Redbacks & Magpies Keep Premiership Hopes High
Sunday, July 07 2019 @ 10:12 pm ACST
Contributed by: Wesley Hull
At the end of Round 5 in the AFL Ireland Men’s competition, the Belfast Redbacks have kept their undefeated run going, whilst the Galway Magpies now seem very likely to be grand final-bound with another win to put them in clear second position a game ahead of the Leeside Lions.
Weekend results saw the Belfast Redbacks too good for the Leeside Lions down in Cork. The final result was a 40-point margin. Whilst the margin was handy for the Redbacks, it isn’t vital. However, the margin further dented the Lions percentage when they need every possible advantage to stay with the Magpies, though the two would still meet in the semi-final. The Redbacks won 88 to 48.
The Galway Magpies won their third match for the season, giving the South Dublin Swans a belting to the tune of 71 points. The win puts the Magpies in outright second position with just one round to play before finals. The final score saw the Magpies down the Swans 111 to 40.
It is becoming increasingly difficult to see any team toppling the Redbacks. Since their Round 1 win by a solitary point against the Swans they have beaten all teams convincingly (Lions by 111 points, Magpies by 107 points, Swans by 65 points and now again the Lions by 40 points). Finals are a different beast, of course, but not so different when there is such a gulf between the top team and the rest.
The final round on July 27th will see a possible grand final preview when the Redbacks once again meet the Magpies. In the other match, the Lions will start favourites against the Swans. Even though the likely outcome would see a Lions win and a Magpies defeat to leave the two teams locked on win/loss, the Magpies percentage of 103% compared to the Lions 63% is a bridge to far.
The Redbacks now have the luxury of using their remaining match as a warm up for the grand final as they chase back-to-back glory and their fourth flag.