A remarkable semi-final between the West London Wildcats and the Wandsworth Demons required extra time as the two teams were locked at the final siren. The ensuing extra time saw the Wildcats find enough ways to score to hold the Demons at bay in an absolute thriller. The win sees the Wildcats book a grand-final berth, leaving the Demons to face the North London Lions in a Preliminary Final after the Lions convincingly downed the London Swans on Sunday.
The Women’s Premiership division saw the first big upset of the finals with the North London Lions convincingly defeating the Wandsworth Demons. The Demons went into the match as firm favourites after an undefeated home and away season and finishing three games clear of the Lions. Bu finals pressure is different and the Lions were relentless, ignoring recent history and chasing their own.
The Portsmouth Pirates came agonisingly close to finishing the SEAFL season on top of the ladder. Their match against the Sussex Swans saw them claim enough points to draw level with the Southampton Titans on wins but with a lesser percentage. When combined with the SEWARFL results in Bristol earlier in the season, the Titans had a draw to keep them ahead of the Pirates.
That leaves the Titans on top with 22 points, followed closely by the Pirates on 21 points. The following report from the SEAFL details the weekend matches.
“Due to a forfeit from Southampton Titans on Saturday (who must have done the math on the ladder!), that left the Sussex Swans to face the Portsmouth Pirates in an extended game of footy in the Brighton sunshine - final result was 8 10 58 to 5 7 37 to the Pirates.”
After another hard fought season by all concerned, the Bristol Dockers have taken out the WARFL (AFL Wales) premiership downing the Cardiff Panthers by 51 points. It was a fitting end to a season where the Dockers were always a step ahead of their rivals. It sees the Dockers defending their title from 2017, going back to back.
The result was comprehensive, and a far bigger margin that their last meeting, which saw the Dockers down the Panthers by just a couple of kicks. This time around, the Dockers broke the shackles early and killed of any chance of a Panthers’ fightback with a five goals to nil third quarter. The Panthers certainly had their share of the ball with 22 scoring shots to 29, but inaccurate kicking meant the Dockers were able to keep them at arm’s length.
The following is a small press release from the Dockers giving a brief overview of the match.
In a big international match held in Dublin on the weekend, the Irish Warriors hosted the visiting USA Revolution team. The national team from the USA is in Ireland for some match practice against one of the world’s best teams outside of Australia and play in friendlies against both the Irish Warriors and on Tuesday the Belfast Redbacks. The tour sees a strong USA contingent of 40 players and support staff.
The tour is historic on many fronts, but it is the first time that Ireland has played the USA on home soil. It is also the first time the two nation have played each other in the northern hemisphere.
In the opening match, the Warriors were far too experienced for the Revolution. The Warriors jumped early and could not be caught, running away to win by 76 points. The final score in the match saw the Irish Warriors 14 13 97 defeat the USA Revolution 2 9 21.
The Manchester Mozzies and Nottingham Scorpions have found their ways again into the AFLNE grand-final after the weekend’s semi-finals. It will be the third consecutive year that the two will have faced off in a grand-final, and the fourth time the two teams have met in the decider since 2012.
The Nottingham Scorpions had to hold off a desperate and ferocious challenge from the Wolverhampton Wolverines. The final margin was just two goals, and the clash was just as intense as their Round 7 meeting when the Scorpions managed to win by a modest four points. In a relatively low scoring match, the Scorpions held on for an 81 to 69 victory.
The Wolverines can be rightfully despairing at the result, having proved across the season to have been the near equal of the Scorpions and with a little more luck possibly found their way into the grand-final. However, it wasn’t to be. The Wolverines, however, can look to 2019 with confidence that they are ready for the next step.
On the back of an undefeated home and away season, the Belfast Redbacks are now raging hot favourites to win the 2018 AFL Ireland Premiership. After winning both of their games on the weekend in Dublin, the Redbacks now go straight to the grand final and will watch and wait to see which team they will met.
It was a big day also for the Galway Magpies. Their day saw a win and a loss but it was enough to ensure that they claimed second spot on the ladder. On semi-final day they will play the winner of the Leeside Lions versus South Dublin Swans clash to fight for their right to meet the Redbacks on grand-final day.
After months of lovely footy weather, the weekend’s games were played in torrential rain. It added a new element to the contests as teams had to reacquaint themselves with slippery surfaces and a ball that was suddenly like a bar of soap. Certainly, a handy set of skills to have in the event that the finals are playing in wet conditions.
The last time the Hamburg Dockers hosted the Berlin Crocs it saw a huge upset, with the Crocs pinching a one-point win. Since then, the Dockers have been in a terrible mood, relentlessly charging to the finals and racking up some big wins. However, in the back of their minds was the prospect of the return bout against the Crocs.
On the weekend, the Dockers gained their revenge, hammering the Berlin Crocs by 107 points to enhance their premiership prospects whilst at the same time putting an enormous dent in the hopes of the Crocs. The Crocs will still play finals, but they now know the pecking order and would have to do something incredible to reverse this latest result in finals.
The Munich Kangaroos kept their own premiership hopes alive with a strong win against the visiting Frankfurt Redbacks. Whilst the Hamburg Dockers now have flag favouritism, the Kangaroos have done little wrong all season and are still a huge chance of taking the AFLG title.
In all fairness, nobody could have really seen this coming. The Tyne Tees Tigers, with a solitary win next to their name in their first season as an AFL Scotland team, up against the undefeated flag favourites, the Glasgow Sharks. In one of the most important wins in the club’s history, the Tigers have pulled off a massive upset, beating the Sharks by 40 points.
Whilst there were possibly some personnel changes for the Sharks that may have left them a little undermanned, it was still up to the Tigers to produce their best against a quality team – and they certainly did.
Whilst the result had no impact on ladder positions – the Sharks still finishing on top of the home and away ladder to go through to the grand-final and the Tigers finishing fourth – it is an important result for the Tigers. Not only did they enjoy their highest ladder position since their inception in the AFLCNE, they will also have gained enormous belief to take into next season. They have also shown that the trip down to Newcastle will be a challenge for all visiting teams.
Coline Duquet is a Frenchwoman who has played women’s footy for six years. Duquet’s footy journey so far has been a decorated one.
“If I had to describe my footy journey in few words I’d say that it’s like a love story: full of passion, emotions, and magical moments of pure happiness that I shared with beautiful human beings. But it also meant some difficult challenges and, sometimes, tricky situations (like when I had to choose a club in Melbourne)”, Duquet said.
She has trained with VFLW teams Darebin and also Carlton and for two weeks. Duquet has trained with star AFLW players in Darcy Vescio, Brianna Davey, Melissa Hickey, Lauren Arnell and Aasta O’Connor.
Credit: AFL Europe
Duquet played for the European Crusaders at the AFL International Cup in 2017 (IC17) and in the same year she was selected in the World Team. "Of course, being named in the World Team made me very proud", she said.
With the AFL London home and away season done for 2018, finals is the next journey for those clubs that qualified. But this season there is a decidedly demonic look about a finals landscape which features the mighty Wandsworth Demons as minor premiers across all grades. Over coming weeks, all clubs have to face these Demons if they want to hold up a premiership cup of their own.
Minor premierships don’t guarantee premierships. Far from it. Sporting history is littered with the debris of clubs that peaked for the end of the preliminary rounds, only to falter come finals time. Nevertheless, finishing on top does create an air of superiority, which does induce confidence.
In the Men’s Premiership division, a huge win to the Wandsworth Demons over the London Swans saw them finish on top of the ladder, equal on points with the West London Wildcats but with a better percentage. The Clapham Demons finished undefeated in the Men’s Conference division, three games clear of the second placed Shepherds Bush Raiders. In the Men’s Social division, the South London Demons finished on top of the ladder, equal on points with the Reading Kangaroos but with a superior percentage.
Much has been made in 2018 of the rapid rise of the Bogota Bulldogs and the new AFL Colombia competition. But the longest serving Australian Football team in South America, the Santiago Saints, have been preparing quietly, away from the limelight down in Chile. The Saints have been the mainstay of the game, so many miles from the MCG, and would see the rise of the Bulldogs as a double-edged sword. On the one hand, they now have the Bulldogs for genuine international footy to be played. But also, the Bulldogs have entered the Saints' turf and must be thwarted.
Here is a small clip from the Santiago Saints showing a small glimpse of the team getting ready for battle next month against the Bulldogs.