For this second day of the AFL Europe Championship, all the teams had something to prove. Day 1 produced very tight results, the successful teams wanting to keep their positions at the top of the tables.
AFL Europe Media – Kieran Harte
Swedish Elks vs Croatia Knights
Sweden has kept their tournament hopes alive after overcoming Croatia in round 2 of the 2013 AFL Europe Championship at Dublin’s DCU Sportsground today.
The win leaves Sweden with one win and one loss to date, after succumbing to Ireland on Saturday. This win was set up by Sweden’s skilful midfield, with Natis Johansson, Emil Aberg and Johan Lantz all putting in strong performances and winning much of the ball.
Sweden’s backline also held up well against a tall and physically strong Croatian forward line with Irish born Tony McLoughlin superbly marshalling the troops. The sheer force of Croatian big men Tomislav Cvetko, Tomislav Marsic and Ivan Ivos threatened to tear the game open at stages, but Sweden were able to maintain their composure when Croatia came within a goal late in the last quarter.
There were chances for both teams at the end to win the match before Swedish ruckman David Wahlberg received a free kick for a push in the back inside his own 50 metre zone. He coolly slotted through the goal from 45 metres out to give Sweden a nine point lead before the final siren sounded.
Sweden: Verngren 2, Blondeau, Johansson, Wahlberg
Croatia: Cvetko 2, Molnar, Jospivic, Kravar
Sweden: Aberg, Johansson, Lantz
Croatia: Habljak, Lenic, Cvetko
GB Bulldogs vs Germany Black Eagles
Great Britain has announced itself as a team to be reckoned with in the 2013 AFL Europe Championships after a scintillating 51 point win over Germany. The performance featured match winners all over the ground for the GB Bulldogs, with none better than Anthony Trigg and Sean Walton who worked together to win clearance after clearance.
Helping the dominant midfield convert the opportunities was Chris James who managed to kick a tournament high four goals in the match. He was assisted by the other forwards in Sam Willatt, David Saunders and Mark Todd who made the most of their opportunities.
Great Britain’s defence was also dominant, with strong efforts by Inti Arburo, Mark Ireland and Ollie Dilieto rebounding the ball time after time. The strong defensive efforts of GB’s midfield were also noticeable, led by Mark Ireland, Owain Ryland and Mark Todd.
Germany now find themselves with two losses from two games and are no chance of reaching the Grand Final. They had courageous performances from players Florian Naumann, Johannes Sartory and Matthias Klusemann, but were soundly beaten by Great Britain’s better use of the football and efficiency when going forward.
Great Britain: 9.12.66
Great Britain: James 4, Saunders 2, McNicholas, Todd, Harris
Germany: Jung, Klusemann
Great Britain: Walton, Trigg, Ryland, Dilieto, James
Germany: Naumann, Sartory, Cordts
Irish Warriors vs Denmark Vikings
Ireland has secured a remarkable come from behind victory against Denmark in the second round of the 2013 AFL Europe Championship to have them one win away from the grand final. Two freakish snap goals from Brian Roche and some heroics from James Flavin and John O’Regan in the last quarter saw Ireland overcome a four goal deficit.
Denmark had been the better team for much of the match and had managed to open up and maintain a handy lead against the Irish until late in the game. Matthias Biron was everywhere for the losing side and couldn’t have done much more to drag his countrymen across the line. He was well supported by Christopher Campion, Mikkel Kjoge and William Andersen who were all finding space and showing superior kicking skills to Ireland’s on ball brigade.
Up by 15 points at the last change, it looked like Denmark would be too poised to allow Ireland back into the game. Campion had an opportunity to stretch the lead even further but missed and then suddenly Brian Roche had kicked two remarkable snap goals to have Ireland back in the game.
It was James Flavin who had been one of Ireland’s best players throughout the match who kicked the goal to put Ireland in front with less than a minute to go. A goal on the siren to Paul O’Halloran flattered the final margin for Ireland who ran out eventual 10 point winners in the most entertaining match of the championship to date.
Thursday will now see Ireland play Croatia in the final round at 7pm, in a match that will send them directly through to the grand final if they win.
In the other games for the day, Sweden put their round one loss to Ireland behind them by defeating Croatia. Great Britain overcame Germany to put them through to their first major international tournament final after other results from their group went their way.
If Ireland can overcome the Croatians this Thursday it will lead to a mouth-watering grand final with Great Britain.
Round 3 – 2013 AFL Europe Championship – Thursday August 8th
3pm: Germany v Denmark
5pm: Sweden v Great Britain
7pm: Ireland v Croatia
Ireland: Flavin 3, Roche 2, McCloskey, O’Halloran
Denmark: Soerensen, Ottesen, Starbaek Nielsen, Andersen, C Campion, Mau Rose