University give Waitakere the Blues in Auckland

Tuesday, December 13 2011 @ 10:48 am ACDT

Contributed by: Rod Shaw

Perennial Grand Finalists in Auckland, the University Blues (who last triumphed in 2009) recently defeated the reigning Premiers Waitakere Magpies in the AAFL Grand Final.

The weather looked for a short while like it was coming right when play first started in the Senior GF. The game started at a fast pace and with no rain and a dry ball, handling and the marking skill were excellent. However, it wasn't to last as 10 minutes into the first quarter the rain started again and the wind picked up and with wet under foot conditions the ball soon became like a bar of soap. At the end of the first quarter Uni, who had first use of the northerly wind, lead narrowly 3.4 (22) to Waitakere’s 3.1 (19).

In the second quarter Uni seemed to adapt more quickly to the very slippery conditions and controlled possession with great commitment at the breakdowns though things were again very even on the score board at the end of the qtr with Uni leading 4.11 (35) to Waitakere's 5.2 (32). Waitakere also failed to make good use of the wind and in fact it was only inaccurate kicking by Uni, 1.7 to Waitakere's 2.1 that kept the Pies in the game.

In the third quarter conditions worsened and the game deteriorated, but Uni continued to handle the conditions slightly better. They made good use of the wind kicking 3.1 (19) to the Magpies 1.2 (8) and so improved their lead at three quarter time to 14 points. Uni 7.12 (54) v Waitakere 6.4 (40).

The last quarter started with Uni supporters quietly confident their team was playing well and holding the lead, Waitakere supporters were doing their best to raise their players for a big last quarter and with the wind advantage the game was still there for the taking. Sure enough Waitakere lifted their game with great commitment plus a goal early on followed by a couple behinds had them right back in contention. Then a great goal by Uni's James Monaghan five minutes from full time steadied the ship for Uni and despite a final goal by Waitakere, Uni ran out narrow, but deserved, winners by 6 points as the final siren blew. Waitakere's final qtr 2. 4 (16) to Uni's 1.2 (8) left them rueing what might have been!!

Final score University 8.14 (62) defeated Waitakere 8.8 (56). The Wells Medal for best on ground was won by James Monaghan of Uni for the 3rd time!

In the earlier game the rain came down during the Reserves final between Uni and Mt Roskill. This resulted in a very slippery ball and a game that, as a result, deteriorated into a bit of a scrappy affair. Mt Roskill tried hard all day but Uni's superiority allowed them to resist the challenge to run out comfortable winners 8.6 (54) v 2.4 (16).

Congratulations to University for winning the McKay Rogers Shield for the second year in succession as Reserves Premiers. Hard luck to Mt Roskill who kept at it right to the final hooter. Best on ground medal went to Jacques Bassili of University.

The AAFL also recently held their awards night and the recipients were:-

Best & Fairest Senior Player: Damian McDowell (University)
Runners Up Senior Player: Tabe Voight (Mt Roskill)
Top Goal Kicker: Dusan Hakaraia - 36 goals
Best & Fairest Reserves: Andrew Malcolm (University)
Best & Fairest U 17 : Mitchell Ryan (Nth Shore)
Coach of the year: Leigh Dowie (Manurewa/NPC Coach)
Volunteer Award: Brian Skinner
Umpire of the year: Ian Bull

AAFL All Stars Team 2011

B Clark M Hacket M Ryan
Mt Roskill Waitakere North Shore
J Monaghan C Mundell N Strom
University University University
D Rattenbury A Marsden A Sucu
Waitakere Waitakere North Shore
L Devoy R White F Worthington
Manurewa Manurewa Waitakere
D Moyle C Williams M Boyce
Waitakere University Mt Roskill
Ruck Rover Ruck Rover
S Power D McDowell D McGregor
Manurewa University Waitakere

Interchange: Michael Tagg (Mt Roskill), Connor Ridge (North Shore), Michael Gregson (Waitakere), Jordan Drinkall (University)

Coach: Leigh Dowie

For more see: Magpies pip the Blues for AAFL flag at the AAFL website.

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