After a great weekend for the Galway Magpies in Belfast, they now sit in second place on the AFL Ireland ladder. As a result of enjoying two wins for the day against the Leeside Lions and South Dublin Swans, the Magpies have joined the Lions on three wins for the year, but have just inched ahead of for and against. It puts the Magpies in a great position to fight for second place after the final rounds of matches are completed.
The Magpies turned their season around dramatically after downing the Swans by 20 points before taking on the Lions and inflicting a 70-point hiding on the reigning premiers.
It was also a huge day for the host team, the Belfast Redbacks. Having won both of their matches on the day, the Redbacks now sit undefeated for the season with seven wins. Finals are always a different beast, but the Redbacks have displayed an air of invincibility this season and will enter the final round and finals series as raging hot favourites for the 2018 flag.
Just a couple of rounds ago the Nottingham Scorpions had forfeited a match and were sitting in second last position on the AFLCNE ladder. Fast forward to last weekend and, courtesy of a forfeit by the Merseyside Saints and a tough win the week before against the highly fancied Wolverhampton Wolverines, the Scorpions are looking set to be the Manchester Mozzies biggest obstacle.
According to the AFLCNE, “with two rounds to go Manchester have won the minor premiership and look on course to retain the flag. However, with Nottingham strengthening their ranks recently they [the Mozzies] may not have it all their own way.”
Should they get through to the grand-final, the Scorpions would set up a third consecutive clash for premiership honours. After defeating the Wolverines two weeks ago in a tight battle by just 11-points, the Scorpions have reaffirmed their standing as the most likely challenger – though the race is far from over.
It was a day to remember in Northern France on Saturday, when the inaugural Robert MacTier Cup took place in Péronne to mark 100 years since soldiers liberated the town from German occupation in 1918.
On a weekend that meant much more than just a football contest to all involved, players, officials and supporters embraced the friendly community to honour the heroics that took place in the small town all those years ago.
Arriving on Friday, many players took the bus from London crossing the French border before arriving in Péronne for the jumper presentation at the local Town Hall.
PNG young gun Hewago Paul 'Ace' Oea was recently signed by the Gold Coast Suns to an International Scholarship giving the club first rights to sign the footy prodigy at the 2019 AFL Draft. The AFL Academy listed Oea starred for PNG at the 2017 International Cup and was named best on ground in the Grand Final at the MCG.
The following video is from the Gold Coast Suns telling of Ace's time at the club so far.
It may have read a 64-point defeat on paper, but the weekend’s loss for the West Lothian Eagles against the powerhouse Glasgow Sharks could be their most telling sign of improvement. In their second last developmental game of their inaugural season, they achieved a competitive double – preventing the previously rampant Sharks from posting a cricket score and managing to find enough avenues to goal to have 21 scoring shots.
Often, a late season match against a premiership favourite for a team with no finals prospects has crime scene written all over it. However, the Eagles have plenty to play for and were determined not to be intimidated by the Sharks. When the dust settles at season’s end and the review of the Eagles’ development year begins, their competitiveness against all teams will be a key factor in their future.
They can rightfully go into their final match in two weeks’ time against the Tyne Tees Tigers with a very real prospect of finishing the season with a win.
This weekend in London, the annual London Pride Parade takes place and AFL London and its teams will be there in all the colours of the symbolic rainbow to celebrate. The clubs themselves have outdone themselves this year with a dazzling array of jumpers and club logos which represent the league’s and the club’s commitment to the LGBT community. The following article from AFL England at www.aflengland.orgdetails the event from the AFL London perspective. An exciting assortment of club logos can be found at the end of this article.
Each June, LGBT Pride Month attracts millions of participants around the world. AFL England wants to recognise and celebrate the part that LGBT people play in the footy community, both in England and around the world.
This year, AFL London will become the first AFL league to march in a pride parade, as they take part in the Pride in London festival on July 7th, with the weekend also being marked by a special ‘Rainbow Round’ of fixtures in the capital.
Back in 1987 when legendary Richmond midfielder (called a centreman back then), Maurice Rioli retired, he left a hole in football. He raised the bar on what indigenous footballers could bring to our game and many wondered if we would ever see his ilk again. Then in 2008 Cyril Rioli arrived. No one can absolutely measure who was better - uncle or nephew - but Cyril lit up the game in ways reminiscent of Maurice - maybe not in style, but certainly in impact. Cyril's announcement yesterday to retire as a Hawthorn player and AFL great brings to an end another great Rioli career - though it will not surprise to see the id from the Tiwi Islands return to the NTFL with his former club - the "Green Machine", St Mary's.
Here is a video clip from the AFL showing the top ten highlights of Cyril Rioli's wonderful career.
With the second round of the SEWARFL (combined Southern England and Welsh leagues) played on the weekend, the teams from the SEAFL enjoyed a successful day out at Southampton on a hot and largely cloud-free day. Aided by the inability of the Cardiff Panthers to attend, the “home” teams also managed to be ultra-competitive on the field as well.
The gap created by the missing Panthers meant that each of the SEAFL teams drawn to play them came away with a forfeit result, meaning three wins from three matches. That in itself would have been a valuable result for the Southampton Titans, Portsmouth Pirates and Sussex Swans, but better followed.
The opening match of the day saw the Chippenham Redbacks start in a positive way, downing the Sussex Swans by 30 points. It was an important win for the Redbacks in the context of their own season. Prior to this win, their best result had been a draw against the Titans in the opening SEWARFL tournament. This win will rejuvenate the team and become a foundation block for the rest of this year and beyond.