The first week of the AFL Scotland SARFL finals was played out yesterday. The Glasgow Sharks continued their impressive season with a solid 25-point win against last season’s premiers the Edinburgh Bloods. In the other semi final, the Tyne Tees Tigers celebrated their first ever finals match across two leagues with an emphatic hammering of the Glasgow Giants by 120 points.
The results see the Sharks book a berth in the 2019 Grand Final and also strengthen their premiership favouritism. The historic win for the Tigers was their first victory in a final in their very first finals match. They now have a second final, at least, taking on the Edinburgh Bloods in the Preliminary Final for the right to challenge the Sharks for the 2019 flag.
Another AFL London season is in the books and the champions of the remaining four divisions have been crowned on Hackney Marshes. We’d like to take the opportunity to congratulate all the players and coaches, and a huge thank you goes out to the medics, physios, umpires, volunteers, friends and families, and everyone else who has helped make the season another great success.
Here are our reports from the AFL London Grand Finals this afternoon.
The AFL Ireland season headed relentlessly towards finals last weekend with the Belfast Redbacks downing the Galway Magpies to complete a second successive undefeated season and set up back-to-back flags.
The following small report from the Redbacks’ Facebook page states:
“After a sunny day of footy in Galway the Redbacks have played our last league game of the 2019 season against the Galway Magpies.”
“In a bruising game the Redbacks came out on top with a score line of 87-60.”
“Many thanks our hosts the Galway Magpies for their hospitality and the beers after.”
“This win marks two seasons in a row undefeated which is a huge achievement for our club. Many thanks to all our players who contributed to making this achievement.”
“All eyes to the Grand Final on 24th August now! Redbacks Abú.”
The following article “Six Points” from the www.aflengland.org website looks at the upcoming grand final weekend for AFL London, as well as a flag already decided for the London Swans. The column is a regular update provided by AFL England on all leagues in the country and always worth a read.
Six Points – 30th July
The first AFL London premiers have been crowned and the other Grand Finals have been decided, so it’s time for a ‘Six Points’ to wrap up the weekend’s results and look ahead to the Big Dances next weekend on Hackney Marshes!
First things first it’s a huge congratulations to the London Swans who scored a resounding victory in the AFL London Women’s Conference Grand Final, winning by 6.20 (56) to 0.0 (0) against defending premiers the Wandsworth Demons.
The following article from Marc McGowan at www.afl.com.au looks at the potential signing of another Irish jet in Ross McQuillan. McKenna, already enjoying possibly his best season in the red and black has also had a hand in helping lure the Irish young gun to Tullamarine.
AFL.com.au revealed last week that the Bombers and Tigers were both keen to recruit McQuillan, the most promising prospect from last year's AFL Europe Combine.
It is believed Essendon will bring the 20-year-old from Country Armagh to Australia again in the near future and his preference is to play in the red and black, alongside countryman Conor McKenna.
Ireland's McQuillan, Luke Towey, Ronan Devereux and Peadar Mogan spent time with the Bombers, Richmond, North Melbourne, Carlton and Collingwood in April.
In recent years, write-ups about the run of Manchester premierships has always had a thinly veiled subtext that suggested that they might be reaching the end of their run of success. Well, if that’s true, it hasn’t happened yet. On the weekend, the Manchester Mozzies claimed their sixth successive AFLCNE premiership.
If they weren’t already in rarefied air worldwide after five flags, six in a row takes them to an even higher place.
The Mozzies downed a gallant Wolverhampton Wolverines team – themselves playing in their maiden grand-final. Despite the best that the Wolverines could throw, the Mozzies won comfortably by 52 points. According to the club, however, the game was much closer than the scoreboard suggested.
With Irish footballers making more and more of an impact on our game of Aussie Rules football, it stands to reason that maybe the cross-pollination of skills might go both ways. It is expected that the Irish players learn and develop the necessary skills to play the game. But Essendon's Conor McKenna might well have introduced a new skills to the game, familiar to fellow Irish players, but possibly a skill of the future that others may employ.
The "solo" in this clip, performed by McKenna on Friday night in Adelaide as the Bombers downed the Adelaide Crows, brought the football world to their collective feet.
The Northern Tigers have taken out the St Petersburg Cup in Russian this weekend, outlasting both the Moscow Bears and the Baltic Hawks. The opening two matches featured the Baltic Hawks playing both the Tigers and the Bears before the final match that featured the intercity rivalry – St Petersburg up against Moscow.
The first match saw the Hawks take on the Bears. The Baltic team held a narrow three point lead at half time. Things were still tight in the second half but the Hawks held on to win by seven points. Martin Sorokhan kicked two goals for the Hawks, whilst Daniel Demain and Brad Lougheed kicked two apiece for the Bears.
The SARFL match of the round this weekend featuring the Tyne Tees Tigers and Kingdom Kangaroos has resulted in a draw at the Tigers’ home ground in Newcastle.
It was a tight match all day in Newcastle, with little separating the teams at each break. The Tigers got away to a four point break by the first change, but by half time the Kangaroos had bounced back to hold a five point lead. It would all come down to whichever team could take advantage of the second half.
A three goal third quarter from the Tigers saw them go into the final break with an eight point buffer, but the Kangaroos were made of stern stuff and would fight back.
In recent years footy has continued to gather momentum in Russia. Due in no small part to the growth in St Petersburg, Moscow is also growing. Not only are there now three teams to compete in the next St Petersburg Cup next weekend, the national team had a terrific Euro Cup – their best yet.
Despite losing all of their pool games, the Russian Bears caught fire in the finals. They downed both Israel and Czech Republic in the finals matches before going down in a tough game to Scotland to finish in overall 10th places – a wonderful achievement.
That performance may not have happened if not for the improvement in competitions, recruitment and overall development of the game across the two Russian cities.