The West London Wildcats have taken out the men’s division of the 2018 Leprechaun Cup in Belfast, Northern Ireland, last weekend. Played under delightful sunny Belfast skies, the London powerhouse has got their 2018 season of to a flyer taking the title. Taking out the women’s draw, the ARFLI Women’s combined team – the Lucky Charms – won through to snare the women’s title.
According to the West London Wildcats Facebook page, “Congratulations are in order for both men’s and women’s teams that took part in the the Leprechaun Cup 2018 Tournament. Our lads came away as victors for the day coming up against host club Belfast Redbacks. Our ladies made it into the Grand Final but came up short against a very strong side from ARFLI Women's.”
The past three rounds of the AFL New Zealand premiership have seen a whirlwind of action, but one thing remains clear: the Central Giants are the class of the competition heading into the Easter weekend.
Round 5 Recap
The Southern Saints were looking to capture their elusive first win in 2018 and they finally got it, defeating the Northern Suns by 13 points at QBE Stadium. The first half was tightly contested, with both sides trading blows, but the Saints used excellent performances from Misilifi Faimalo and Pat Gibbs to lift them to a three-goal lead at the half.
It is not long now until the prestigious AFL Europe Champions League tournament to be played in Amsterdam next month. AFL Europe’s website has featured a great series of articles looking at the clubs coming to Amsterdam for the event. The complete stories are to be found on the AFL Europe website, however the links to each article are include below.
2018 Champions League Team Previews – Part One
In the lead-up to the 4th annual AFL Europe Champions League hosted by AFL Netherlands in Amsterdam on Saturday 7th April, afleurope.org will be taking a quick look at the teams who have qualified for the continents’ premier club tournament.
In our first round of team previews, we showcase two women’s sides including the highly acclaimed champions of the AFL London Women’s Premiership competition, the Wandsworth Demons, and the sole French women’s side the Bordeaux Bombers.
When he suited up for St. Kilda in 2015 Jason Holmes became the first American-born and raised player to play AFL footy since the league’s beginning in 1897.
Jason Holmes is a Chicago, Illinois (USA) native who played U.S. college basketball at Mississippi Valley State (Itta Bena, Miss.) and at Morehead State (Morehead, Kentucky). St. Kilda took a chance on him after a strong showing at the April 2013 AFL combine in Los Angeles, California.
Spending 2014 and most of 2015 at Sandringham, Holmes played the ruck in St. Kilda’s final three games of season 2015 (debut - rd 21 vs Geelong, a 97-97 draw) and in the last two matches in 2016. Having to either be delisted or elevated, Holmes signed a one-year extension through 2017 after running through his three-year rookie deal.
The CAFL season in South America continued on the weekend with the DC Aguilas up against the Bogotá Bombers. In a great game, and a showcase of what Australian Football is all about, the Aguilas held on in a classic. Paddy Smallwood from the CAFL (Colombian Australian Football League) shared the details of the clash, set against a grey and damp Bogotá backdrop.
“The league came alive on Saturday with an enthralling contest. The Aguilas jumped out of the box with six goals to two to take a handy four-goal quarter time lead in cold and wet Bogotá conditions. Sam Miller up forward was causing massive headaches for the Bombers and slotted three goals. The second quarter was a better contest with the Bombers pushing back hard and being on top for large parts of the quarter, but ultimately inaccuracy cost them and they went to the main break three goals down.”
With just on round left to play for the ALFA Lions, they have managed to claw their way back into the top four of the CNFA competition in France. Their 65-point victory over the Toulouse-based Aviators has seen them leapfrog the Paris Cockatoos into fourth place. However, from here they will need some divine providence or similar to play in this season’s finals.
Certainly, the win against the Aviators was just what the Lions had to do. In the end, the Lions won 95 to 30 and grabbed the maximum five points from the match as well as a percentage boost. But all of that will be for nought if they cannot defeat the Paris Cockerels in the nation’s capital next round on April 14th.
As it is, the Lions must be watching the result of the postponed match between the Cockatoos and Toulouse Hawks with huge interest. They will be barracking wildly for the Hawks to win at home to keep the Cockatoos under pressure and just outside the top four going into the final round. But that won’t be enough. They will need to either defeat the ladder leading Cockerels in a huge final round upset or hope that the Cockatoos go down in an even bigger upset to the Perpignan Tigers.
Visiting teams have learned this over the years – Cazalys Stadium in Cairns is wind affected. The howling southerly gales that travel up the valley from Innisfail heavily assist the northern end of the ground and make scoring at the other end difficult. Not so last night, with scoring heavily assisted by the tide rather than the wind.
(Picture: Jack Bowes leads the way for the Suns)
With Tropical Cyclone Nora nearing landfall at Kowanyama on western Cape York, and threatening coastal communities around the Gulf of Carpentaria, the cyclonic rain settled happily over Cairns. With freestyle and backstroke races an equally viable option on the Cazalys Stadium surface, the football went ahead as planned making a whole new spectacle that even the AFL hadn’t bargained on.
The opening centre bounce was wisely replaced by the opening ball-up, otherwise they’d have never found the ball again. However, from then on the Gold Coast Suns and North Melbourne Kangaroos sloshed it out in front of a very enthusiastic, albeit mostly bedraggled crowd. Those who braved the conditions should be commended, and they witnessed a hard slogging affair from two committed teams. During the first quarter, neither gave an inch and adapted relatively quickly to the conditions.
Western Bulldogs are the 2018 AFLW premiers, which was set up on the back of a strong superb second half of football played by the daughters of the west. It was heartbreaking for the Brisbane Lions who were unlucky again to go down in the AFLW Grand Final two years in a row. This grand final was a tale of two halves, as the Lions played a great first half of football and then were quiet in the second half where the Dogs became played dominant football in the premiership quarter. It was a very tough high intensity match of women’s football played by both teams this afternoon at a wet and slippery, Ikon Park.
The Edmonton Australian Football Club in conjunction with AFL Canada is introducing Australian Football into the Canadian University Championships. These games actually go under the banner of KIN, or Kinesiology Interscholastic Conference Games and are held annually across Canada..
Currently there are two university football clubs in Canada, Concordia and the University Of Calgary. They will be the backbone in introducing football to the other groups. There will be 500 kinesiology university students playing footy according to AFL Canada president Lachlan http://Griffiths.It will be an indoor co-ed touch version of footy. It is hoped that this taste of footbaoll will encourage players to return more serious at the next KIN scheduled for next fall.
The Grand Final of the 2018 AFLW Season will be played tomorrow (Saturday, 12.35pm Melbourne time) at Ikon Park in Parkville with the Western Bulldogs playing the Brisbane Lions.
The full international broadcast schedule can be seen below. The matches will be streamed live on the Watch AFL service and shown live on TV in the Asia/Pacific region on Australia Plus and on Fox Soccer Plus in the USA. In Russia the match will be shown on delay.
In addition to the TV networks you can also subscribe to the Watch AFL service that will give you live access to all the matches and more (outside Australia only). You can access that service by clicking on the link here or the Watch AFL promo shot on the left to register and by then paying the subscription fee.
The Far North Queensland city of Cairns is about to host a very special football match. The AFL Premiership season for 2018 starts this weekend across the nation and Cairns is in the exciting position of hosting one of the Round One fixtures with the Gold Coast Suns hosting the North Melbourne Kangaroos at Cazalys Stadium on Saturday evening.
With the Suns’ home at Metricon Stadium at Robina being seconded into the grand scheme of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, the club has been forced to find options across the lands to play home fixtures. Cairns has been given the biggest, tastiest cherry of all with the honour of an opening round – traditionally one of the best attended rounds in a season with fans having endured their six month break from footy and desperate to get to a match.