By Matt Barton
At the crack of dawn this past Saturday the brave men of Söder saddled up and began to make their way south to the wilderness of Skåne to take on the Helsingborg Saints in round two of this year’s Elitserien. Hoping to improve to 2-0 in the competition, the Blues travelled the 5 hours down the E4 for what was always going to be a fiery encounter calling on reinforcements in the form of recent former players (pictured right) Chris ‘Bull’ Angus (now sunning himself in California) and Ivan ‘Tarzan’ Rexed (rumored to be opening a string of martial arts dojo’s in Göteborg).
After a short warm up and under overcast skies Södermalm took to the field looking to assert themselves from the off, and they did not disappoint! Within ten seconds from the ball-up, Söder’s midfield maestros had moved the ball efficiently to the forward line where Jonny Briscoe handed off to Andrew Rundle who slotted the ball home from close range. This was surely to be an ominous sign for a Saints team playing their first game on their new home ground in front of their own fans (AKA the God Squad)…….and so it was. Despite their best efforts, the ball kept winding up in the Saints danger zone where every time there was a Blue shirt poised and ready to put the ball through the uprights, converting with German-esque efficiency.
The one sour point of the quarter came when, after a tussle, Ivan ‘Miyagi-San’ Rexed uncharacteristically retaliated and saw red which unfortunately set the tone of things to come with the home team failing to live up to their moniker as they targeted Blues players more frequently than the ball.
Unperturbed by their host’s physical ‘approach’ the Blues continued to dominate their opponents in the second quarter efficiently moving the ball out of the solid backline through a gutsy midfield and into a forward line who were clearly set on making life for the Saints particularly miserable. Söder also showed that they are not only capable of moving the ball smoothly but also laying the hammer where required interjecting smooth play with hard tackles and crunching bumps.
By halftime the Saints well and truly had a mountain to climb and this only grew during the third quarter. After Jonny Briscoe had his speccy ruled out for hands on the defender’s shoulders, Andrew ‘money man’ Rundle had a go and, while not as impressive, took the mark clean and converted the resulting kick. The Söder pressure never let up and goal sneak Calle Nellbring racked up his first goals for the club in only his 2nd game, netting what would end up being an impressive bag of 4 between the sticks.
The fourth quarter saw an avalanche of goals and a hit by Chris ‘Bull’ Angus that the Saints player will be feeling for the rest of the season. For the first time the crowd witnessed the Saints scoring back to back, however this would be little consolation given the eventual points differential of 81! The final score was 108 – 27 in what was as a complete team performance as we have seen from the boy in blue in many years. Strong reliable defending, a tough clever midfield, and a functioning forward line that made it count on the scoreboard.
Söder now look forward to getting back to the comforts of SAFF this weekend and facing Norrtälje for the first time in 2015 at the JCG (Skarpnäck Sportsfältet) this Saturday 30th May @ 12.00. See you there!!
#AFLSweden #Elitserien #AFLEurope #SodermalmBlues