Contributed by: Wesley Hull
The National University League got back into gear last weekend. The following report comes from the www.afl.england.org website, detailing the results and the implications ahead of the final round next month.
Birmingham turned up the heat on home soil as they won all four of their games to jump to the top of both the Men’s and Women’s division.
After a bye in Round 2, the two sides jumped straight back into the fray as the men’s team kept up their unbeaten record.
A total of seven individual goal-kickers saw them see of the Universities of South Wales (UoSW) team, and they followed that up by soundly beating Cambridge. Four goals from James Williams and three for Ciaran Jeanes across the round helping their side secure a spot in the inaugural NUL Men’s Grand Final with a round to spare.
Meanwhile, in the Women’s Division, Birmingham are also sitting in top spot, after four goals from Neave Dent helped them thrash the UoSW by 58 points, the biggest margin of victory in the Women’s Division this season.
They then put in another dominant display keeping Cambridge goalless in a rematch of the first-ever NUL match.
The Birmingham teams now have a combined record of 7-1 across the two divisions this season, and haven’t lost an NUL match since the opening game of the season against Oxford Women in November.
Meanwhile, the UoSW Men’s team recorded their first win of the season with a 7.10 (52) to 4.9 (33) defeat over Cambridge in the battle for third place in the Men’s Division.
Soundly beaten in both Round 2 matches – including a 110-point mauling at the hands of Oxford – the team bounced back and reversed a 51-point loss against Cambridge into a 19-point win thanks to three goals from Josh Davey, who scored five across the entire round.
It was a disappointing end to the regular season for the Cambridge sides, with a win apiece for both their men’s and women’s sides.
The women now sit second in the ladder behind Birmingham on percentage only and will have a nervous wait ahead of Round 4 to see if they can hold on to a spot in the Grand Final.
For the Cambridge Men, they were the beneficiaries of a 50-0 forfeit win over UoSW, but still missed out on a spot in the Grand Final
Round 4 takes place in Cardiff on February 16th as the regular season draws to a close. With the top two teams confirmed in the Men’s Division, all eyes will be on Oxford to see if they can overtake Cambridge in the Women’s Division and also make it to the Grand Final.
Round 3 Results:
Birmingham 11.12 (78) def. Universities of South Wales 2.5 (17)
Birmingham 9.6 (60) def. Cambridge 3.6 (24)
Cambridge def. UoSW (forfeit – 50-0)
Birmingham 10.8 (68) def. Universities of South Wales 1.4 (10)
Birmingham 4.9 (33) def. Cambridge 0.1 (1)
Cambridge 6.4 (40) def. Universities of South Wales 2.11 (23)
Round 4 Fixtures:
(Men’s & Women’s Division)
Universities of South Wales vs Birmingham
Universities of South Wales vs Oxford
Birmingham vs Oxford
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