This weekend will see the 2018 DAFL Grand Final decided with the Copenhagen Giants up against the Farum Cats. Both teams will be driven to take the title. Last year, the Cats went down to the Barracudas in the Grand Final and will be keen to atone this year. The Giants last won the title in 2015 (their maiden title) and will be desperate for another.
The Farum Cats met last year’s fellow grand finalists, the Copenhagen Barracudas, in their semi-final. The two teams have contested the past two DAFL deciders, but it wasn’t to be this year. Instead, the Cats got away to a strong start, leading by 16 points at the first break and keeping the Barracudas scoreless. From there, the Cats just kept pulling away, leading by 35 points at half time and 55 points at the final change.
After a closely run season in the Stockholm Australian Football Federation (SAFF) competition, the Norrtälje Dockers will clash with the Solna Axemen in the 2018 Grand Final. Having won their respective ways into the biggest game of the year, both teams will put on a great show in front of the Stockholm locals at Skarpnäck Sportfält. The SAFF Grad Final is one of the premier sporting events on AFL Sweden’s calendar.
The Dockers will play in their second Grand Final. They already have a 100% record in the biggest game of the year, having won their one and only back in 2016. After finishing the home and away season on top of the ladder, the Dockers will start slight favourites. The two teams have clashed three times this year, with the Dockers winning two of those matches.
Teams in Bogota are back in training ready for the conclusion of the second AFL Colombia season. The local clubs have enjoyed a small hiatus as attention moved to the recent Andes Cup, won by the Bogota Bulldogs over the Santiago Saints from Chile. After a couple of weeks rest to freshen up and attend to various bruises and other trophies from the game, the players are ready to go again.
Three matches remain over coming weeks to decide the new champion. The inaugural season which was played earlier in the year was on by the DC Aguilas. However, so far, the Bogota Bullants and the Bogota Bombers have defeated the Aguilas, sting up the prospect of a new champion to see out the 2018 season.
Ask any red-blooded footy follower in either Shanghai or Beijing what is the biggest match in China, they will most likely NOT mention the AFL clashes between the Gold Coast Suns and Port Adelaide. The Holy Grail in China is still the historic China Cup. For years, the Shanghai Tigers and the Beijing Bombers have contested the cup for the bragging rights as the best Australian Rules football team in China.
Last weekend, the latest instalment of the China Cup was played in Beijing. Once again it was the Shanghai Tigers victorious over the Beijing Bombers, holding on in a tight match to win the battle by just two goals. The finalscores saw the Tigers 10 12 72 down the Bombers 9 6 60. The victory ensures that the China Cup remains in Shanghai until 2019 when the two clubs lock horns again.
The Newcastle-based Tyne Tees Tigers gained some solace after missing out on the SARFL (AFL Scotland) finals by taking out the 2018 Tyne Cup. On a predominantly fine day, but for one errant shower, the Tigers downed their Scottish stablemates, the West Lothian Eagles. In the women’s game, the Nottingham Scorpions defeated the Scottish Sirens.
Phil Martin from the Tyne Tees Tigers noted that, “in the ladies game the Nottingham Scorpions beat the Scottish Sirens 19.13.137 to 1.1.7. In the men’s game the home team, Tyne Tees Tigers, beat the West Lothian Eagles 27.19.181 to 8.14.62. Best on ground for the Tigers was Anthony Roy Brannigan with eight goals from the centre. Debutant, Cameron Armstrong, gave a strong showing at full forward with two goals and long term half back Matty O'Brien [chimed in] with his first goal for the club.”
The AFLG Grand Final on the weekend has seen the Hamburg Dockers claim their third premiership, downing last year’s winners, the Berlin Crocodiles. In a willing contest, the Dockers pulled away after a tight first half to take the premiership by 55 points in Dresden.
The opening quarter saw both teams take the game on, full of desire and intensity. At the first break, the Berlin Crocodiles held a narrow five-point lead, 3 1 19 to 2 2 14. By half time, the Dockers had regained the lead, but only just. Just three points separated the teams with the Dockers a nose ahead, 5 5 35 to 5 2 32.
The “premiership quarter” lived up to its name as the Dockers made their move. A five goal to one third quarter saw the Dockers take a stranglehold on the game as they flexed their muscle and shut down the gallant Crocs. Three-Quarter Time saw the Dockers lead 10 7 67 to 6 2 38.
Sarah Black has written this excellent article on the www.afl.com.au website that looks at some of the motivations many women have had to embrace Australian Rules football. He article provides excellent snapshots through the eyes of women now playing – or about to play – in the AFLW, and as such is a great story of inspiration for future players.
THE NAB AFL Women's competition has allowed players from a variety of backgrounds to play at the highest level.
It has also opened the door for a host of internationals and locals who have spent time overseas to try to break through.
Greater Western Sydney forward Cora Staunton and former Melbourne defender Laura Duryea, both Irish, picked up the game in Australia, while Australian-born pair Lauren Spark (Western Bulldogs defender) and Kate Shierlaw (ex-Carlton forward) played for the Wimbledon Hawks while living in London.
Irish Gaelic footballer Sarah Rowe will add another string to her bow as a rookie for Collingwood’s AFLW team in 2019.
Rowe is a star forward for Mayo in the Ladies Gaelic Football Association in Ireland and will take part in the AFL Women’s competition during the break between seasons.
The 23-year-old from Ballina Mayo said she was excited to move across the globe and get prepared to take on the foreign sport.
“I know I’m up for a big challenge taking on a new sport on the other side of the world, but that’s what makes it so exciting,” Rowe said.
“Having visited Australia earlier this year I was able to meet the coach and players at Collingwood, which made the decision a lot easier. I was welcomed in to the club from the beginning and everyone was so generous to share their time and knowledge.”
Next month the new AFL Middle East season gets under way for the 2018/19 season. It will again be a fascinating battle with the four teams seeking to break new ground. Reigning champions, the Dubai Dragons. Have already created a dynasty that may never be surpassed. With four flags in a row, and six in the past seven seasons, the Dragons sit on a level of success rarely seen. They want a fifth flag.
However, the Multiplex Bulls have been hurting since March and are keen to erase the memory of recent grand final losses to write themselves into the history books. Their arrival in the league has seen four years of heartache, yet to win a flag.
The most improved team last year was the Abu Dhabi Falcons. It would not appear so from their ladder position, again finishing third, but their on-field performances were consistent. They will be aiming to reach the grand final at the very least.