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Friday, June 23 2017 @ 07:43 PM ACST

Lions Secure Minor Premiership

Europe
The ALFA Lions from Lyon in France have secured the minor premiership (short of a miraculous thrashing in their final round match) for the 2017/17 CNFA season. Their convincing win over the Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes last weekend saw them leapfrog the Coyotes on percentage and now have one game left against the Bordeaux Bombers to put icing on the cake.

In the match which many saw as the grand final preview, the Coyotes travelled to Lyon to meet in a match which would help decide top spot. Both teams were undefeated going into the match. In the end it was the hugely improved Lions that took the points, eventually running away to a convincing 51 point victory. The final score saw the ALFA Lions 104 defeat the Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes 53.

The Lions now travel to Bordeaux to take on the Bombers and a chance to remain undefeated for the home and away season. The Bombers, however, are playing for season pride. They missed the finals after having had a good year overall, but would love to finish the year on a high and claim a big scalp at home. Nothing could be bigger that the Lions. The Bombers recently pushed the Coyotes in their recent home match, going down by just three points. They are sure to give the Lions a similar greeting.

In the other finals defining match of the weekend, the Paris Cockerels defeated their younger siblings, the Paris Cockatoos, and narrowly missed out on displacing them from third spot. After a tight first half, the Cockerels broke free in the third quarter – adding 31 points to just 8 for the quarter – to hold a 27 point lead at the final change. The Cockatoos came home hard to narrow the final margin to 10 points, but it wasn’t enough to pinch a victory. The final scores saw the Cockerels 64 defeat the Cockatoos 54.

Two games remain before the finals. The Bombers play the Lions in Bordeaux as mentioned, whilst the Blagnac Aviators host the Perpignan Tigers in Toulouse. The Aviators would love another win in their debut season and will throw everything at the Tigers. Perpignan, however, will be keen to grab a win (and hope that Bordeaux lose) to claim bragging rights of finishing in fifth place, not being able to reach the finals.

But the weekend’s results leave us with the Lions holding outright favouritism, the Coyotes seeking revenge and another grand final spot, the Cockerels peaking at the right time to upset everyone and the Cockatoos still in the finals and desperate to go back to back. It makes for a very exciting season right up until the final siren blows.
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