Irish Warriors vs Swedish Elks
The third round of men’s games kicked off with the unbeaten Irish Warriors taking on a determined Sweden. Hot and muggy conditions met the players at Motspur Park with both sides struggling personnel-wise following the hard-fought opening rounds.
Buster Sund, fresh from the AFL Europe Coaching Course held on the Wednesday, was running around like a man possessed. Every chance possible he was battering the opposition with his physical presence. When asked what game plan Sweden followed at the coaching course the big Swede simply responded with the words, “we go and smash them”. The Irish will vouch that Buster was following his coach’s wishes on this day.
Despite their typical physical presence, the Swedish side’s ill-disciple cost them with back-to-back fifty meter penalties gifting the Irish the opening goal.
David McElhone was leading from the front in the Irish engine room. The wrecking ball was doing it all both on the inside and lacing out opponents with adept outside work.
Regular Ireland ruckmen, Gavin Murray, was given a reprieve from his usual role and switched up forward for the boys in green. The big man showed his versatility with a big pack mark and goal to register the first of his four goals.
The Swedes were best served by Hampus Olsson down back, who again took numerous intercept marks. His side were left reeling when he went down with a quad strain.
A second quarter surge put the game comfortably in Ireland’s favour as they dictated play at will. Chris Martensson was doing all he could in the Swedish midfield to stem the free-running Warriors.
A massive fire up from now playing coach, Ryan Tucker, had the Swedes raring to go after half time. The Elks dominated the early exchanges but were unable to convert their opportunities. Their defence pressure has been the benchmark for the tournament and they didn’t disappoint in the third term by only allowing two Irish goals.
The Swedes ran out of legs in the fourth term and the class of Ireland shone through. Most notably Muiris Bartley who was running hot with three consecutive goals to cement his spot as one of the star players of the tournament.
A long-bomb from Eoin O’Murchu put the nail in the coffin as the Irish claimed top spot and a place in the AFL Europe Grand Final this coming Saturday.
Their upcoming contest with Great Britain is one of the most highly anticipated matches in recent history especially following their 1-point thriller on Tuesday.
Final Scores: 19.14. 128 to 0.5. 5
Ireland: G. Murray 4, P. O’Connell 3, M. Bartley 3, D. Joyce 2, K. McDonnell 2, E. O’Murchu 2, C. O’Halloran, C. Fitzgerald, C. O’Lordian
Ireland: G. Murray, M. Bartley, D. McElhone, K. O’Brien, D. Joyce, P. O’Connell
Sweden: B. Sund, C. Martensson, J. Lantz, A. Svensson, A. Tellstrom, A. Olsson
GB Bulldogs vs German Eagles
After a mostly overcast and cloudy day the sunshine broke through for what was the final game out of five for day three of the AFL Europe Championships.
The GB Bulldogs had a point to prove after horrible kicking in front of goal against the Irish two days previously halted their chances of beating their arch-rivals.
The big hitting Germans were hoping to take it to one of the bigger AFL nations and wanted to impose their trademark strength at the contest.
Martin Schuttoff started the game strongly for the Eagles while Jason Hill was finding a heap of the pill after switching into the midfield.
David Jordan opened the scoring for the Bulldogs following a nice passage of play along the wing and into the forward flank. A further 3 goals and the Bulldogs went into the quarter time break in a comfortable position.
Jakob Jung of Germany was shown the ultimate respect from the Bulldogs coaching staff who smartly opted to tag the smooth moving midfielder. Despite amazing efforts from both James Talbot and Matt Goodman the classy midfielder worked his way into the game to provide Germany with some solid resistance despite the Bulldogs overall dominance.
A three goal second quarter to GB’s David Hastie allowed the home side to take full control of the match going into the main break.
Bulldog’s veteran, Owain Ryland, showed why he’s one of the most capped players in the squad with a very dominant showing across half-back and through the midfield to start the second half.
All heat was out of the match mid-way through the third term with both sides having one eye on the upcoming finals matches on Saturday.
Warwick continued to work hard in the ruck and gave his midfielders first use in what was a great contest with Germany’s Johannes Orlowski.
The Bulldogs ran out the final quarter with a further three majors.
The final scorecard reading: 18.14. 121 to 0.5. 5
GB Bulldogs: J. Coughlan 3, D. Hastie 3, L. Gedney 2, A. Overton 2, D. Jordan, C. Cooney, M. Sharp, A. Walkden, J. Harvey, J. Hill, M. Kilheeney, M. Whiteley
GB Bulldogs: M. Warwick, G. Dibble, O. Ryland, J. Coughlan, A. Walkden, M. Sharp
German Eagles: J. Jung, M. Preiss, T. Menzel, T. Thormann, M. Thormann, K. Haigh