Rampaging Bulls Down Dragons – AFL Middle East
Saturday, October 22 2016 @ 08:41 pm ACDT
Contributed by: Wesley Hull
The AFL Middle East season opened with the double-header draw at Sevens Stadium in Dubai yesterday. The local footy community was treated to two games, both hotly contested and exciting, though for very different reasons.
The match between last year’s grand finalists, the Dubai Dragons and the Multiplex Bulls, was tight at half time. Both teams were out to make statements and locked horns, if you will, in a territorial fight where neither was prepared to concede. However, after the main break it was the Bulls that hammered home eight goals to one to run out convincing 34 point victors 11 11 77 to 6 7 43.
Whilst the season has a long way to go and any number of things could happen, and the Bulls got off to a flyer last year before going down on the final day of the year, there was still something vaguely ominous about the way they rag-dolled last years’ premiers after half time. Certainly they made a statement that all other teams will have listened to.
In the earlier game, the pre-season cup winners – the Entertainer Dubai Dingoes – were hoping for a perfect start to their season. The Dingoes had every right to go into the game as warm favourites, but the Abu Dhabi Falcons had other ideas. Having flown under the pre-season radar to some degree, the Falcons led their match at every change before clinging on to a narrow four point win.
The wins were valuable in a four match per team season, providing buffers that must be surpassed already. For the Falcons and the Bulls they know well that two more wins would likely be enough to play in the grand final. For the Dingoes and Dragons the matches were a wake-up call and they would hope the losses will be catalysts for a desperate battle from here to gain ground and pass the leaders.
Time is the biggest enemy, and all teams will be looking at how they best use theirs for the rest of this season – particularly that time between the first and final sirens.