Following a hard-earnt semi final victory over Salo, where the much improved Juggernauts got within 14 points of the undefeated Dockers, the Turku boys spent the week leading up to the grand final getting themselves ready for a tough game against 2012 premiers the Helsinki Heatseekers. Helsinki went into the grand final on the back of some good form, having won their semi final against Vaasa by 58 points.
The third place playoff was taken out by Vaasa, who ran hard all day and were too strong for the Salo side. Both sides played with great spirit and will improve next year following the extra experience that some of their emerging players have gained in 2013.
With third place decided it was time for the grand final. The premiers of 2012 up against the minor premiers of 2013 promised to be a contest worthy of the 5th FAFL grand final, and both sides delivered from the outset.
There was nothing in the match early, with the two sides trading goals as they tested each other out. Eventually it was the Dockers who were able to get out to a small lead with a series of goals through the middle part of the second quarter which took them to a 14 point lead in the shadows of half time, then just seconds before half time some clever work from Turku captain Tomi Virtanen found Anti Vasemägi alone deep in the forward pocket. Anti marked right on the siren and was allowed to take his kick, which he calmly guided home from a tight angle, giving Turku a 20 point lead and valuable momentum heading into half time.
The second half started with two quick goals to the Dockers that took the lead out to 32 points, but Helsinki were quick to answer with two goals of their own and restored the 20 point margin. The quarter continued to ebb and flow, but a couple of late goals to Turku got the margin back out to 32 points in Turku’s favour by the final break.
The pressure that both sides had applied all day didn’t drop off, and in a tight final quarter Turku were able to kick three goals to Helsinki’s one to finish up 43 point winners and 2013 FAFL premiers.
The win made it three premierships in five years for Turku (2009, 2010 and 2013), which sit alongside runners up finishes in 2011 and 2012.
Well done to Adam Vasey from Turku who was awarded the Grant Siermans medal for the best player on the ground (Grant coached the Dockers in 2009-2010 and has a perfect coaching and playing record in FAFL grand finals).
Turku Dockers 3.6 7.6 11.10 14.12 (96)
Helsinki Heatseekers 4.4 4.4 6.8 7.11 (53)
Turku: Lee Grabski 6, Adam Vasey 3, Josh Walker 2, Craig Primmer 2, Anti Vasemägi
Helsinki: Terry Ludeman 4, Brendan Cliffe, Damian Roberston, Aku Immonen