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Thursday, February 21 2019 @ 10:12 am ACDT

Lions & Redbacks Off To Winning Start

The opening round of the new 2018 AFL Ireland Premiership season was played over the weekend in Cork, hosted by the reigning premiers the Leeside Lions. The Lions immediately set about staking their claim for another title with two good wins, but it was also a big day for the Belfast Redbacks as they claimed two wins from the day.

The Leeside Lions have been the benchmark team in the competition, having won back to back flags in 2017 and 2018. With a balanced team that knows each other well, the Lions proved too good for the South Dublin Swans in the opening match before backing that result up with a hard fought win in a close match against the Galway Magpies.
The Belfast Redbacks were determined to rebuild after last year, and successfully introduced some exciting new talent to their list. Sean Lynch, Diarmuid McConville and Padraic McCarthy pulled on the jerseys for the Redbacks in solid debuts. The new-look Redbacks were just as impressive as the Lions on the day, enjoying two comfortable wins against both the Swans and Magpies.

After just one round of matches, it is too early to book grand final tickets. But the Lions have again made a statement that they are still the team to beat. The Redbacks also look the goods. But last year’s grand finalists – the South Dublin Swans – had a day they would rather play out again. They are likely to fight hard to find form and challenge again in 2018. The Galway Magpies pushed the Lions to just 11 points and were highly competitive against the Redbacks.

After just one weekend in Cork, the season has signs of being one of the most even in years.

Final Scores:
Game 1 - Lions 13-9-87 d Swans 2-3-15
Game 2 - Lions 7-8-50 d Magpies 6-3-39
Game 3 Redbacks 11-8-74 d Swans 3-4-22
Game 4 Redbacks 9-8-80 d Magpies 4-9-45
(Scores courtesy Belfast Redbacks)
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