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.
The penultimate round of the SARFL competition in Scotland played out on the weekend, with most eyes on the top of the table clash between the Glasgow Sharks and the Edinburgh Bloods. In what was widely regarded as the grand-final dress rehearsal, the Sharks won solidly to reaffirm their favouritism for the 2018 flag.
In their final home game of the season, the Sharks proved too strong for the Bloods, running out winders by 36 points. However, the Bloods know that on a neutral ground they may be able to narrow the gap should they met again on grand final day, as they should.
The Sharks’ win catapults them immediately into the grand final despite a round to be played.
With the AFLCNE home and away season wrapped up focus now turns towards the finals series commencing next weekend in Manchester. With the final two rounds coming to a tame close, the Manchester Mozzies have again taken the minor premiership, followed by the Nottingham Scorpions, Wolverhampton Wolverines and Huddersfield Rams.
It presents a menu for semi-finals next weekend which will see the Mozzies (1st) taking on the Rams (4th) and the Scorpions (2nd) up against the Wolverines (3rd). Whilst finals are a different level of competition again to the home and away season, it is difficult to see the Rams causing an upset and usurping the Mozzies. The other semi, however, is less of a predictable match-up with the Wolverines certainly capable of beating the Scorpions if they bring their “A” game. A big ‘if”.