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Outlaws and Bombers battle for SCAFL title this weekend

North America
The metro season for the Southern California Australian Football League (SCAFL) comes to a close on Saturday, June 17th, at South Lake Middle School in Irvine, California. The day starts with a 9 AM inter-club match for the Los Angeles Dragons women’s side, followed by the LA Sharks vs. the San Diego Lions (10:30 AM), and the LA Outlaws vs. the Orange County Bombers (12 PM).
 
It’s shaping up to be an entertaining afternoon of footy and a suitable conclusion to what has been a valuable tune-up for all teams heading into the upcoming Western Regionals tournament in July. Let’s see how the top four SCAFL teams have fared heading into the final round:
 
1) Los Angeles Outlaws (4-0)
The Outlaws have been the supreme competition for the majority of the SCAFL season, as co-captained by Harry Dixon and Will Crandall. They’ve been helped largely by the presences of full forward Pat Nicholls and midfielder Gabriel Martin del Campo. Originally from country Victoria, Nicholls previously played at the VFL level in Melbourne and has elite athleticism, while Martin del Campo is one of the tireless workers in the Outlaws’ engine room.
 
The metro competition has also proved to be valuable for several newcomers, including defender Joe Reava and forward Nick Melrose. Melrose, who joined the team from Sydney, has overcome knee problems to be a valuable forward pocket addition, while Reava is a rookie who first picked up a Sherrin less than six months ago.
 
 

2) Orange County Bombers (3-1)
The Bombers have been a tall and athletic side with a number of quality playmakers throughout the metro season. OC doesn’t rely as much on one or two key goalkickers; instead they usually try to spread the footy around and wear down opponents gradually. They will host the Outlaws in the SCAFL final on Saturday in order to gain some more momentum before Western Regionals.
 
One thing’s for sure: OC looks to have something to prove in the regular season after suffering two big losses at USAFL Nationals last October.
 
            3) San Diego Lions (3-2)
The Lions have lacked consistency in metro competition, scoring a couple of solid early wins over Las Vegas and Riverside before fading down the stretch in the past few rounds. After a narrow five-point loss to the Bombers on May 20th, the Lions lost to the Outlaws the following weekend and then narrowly escaped with a subsequent win over the LA Sharks in the next round. While they have a number of experienced footballers, the Lions need to be at the top of their game to defeat a hungry Sharks side again on Saturday.
 
4) LA Sharks (1-4)
The Sharks are a side that have shown flashes of great potential throughout SCAFL action, but ultimately, they’ve sometimes been the victim of injuries and narrow defeats. However, this team has plenty of talent to take into the USAFL regular season for the LA Dragons -- co-captains Paul Ioakim and Joe Silvio are savvy veterans who have provided steady leadership for the club. The team has also featured solid minutes from Perth native Lachie ‘Red” Macpherson, a lanky utility with a nose for the ball, and American football convert Julien Mayeur, who has been making strides in the midfield. However, the Sharks will still need everyone to step up and compete as hard as ever in order to beat San Diego on the weekend.
 
 
What: SCAFL Finals
Where: South Lake Middle School -- 655 West Yale Loop, Irvine, CA 92614
When:
       Game 1: LA Dragons Women’s Interclub (9 AM)
       Game 2: LA Sharks vs. San Diego Lions (10:30 AM)
       Game 3: LA Outlaws vs. Orange County Bombers (12 PM)
 

 

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