Contributed by: Wesley Hull
The final round of the AFL Middle East 2018/19 season played out almost exactly as many predicted, with the Multiplex Bulls and Dubai Dragons winning their game comfortably to finish one and two. The Abu Dhabi Falcons lost, but still find themselves in the Preliminary Final, whilst the Dubai Dingoes will commence planning for next season.
Percentage was going to be the biggest determining factor of the weekend as top spot – and the transit straight to the grand final – would probably go to the biggest winner of the round. Bottom spot was more hinging on massive upsets but nevertheless went down to the final sirens.
In the opening match at Sevens Stadium in Dubai, The Dragons got off to the flyer they wanted in very ordinary weather conditions – wet and dusty. A five goal to nil opening stanza immediately chased away any upset result. The Falcons kicked two second quarter goals, but that would be it for them as they went goalless in the second half. Defensively, the game was different. The Dragons still managed to score and increase their lead, but never really cutting loose for a cricket score.
The Dragons kept the Falcons to just two goals for the match, but the Falcons still managed to hold the Dragons to 14 goals. This was still a notable effort considering how important percentage was to the Dragons and how a bigger score and margin could have seen them straight into the big dance. Though, the Dragons still enjoyed a 73 point victory.
Scoring power wasn’t an issue for the Multiplex Bulls as they galloped away to a resounding 20-goal win against the Dubai Dingoes. The Bulls were also conscious of the importance of winning the percentage battle against the Dragons. They also had the advantage of playing after the Dragons’ match and understanding the margin they needed to pass them.
A six goal to nil opening quarter by the Bulls proved they were open for business and were already up by 52 points by the main break. The second half was almost a carbon copy of the first on the scoreboard as the Bulls continued to score at will before running out 120-point winners and securing the minor premiership.
The results set up an historic match on 15th March when the first ever AFL Middle East Preliminary Final will be played between the Dubai Dragons and the Abu Dhabi Falcons. Whilst the Dragons will go into the match as heavy favourites to win and move into yet another grand final, the Falcons know there is nothing to lose and can throw everything at the Dragons.
The winner will meet the Multiplex Bulls on 22nd March in the Grand Final.
Dubai Dragons 14 10 94 d Abu Dhabi Falcons 2 9 21
Multiplex Bulls 22 6 138 d Dubai Dingoes 2 6 18
World Footy News