With most of the guys making the trip to Jylland showing their age and Tim “the Panther” Bradford assuring us he had a sure thing in Lund that evening it became Port Malmö football clubs first ever trip to Jylland without at least one car load staying for the after party on the infamous “street” of Ålborg.
With that in mind a small contingent of 10 players made the enduring 7hr round trip bolstered by the always amusing “Dancing” Pat. In hot conditions and a strong wind blowing to one end Gladiator Mårtensson lost the toss and had us working into the wind in the first qtr.
With a mistake by the time keeper giving us a mini-break in the middle of the first quarter we were able to withstand an early albiet wayward onslaught by Randers and take control of the qtr kicking 5.4 to 0.5.
Randers managed the first goal of the second qtr but that would be there only joy in a qtr where Malmö put the foot down kicking 10 goals due mainly to the instoppable Dave Vergren, tireless bullocking in the middle by Simmo and perfectly timed runs out of the back half from Tim.
Any attempt at forrays forward by Randers was swiftly quelled by the sturdy defence of Will and Tony P.
After a dirty tackle by big Jens Djernes on yours truly which resulted in swift retaliation from Simon we found ourselves a man down for most of the 3rd qtr as Simons open hand jab on Jens saw him sent off amid disgruntled Malmö players. Randers took this advantage and managed to kick two unanswered goals during the qtr.
With Malmö coming home with the wind and Ryan really dominating in the ruck the midfield of Chris M, Sime and myself got on top sending the ball countless times into attack. With Jonas up forward playing his first full game for the club and Dancer in everything the Maulers finished with 6 goals to nothing to run out convincing winners. Dave Vergren kicking a new club record haul of 11 goals along the way, Dancing Pat 3 in a solid performance and 2 each to Mårtensson, Ward (claims 3 ) and myself.
With one victory a piece, over their two previous Dafl meetings, there was a lot riding on saturdays Skåne derby, down at limhamnsfaltet. The forecast was for clear-skys with a chance of stormy weather but there was little sign of the stormclouds which had overshadowed the previous encounters of these two Dafl Premiership Contenders.
The Saints travelled with close to a full strength team with three noticable absenties being Messrs Antoin, Max & Robyn. The home team however, struck down with recent injuries & family commitments, were missing a veritable smorgasbord of influential players. A mountain had to be climbed and we had to pack a big game plan and an endless supply of resolve to have any sniff of victory.
With the sun beating down on the oval the ball was thrown up between Mauler’s Curly Giant and Helsingborg’s counterpart, David. The Saints man proved to be a strong addition for his team but it was Curls and Chris who edged the rucking contests throughout the afternoon. The first quarter was a quick succession of attack and counter attack opening up big pockets of space in the center. Malmo had a clear game plan to pick out the safe hands of inform Dave V. & Gates in the forward lines. Malmo’s tenacious full back Tony Persson, celebrating his 100th game for the Club, also placed as a target man up forward for the day- proving his versatility as a player for the Club. The Saints played to their strengths working the ball to playmakers Emil, Andy & Lantz and switching the play across the breadth of the oval. The Maulers starting off more alert to the dangers Helsingborg posed, than in their previous meeting. The quarter ended 20 a piece. With nothing seperating the teams this is pretty much how it played out for the first three quarters.
The 2nd and 3rd quarters seen Malmo’s midfield (Messrs Curls, Chris, Az & Baz) impose more authority on the game- plugging the open spaces, detering Helsingborg attacks and winning the majority of contested balls in the center. Although Malmo having more opportunities infront of goal it was Helsingborg who seemed to capitalise more on the possesion they got. They moved the ball well out to their running half back lines who delivered quality ball into the Maulers back line. It was here that countless advances were twarted by a sterling defensive display by the Aussie duo Ben & Tim. Ben putting his body on the line by throwing himself into countless tackles and smoothering Helsingborg attacks whilst Tim soared above Chocs, on several occasions to spoil or take the mark. Not an easy task by any means! Levesque, as ever, was a pillar of strength in the back-line calling the shots and utilising his wide shoulders- providing shepards & bumps to provide space for his team mates.
The few occasions that Malmo looked like pulling away was when they passed the ball around and started to dictate the pace of the game. Upfront when the Maulers hit their target men it boosted their belief and confidence in their play- as witnessed in previous games this season. With the addition of Mauler Legend Danny Johncock, making his 150th appearance, and Matty lacing-up for the afternoon, meant that there would scores on the board. Matty ratching up 4 for the afternoon and celebrating in typical Matty fashion. Three quater time and both teams squared at 54-54.
Entering the fourth quarter the Mauler outfit felt that the game was there for the taking. Malmo started off the stronger getting the ball out of the center into the forward line. Baz slotted away maulers first of the quarter. Unfortunately with a dislocated finger and a nasty gash to his leg, that needed seeing to, this was the last action he seen of the the afternoon. Over the following minutes the ball hardly left the ground in the center circle as both teams scrambled to get a hold of the ball and control the dying moments of the game. It was Helsingborg who broke free and launched a few balls deep into the Maulers back line. A few lucky bounces in tandem with a good sense of positioning placed Chocs in right place at the right time to slot away a few late tap-ins for the Saints. Despite a late flurry by the Maulers the wind was well and truly knocked out of the sails. The game ended 68-85 to Helsingborg and with that the stormclouds blew in and rainclouds descended…
Not to end on a depressing note Malmo are still sitting pretty, top of the table, ahead of Helsingborg on goal difference. Both Farum teams have played less games and look likely to close the gap in the coming rounds. As it stands, it looks likely to be one of these 3 clubs who will go onto winning this years Premiership. This coming weekend see’s Malmo take their yearly pilgrimage to Jutland, to face the Randers Dockers. Malmo haven’t a game until July after this so if there’s any Maulers out with a healthy stash of brownie Points to cash in, this is the time. Travelling in numbers will almost surely steer us on course again and back to winning ways!
/C’mon The Black n’ Blues
4 weeks in 5 lines
2 weeks ago (11 May): PMFC v Farum Cats. Final Score Farum 10.9.69 def by PMFC 14.5.89. Epic last quarter, with Malmö scoring 31 pts to 0.
1 week ago (17 May): PMFC v Helsingborg. Final Score Helsingborg 17.11.113 def PMFC 13.9.87. Just couldn’t do it.
This week (25 May): Malmö GAA in Scandinavian Regional Series, Round 1 at Malmö. Women’s team, 1st. Men’s A-team, 3rd. Men’s B-team wins peoples award (and wooden spoon).
Also this week (25 May): Skåne Giants vs Stockholm in AFL Sweden Regional Series Rd 2. Game played as 10-a-side. Final Score Stockholm 82 def Skåne 81. Done in the last kick of the match.