The St Petersburg Cats have added another trophy to their ever-growing cabinet by taking out this year’s first ever Baltic Cup to be played in Tallinn, Estonia. The event saw teams from Russia, Finland, Sweden and Poland compete for the honour of being the best Baltic team.
The Cats and the Russian Bears headed to Tallin to meet the Helsinki Heatseekers from Finland, Norrtälje Dockers from Sweden and the newly formed Polish Devils. In the end, after 10 round matches, it was the Cats team which took the title from the Dockers, benefitting from the tie-breaker clause which said that if two teams tied in top spot, the victor would be whichever team won from their earlier encounter.
The Farum Cats have brought to an end the Odense Lions fairy-tale by taking out the DAFL 2019 premiership. Whilst going into the match as firm favourites, the Cats lived up to the hype across the match before running out 76-point winners.
Any hope of a Lion upset was snuffed out early with the Cats kicking five unanswered goals for the opening term. Whilst the Lions kicked two of their own in the second quarter to outscore the Farum team, it wasn’t enough to significantly bridge the gap as the Cats went to the main break still 28 points ahead.
The premiership quarter proved to be just that as the Cats virtually sealed the game, kicking six goals to one and going into the final term with an even 10 goal lead. The final quarter would see the Lions play for pride and the Cats play for dominance.
They saved their best game of the year for last, but the Oslo Crows won the 2019 Kenguru Cup downing the As Battlers. In doing so, the Crows have defended their title from last year and raised the stakes ahead of the 2020 season for the Battlers to keep searching for a premiership winning formula.
In our World Footy News match preview (see: Kenguru Cup Grand Final This Weekend), the case was hinted that the Crows had turned a slow start to the season around and were showing good form. A narrow loss in their Round 3 clash was followed by their first win over the Battlers in Round 4. That change in form held true and the Crows were too good come the final.
It has been a massive year for the Norrtälje Dockers in the Stockholm Australian Football Federation (SAFF), culminating in a second premiership for the club. Downing the Södermalm Blues in the Grand Final was the icing on a pretty impressive cake in 2019.
The city hosted the 2019 Euro Cup back in June, and impressed the entire European footy community with a well-run tournament – a massive undertaking for any city. However, all that energy expended on the event made no difference to the Dockers’ charge to a Grand Final berth, nor did the team run out of breath on the big day, proving too strong for the Blues by 42 points.
The following excerpt from the http://www.afleurope.org website sets the scene across the season for both teams in the lead-up to the big match:
The AFL Norway Kenguru Cup comes to its conclusion this weekend in Voldsløkka Idrettspark (Oslo) when the As Battlers take on the Oslo Crows in the hope of reclaiming the title. Having won the minor premiership after the four rounds of the Kenguru Cup, the Battlers go into the Grand Final as favourites, but nothing is certain.
Across the four rounds this season, the Battlers won the opening two matches comfortably, setting up a feeling that Oslo would have to improve dramatically. But, they did. Round three saw the Crows get out to a 15-point lead over the Battlers before being run down. Then in Round 4, the Crows held on for a 3-point win in a very tight battle.
It suggests that whilst the Battlers still deserve slight favouritism this weekend, without doubt the Oslo Crows are coming for them. Form is a great thing and as it stands, the Crows are in arguably their best form for the season.
The first full season of the new AFL Switzerland competition has finished in emphatic fashion after the Geneva Jets put their opponents to the sword by a whopping 180 points in the inaugural Grand Final. The match, played at the Centre sportif de Vessy in Geneva, capped off a grand season for AFL Switzerland.
The match itself saw the Jets assume control of the match early and never relinquish that advantage. The score line suggests a very lopsided match, and in some way, it was. However, the score doesn’t reflect the efforts of the Basel Dragons – the losing grand finalists – as they tried all they could to stem the flow of scoring from the Jets.
Basel has defeated Geneva earlier in the season, proving they would be a worthy challenger. However, the longer the season went, the better the Jets got, and come Grand Final day the Jets had peaked. In the end, the scoreline saw the Geneva Jets 32 19 211 defeat the Basel Dragons 4 7 31.
One of Essendon’s first off-season moves since being put out of the 2019 AFL Premiership race has been to secure another talented Irish footballer. The move to secure Ross McQuillan has been in motion for some time, but as the following story from the Essendon Football Club states, McQuillan has now been locked in.
Essendon will have a second Irishman donning the sash in 2020, following its signing of Ross McQuillan as an international rookie.
The new deal will see McQuillan join the red and black until at least the end of 2021, linking up with fellow countryman Conor McKenna.
Growing up playing Gaelic football for St Patrick’s in Northern Ireland, the 20-year-old will relocate to Australia to pursue his AFL career.
McQuillan’s impressive efforts in Gaelic football won him recognition as a forward in the 2018 EirGrid GAA Football U20 All Ireland team. The talented athlete also represented Northern Ireland in basketball.
In Finland, there is a new power back in town. The 2019 FAFL premiers, the Turku Dockers, have broken the four premiership streak of the Helsinki Heatseekers to be crowned Finnish premiers. It is the fifth flag for the Dockers, equalling the tally of the Heatseekers. The Waasa Wombats have a title, winning back in 2011.
The victory is even more joyous as the club has had some tough times in recent years, so to come back from those setbacks and take a premiership speaks volumes for the players, club, supporters and backers who had stayed the course and rebuilt the club.
Heading into their Grand Final, The Turku Dockers had met the Helsinki Heatseekers on three occasions across the season. Helsinki won their Round 1 clash by 18 points, and later in Round 3 by a narrow three points. But in between, the Dockers won their Round 2 encounter in Turku by 27 points, which in retrospect might have been a pointer to their premiership win.
For a club that was born in 2013, the Odense Lions have done remarkably well. Whilst they received the requisite hidings in their early days, the club was in raptures back in 2016 when they reached the DAFL finals for the first time. Just to make sure it wasn’t a fluke, they returned to finals action in 2017 as well.
In both campaigns, the club was unceremoniously dumped in their only finals outing. Their 2016 final against the Copenhagen Barracudas saw a 137-point whacking, and their exit at the hands of the Farum Cats in 2017 saw a 93-point deficit.
Sad ends to promising seasons, but it is no real surprise, in retrospect, that 2018 became a year of recalibration for the Lions. The club took the wooden spoon yet the stirrings of 2019’s efforts were there.