Contributed by: Wesley Hull
There are only five rounds remaining before the AFLCNE finals series begins, so the serious josting for positions and respect from opponents is certainly hotting up. Sometimes that takes the form of a team exerting their dominance over another along the way. On other occasions it is the self-belief that grows from pushing a better team and knowing that come finals time the gap might just be narrower again.
Such might be the case is last weekend’s clash between the Sheffield Thunder and Huddersfield Rams. The scoreboard says that the Thunder won comfortably enough in the end, a 21 point margin: Sheffield 17 20 122 d Huddersfield 14 17 101. But last time they met in round four it was a 23 point margin. The message is that less than four goals have separated the teams twice this season. Thunder can read that they have the Ram’s measure. The Rams can look at the margins and build their counter-attack. Such is the fun of footy.
AFLCNE - Round 9 Ladder
In other results, the Manchester Mozzies pulled away to a solid 33 point win over the Nottingham Scorpions, winning 10 18 78 to 6 9 45. The loss makes it tougher for the Scorpions to see finals action, though not impossible. For the Mozzies, the door is still open for winning the minor premiership as they stay firmly in the rear-vision mirror of the Thunder.
In the other match, Birmingham dented the finals hopes of the Wolverhampton crew with a percentage damaging (or enhancing for them) hammering at home. For Birmingham, the win gives them a little breathing space in the top four, now a game clear in third place.
Round 9 Results:
Nottingham Scorpions 6.9 (45) def. by Manchester Mosquitoes 10.18 (78) at Nottingham
Sheffield Thunder 17.20 (122) def. Huddersfield Rams 14.17 (101) at Birmingham
Birmingham Bears 26.36 (192) def. Wolverhampton Wolverines 8.5 (53) at Birmingham
Tyne Tees Tigers v Sheffield Thunder (Tyne Tees)
Huddersfield Rams v Wolverhampton Wolverines (Manchester)
Manchester Mosquitoes v Birmingham Bears (Manchester)
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