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Thursday, October 01 2020 @ 04:04 pm ACST

Oslo Crows – Our Swedish Cup Story


The following article was written by Tor Ivar Amundsen from the Oslo Crows. It is reproduced here in its entirety with the kind permission of Tor and also the Crows. There is a clear story of development within these words which paints a very bright future for Australian football in Norway. It is just the tonic for the game in Norway as those involved in the game prepare for a range of upcoming international appointments, particularly the Euro Cup.  Over to Tor and AFL Sweden's Swedish Cup in Jönköping...

The Crows came into this tournament with lots of spirit and high hopes to do better than last year. As many remember, last year the Stockholm weather showed us the worst June day since 1904 and they cancelled the tournament after 3 games. That day the Crows lost 2 and won the last.

This year we had perfect conditions, sunny and only a light wind that didn’t have any impact on the play. The Crows line up was a mixed team assembled by Oslo Crows, Ås Battlers and Bergen Bears, and it had never played a game as one team before which made us a little uncertain on what we could expect of ourselves.

We started our first game against Södermalm which everyone had as favourites. We don’t talk much about this game other than the result… 7.4 (46) – 1.0 (6) in the Swedes’ favour, and that Samson and Tor gave a bit of beating in the last couple of minutes which ended in 5 stitches for Samson and a lot of sore players from Södermalm .

The second game was against the reigning Swedish champions, Solna Axemen, and we started well. After the first half the Crows were up 2.1 (13) – 2.0 (12). Everyone played hard, and maybe no one harder than Martin who gave it all and injured his shoulder that left him sidelined for the rest of the tournament. The power forward of Solna proved too difficult to restrain for the inexperienced Crows. The final result showed the score to be 2.3 (15) – 6.2 (38).

Our third game was against Norrtälje and we were finally starting to find each other on the ground. The only problem was that we couldn’t kick straight. 3.7 (25) – 0.2 (2) meant we had the game and the possession but not the number of goals we should have had. Still it was our first victory and we had turned the momentum to our advantage for the remaining games. Matt Stirling got the votes from the umpire and was named player of the game.

When the tally after our game against Gothenburg was done, we had the same problem as in the previous game… We could not kick straight. 3.8 (26) – 1.0 (6) gave us another victory but again without the goals we should kick. It was during this game that Lee kicked a banana goal that must have been the goal of the tournament. Legendary.

Our last game in the group play off was against Karlstad. And we proved to us and everyone else at the field that the Crows were on the go. 7.5 (47) – 3.1 (19) gave us a lot of confidence before heading into the finals. Winning this game also gave us the third spot before the finals. We had played 5 hard games and there wasn’t many players who didn’t have some kind of injury. On top of that a few of us also stepped in and played for other teams who didn’t have enough players after injuries so tired and sore was an understatement. There were a few changes before the finals started because of lack of players at the other teams. The finals was cut down to just the one prelim between Oslo Crows and Södermalm. Solna went to the finals since the 4th placed team couldn’t manage to get enough players.

We were the underdogs and no one left us any chance at beating our opposition. Determined to prove them wrong we played a hard game with Stirlo jumping in the ruck giving the Crows momentum to go forward and keep possession of the ball. Razer (Raymond Bannister) from the Bears kicked a few goals during the tournament and ended up as the Crows leading goalkicker for the tournament in front of Tor and Stirlo.

They kept the Crows in front after half time with 3.2 (20) – 1.1 (7). This was an upset no one thought was possible. The second half turned out to be a thriller. Södermalm kicked 3 quick goals before Stirlo put through the Crows fourth. We lost Hardy with a dislocated shoulder and maybe the game with that injury. Södermalm kicked 2 goals and were up by 5 points when the siren went off.  5.1 (31) to 4.2 (26).

Even though we were disappointed after the game, everyone played as hard and good as they could. Third  place in the Swedish Open is not a bad result. We’ll continue to improve towards next year and by then… Who knows… maybe a Norwegian team can rise up and take the Swedish Championship title?

Editor:  the final saw the Solna Axeman 7.2 (44) defeat Södermalm 3.0 (18) to win the Grand Final and remain undefeated for the tournament.

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