Malmö Are Nordic Champions Again
Malmö GAA became the Men’s Nordic Champions after a second place finish in Round 3 of the 2016 Championship. It’s the first time for the men’s team since their winner exploits in the first year of the club.
Malmö came to Helsinki in a position they have not been accustomed to in recent years. A good showing would lead to securing the Nordic championship for the first time since 2009.
The day kicked off with a match against Oulo with Malmö uncharacteristically coming out of the traps strongly. A comprehensive victory was acheived by a scoreline of 1-11 to 0-1 with every player on the panel playing his part.
Next up were the home team and winners of Round 1 in Oslo, Helsinki. On the balance of play there wasn’t much between the teams. However, Helsinki’s more clinical nature in front of the posts as drove home the advantage to Helsinki as Malmö missed several good goal chances and scorable frees. Helsinki won out by a scoreline of 1-6 to 1-1
Heading into the final group game, Malmö knew that a win over Jyväskylä would take them through to the final. Malmö tweaked the tactics in the final group game, adding an extra body to the midfield and playing with a lone full forward. The extra bodies picked up a lot of breaking ball and tirelessly supported the rejuvenated forward line. A great team performance from back to front resulted in a final scoreline of 4-4 to 0-3 which earned Malmö a shot at revenge against the hosts.
With the same lineup as the final group game starting the final, Malmö were feeling confident. However Helsinki started off by far the stronger, dominating midfield and supplying good ball to the forward line. Malmö scored two vital points with their only forays into the opposition half in the first half but unfortunately were well down at the break.
Despite the half-time scoreline, the legendary Malmö spirit was there to be seen as the men in green showed their passion in the second half. Pinning Helsinki back, Malmö slowly picked off point after point which was topped off with a vital goal to leave only a score between the teams with a couple of minutes to go. Unfortunately Malmö were then hit with a sucker punch as Helsinki hit on the break as they found the back of the net. Malmö pushed on to the final whistle but ran out runners up in the end by 2-11 to 1-8.
However, it definitely wasn’t a day for sorrows. The second place finish in Round 3, combined with 4th in Round 1 and winning Round 2 was enough to clinch the Nordic Championship for Malmö GAA. The men’s Nordic trophy was finally back in Skåne after a long 7 year wait with the jubilant captain Gavin Turley lifting the cup on the day.