Wildcats versus Wandsworth in UK showdown
Wednesday, August 15 2007 @ 12:44 pm ACST
Contributed by: Brett Northey
This weekend sees two of Europe's strongest Australian Football clubs go head to head across an amazing three grand finals in the dramatic conclusion to the UK regular season. The dominant West London club fields the Wildcats in the BARFL Premiership, Shepherds Bush Raiders in the Conference, and Ealing Emus in the Social League. All three teams made it through to the big one, where they'll be up against Wandsworth's three sides in the Wandsworth Demons, Clapham Demons and South London. Around 1000 fans reportedly turned out for the preliminary final matches, and many more are on the cards for this Saturday.
The decision was made to squeeze all three games into the one day at the one location, Saturday 18th August at Clapham Common, and the schedule for Grand Final day is as follows:
11.00 am - Social Grand Final - Ealing v South London - 4 x 20 minute quarters
12.50 pm - Social Grand Final Presentation
1.20 pm - Conference Grand Final - Clapham v Shepherds Bush - 4 x 25 minute quarters
3.30 pm - Conference Grand Final Presentation
4.00 pm - Premiership Grand Final - West London v Wandsworth - 4 x 25 minute quarters
6.10 pm - Premiership Grand Final Presentation
Although in some respects it would be good to see some of the less successful British clubs getting a slice of the glory, you can't knock these two powerhouses for setting the bar so high. The grand final match-ups run true to the form over the season, with the West London sides all finishing in top spot and Wandsworth's teams right behind them at the end of the minor round. In the Premiership semi-finals the Wildcats stormed into the GF crushing Wandsworth 113 to 24 and will be strong favourites to take out their fourth straight championship. The result was reversed in the Conference semi-final where the Dees had a 16 point win over Sheperds Bush. But SPR can never be ruled out from winning the flag, as their preliminary final win sees them back through to the GF and a chance at an amazing 7th straight premiership.
Other strong performers in 2007, bowing out at the preliminary final stage, were the Putney Magpies and Regents Park Lions. The InLondon Swans had a difficult time onfield in their first year supporting both the BARFL London leagues and the ARUK Southern League, coming in at the foot of the BARFL ladders but no doubt ensuring a large number of players took the field across their four squads in 2007.