At the mid-way point of the second National University League season, the University of Birmingham teams have placed themselves well for a tilt at the title. After a bye in the opening round, the Birmingham men’s team recorded two wins in their home fixture whilst the women’s team won one of their games and were unlucky to lose narrowly.
University of Cambridge still hold top spot in the men’s draw, a game ahead of Birmingham. The women’s draw has seen a huge performance from the South Wales Universities team, winning three of their four matches to date. With Cardiff the venue for the third round matches, the South Wales women’s team is in a great position to get more wins and set up a genuine crack at the title.
Since the CNFA competition commenced in 2008, Paris teams have played in every grand final. The Paris Cockerels have been to the big dance nine times for five flags and four runners-up. The Cockatoos have a neat 50/50 split with two grand finals for one flag.
As the CNFA season has reached its winter break, the chances of yet another grand final appearance for Paris Cocks teams is extremely high. After three rounds, with four more from February when the competition recommences, the Paris Cockatoos hold top spot from their stablemates, the Cockerels.
In their last match prior to the winter break, the Cockatoos were far too good for the Cockerels, downing their rivals 115 to 59. It will set up a second half of the season with the Cockatoos the team to catch and beat for the 2019/2020 season.
Marc McGowan from the www.afl.com.au website reports on another emerging Irish talent from last week’s AFL Europe Talent Combine in Dublin. It was also the first ever women’s combine and showcased some exceptional talent, with a number of women testing looking towards a potential career in the AFLW in coming seasons.
A LITHUANIAN-born footballer could be the next successful Irish AFL export.
Ireland's James Madden (Brisbane) and Ross McQuillan (Essendon) springboarded standout AFL Europe Combine testing results into spots on an AFL list the past two years.
And now it might be Deividas Uosis' turn.
The 19-year-old's parents emigrated to Ireland when he was four in search of better work opportunities, and he's played basketball, soccer and Gaelic football since.
The Scottish city of Stirling is not a place that rears its head in conversations about football – until now. Almost equidistant between Edinburgh and Glasgow, Stirling has just been announced as the venue for the next AFL Europe Euro Cup in 2020.
The city is far more famous for Stirling Castle, and William Wallace’s defeat of the English. However, for one glorious weekend next June, Stirling will entertain the cream of European Australian Football.
The club does not boast its own club in the AFL Scotland SARFL league, but that may well change after hosting the premier nine per side tournament. Converted fans and curious onlookers will descend on Stirling and if all goes to plan a whole new batch of recruits, administrators, sponsors and fans will work to ensure the game remains in the city long after the event is over.
Maybe the teams are not at their fullest strength and maybe playing for an off-season cup isn’t quite as intense as a premiership season. However, make no mistake – all players who represented their teams at last weekend’s Movember Cup in Manchester were there to firstly raise money for cancer and secondly – compete, maybe even win.
After all of the pool matches were done and dusted, and the finals played, the Wandsworth Demons from AFL London had taken out the men’s cup whilst the more local Nottingham Scorpions took out the women’s title.
The hosts, the Manchester Mozzies, were runners-up in both men’s and women’s competitions.
The Bordeaux Bombers have had a delayed start to the season – partly due to postponements, partly weather – and have had to wait until Round 3 to take the field and begin their 2019/20 campaign.
However, the wait was certainly worth it as the Bombers held on for a narrow two-point win against the in-form ALFA Lions in Lyon. In a game described by the Lions as “a game of huge intensity”, which remained “intense to the end”, the Bombers have made it one win from one game and a positive start to the season.
It was a surprise loss for the Lions – a home match and coming on the heels of a record victory the previous match. Certainly, it raises the question of consistency for the Lions and this will need to be addressed when teams return to the fields of battle after the winter break. The Lions have a huge percentage, but now sit with just one win from three matches and will need to come back hard after the break.
The inaugural AFL Ireland Leeside League competition was completed last week with the Leeside Lions pipping the CIT Saints on for and against to finish on top of the ladder. Results were not based on a finals series as such, but based on where each team finished after their six matches.
The Leeside Lions and CIT Saints (Cork Institute of Technology) finished the season with four wins apiece after the final round of matches. The Lions had the superior percentage.
The Leeside League Facebook page reported:
“And that's a wrap on The Leeside League 2019. Phew, some going! The Leeside Lions powered home to claim the cup as inaugural winners, hearty congratulations lads. Hard luck to CIT Saints who were pipped at the end by score difference only, great showing boys.”
The opening round of the National University League was played last weekend, hosted by Oxford University. The day was won by Cambridge University in the men’s division, winning both of their games against Oxford University and South Wales Universities, as did the women in their matches.
The conditions were not ideal for footy, but that didn’t stop all teams from hurling themselves at the ball all day. In the first two men’s matches, the Cambridge crew won their matches against both Oxford and South Wales by comfortable margins before Oxford won the last men’s match by 72 points against South Wales.
Last weekend, two French teams not competing in the national league this year – the Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes and Lille Eagles - took the field against each other to keep their teams active, motivated and keen for next season. Next weekend a third French team – the Perpignan Tigers – will do the same when they venture to Manchester, England, for this year’s Movember Cup.
The club has been having a rebuild during their two-season long hiatus from the premier French footy competition. However, armed with seven new players for the club, the Tigers are keen to give this new-look team a decent run against quality opposition to build for a possible re-entry to the big time next season.
This will be the first time the Perpignan Tigers will compete in the Movember Cup, but it is a great experience for the club and an exciting move for French footy and the wider European scene. They will only have a men’s team enter, but that ill open the door for women’s teams from Perpignan next year.
After just two completed rounds in the CNFA season, the Bayonne Toreadors are the surprise ladder leaders. Their upset victory against reigning premiers, the Paris Cockerels, has propelled the Toreadors to top spot early in just their second season in the competition.
In the other match, a massive win to the ALFA Lions sees them with a healthy percentage and sitting in second place.
Bayonne hosted the Cockerels in wet conditions. The club has acknowledged that their hard work last year and across the pre-season is paying off, and the evidence is there after downing both the Cockerels and Stade Toulousain. After a tight and tough affair, the Toreadors held on for a well-deserved 15-point win. This sets up a fascinating third round – the last before the winter break – where the Toreadors will host newcomers, the Antony Blues, and could well go to the break undefeated after three rounds and in a huge position to make an assault on finals football in their second season.