University and Mt Roskill storm in the 2018 Grand Final

The 2018 Auckland AFL Grand Final will be contested by the University Blues and the Mt Roskill Saints after the best two sides in the competition won their respective semi finals.

 

University made a fast start in their game to pull away early and even with a late fightback from the North Shore Tigers, the margin was too big to peg back.

The Mt Roskill Saints were just too good for the Waitakere Magpies running out six goal winners.

The Grand Final will be played next Saturday the 24th of November at QBE Stadium with ball up from 2.00pm.

The reserves Grand Final will start at 11.00am and will be contested by the Mt Roskill Saints and Howick Hornets.

 

University Blues vs North Shore Tigers

18th November, Colin Maiden Park, Glen Innes.

The defending champions, North Shore Tigers travelled to Colin Maiden Oval to take on this year’s minor premiers, the University Blues.

After dropping their first game for the year in the previous week to the Mt Roskill Saints, the Blues had a clear focus playing their brand of footy.

On a special day for the club, University remembered former player Niki Dow and the Blues were out to set the tone early.

A three goal opening quarter saw them dominate the game with consistent pressure and ball movement at every contest.

The second quarter was much of the same but as the quarter went on North Shore started to wrestle back into the game keeping the Blues to only three goals for the quarter.

The University backline, led by Harison Manks managed again to keep the Tigers to only the one behind and went into the half time break without a goal against their name.

North Shore rallied somewhat in the 3rd quarter kicking the opening two goals thanks to a move forward by Dane Strickland and strong influence from Rob Mostert.

With the Tigers getting more time with the footy in hand, they started to look dangerous but the mistakes kept coming with easy turn-overs and lack of discipline resulting in quick conversions by University.

Dan Howie and Patrick Landy tussled it out in the ruck as both players were named in each side’s best.

The final quarter saw a big task in-front of the Tigers who fought to the very end but it was to be the Blues day as they put themselves through to the big dance once again with a 46 point victory.

“It’s always great to get through to the Grand Final, as a club we have done a lot of work both on and off the field to give ourselves this opportunity once again. We are looking forward to what is always a great battle with Roskill in what will be the game of the year.” Blues Head Coach

“Not the way we would have liked to finish the season but the team had the belief that we could go back-to-back but Uni were just too strong today. A few things to work on during the off-season but the Tiger Army will be back bigger and better next year. Thank you to all of our players, coaching & support staff, supporters and families for a great season. We’ll be back.” Fraser Stevens – North Shore Tigers Coach.

Best:

University: Harrison Manks, Sam Anderson, Ben Hick, Patrick Landy  

North Shore: Dan Howie, Dane Strickland, Rob Mostert, Ty Smith

 

Mt Roskill Saints vs Waitakere Magpies

18th November, War Memorial Park, Mt Roskill.

Mt Roskill were aiming for their first Grand Final since 2013 and Waitakere were looking to make their third in as many years when both sides met at War Memorial Park.

Waitakere caught some back luck in the warm up when Nico Donnell-Brown suffered a hamstring injury which left him sidelined for the game.

They say that bad luck comes in three’s and after a intense start to the game, key Waitakere squad members Shane Leat and Jordan Pereira also suffered injuries early on.

Mt Roskill were able get the jump early on the Magpies as they managed to clear the ball out of the contest and into space which lead to three first quarter goals.

Ben Curtis was able to bring some skill and intensity into the ruck, working with Tristan Burnett and Will Dickinson and Callum McLean playing as a defensive midfielder stopped Waitakere getting clean ball around the contest.

Saints winger Logan Selvadurai showed off his running ability in the second quarter, getting free out on the wing and pushing up field for Roskill, being rewarded with goals.

2018 Golden Boot winner, James McKenzie was leading hard as a forward, though the forward entries weren’t always to advantage with some good pressure being applied from the Waitakere defence.

Waitakere edged a goal back in the third term through Obe Porter but the Saints responded well through Will Dickinson who brought the intensity to the contest and working hard for the footy.

The Roskill forward line had to move up the field to help the midfield out, Trent Morrissey leading the way with his tackle count around the contest.

Waitakere kept fighting for all four quarters but it was Roskill who kicked the first goal of the quarter to push the game out to a 6 goal deficit, making it a bridge too far as they ran out 37 point winners.

“Waitakere came hard like we knew they would, but I was really proud how we stuck to our jobs and didn’t let them get much of a run at us. Excited to be back in the Grand Final for the first time since 2013. Great reward for what we’ve been trying to implement at the club both on and off the field.

We know next week is going to be tough, but as we have all season we’ll be putting our best foot forward and looking to enjoy it.” Saints Captain, Sam McKenzie.

“A huge thank you to all involved with our season, all the players who have contributed and the volunteers and sponsors who have put in the hard yards to keep us going. Special mention to Craig Goodhue for helping us get this far this season and to Stephen Allen who is the glue that holds the Magpies together. A few mentions to Declan Crann, Zac King, Eugene Hanna who put their had up today to push us deep into the game. KaKaa!!!” Magpies Captain, Shane Leat.

Best:

Mt Roskill: Ben Curtis, Lachie Stewart, Tristan Burnett, Logan Selvadurai

Waitakere: Zac King, Declan Crann, Eugene Hanna, Nick Bailey

 

Story – AAFL.co.nz