Maybe it was an omen that the Belfast Redbacks’ bus was late and the ARFLI Grand Final was delayed by 20 minutes…maybe it did induce an unsettled air into the drilled routine of the Redbacks. But out on the field it wasn’t anything to do with bus trips. It was the Leeside Lions team which determined the outcome of the day as the piled on more pressure during each quarter to win the 2016 premiership by 52 points.
To the Lions, all that mattered was their fifth flag and they claimed that in fine style.
After a tough opening quarter, largely even, the Lions held a narrow three point lead. Everything pointed to a tight contest with the Redbacks having more scoring opportunities but the Lions more accurate. Quarter Time: Leeside Lions 3 1 19 v Belfast Redbacks 2 4 16.
The Grand Final places are decided for the AFL London competitions with the West London Wildcats to meet the Wandsworth Demons in the Premiership Division decider. The two teams ran neck and neck all season across the home and away series, both finishing with just the one loss each – to each other – in what will shape up as a very even match.
The Wildcats made their way to the Grand Final when they downed the Demons 9 10 64 to 8 4 52 the previous weekend in a match where they took the early ascendency and the Demons fought back hard only to fall short. It was a good win for the Wildcats, but not one that suggests any real dominance and the Demons will enjoy their crack at a rematch.
The following article from the www.afl.com.au website, written by Nathan Schmook, looks at the signing by the Saints of two more promising Irish recruits ready for 2017. Westmeath product Ray Connellan and Joyce from Kilkenny have ticked enough boxes to impress the St Kilda recruiting department.
ST KILDA has signed two new Irish rookies as it continues a strategy of building its list with international talent.
The Saints have signed hurling star Darragh Joyce (right) and International Rules player Ray Connellan, both on two-year deal.
The pair trained with St Kilda for three weeks mid-season and hope to relocate to Melbourne before the end of the season.
The Leeside Lions completed an impressive home and away season, remaining undefeated and being the first team into the 2016 ARFLI Grand Final. It is tremendous reward for effort for the Cork based club and they certainly deserve favouritism for the flag.
But the Belfast Redbacks have reached their fifth consecutive Grand Final after winning both of their Semi-Final matches at Islandbridge, Dublin, last weekend. By downing both the Galway Magpies and the South Dublin Swans, the Redbacks have set up a fascinating Grand Final. The Leeside Lions have the 2016 form, but the Redbacks have the Grand Final experience over recent years.
The Lions will host the Grand Final at their home ground in Cork, further strengthening their position as favourites.
The AFL national women’s league clubs today named their marquee players at press conferences in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.
The 16 players will be the faces of the inaugural women’s teams; Adelaide Crows, Brisbane Lions, Carlton, Collingwood, Fremantle, GWS Giants, Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs.
Among them is 20 year old Sabrina Fredrick-Traub who currently plays full forward for South Fremantle. Fredrick-Traub was born in England and moved to Australia when she was seven and she began playing football with the boys to help get used to Australian life. She was named as one of two marquee players for the Brisbane Lions
Left: Sabrina Fredrick-Traub Image courtesy AFL Media
When writing history, one train of thought says that clubs go through the stages of initial development, success, domination and then legends. It might be the time to have a close look at the Manchester Mosquitoes and review their place on that particular pecking order.
The Manchester Mozzies have claimed the 2016 AFLCNE premiership with an emphatic 83 point victory against the Nottingham Scorpions in the Grand Final. For the Mozzies it is a rare “three-peat” of flags, claiming the titles in 2014, 2015 and now 2016. More impressive is the fact that they have now won five flags in seven years from their six Grand Final appearances.
As they did last year, the Mozzies raced out of the blocks with a big first quarter. Not as frightening as 2015 when their 12 goal to one first term effectively buried the Sheffield Thunder by quarter time, but their eight goal term set up a six goal quarter time lead. The Scorpions were already heavily on the back foot.
The Manchester Mozzies will go head to head with the Nottingham Scorpions for the 2016 AFLCNE Grand Final after last weekend’s semi-finals were completed.
The Mozzies put down any revolt from the Huddersfield Rams with a commanding 85 point victory in an excellent tone up prior to the big game. Against good opposition, the Mozzies powered through the match challenging themselves to meet challenges and build strength.
The Nottingham Scorpions were also strong in downing the well performed Wolverhampton Wolverines in the other semi-final by 39 points. Both teams had enjoyed success throughout the year, but the Scorpions were too strong on the day.
With the 2017 AFL International Cup just over a year away the Irish Banshees team might want to sound out Sinead Omahony when they put together their squad.
Omahony is a rising star in the VFL women's competition with Melbourne University. The following story by Callum O'Connor featured on The Footy Almanac this week - the original story can be read here.
November, new country.
January, new sport.
April, debut in the state’s highest competition of said sport. During its most revolutionary stage.
It’s been an interesting nine months for Melbourne Uni’s Irish recruit Sinead Omahony.
Last year, Omahony was living in Dublin when her partner Jamie Hagan was offered a two-year contract at the Melbourne Rebels, making him just the second fully capped Irish international to play Super Rugby. Omahony made the leap to join him – the move, she says, made her “a little bit heartbroken” – and left behind not just friends and family but a very impressive Gaelic football record. She first played at the age of five and has been in representative sides since she was 12.
The home and away season is now done and dusted in the AFL London competition and now the finals series is set to start. There are plenty of questions to be asked now as teams jostle for their spot on Grand Final day. Last weekend’s round just added to that list of questions.
The Wandsworth Demons stole the minor premiership away from the West London Wildcats after a massive 213 point victory over the Putney Magpies. The resultant percentage boost saw the Demons grab top spot in a psychological strike against the Wildcats ahead of their finals clash next weekend.
The Wildcats themselves inflicted another unwanted loss on the North London Lions. It wasn’t enough for them to hold top spot, but the result certainly has the Lions on shaky ground facing the resurgent Hawks in next weekend’s other semi-final.
Last year the North London Lions were on a roll in the lead-up to the finals and went all the way to win the 2015 flag. It’s a very long bow but the Wimbledon Hawks are playing themselves into form at the right time of the season.
Round 9 saw the Hawks down the Lions for just their third win of the season. But it will be enough for them to see finals action. With a very winnable final round match against the London Swans this weekend, the Hawks could enter the finals with momentum – and that’s what helped the Lions last year. It’s a long shot, but then very few predicted the Lions’ journey last year.