The Waitakere Magpies are 2016 Auckland AFL Champions as they defeated the University Blues in an outstanding and thrilling game of football by seven points at North Harbour Stadium on Sunday.
Brilliant conditions greeted both sides at North Harbour Stadium where Waitakere were unbeaten all season while University lifted the shield 12 months earlier on the very same ground.
The Magpies flew out to a great start scoring three quick goals as they caught University napping. Midfielders Carlos Donnell-Brown, Dave Rattenbury and Captain Shane Leat lead the way as they controlled the midfield.
University managed to slow the Magpies momentum in the second and third quarters and got themselves back into the game through leader Chris Mundell.
Waitakere backman Ben Pine managed to keep Thomas Taungakava quiet for most of the game but when Pine was moved up the field, Taungakava took advantage and kicked a couple of late goals to spark a University comeback. The Blues found themselves down by five points with five minutes to go and looked like snatching a famous victory, but it was the Magpies season and they managed to hold on and claim the 2016 Auckland AFL Premiership by 7 points.
This is Waitakere’s first Premiership since 2013 and will be favourite to go back to back in 2017 with a talented squad.
University full forward Nick Trask played his part by kicking three goals for the Blues with support from Steph Tabaillou and Conrad Doggett.
Leading goal kicker Brad Johnson was tremendous up front for the Magpies and added four goals to his season tally with fellow forward Jamie Hunt chiming in with two goals.
Key midfielder Carlos Donnell-Brown was awarded the ‘Wells Medal’ for Best on Ground after a terrific performance all game and will now turn his focus to the 2017 AFL New Zealand Premiership which commences in February next year.
That concludes the Auckland AFL 2016 season. The AAFL executive would like to thank all the players, coaches, umpires, volunteers and supporters for their contributions over the season and look forward to welcoming you all back in 2017.
Story – AAFL