4th Place for Malmö's Men in Round One
It was a 4th place finish for Malmö GAA in the opening round of the Nordic Championship in Oslo. It was a disappointing result but definitely not a true reflection of the performances.
Injuries played a big part throughout the day and relinquishing leads in the final minutes of two games were the deciding factors for round one for Malmö’s men.
The tournament began with Malmö taking on Oslo in the first match. It was a typically slow start for Malmö and conceding two early goals killed the game early on. Malmö were competitive throughout the match but in the short matches, goals make a big difference and with 3 goals for the hosts made it an opening win for them.
Stockholm were next up for Malmö. The team started strongly, taking the lead early on. As always, it was a very close game against Stockholm with near score for score action in the 1st half. In the 2nd half, Malmö scored a goal and there was belief there that this was Malmö’s chance to get one over their rivals. Unfortunately, after a couple of quick injuries, the lead was relinquished again in the dying minutes with Stockholm winning 1-07 to 2-06.
In the third match, it was the turn of Jyväskalä. Having been a weaker team in the previous years, it was surprising to see how they were competing and winning in their earlier matches in Oslo. The team was made up of young players, with two pivotal players pulling the strings in the middle. Despite that and the mounting injuries, Malmö dominated the game. The experienced looked like it could win over the younger legs. However, a couple of mistakes led to Malmö conceding 2 goals in last minute. Jyväskalä ran out 2-05 to 0-06 winners.
The final group game came against Helsinki. With pride at stake, Malmö went out determined to get their first win. With a very reduced team having picked up 6 injuries throughout the day, there was potential for a white washing against the eventual winners. However, Malmö put on a very strong performance. Malmö took the lead and never looked back. With a 1-09 to 0-04 win, it was a thoroughly deserved win.
This win put Malmö into the 3rd place playoff with Jyväskalä. 4 games and 8 hours later, the legs were very much weakened. One last push for the older team against the younger Jyväskalä. It wasn’t to be however. Although, they did not get an easy match at all, Jyväskalä took the 3rd place with a 0-06 to 0-02 scoreline.
So 4th place it was for Malmö’s men in the first round. Maybe not a true reflection going on the performances, however Malmö are still in a very strong position within the championship going into the Copenhagen tournament on June 18th. With an even stronger and bigger squad expected to make the short journey across the bridge, a good finish in round two will put Malmö GAA right back in the race for the Nordic Championship.