The AFL Finland Grand Final teams are decided after last weekend’s final round of matches in Vaasa. Unfortunately, the host team, the Vaasa Wombats, will not play in the big match. The Helsinki Heatseekers and Turku Dockers have made their way there after the completion of the Finnish home and away season.
Following is the excellent Chairman’s Report after the last round of matches, reproduced on behalf of AFL Finland.
Chairmans Report, FAFL round 3, Vaasa
FINLAND AFL·WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 28, 2019
The third round was kicked off in fantastic weather, the sun was shining and the temperature a humane 18°C.
The games at the awesome Kaarlen kenttä venue was a truly exciting round 3 of Aussie rules in Vaasa.
The DAFL season in Denmark is fast approaching finals with just three games left to complete across two remaining rounds. The Port Malmö Maulers feature in two of those matches, which makes the fight to the finals very interesting.
In recent weeks, the Farum Cats have flexed their muscle with important wins over both the Maulers and the Odense Lions. A narrow win over the Maulers in Limhamn followed by a big win over the Lions sees them sitting pretty with a match to go in first place. With a match to go against bottom team, the Aarlborg Kangaroos, the probably cannot be beaten now for the minor premiership – barring some form of miracle.
However, the Maulers have a game in hand and will most likely finish in second place going into the finals.
Last weekend saw the AFLG semi-finals played in Frankfurt, with both the Hamburg Dockers and Berlin Crocodiles going through to the Grand Final. For the Dockers, they get to retain their title won last year. The Crocs will go to their fourth successive premiership decider.
The Dockers have been the best performed team across the season and will go into the match as strong favourites. Recent form back in Round 9 saw the Dockers down the Crocs by 29 points at home.
Earlier in the season, in Round 7, it was again the Dockers too good for the Crocs to the tune of 45 points. Their Round 2 clash also went the Dockers way by 19 points. When combined with last year’s victory for the Dockers over the Crocs, it is hard to see the Crocs finding whatever they need to reverse trend.
After another flawless season, the Belfast Redbacks have achieved their goal of winning back to bag Irish premierships by downing the Leeside Lions last weekend. In a close and tough encounter, it took until the final term for the heavily fancied Redbacks to shake off the persistent Lions to run out 29-point winners.
The margin seems significant, but probably does little to really show how gallant the Leeside Lions were in defeat, and how hard the Redbacks had to work to defend their title and complete a second successive undefeated season.
The Lions certainly came to play and by half time actually trailed by just seven points. The fact that they also dominated the scoring shots for the half – 11 to 8 – was cause for concern in the Redbacks camp. The Redbacks held sway largely through a better conversion rate on the scoreboard – in general play things were far more even.
Reigning SARFL premiers, the Edinburgh Bloods, had a tough road to negotiate, but they came up trumps last weekend when they downed the Glasgow Sharks in the Scottish Grand Final.
After going down to the Sharks in their semi-final, the Bloods had to negotiate the Tyne Tees Tigers in the Preliminary Final to gain another shot. They did, and after their 44-point win on Saturday, they have retained their title as the best team in Scotland.
In a game “played in great spirits”, the Bloods got away early but only held a four goal lead just after half time. The Sharks could have closed the gap. However, the Bloods sensed danger and by three-quarter time had pulled away to a 42-point lead, effectively ending any chance of a Sharks' revival.
The Edinburgh Bloods have the chance to defend their AFL Scotland/SARFL premiership title when they go on to meet the Glasgow Sharks next weekend in the 2019 Scottish Grand Final. Their solid victory against the Tyne Tees Tigers this weekend confirmed their booking and gives the Bloods a chance to go back to back.
In a tight match, scores were locked to three-quarter time. According to the Edinburgh Bloods Facebook page, “the Bloods are in the Granny! Very hard fought win in horrible windy conditions today. The game was all square until the fourth quarter where we managed to pull away with several unanswered goals. Thanks to the Tigers for a great game and all the best for next season.”
The Bloods and Sharks live on to fight another day for the 2019 premiership, but in many ways the story of the weekend could be the Tyne Tees Tigers. Whilst they would be disappointed to have lost a chance to reach their first ever Grand Final, they should also revel in the success of their best season to date.
The Leeside Lions have pulled off an upset result by defeating the Galway Magpies in the AFL Ireland Preliminary Final to book a place in the 2019 Grand Final. After a solid season from the Magpies, and an at times indifferent season from the Lions, the game proved that history matters little and the best team on any given day will win.
According to the Leeside Lions’ Facebook page, “last Saturday saw the Lions take on the Galway Magpies in the Preliminary Final with the Winner advancing to take on the reigning premiers the Belfast Redbacks in the Grand Final.”
“The Lions hoped to put their disappointing end to the regular season behind them and with the head to head standing at 1 each this season against the Pies the third instalment was always going to be a tight affair.”
The men’s and women’s squads to represent Great Britain (the men’s GB Bulldogs and the women’s GB Swans) have been announced today ahead of the AFL Europe 2019 European Championship to be held in London in October. This is the premier 18 per side international tournament in Europe and the following lists of players have received the honour of representing Great Britain.
The DAFL season in Denmark resumed last weekend after a summer hiatus. Only one game was played to kick things off and it was an important one in the context of finals challengers. The Copenhagen Giants clashed with the Odense Lions, ostensibly in the battle for third place and jostling for best position entering the finals with five rounds left to play.
Going into the match, the Lions were well placed having beaten the Giants last time they played in Round 1. The Lions were also playing at their new home at Bolbro and held third position. However, after an indifferent start to their season, the Giants were on a roll with two wins from their past three matches leading into the break.
The first week of the AFL Scotland SARFL finals was played out yesterday. The Glasgow Sharks continued their impressive season with a solid 25-point win against last season’s premiers the Edinburgh Bloods. In the other semi final, the Tyne Tees Tigers celebrated their first ever finals match across two leagues with an emphatic hammering of the Glasgow Giants by 120 points.
The results see the Sharks book a berth in the 2019 Grand Final and also strengthen their premiership favouritism. The historic win for the Tigers was their first victory in a final in their very first finals match. They now have a second final, at least, taking on the Edinburgh Bloods in the Preliminary Final for the right to challenge the Sharks for the 2019 flag.