Oslo Crows beat Ås Battlers 90-73 in big Oslo AFL showdown

Oslo Crows v Ås Battlers AFL

Adam O'Toole kicks away for the Battlers

The Oslo Crows have prevailed by 17 points in the showdown between the two top teams in Norwegian AFL.

The Ås Battlers, led by captain/coach Adam O’Toole, came to Ekeberg looking for their first win against the Crows, and featured some familiar faces such as former Norwegian national team member Arne Roseth.

The blustery, rainy conditions were a test of commitment for all players – so it was great to see not only a decent sized playing group show up, but also some spectators and of course our fantastic trainer Anette.

The Crows had a few more players so an agreement was formed that sent Stoney, Adam and Todd across to be ‘Battlers for the day’.

Matched against a strong Oslo lineup featuring Zack, Rob, Roxby, Tobias, Sean, Ludvig and others, it was a matchup made in Australsk fotball heaven.

The wind favoured the city end of the ground quite severely, and it was so strong that the expertly sunk temporary goal posts took on a unique slant for most of the game.

The Battlers started the game strongly and it was clear early on that it would be an arm wrestle all day. Zack and Roxby were in everything early, and Tobias was causing problems for the Battlers early with his athleticism. One attempted mark was a highlight – had he held on it would have surely been one of the better grabs taken on Norwegian soil. Sadly his day ended early with a thumb injury, one that we hope heals quickly.

Both Adams (Pearce and O’Toole) exerted class on the contest all day, and Ås managed to exert some scoreboard pressure, drawing ahead of the Crows early in the third quarter. Luddy was having an absorbing battle with Matt Baranski, and his marking and running into space was particularly good. Had he kicked straighter it would have been a three or four goal haul.

Down back, Sean Van Steel and Erik Svela kept improving as the game went on. Erik in particular impressed with his courage and judgement of the ball in flight. He took some telling marks for the Crows.

The running power of Rob Jones soon came to the fore as he, Roxby and  Zack threatened to split the game open. But true to their name, the Battlers kept fighting, and at three quarter time it was around a ten point game.

James managed a really solid four quarter game that belied his relative inexperience, ending up with several goals. Predictably he also ended up with several comical falls as his runners proved no match for the slippery Ekeberg grass.

One of his goals came early in the fourth, and it signalled a rush from the Crows that put the game beyond reach. After time expired, it was the Crows, but it was agreed that another five minutes should be played.

Jason Colton and Stoney battled hard down back but it was too late for Ås.

First gamer Andreas (aka Andy) played a promising half of football for a first gamer and it was fitting that he kicked the last goal. He showed plenty of skill and has a lot of upside. We hope to see more of him.

The game was proof of the progress being made by both teams. It was a good standard of footy considering the conditions, played by two skilled and drilled teams. As always the weather gods decided to show their dislike of our game, but we live in hope that they will give us a break when Goteborg and Karlstad come to town in a few weeks.

Thanks to all who played – everyone deserves a mention for their effort on the day.  Thanks to Anette, the spectators and of course Brett, for coming straight from the airport in reasonably second hand condition. Top effort.

The big showdown against the Swedes is coming soon, as is a potential game with Tromso. As always we are very keen to keep introducing new players to the game. So bring your non-Aussie friends to training or to drinks this Friday at the Dubliner. Just bring them.

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