After the three games of Saturday’s triple-header, we’ve reached the end of the minor round for this year’s Bayern League. The results have been very close all year with 4 of the 6 games decided by a margin of 10 points or less! The competition has been fierce and after 6 games completed, this year’s Grand Final will be fought out between the Saints and the Blues.
All three sides came into Saturday’s games undermanned – so much so that the three games were played 7-a-side. It was tough going for all players with all the extra space that needed to be covered, but it showed that we’re capable of some great ball movement with the linking handballs making the chase so much tougher.
The Hawks came into the weekend without a win, needing 2 wins and a percentage boost to guarantee a spot in the final. The Blues were well-positioned with wins against both Pasing and Schwabing, but the Saints were aiming to improve from a mixed bag of results to secure the chance to defend their premiership from last year.
First up were the Hawks and the Blues. The first half was very even, with both sides getting good clearances from the middle, and at half time the margin was less than a goal. In the second half, Andys Clarke and Schuyler were linking well to keep the Blues from gaining ground, with the final score of 7.6 (48) for Pasing and 6.2 (38) for Sendling keeping the Hawks‘ grand final hopes alive.
After a short break, the warmed-up Hawks battled the Saints. After the Hawks win in game 1, this game would be critical for both teams, and the first half tussle was very evenly matched. The Hawks were getting dialled-in hands on the ball in the middle, but the Saints‘ quick rebounding and fresher legs evened it up with the first half ending with scores level. After the break, the Hawks started showing signs of fatigue and the Saints added a further 3 goals to 1 to take the win 4.7 (31) to the Hawks‘ 2.5 (17).
The Blues were rested and prepared to take on the Saints for the final game of the day. The Saints were much more accurate both in their passing and goalkicking compared to their first game of the day, and led at the first change with a 3 goal margin. Both teams began to tire in the final half, and the addition of rain made clean possessions more scarce. The Blues fought back in the second half but couldn’t gain enough to overcome the first half margin, with the Saints coming home with the victory 6.3 (39) vs 4.6 (30).
The final ladder for the minor round ended with the Saints a game clear with 3 wins, the Blues joining them in the final with 2 wins, and the Hawks unfortunately missing out on the final with a single win. With such close scores across the whole year, the Hawks‘ hard work with a somewhat undermanned side has unfortunately gone unrewarded. With new recruits from the Gaelic squad potentially bolstering their side, and other players gaining experience with each passing game, next year may very well be the Year of the Hawk if their opponents aren’t careful!