Port Malmö 7.16 (58) defeated North Copenhagen 3.14 (32)
Port Malmö started the 2009 campaign with a home victory over a determined North Copenhagen outfit. In a tough game, played in sunny but extremely blustery conditions at Limhamnsfältet, the home team ran out deserved 26 point victors.
On the back of a premiership last season and having thumped Jutland the previous week the Barracudas would have felt at least a little confident of winning at Limhamn for the first time since a 6-point victory in 2005.
They arrived, however, without a number of key players from last years team including double stitch-medallist Tim Feldtmann who has returned to Australia and goal-kicking machine Erik Krolmark. Feldtmann however has been replaced with Steven Wood who, whilst not quite at Feldtmanns’ level, will no doubt be a big success in DAFL.
Port Malmö it seemed had more fire-power up forward than their Danish counterparts but the uneven Limhamn surface would soon even the stakes in this department as Port lost Daniel McClaer and Fredrik Arnstrup to ankle injuries inside 10 minutes.
North had opted to kick with the strong breeze first up and, after a scrappy Maulers goal early on from Gaetan Blondeau, landed their first maximum through Eliud Schmidt who was impressive throughout. Stubborn Malmö defence coupled with some seemingly wasteful kicking meant the pressure did not result in goals and with little time left in the quarter Port sneaked another 6-pointer through Daniel Scotford. This meant a slender and unexpected lead at the first break for the home team.
Port would soon discover that the swirling wind was one of the reasons for the Barras inability to score heavily. Despite dominating for practically the whole quarter they could only muster 2.5 with goals from David Page-Brown and Best-on-Ground contender Aaran Higgins ( a great snap after a ruck tap-down from the pocket).
North Copenhagen needed to buck the low-scoring trend in the 3rd quarter (their last with the wind) if they were to be in with a shout. Despite long-range speculative goals from Wood, whose elusive running caused problems all day, and Nikic, they were unable to put themselves in good scoring positions regularly and had to be content with 2.4 whilst Port struck two behinds to keep their noses in front.
Only a monumental effort would keep from the Barras would deny Port Malmö victory and despite a few surges in to the forward 50 no real pressure materialised and Malmö, after kicking 5 or 6 straight behinds, were able to run-out comfortable winners with goals from Higgins, Paul Persson and David Verngren, who did a fantastic job starting in the ruck in just his third DAFL game.
Port Malmö will no doubt be satisfied to have opened with full points but both teams no doubt have a lot more to offer. It will be an interesting return encounter and the whole DAFL season promises to be tighter than in previous seasons. Helsingborgs’ shock round 1 win over the Crocs’ was proof of that…
Port Malmö Best: Aaran Higgins, Chris Parker, Paul Persson, Tony Persson, David Verngren, Denis O’Riordan