In the final round of the Auckland AFL Home and Away season, the Waitakere Magpies claimed second spot and the home semi after fighting off a fast finishing North Shore Tigers.
The Uni Blues have found their form ahead of the finals after dismantling the Mt Roskill Saints by 50 points and Howick Hornets AFL have finished the season strong with a win over the Manurewa Raiders.
Manurewa Raiders vs Howick Hornets
10th November, Mountfort Park, Manurewa.
Both Howick and Manurewa missed out on Finals footy and this game was all about playing for pride.
The Raiders started strong by winning early ball and had forward momentum.
First goal went to the home side and then it was blow for blow as 8 goals were kicked in total in the first term.
Hornets first year players Dylan Pearce and Jackob Campbell were playing well in the forward line and used their pace to get through the Manurewa defensive line.
In the second quarter, the Hornets regained their focus and upped their running game to extend their lead to 4 goals at halftime. Ball magnet Jay Green was weaving his magic while Brad Martin was also having a strong game.
Manurewa started the third quarter with a quick goal from the first bounce but that’s as good as it got for both sides as the rain started pour down over Mountfort Park.
In the final quarter, Manurewa had a number of opportunities in front of goal but were unable to convert and Howick managed to close the game out and took out their last game of the season winning by 5 goals.
“The guys can hold their heads high with today’s game. We were competitive for longer today and signs are looking good heading into the 2020 season.” Jordan Thompson, Manurewa.
Mt Roskill Saints vs University Blues
10th November, War Memorial Park, Mt Roskill.
University have found form at the right time of the season as they crushed a hapless Mt Roskill by 50 points on Sunday.
As it has been many a time with Mount Roskill in Round 10 it was a wet and physical affair.
After a tight first quarter, the Saints were playing some good footy early. Kirk Murray was strong in the ruck and was providing some quality ball to his midfielders while Al Maisey was working hard in defence for the Saints.
As the weather deteriorated, Uni came to life, stringing together skills and ball movement that ignored the weather and allowed our Forwards multiple attempts at the ball.
It was the middle two quarters where the damage was done as the Blues kicked numerous unanswered goals to reinforce to the league what they can produce after a couple of off weeks.
Sam Anderson was providing a big target in the forward line for the Blues and Ben Hick, Liam Beattie and Chris Bailey were all doing their job in the centre of the ground.
Mt Roskill rallied in the final quarter and penetrated the ball into their forward line but wayward kicking cost them on the scoreboard.
For University, it was a great way to finish the regular season off as Minor Premiers but even more importantly, a strong message to North Shore, Waitakere and Mt Roskill heading into the finals.
“Great to bounce back to Uni footy and put together all we have been working on – especially after a couple of lean weeks. The real work starts now and we cant wait. Finals footy is a different beast and we will need to be on from the first bounce if we are to ensure we have the chance to play for the big one.” Chris Mundell, University.
“University were a much better team on the day. I thought we competed well in both the first and last quarter, but need to be on our game for 4 quarters. That is our challenge heading into next week.” Sam McKenzie, Mt Roskill.
Waitakere Magpies vs North Shore Tigers
10th November, Parrs Park, Oratia.
The Waitakere Magpies have capped off a magnificent back end of the season as they defeated a fast finishing North Shore Tigers to make it 7 wins in a row.
Conditions were slippery and muggy for the much anticipated contest between the Magpies and Tigers.
It’s always a physical game between these two teams and Sunday was no exception.
The Magpies raced out to an early lead after getting on top for most of the first quarter and the Tigers defence was found searching with plenty of Magpies players finding open space and converting well.
A much improved second quarter from the Tigers saw them using the ball with purpose and getting it forward. Although they kicked a couple of goals, they continued to concede.
Tigers strong man Justin Du Toit was among all the action as expected leading the way with Jake Tucker, Josh Cunliffe and Nathan Spoonly all hungry for the ball.
The Magpies however; were able to get the ball more cleanly and move it around with greater success. Zac King and Andrei Gumtau were proving too strong playing off the half back line.
In the last quarter the Tigers came out with a renewed purpose and swiftly kicked 4 unanswered goal thanks to the agility of Josh Cunliffe and Troy Brown.
A few nervous moments for the Magpies but the damage had already been done as they won the game by 9 points
“A consistent message and a building performance base is giving us a chance to get better each week.” Lance Grey, Waitakere Coach.
“Not the result we wanted today but we get a chance to redeem ourselves next week in the game that matters. We welcome back a few key players for the semis and we are confident that the we can get the job done. Very proud of our guys that we fought hard to the end. Always a hard and fast game against Waitak – thanks for hosting us and we look forward to next week.” Dan Pearce, Tigers Captain.
Story – AAFL.co.nz