Maulers fight-back secures double chance!
Port Malmö 13.7 (85) def. Copenhagen 9.11 (65) A decimated Port Malmö ground out it’s eigth win of the campaign on Saturday to ensure the all-important double chance in the finals. In the absence of a number of key players, Port proved that the squad has more depth than at any time previously by overcoming a determined, if undermanned, Copenhagen side.Having won the first quarter in every game this season thus far, Malmö were on the receiving end this time around with the Crocs making a rousing start and the home team looking sloppy and lethargic. The Crocs were crowding the centre and not allowing Port any time to settle. The high-pressure game reaped rewards with 8 scoring shots (4.4) to 3 (2.1) for the quarter. A significant upset was on the cards.
After the rude awakening, Malmö returned for the second quarter with renewed vigour. The introduction of Alfred Bengtsson in the ruck meant Higgins and Ward started to win a lot more ball. Coach Page-Brown started to figure strongly upon his return from injury and the ball was finding it’s way more regularly in to the forward 50. The Maulers kicking for goal was immaculate with only a Crocs hand just touching the ball on the line stopping a return of 7.0. However, after the nightmare first term a score of 6.1(37) in the 2nd was welcome relief. Port had hit the front. The Crocs kept themselves in the hunt with 3.1(19) for the quarter meaning just 3 points seperated the sides at half-time.
The momentum had swung the way of the Maulers and the Crocs were seemingly starting to tire. They mustered a mere 3 behinds for the 3rd quarter at what had, thus far, been ‘the scoring end’ whilst Malmö were able to make better use of their four scoring shots with 2.2(14).
The 14-point gap opened up was by no means insurmountable and the Crocs scored the first two goal of the final term to bring themselves within striking distance. However, a final push from the slightly fitter Maulers was enough to see them over the line with a far-from-comfortable 20-point cushion.
Alas, Port travel to Farum in a game that will decide who gets home advantage in the first semi-final. Having despatched of Farum earlier in the year Port can carry some confidence forward but doubtless the Cats will be far less obliging on their home patch especially with so much at stake. Should be an absolute cracker!
Port Malmö best: Ward, Higgins, Blondeau, Page-Brown, McMahan