The second match of the Irish itinerary for the USA Revolution was played this week in Belfast when the touring squad took on the Redbacks. In a closer game than last wekend’s clash against the Irish Warriors, the visitors still found it tough against the current FL Ireland flag favourites. Conor Mallon, Belfast Redbacks Club President, provided the following match report.
The American national team, USA Revolution, travelled to Belfast on the 31st July to take on the AFL Ireland League leaders the Belfast Redbacks as part of their visit to Ireland to play the Irish Warriors.
The Redbacks jumped at the opportunity to take on a national side for the first time in the club’s history when they were asked by the Irish Warriors’ head coach, Brian Currane.
After struggling in recent seasons, the Redbacks have had a great year with some new recruits joining the ranks and helping the club to an undefeated season - finishing top of the league.
The second instalment of the AFL Colombia competition got under way last weekend. Just weeks after the DC Aguilas held aloft the inaugural premiership, teams returned to the playing field in Bogota for the second “season” for the year. Paddy Smallwood from AFL Colombia sent the following report after the Agulias took on the Bullants.
“The rematch of the teams from the last Grand Final proved to be a real livewire for both the Gourmet Burger Bar Bogota D.C. Aguilas and the Bogota Craft Beer Tours.”
“With the Aguilas facing off against what was once their star player Sam Miller but also incorporating the mercenary ex-vice captain of the Bullants Tristan Quigley, there was certainly some tension between the two outfits.”
Sarah Black reports on the www.afl.com.au website that the Western Bulldogs are casting a recruiting net globally in a bid to develop their own list, and by extension women’s football. There are also positive ramifications for women across the world who may find their way onto an AFLW list. Whilst the Bulldogs’ initiative is looking for just one rookie spot, the concept will be looked at by all clubs, and especially those yet to be granted places in the AFLW as they look to grow future lists.
AFL Women's premiers the Western Bulldogs are casting their net around the world in the hunt for a rookie to add to their list for the 2019 season.
The Bulldogs have partnered with international AFL bodies such as AFL England, AFL Ireland Women's, AFL Europe and AFL Canada to promote its international rookie program 'CrossCoders'.
The definition of an AFLW rookie has changed from season to season, but for 2019, an AFLW rookie would not have played Australian football in the past three years or been involved in an AFLW high-performance program.
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.