Grand Final 2015 - WOLVES CLINCH MAIDEN TITLE
CALGARY (September 14, 2015) – The Calgary Wolves led the Calgary Bears by eight points in the season standings heading into Saturday’s double header. They would only need one game to secure the four championships points required to take the title in their first year in the competition.
Facing the Calgary Cowboys in their first game of the day, the 2015 league debutants took control of the game early, scoring the first three goals of the game. Trent Dunlop (14 hit-outs) in the ruck gave his midfielders first opportunity with Keith Vogler (23 possessions) and Graeme Math (17 possessions) leading the charge out of the middle. Team Canada representative Nathan Singh (12 possessions, six tackles) moved from midfield to Ruck to help the Cowboys work back into the game, and along with Matthew Sheard (20 possessions) and Michael Karutz (21 possessions, four tackles) they were able to help the Cowboys get back on top of the clearances and win the second half. However, the newly formed Wolves were too strong in the end, running out eventual winners 8.3.51 to 3.5.23.
With the title secured, the second game of the Wolves double header against the Bears should’ve been a formality. Bears Coach Matthew Bell would not let the Wolves have it all their own way. Giving young Canadian Dolen Vogel (23 possessions) the match up on the dangerous Vogler allowed Liam Terrell (14 possessions, four inside 50’s) free roam across the back flank for the Bears.
Separated by only a goal at half time, Dunlop pushed forward and kicked a goal early in the second half to give his side some breathing room. As the game clock wound down and free space was hard to come by Terrell kicked a booming goal on the run from 55 metres, bringing his Bears back to within a kick. The siren followed quickly, giving the Wolves their second win for the day 4.2.26 to 3.2.20, capping off a stellar maiden season. They finished the year with a 9-3 record, leading the Bears who finished 6-6 and despite finishing with a 3-9 record the Cowboys will have the 2016 #1 draft pick to re-build their list.
Following the game, Mayor Naheed Nenshi, the Calgary Kangaroos #1 ticket holder presented the trophy to Wolves coach Adrian Guthrie. Praising his team, Guthrie said “…credit to the Bears, they gave us all we could handle in that last game. Our work rate and team play though got us over the line today. We are thrilled to take the title in our first season.”
Mayor Nenshi credited all teams in his presentation and wished the club well in their upcoming USAFL national tournament to be played in Austin, Texas on October 17th, 18th.
Calgary Kangaroos President, Lachlan Griffiths, was pleased with the season. “We expanded to three teams this year, giving many more players the opportunity to play Australian football. While our club now turns it’s focus to the US Nationals, we will continue to find ways to promote the game here in Calgary and attract new players out to give this sport a try.”
Photo Credit: Gareth Williams