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.
DOCKERS DOWN THE BLUES IN SAFF GRAND FINAL
On a sunny but breezy September day in Stockholm, the Norrtaljie Dockers played the Sodermalm Blues in the battle to become the 2019 SAFF Premiers. During the home-and-away season, the Dockers had just edged the Blues to the minor premiership thanks to a superior points differential and over the three games during the season, the Dockers recorded two wins. However, the Blues had won the most recent encounter, thanks to a one-point victory in the final game of the regular season and as a result, had the momentum heading into the final match of the season. It was a physical start, with plenty of bumps, tackles and talk between the two teams which saw the Blues hold a two-point lead at quarter-time. The start of the second quarter was just as tight, with neither side able to register a score for the opening seven minutes before the Dockers gained control and kicked three quick goals. The Blues managed to reply with one goal just before half-time to keep the game in the balance, with the Dockers leading by 15-points at the main break. In the third quarter, the Blues closed the margin to single digits but after some tactical changes, the Dockers started to gain back some control and with that, the momentum of the game. By the end of the ‘premiership quarter’, the Dockers were ahead by 32 points and didn’t look back from there. Despite the Blues getting a goal early in the last quarter, the Dockers controlled the match and extended their lead to 42 points by the end to claim the 2019 SAFF premiership.
Final Scores (SAFF)
Men’s: Norrtalje Dockers (14. 10. 94) defeated Sodermalm Blues (7. 10. 52).
JETS DOMINATE THEIR WAY TO INAUGURAL AFL SWITZERLAND PREMIERSHIP
Saturday saw the first-ever AFL Switzerland season conclude with the Grand Final between the Geneva Jets and the Basel Dragons. It has been a successful first season for the new league, and with the introduction of a new team in Zurich, growing the senior competition to four teams, it’s only going to get even bigger and better over the next few years. One of the unique aspects of the Swiss league is the fact that it is a mixed competition, with adjusted rules for tackling, allowing for anyone to take part and get involved. Saturday’s game highlighted the growth of the game in the country, with Basel, based in the north, travelling to take on Geneva who is in the south-west of the country. The Jets have been the benchmark all season, losing just one game way back in May during the opening round, however that was against the Dragons, so Basel knew they could take it up to the minor premiers. Unfortunately for the visitors, they came up against a Jets team that was in top gear as the home side dominated for nearly the whole match. Despite the scoreline, the Dragons still made the Jets work for every contest, mark and goal, but the class of the hosts was too much over the course of the match. When the final siren sounded, the Jets had been too strong thanks to their efficiency, pace, physicality and experience around the ground as they secured a massive 174 point victory to claim the first-ever AFL Switzerland Premiership.
Final Scores (AFL Switzerland)
Mixed: Geneva Jets (32. 19. 211) defeated Basel Dragons (4. 7. 31).
TURKU TOO HOT FOR HEATSEEKERS IN GRAND FINAL
After a close season, the battle for the Finland AFL Premiership was decided on Saturday as the Turku Dockers and Helsinki Heatseekers played out an exciting end to the season. It was the Dockers who came out firing in the opening quarter, keeping four unanswered goals as the Heatseekers couldn’t stop the momentum their opponents started with. The second quarter started in a similar fashion, with the Dockers adding a further two goals to lead by 39 points halfway through the second quarter. However, the Heatseekers clicked into gear and started to find more of the football which resulted in them creating a number of opportunities and with that, they kicked two goals, reducing the margin to 25 points at half-time. Due to both sides suffering injuries, the two teams started to slow down, with fatigue setting in. As a result, there were no goals kicked in the third quarter, with the ball spending lots of time movingbetween the two defences. The Dockers had managed to sneak ahead to 27 points thanks to four behinds to two in the quarter. Heading into the last, the Heatseekers just couldn’t keep up with the Dockers, who were more physical and faster with the ball which resulted in a further two goals in the last term as the Heatseekers could only manage the one major. When the final siren sounded to signal the end of the 2019 Final AFL season, it was the Turku Dockers who recorded a 32-point victory and with it, the highly sought after premiership.
Final Scores (Finland AFL)
Men’s: Helsinki Heatseekers (3. 7. 25) defeated by Turku Dockers (8. 8. 56).
ACCURATE KICKING SECURES GRAND FINAL SPOT FOR ODENSE
In Denmark on Saturday, the Odense Lions hosted the Port Malmo Maulers in a contest that would decide who would play in the Grand Final, while the season will be over for the other team. These two sides played just two weeks ago, with the Lions coming out on top by 17 points on that occasion. This match was even closer, going right down to the wire. It was the home side who started strongly, kicking three goals in the opening term, but the Maulers kept in touching distance with a goal of their own as the Lions lead by 11 points at the first break, with both sides having three scoring shots. The momentum changed in the second term, as the Maulers kept the Lions scoreless with some impressive work in defence, while also scoring two goals of their own as they took a four-point lead into half-time. During the third quarter, the game changed once again with the game opening up as the Lions kicked four goals, while the Maulers kicked three to see the scores level going into a crucial last quarter. The match opened up as both teams looked to take the game on and attack at every opportunity. The Maulers kicked three goals, but also kicked four behinds which would ultimately cost them as the Lions kicked four goals of their own to see them record a massive three-point victory when the final siren sounded. In the end, the accuracy of the Lions helped them reach this years DAFL Grand Final, while the Maulers will be rueing their missed chances. The Lions will be taking on the minor premiers of the DAFL, the Farum Cats after they defeated the Copenhagen Giants on Saturday. The Cats lead by just two points at the first change, and the Giants kept their opponents to just one goal in the second quarter as the Giants lead by 23 points at the main break as an upset looked on the cards. However, an eight-goal third quarter from the Cats changed the game and they didn’t look back from there on their way to a 33-point victory to secure a place in next Saturday’s decider against the Lions.
Final Scores (DAFL)
Men’s: Odense Lions (11. 3. 69) defeated Port Malmo Maulers (9. 12. 66).
Farum Cats (15. 11. 101) defeated Copenhagen Giants (10. 8. 68).
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