sesvete Double Blues:

Our first match of the day was against the Zagreb Hawks, which we won 62-26 although you could tell that our players were struggling to get their momentum rolling in the early match. Our next match had us up against the Zagreb Cvjetno Dockers, and that was a real wake up call for our team. Our two teams are quite evenly matched and are slowly becoming rivals in the CEAFL, and that match eventually went in their favour with a final score of 34-52. We were surprised by their skills – they played faster, marked better, and simply seemed to want the win more.

In the afternoon we played the North West Eagles, a match which started out badly for us – at halftime we didn’t have a point on the board while the Eagles had managed to kick 3 goals and 2 behinds. During the second half, we turned it up a notch and managed to score 3 goals and 4 behinds within the first two minutes of the half. We shocked the Eagles by coming out of the match with a 12-point lead with a final score of 29-17.

We stormed past the Downunderdogs with a 70-12 victory and managed to be placed second in the group stages, meaning we were up to face the Dockers once again in the grand final. The Dockers opened with a quick goal and we spent the whole match chasing them, but we managed to keep up as the match ended with the score tied at 33-33. The Captains decided to play into overtime. We entered the overtime one player short as one of ours was injured and we had no substitutes, but we held our heads high nonetheless. The Dockers opened hard and fast with two quick goals and we were unable to make up the difference in the 5 minute overtime. In the end, the Dockers won 57-39 but our players gave 100% and should be proud of themselves.

 

Congratulations to all 5 teams on their fantastic efforts in the CEAFL tournament. The final standings are as below:

1st place – Zagreb Cvjetno Dockers

2nd place – Sesvete Double Blues

3rd place – North West Footy Eagles

4th place – Zagreb Hawks

5th place – Styrian Downunderdogs