After the weekend’s semi-finals, the Wandsworth Demons are the first team through to the AFL London Grand Final. Their win over the West London Wildcats, and the North London Lions own victory over the London Swans has set up a Wildcats versus Lions Preliminary Final this weekend.
In tough conditions, the Demons and Wildcats slugged out a low scoring match. Both teams have proven themselves capable of high scores all season, but a combination of weather and two very determined defences kept the scoring down and made for a close match all day. In a game described as an arm wrestle, it took a goal from the Demons in the final minute to win the game.
The final score saw the Wandsworth Demons 4 6 30 defeat the West London Wildcats 3 10 28.
To play in this season’s Scottish SARFL finals, the Kingdom Kangaroos simply had to beat ladder leaders the Greater Glasgow Giants – and they did, in a comprehensive 32-point victory which sees the Kangaroos join the Giants and the Edinburgh Bloods as confirmed finalists for 2017. The win by the Kangaroos means that the Glasgow Sharks cannot reach the finals regardless of the result of their match against the Bloods next weekend.
According to the Kangaroos’ Facebook page, “an amazing performance today has ensured our place in the 2017 SARFL finals series. A much anticipated match of the greatest importance against league leaders the Greater Glasgow Giants lived up to the pre-game enthusiasm and hype from the boys. A brutally physical and bruising team performance saw us win 13 15 93 to 08 13 61 in wet and slippery conditions at Beveridge Park.”
With the completion of the AFLG season in Germany, the Berlin Crocodiles have set themselves a new record – their first undefeated season since their inception as a club back in 2001. Their last start victory against fellow finals aspirants, the Hamburg Dockers, underlined how dominant their season has been as they thumped the previously second-placed Dockers by 126 points in Hamburg.
For the time being players from all clubs will return to local leagues to play as the national team – the German Eagles – travels to Australia for the IC17 (International Cup). Crocodiles will spend time playing in the local Berlin League to stay ready for the finals series from 26th August after the return of the national team.
The Manchester Mozzies and Nottingham Scorpions have once again made it through to the 2017 AFLCNE Grand Final to be played next weekend. But whilst the Mozzies downed the Rams and the Scorpions defeated the Wolverines to reach the final weekend of the season proper, the Merseyside Saints almost upstaged everyone with their win over the Sheffield Thunder.
The Saints haven’t won many matches since their introduction to the AFLCNE roster. They have endured some fearful hidings as part of their learning curve. Yet that is what makes their win on the weekend so important and so sweet. By downing the Thunder in the semi-final of the Plate they can now challenge the Tyne Tees Tigers next weekend for a chance at some real silverware for their display case. The final score of Saints 17 5 107 to Thunder 7 7 49 was a great reward for belief and perseverance for the club and they can go into next weekend’s Plate final as a genuine outside chance to win.
The Manchester Mozzies, Nottingham Scorpions, Wolverhampton Wolverines and Huddersfield Rams have reached the finals of the AFLCNE competition in England after last weekend’s final round – the Lightning Premiership played in Nottingham. The Mozzies were minor premiers again and will be favourites for yet another flag, but the other teams can also smell glory and will most certainly reach for the stars from here.
The Tyne Tees Tigers were unlucky not to reach the finals. They needed to effectively win two more matches than the Rams on the day to pass them, and started well by downing the Rams in their first match of the day to draw level on the season’s ladder. But from there both teams struggled to match the league’s big guns, with the Tigers missing finals action by percentage only.
Conor Glass is set to become the first Irish International rookie to play for Hawthorn. Following on from New Zealander Kurt Heatherley becoming the Hawk's first International recruit to play in the AFL, Glass will run out for the Hawks against Fremantle on Saturday night Melbourne time (Live on ESPN - BT Sport Saturday @ 10:00am BST).
In a battle befitting first versus second on the ladder – and very possibly a grand final preview – the Edinburgh Bloods ensured they would play finals by bringing down the previously undefeated Greater Glasgow Giants. In a season that has seen many games go down to the wire, the Bloods held their nerve to claim a 110 to 102 victory.
The Giants had already claimed the first finals berth due to their previously undefeated reign at the top of the SARFL ladder. It was a game which the Giants could probably afford to lose in some respects – better a loss now and galvanise for finals – but they would still be disappointed at giving the Bloods a psychological edge so close to finals time.
Just when the script appeared to be settled after Round 8 results, along comes Round 9 with some new plot twists to shake up the competition with just one home and away round to go. The West London Wildcats were locked in a battle for top spot, until the North London Lions defeated them. Of equal significance – or greater depending on your point of view – was the London Swans efforts to defeat the Wimbledon Hawks and usurp them in the top four.
The Lions hosted the Wildcats and in a tough and close match it was the ions that found the little bit extra to get them over the lie by just nine points. Granted the result could have been greater had the Lions kicked straight, but they did enough to keep their heads in front at the final siren – and that’s what counts. The final score saw the North London Lions 7 16 58 defeat the West London Wildcats 7 7 49.
The final matches of the AFLCNE home and away season will be played this weekend in Nottingham when the Scorpions host the third and final Lightning Round. The matches will determine the final placings for the season before the finals series over the last two weekends in July.
Whilst there is interest in which team will finish on top of the ladder – currently the Mozzies are two points and a big percentage ahead of the Scorpions – it is the battle for the last finals place which will have the league buzzing. Currently the Huddersfield Rams hold fourth place ahead of the Tyne Tees Tigers. Should the Tigers win enough games in Nottingham to pass the Rams it will be an historic event. It would mark the first finals campaign for the Tyne Tees Tigers. It will be a tall order, playing against the Rams, Mozzies and Wolverines, but they will throw everything at the chance.
The AFL is pleased to announce a collaboration with Thomas & Friends in an international first for the two brands.
The collaboration will see four short episodes produced, centred around the AFL and following Thomas and his friends on their Australian adventures with the first episode to be released today, Wednesday July 12.
Two AFL superstars will voice characters in the four short episodes, with former Richmond Tiger Matthew Richardson starring as Shane the Train, an Australian character introduced in the last Thomas & Friends movie ‘The Great Race’ and Brisbane Lions AFLW player Sabrina Frederick-Traub as Tracy the Melbourne Tram.