British League kicks off Saturday
Saturday, May 07 2005 @ 09:57 am ACST
Contributed by: Donald Eastwood
The 1st Contact 2005 BARFL Premiership kicks off on Saturday (today) with the first round matches and a new major sponsor. The highlight of the round is a replay of the 2004 BARFL Grand Final between the West London Wildcats and the Wimbledon Hawks. In other premiership games, Reading Kangaroos play their inaugural Premiership match against last year’s new comers the Putney Magpies. The final match is between the Sussex Swans and Wandsworth Demons.
The match of the round will be played at Chiswick Park on Saturday, with the first bounce at 3.00pm. Wimbledon will be out to exact revenge on last year’s Grand Final drubbing at the hands of West London. However, with West London buoyed by their victory in the VB ANZAC Cup, confidence will be high in the west of London for a repeat of last years performance. Wimbledon will make it hard for the Wildcats but will just not have enough to record a win, tip: West London by 36 points.
One of the most intriguing matches of the round will take place at Kings Meadow Park in Reading, where newcomers Reading take on Putney. The Pies looked very good at the ANZAC Cup only to lose in the semi final to eventual winners the Wildcats. Reading however were under-strength, though having just returned from a pre-season trip to Atlanta, this can be justified. It will be a very interesting match between last year's Regional Premiers and a team that will be hoping to force its way into the top four this season. In a close encounter, Reading should start the season with a slender win, the Roos by 7 points.
The last match takes place at Crawley Rugby Club, with Sussex Swans taking on ANZAC Cup runners-up Wandsworth Demons. Sussex have been improving of recent years and last year were knocking on the door of the finals until late in the season. Wandsworth (2003 premiers) will be looking to improve upon their fourth place finish last year. First round games are always difficult to predict, but the Demons should have too much for the Swans and win by 27 points.
As well as the Premiership league, also watch out for the Conference, Regional and Scottish leagues. Further information and results can be seen at www.barfl.co.uk.