The four finalists have been found in the Auckland AFL after the North Shore Tigers handed the University Blues their first loss of the season.
The Tigers led for the majority of the game and defeated the defending premiers at North Harbour Stadium by 19 points. The Mt Roskill Saints locked themselves in for a finals spot with a 15 point with over the Howick Hornets.
Mt Roskill Saints vs Howick Hornets
20th October, War Memorial Park, Mt Roskill.
The Mt Roskill Saints will march into the 2019 Auckland AFL Finals series after they defeated the Howick Hornets by 15 points at War Memorial Park in Mt Roskill.
Howick came out firing as they kicked the first 2 goals of the game and sent the Saints into a bit of shock.
After composing themselves, the Saints got themselves level by quarter time.
It was a tight tussle in the second term as both sides were unable to convert many opportunities. Saints defenders Kirk Murray and Alastair Maisey were phenomenal down back, preventing a number entries into Howicks forward line.
The Saints managed to take control in the second half and once they got themselves out to a 3 goal lead, they slowed the game and claimed their fifth win of the season.
Mt Roskill can breathe a sigh of relief this week as they kicked their goal kicking woes to bed. Newer players Hamish Campbell, Rocky Khan, Tommy Burke and Josh Porter all stood up in the forward line.
North Shore Tigers vs University Blues
20th October, North Harbour Stadium, Albany.
The North Shore Tigers handed the Uni Blues their first defeat of the season with a 19 point win over the reigning premiers.
Conditions at North Harbour Stadium were primed for the top of the table clash with Uni looking to continue their dominance at the top while the Tigers were looking to get some momentum back after a few weeks of inconsistency.
The Tigers were fast out of the blocks kicking a goal within the first minute but University responded quickly with a major and it was evident that this would be a tight fixture from the outset.
The focus for the Tigers was quick ball movement and it seems they have adjusted to playing on the wider spaces at North Harbour. Fast switches of play and movement around the boundaries help set the tempo of the game.
A very close first half with the Tigers going in at the main break with a slight lead.
With some key players out with injuries, the Tigers line-up required some shuffling and the changes seemed to work well with Jake Tucker getting his hands on the ball more frequently while Steve Howard provided some height at the back.
The game was physical throughout and it was evident that the Tigers were slightly hungrier for the ball and came away with it from most contests and stoppages.
Heading into the final quarter 3 goals down, Patrick Landy and Ben Hick were gelling well in the middle of the park and Uni came out firing and kicked 2 goals in quick succession. However; the Tigers continued their run of accuracy in front of goal with some clinical finishes from Jake Foster and Joey Alesich at crucial moments late in the game.
In the end, the Tigers ended with a 19 point win and some much needed momentum heading into the finals.
“The team required a bit of soul-searching as we looked to get back on track. After a robust discussion and a few tweaks here and there, the Tigers are back on task and ready to push for finals footy and ultimately, the flag. Plenty of players stood up today and the team are excited about what can be achieved this season.” Sean Mayes – Coach.
“We as a club didn’t help ourselves today and when you come up against the quality of North Shore that will be exposed everytime. Time to regroup with the break and make a strong run home.” University Coach, Chris Mundell.
Story – AAFL.co.nz