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Independent News and Views from the International Aussie Rules Community

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    Cora Staunton and Laura Corrigan-Duryea will go head to head today and Irish eyes will be smiling.  But Staunton will also renew acquaintances with Daisy Pearce.

    Sure we are excited to see two Irish players line up in today's AFLW match.  But still have a time to wait before we see women that have learned the Australian game in Ireland make it to this competition however.  Today's meeting though could be some petrol added to the fire of local development in Ireland that is already on the up after winning this year's women's International Cup title.

    Laura Corrigan-Duryea found the game in Australia, learnt it in suburban Melbourne and mastered the game at Diamond Creek before finally donning the number 11 for Melbourne in the AFLW's inaugural season.  She backed up the AFLW season with a VFL season that saw her with a Grand Final runners-up medal around her neck and a championship medal for the International Cup (as co-captain of her nations footy team).

    In the first match of her second AFLW season she will either line-up on or in proximity to Cora Staunton.  A woman who is a legend of Ladies Gaelic Football and a household name in Ireland, recruited to try to boost the poorly performed forward line of the GWS Giants.  Staunton's journey from the draft to playing Australian rules at the highest level in a number of months is remarkable.  A fast running, goal scoring forward, she is a revered veteran of her game at home and the rawest rookie in the Australian game.  This contest will not go un-noticed in Ireland and will be eagerly watched by women across Ireland and may just bring a boom in interest in playing the Australian game too.

    While Laura Corrigan-Duryea has not played against Staunton before, one of her team mates has.  Possibly the greatest female playing in Australian football going against possibly the greatest of Ladies Gaelic football.  Daisy Pearce was part of the 2006 Australian team that played International Rules in Ireland, with Cora Staunton on the Irish team.  Then both so raw, now both so experienced and with decorated careers under their belt.  Let's hope we see them clash today.

    And as suggested by our writer Tash Gunawardana earlier this year, let's hope we see them go head to head again representing their nations in a repise of the International Rules series for women too. ...


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    Casey Fields Date: 3/2/18 Time: 5:05pm

    The Melbourne Demons won in a cracker of a match against the 2017 bottom placed GWS Giants this afternoon at the Casey Fields, the home of the Melbourne Women's Football Club. Both sides put on an entertaining see soaring contest from the first ball up till the end of the match.

    Image Source: Twitter @FOXFootyLive

    For the whole match you could not pick a winner in this match due to both teams playing with a high amount of intensity and pressure. It was a great spectacle of women's football for the 5,100 fans who were there to see it. In particular many of the Melbourne fans who came to support their beloved Dees ladies play in their opening round match.

    Before the match the young Melbourne Demons fans formed a guard of honour for the Melbourne players to run through. The Giants team ran through the banner first before the Demons who had two African drummers play the drums before there team song blasted through the grounds speakers. When the Melbourne theme song started playing the home crowd became loud to cheer their ladies onto the ground. The two captains Daisy Pearce and Amanda Farrugia tossed the coin in the centre and the Giants won the toss. Farrugia chose to kick to the left of the ground with the breeze and the Dees to the right of the ground.

    Nothing could separate both the Dees and Giants in the first term, as the pressure from both sides was immense from the start of the quarter to the end. The Giants captain Farrugia led from the front with her pressure on and off the ball. Farrugia was influential in setting up the Giants first goal of the match as she kicked it into the forward 50 and the ball went over the back and Jacinda Barclay slotted through the goal for the Giants.

    In the first term Melbourne had majority of the possession and plenty of inside 50s but were unable to make the most of their opportunities with the football, as their disposal efficiency let them down. Melbourne scored their first goal of the match after they were able to break away out of the middle with clear possession and Melissa Hickey for the Dees kicked the football forward and Melbourne finally kicked their first goal of the match via Shelley Scott.

    The Dees had a lot of the play late in first quarter but they were still behind at quarter time by four points due to a late goal in time on through Irish new recruit Cora Staunton on the run from 30m out. Staunton showed her speed that with her goal on the run. Karen Paxman was in the hands of trainers, as she hobbled from the ground and she looked to be in immense pain. The Giants made the most of their limited opportunities when they went forward with 2 goals to 1 goal to the Dees at quarter time. Britt Tully was leading disposals for the Giants with 5 and Karen Paxman with 8 disposals leading the way for the Dees.

    The second term begun tightly contested and with immense pressure, as the first quarter did. Phoebe McWilliam's kicked through the first goal for the Giants and the Giants had a 10 point lead and looked like they would run away with this match, as they were getting on top in the play.

    It looked like two Giants players were on Daisy Pearce for the whole first half, as she was unable to break away clear from the contest. New recruit Courtney Gum who is 36 years old, played well for the Giants with her ferocious tackling and showed that age is only a number. It was a very tight tussle for the entire second quarter as neither team dropped off their intensity, especially the tackling pressure was high. Both teams defences held up well with neither forward lines able to score. For most of the second term the Dees were a bit scrappy with their possession of the football as they were unable to find targets.

    The Giants led by 9 points at the major break over the Dees. Britt Tully and Meg Downie were leading disposals for the Giants with 9 and Elise O'Dea and Lily Mithen with 9 respectively.

    Melbourne came out with a lot of pressure and intensity in the third term and as a result were able to slot through first goal of the second half through Tegan Cunningham. The Dees kicked their second goal in a row after Shelley Scott kicked the football forward and Rochelle Cranston slotted through the major. Melbourne took back the lead early on in the third. Alicia Eva for the Giants placed a good hard tackle in the contest.

    The Giants were deep in attack in the last couple of minutes but were unable to get a major, as they weren't clean with their disposal of the football. Melbourne kicked a dribble goal via Kate Hoare and the Dees towards the end of the third term were getting on top of the Giants.The Giants were able to stay in the match due to a throw of the ball after the Dees player was tackled, which resulted in a drop punt kick at goal by Jacinda Barclay.

    This third term showed how still tightly contested both teams were playing with neither team able to breakaway clear with possession or get in front by more than 10 points. The 36 year old Gum continued to play well for the Giants as the game went on. Giants kicked a ripper of a goal via Phoebe McWilliams who booted through her second from the outside of her boot from the boundary after a Melbourne kick out of defence error with a minute left in the third term. Elise O'Dea and Daisy Pearce were leading disposals for Dees with 13 each and Britt Tully and Courtney Gum both had 12 disposals for the Giants respectively.

    The Giants went into the final stanza with a 5 point lead over the Dees. Both teams held up well in all parts of the ground making for a breath taking contest. This match could of gone either way with the Dees kicking to the end with the breeze in the last term. Daisy Pearce broke away in the second half and was able to get on top in the contest. Pearce led from the front after being heavily tagged for most of the first half, but like a true champion she stepped up for her Dees and was able to get her team over the line by a goal.

    Courtney Gum continued to play well for the Giants in defence and the middle of the ground. Cranston slotted through another goal for the Dees and she was a gun up forward and showed a lot of potency in the forward line. Melbourne gained the lead back by a point and this was credited to their inside 50s count racking up. As a result, they were able to boot another goal through Shelley Scott. Melbourne were up by 7 points with 10 minutes left.

    Melbourne were all over the Giants in the last quarter, as they lifted their intensity and pressure around the ball when they needed to. Faruggia was valiant till the end, because she set up another goal for her Giants by kicking it inside 50 and her Irish teammate Staunton was rewarded a free kick and slotted through the goal truly. Scores were levelled with less than five minutes of play left in the match and both teams still gave it their all.

    Fans from both teams were so nervous in the last few minutes of play and the Dees fans were very vocal each time the Dees players went near the ball, you could hear the roar. Pearce did everything she could to get her team over the line with efforts such as taking a courageous mark in the centre. The pressure in the last few minutes of the match was immense and right up with both fans on the edge of their seats and you could feel the pressure.

    Cranston was versatile again up forward and was able to slot through a goal out of nothing. She played well up forward for the Dees and was their standout in the forward line. The Dees were able to hold on and win by a goal at their home at Casey Fields in a cracker of a match.

    BRISBANE LIONS    1.2      1.3      3.6      4.7 (31)
    ADELAIDE                 0.0      3.1      3.1      3.1 (19)

    GOALS
    Brisbane Lions: Wuetschner 2, Conway, Ashmore
    Adelaide: Jones, Wallace, Randall 

    BEST 
    Brisbane Lions: Frederick-Traub, Lutkins, Zielke, Stanton, Ashmore, Wuetschner
    Adelaide: Randall, Marinoff, Varnhagen, Foley 

    INJURIES 
    Brisbane Lions: Nil
    Adelaide: Nil 

    Reports: Nil

    Umpires: Andrew Crosby, Trent McPhee, Cameron Dore

    Official crowd: 11,120 at Norwood Oval ...


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    Tash Gunawardana interviewed marquee AFLW Brisbane Lions player Sabrina Frederick-Traub. Frederick-Traub played for the Lions last night in the Grand Final rematch against the Adelaide Crows at Norwood Oval and took home the four points against the reigning premiers..

    You were born in England, what is your awareness of footy in the UK?
    I am aware of both the male and female teams that compete in the International Cup.

    Do you consider yourself English, or Aussie?  Is there any identity clash when the Ashes are on?
    I consider myself English, although I left when I was 7 my family still kept me immersed in the British culture and I go back a fair bit – Hahaha I support Australia when they are playing any other country apart from England , I am loyal when it comes to my home country.

     Image Source: womens.afl

    Have you had any contact with the team the Great Britain Swans?
    I have spoken to the captain over message briefly, really would love to be involved more with the team.

    Did you have any messages of support from women following the AFLW in the UK or anywhere else outside Australia?
    Not that I am aware of no.

    You captained an Australian youth girls team on a tour of New Zealand, what can you tell us about that tour and the opportunity to play footy in another country?
    It was a life changing experience, one I will take with me forever. To compete against the Kahus girls and watch them grow over the few games on the tour was incredible. To see a different approach to AFL and the culture they brought with it was so exciting – to be able to play the game I love and Australia’s great game to another country where the passion is .

    What was your experience like in Papua New Guinea when you did footy development work over there and what is the potential for women’s footy in that country?

    Such a great experience in PNG, again such a different cultural approach to AFL, which I love! I think they have great untapped talent – with the lack of resources they have and what they can do is mind blowing. It reminds me of when I first started playing football, as a female it wasn’t resourced yet the passion for the game was the key driver and that is what is happening over in PNG.

    What is it like to be an Australia Post AFL Multicultural Ambassador?
    Honestly is the one of best titles I can be given. AFL gave me something nothing else has ever given me and it’s a place of belonging. The community you are adopted into and the experiences you gain is second to none. Being able to be a mark of what AFL can do for someone foreign to the game and then seeing children from all sorts of backgrounds coming together for an oval ball is unbelievable.

    Given your heritage, do you think we could ever see women in the ‘West Indies’ nations playing Australian football too?
    Absolutely I can. I would love to see that happen, I would love to see this great game played all over the world if it could.

    Describe what it is like to play for the Brisbane Lions in the AFLW?
    To be honest I get asked this question a lot and I never really know how to put it into words other than we are a family .I was lucky enough to be one of two AFLW players first signed to the club and to have watched the process to get the team and staff functioning in a way that is filled with so much passion is inspiring.

    What have you learnt from your first season in the AFLW?
    I have learnt that it is so much more than just a game.

    What does it mean to be a women’s footballer?
    It means everything to me, to be one of the first is an absolute honor and I don’t take it for granted.

    As a footballer, what are your strengths and weaknesses? 

    Strengths I would say my presence and leadership. My weaknesses change all the time but I like to keep them to myself so I can improve.

    Did you play any other sports growing up other than football?
    I did a fair bit of sport growing up. Being English of course I played football (soccer), I also played basketball , cricket and did swimming.

    What do you do in your spare time?
     I like to be outdoors a fair bit, love to body board and skateboard.

    If you were not playing women’s footy, what other sport would you be playing?
    Probably soccer or basketball.

    Which AFL player past or present do you model your game on?
    Nic Naitanui

    What are you most looking forward to in the 2018 AFLW season?
    Excited for a step up in the game and quality of players. Also looking forward to seeing all the new draftees out on the field.


      ...


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    Sometimes pure statistics can be a very useful tool in assessing performance and predicting results. On other occasions, statistics are an idiot – telling nothing more than what the reader wants them to say. But a brief look at the stats surrounding the fourth round of AFL Middle East matches are enough to confirm that the Dubai Dragons will once again contest the grand final, and only a disaster or upset of Hollywood proportions will stop the Multiplex Bulls from joining them in a fourth consecutive decider.

    The Dragons have four wins from four outings after their demolition of the undermanned Entertainer Dubai Dingoes. They are not guaranteed the minor premiership just yet, but cannot be overtaken now by the third or fourth placed teams – the Falcons or Dingoes. The Bulls downed the Falcons, which puts a two game buffer – and a whopping 100% percentage differential – between second and third place. The Bulls WILL reach the grand final, they just need another win to wrap it and tie a bow around it.

    The Dragons got the jump on the Dingoes to hold a 21-point quarter-time lead. An eight goal second quarter saw the Dragons put the game out of each. The second half followed much the same pattern, despite the Dingoes kicking five goals in the final quarter to almost double their own score. But it was the Dragons that went on to kick the highest score of the season and snare a 93-point win. In the end it was the Dubai Dragons 25 9 159 defeating the Dubai Dingoes 10 6 66.

    Whilst those devilish statistics might not show it, the Abu Dhabi Falcons have probably been the most improved team in the AFL Middle East competition this season. They have just one win from their four starts, but have been competitive in their losses to both the Bulls and Dragons. The same can be said for Friday’s match with both teams playing it hard and the Falcons taking the game up to the Bulls. The final 33-point margin probably flatters the Bulls a little, but their efficiency in front of goal made a big difference in the end. The final scores saw the Multiplex Bulls 10 6 66 defeat the Abu Dhabi Falcons 4 9 33.

    Round 5 will see the a double-header at The Sevens Stadium in Dubai when the Entertainer Dubai Dingoes clash with the Abu Dhabi Falcons, followed by a potential dress rehearsal for the grand final when the Multiplex Bulls take on the Dubai Dragons in a massive statement gam ...

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    Through the passion and drive of people like Tommy Purcell and his team, Australian Rules football is continuing to make headway in growing across a growing number of African nations. Back in 2014 matches were being played between teams from both Kenya and Tanzania. That competition has now grown to include Uganda in a three-nation rivalry.

    In July the next instalment of the tournaments will take place when the Kenya Buffaloes, Tanzania Simbas and Uganda Simbis meet at the Brother Beausang Catholic Education Centre in Embulbul, 20 kilometres to the east of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

    Our first stories that featured the developments of the game in East Africa told of the first match in Tanzania including Tanzania Newest Kid On The Football Block and Buffalo soldiers: Kenyans beat Tanzanians in historic match. They featured the beginnings of competitive games between Kenya and Tanzania, looking at the historic connections to the game, the potential player pools ad t people who were making the historic games happen. Clearly, since that time, the football, and the people driving it, are taking no backward steps.

    Tommy Purcell is one of a sizeable number of people who have given their time, expertise and patience - as well as their passion for the game – to bring the game to schools and communities in all three nations. It hasn’t just been a case of football winning out – it has also been a story of providing opportunity for students and other interested parties to be a part of something special.

    In coming weeks, World Footy News will feature an interview with Tommy Purcell, looking more deeply at the genesis of the game in East Africa – initially Kenya – and how the game has now spread to include two more nations. Whilst the AFL Footwild competition in South Africa is larger and boasts more teams, it is still essentially a single nation competition. What is being achieved across Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda has the potential to grow beyond its current boundaries and become even more inclusive in terms of nations, teams and players.

    It is already a remarkable story, and it is still in its infancy.

    Picture Credits: Tommy Purcell & Brother Beausang

    ...

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    The Lions took home the chocolates in their Grand Final rematch against the Crows at Norwood Oval in front of 11,120 fans at the home of the Crows on Saturday evening. This match was a tight tussle like the previous two matches to open the 2018 AFLW season.

    The Lions did not want a repeat of last year’s Grand Final and to ensure that history did not repeat itself they kept the Crows scoreless in the last stanza to win by 12 points.

    Chelsea Randall ended the match with 18 disposals and led the possession count for the Crows and Jamie Stanton from the Lions accumulated an impressive 21 touches. Jess Wuetschner from the Lions was the only multiple goal scorer on the ground with 2 goals and Chelsea Randall, Eloise Jones and Ruth Wallace each kicked a goal apiece.

    BRISBANE LIONS    1.2      1.3      3.6      4.7 (31)
    ADELAIDE                 0.0      3.1      3.1      3.1 (19)

    GOALS
    Brisbane Lions: Wuetschner 2, Conway, Ashmore
    Adelaide: Jones, Wallace, Randall
     

    BEST
    Brisbane Lions: Frederick-Traub, Lutkins, Zielke, Stanton, Ashmore, Wuetschner
    Adelaide: Randall, Marinoff, Varnhagen, Foley
     

    INJURIES
    Brisbane Lions: Nil
    Adelaide: Nil
    Reports: Nil


    Umpires: Andrew Crosby, Trent McPhee, Cameron Dore
     

    Official crowd: 11,120 at Norwood Oval

      ...


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    The Bulldogs were victors over Freo by 26 points Sunday afternoon in front of 8,500 fans at the home of the Western Bulldogs the Whitten Oval. A woeful Freo were only able to trouble the scorers in the third term, as they were only able to score their first goal at the 3 and a half minute mark of the third via Amy Lavell.

    Katie Brennan starred for the home team with 3 goals and Lavell slotted 2 goals for the Dockers. Ellie Blackburn was the leading possession winner for the Dogs with 23 touches. 2017 best and fairest winner Dana Hooker along with Kara Donnellan had 12 disposals each for the Dockers.

    This match showed the rest of the teams in the AFLW competition that the Dogs will not be a team to be taken lightly this year.

    WESTERN BULLDOGS     3.2     5.4     5.6     7.7 (49) 
    FREMANTLE                     0.0     0.0    3.3     3.5 (23)  

    GOALS
    Western Bulldogs: Brennan 3, Blackburn, Lochland, Toogood, O'Connor
    Fremantle: Lavell 2, Sharp

    BEST 
    Western Bulldogs: Blackburn, Brennan, Kearney, Lochland, Lamb, Utri
    Fremantle: Donnellan, Hooker, Lavell, Miller 

    INJURIES 
    Western Bulldogs: Callinan (back), Bannister (knee)
    Fremantle: Antonio (head knock)

    Reports: Nil 

    Umpires: Guy, Young, Burns

    Official crowd: 8,500 at Whitten Oval ...


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    After the weekend’s round of matches, three clubs will be fighting for two remaining finals berths as the battle for finals hots up. St Mary’s, Waratah and the Tiwi Bombers will go into the final two rounds of the home and away season very aware that if they blink they can miss finals. What makes it even more compelling is that each of the three play against at least one of the others in the run home.

    The Bombers have two cutthroat games to make the finals. They play both St Mary’s and Waratah – their rivals for a finals spot. St Mary’s have perhaps the better run home, playing against the Bombers next weekend but then meeting the Palmerston Magpies in the final round and a chance to lock away another finals challenge. Waratah have the toughest draw, up against ladder leaders – Southern Districts - and then a final round clash for likely fifth spot with the Bombers. It is a fascinating script.


    The Darwin Buffaloes are not in a position to lose their remaining matches either. Whist they cannot fall out of the top five due to the three-way scrap beneath them - meaning that only one of those three teams is realistically likely to win both remaining games - there are ways that both Saints and Waratah could both win their matches. This would make the Buffaloes vulnerable, as their percentage is worse than any of the three teams below them. Darwin has to fend off an upset from Wanderers next round before clashing with Nightcliff in the final round. Next weekend is now a must-win for the Buffaloes also.

    The Tiwi Bombers went down to the Southern Districts Crocs in a gallant display. They led for much of the day and only a final surge from the Crocs got them home at Tiwi Oval. What is interesting is the measure of improvement in the Bombers. Their last two starts against the Crocs saw 88-point and 77-point defeats. This time they took the ladder leaders to the wire, pushing the Crocs to just an 11-point result. It broke a run of five matches without loss for the Bombers, but it was still an effort worthy of note – especially if they meet in the finals.

    Nightcliff Tigers downed St Mary’s by a comfortable six goals, assuring themselves of a top three finish at least and consigning St Mary’s to another unwanted loss. The Tigers led early, keeping the Saints at arm’s length before upping the ante in a four goal to nil third quarter. The wet conditions helped the Tigers, making it hard for Saints to get back into the game. The win was welcome for the Tigers after a slump that has seen just one win since the Christmas/New Year break.

    The Darwin Buffaloes have almost (but not quite) secured third spot after defeating Waratah in the heavy conditions. In a low scoring match, the Buffaloes kept their horns in front all day, in the end sneaking away to a 14-point win. The loss for Waratah means that they cannot afford another mistake over the next two weeks. After seeing both the Bombers and Saints go down, the chance to leap into the top five was gift-wrapped, but not taken by the Tahs.

    The Muk Muks salvaged something from a disappointing season when they conquered the Palmerston Magpies by 44 points. The Magpies had a good first quarter, keeping Wanderers goalless and holding a narrow three-point lead. However, from there it was all Wanderers as they went on to record their biggest win of the season and break a winless streak that goes back to Round Six.

    The penultimate round of matches will see Nightcliff meet Palmerston, St Mary’s clashing with the Tiwi Bombers, the Darwin Buffaloes versus Wanderers and Waratah will take on Southern Districts. Finals chances are on the line in two of those matches, setting up a fascinating round of football as the game of musical chairs continues.

    Final Scores:
    Southern Districts 18 8 116 d Tiwi Bombers 16 9 105
    Nightcliff Tigers 10 9 69 d St Mary’s 4 9 33
    Darwin Buffaloes 8 8 56 d Waratah 6 6 42
    Wanderers 12 9 81 d Palmerston Magpies 5 7 37

    ...

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  • 02/05/18--14:33: Cork To Host 2018 Euro Cup

  • The Irish city of Cork will be the host of the 2018 Euro Cup. Better known to some for the Blarney Stone, Blarney Castle, captivating architecture and the River Lee, the city is also home to two very successful Australian Rules football teams. A bit over 250 kilometres south-west of Dublin, Cork is home to both the Leeside Lions and the UCC Bombers, and the city in the province of Munster might just be the Irish epicentre of footy at the moment.

    The Leeside Lions are the current ARFLI titleholders, going back to back last year. Last weekend, the UCC Bombers also went back to back in the men’s and women’s competitions at the 2018 Fitzpatrick Cup for universities.

    The AFL Europe website stats that, “AFL Europe is excited to announce that this year’s Euro Cup will be held in Cork, Ireland.”


    “The Euro Cup will be held at the incredible facilities of the Cork Institute of Technology Sports Grounds and will take place on Saturday, the 13th of October.”

    “The annual 9-a-side tournament will see both men’s and women’s national teams from all across Europe competing to be crowned Champions of Europe. Last year saw a double England victory with the England Dragonslayers and the England Vixens taking out the titles, and there will be plenty of teams trying to take their crown in Cork this year.”

    “AFL Europe is very much looking forward to organising a fantastic Euro Cup hosted by AFL Ireland.”

    Not only will the event be a boost to both Cork-based clubs, it will also be a huge boost to Irish football in general with the interest generated and visitors arriving to the city. It is the first time the Euro Cup has been held in Ireland since 2011 when Belfast (Northern Ireland) held the event, and the first time for the Republic of Ireland.

    This provides a golden opportunity for the Irish Warriors (men’s) and Irish Banshees (women’s) to seek their respective titles with home ground advantage. It also provides the reigning champions from last year in Bordeaux, France, the chance to defend titles, something that the England Dragonslayers (men’s) and England Vixens (women’s) will be super keen to do.
    ...

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    The AFL Europe Fitzpatrick Cup was played out last weekend, and the following article from the AFL Europe website details the event. Once again, the UC Bombers have proved to be the university to beat, raising the bar even higher in 2018. 

    A mixture of rain, wind, hail and sunshine met participants at the 5th Fitzpatrick Cup hosted by the University College Cork (UCC) on Saturday. ‘The Farm’ played hosted to the annual universities tournament for the second year running in what proved a typically mild February day in Ireland. 

    Eleven teams made the journey to this year’s Fitz with eight men’s and three women’s varsity teams battling it to be crowned university champions of Europe.

     The Group Stages 

    Three women’s teams took to the field at the start of this year’s Fitz with defending champions, UCC, Cambridge and a Cork Mixed side competing in a round-robin to start the day off. 

    UCC won both their games convincingly to book their place in the final and lined up against an inexperienced but enthusiastic Cambridge side. Despite finishing second after group stages, Cork Mixed weren’t eligible for the finals due to non-university students playing.

     

    Women’s Pool Standings

    UCC

    Mixed Cork*

    Cambridge

     

    Two pools of four took to field in the men’s tournament. The competition proved fierce and the level was above that of previous years. New comers, CIT Saints, went through Pool A undefeated with English counter-parts Birmingham and Cambridge finishing 2nd and 3rd respectively after a thrilling final pool game between the two determined their placings. Maynooth battled hard but couldn’t get a win in the pool games but certainly showed improvement on previous years.

     

    Pool A Standings

    CIT

    Birmingham

    Cambridge

    Maynooth

     

    Pool B saw defending champions UCC1 go through undefeated but had some close games with the Mixed universities and their grand final opponents from last year, UCC2. Mixed universities finished 2nd with UCC2 finishing a close 3rd. Dublin universities in their first tournament toiled hard but couldn’t register a win.

     

    Pool B Standings

    UCC1

    Mixed Universities

    UCC2

    Dublin Universities

     

    The Finals 

    For the women it was defending champions, UCC, taking on Cambridge. UCC jumped out of the blocks early and piled on a massive 46-points in the opening half. Making it next to impossible for the visiting Cambridge side to claw back the deficit.

    The 2nd half started positively for Cambridge with a quick centre clearance and forward foray but unfortunately did not register for a score. Despite a much stronger showing in the 2nd half, UCC were too powerful and continued to score at will reclaiming their title with a convincing 76-0 score line. 

    In a consolation for Cambridge the women’s player of the tournament went to Catherine Ludden in an amazing display across her three matches.

    The men’s final series was a tantalizing prospect for the crowd with CIT taking on Mixed Universities and UCC1 taking on Birmingham. 

    In the first semi-final CIT held control for the majority of the game and kept the Mixed side at arm’s length to run out 34-15 winners and booked their place in the final at their first Fitzpatrick Cup.

    The second semi-final pitted the two most decorated Fitzpatrick Cup sides in history against one another with UCC1 taking on Birmingham. In a fiery game with a seesawing score line it was UCC1 who edged in front in the 2nd half and just held on to victory by 8-points.

    The men’s final was an all Cork affair with UCC1 looking to reclaim their crown and CIT hoping to make it the perfect debut tournament. The teams went score for score in the opening half and went into halftime tied at 2 goals, 2 behinds a piece. The defending champions jumped out of the blocks in the second half with two quick goals and from then on controlled the game to run out 38 to 21-point victors.

    The men’s player of the tournament went to CIT captain, Paul Murphy. 

    The Golden Whistle for umpire of the tournament went to Brent Morrison. 

    A special mention to all the volunteers and umpires who made the day possible in what was at times very testing conditions. 

    We look forward to the 6th edition of the Fitzpatrick Cup in 2019! 

    AFL Europe’s original article can be viewed at: http://www.afleurope.org/fitzpatrick-cup-2018-tournament-review/ 

    Photo Credits – UCC Bombers Men's & Women's Champions (AFL Europe)

      ...


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    With Nauru celebrating its 50th anniversary of independence in 2018, the Jubilee Cup has kicked off the festivities early.

    The cup was a round-robin tournament featuring some of the most talented young footballers on the island, with 11 different sides all competing for the cup -- plus island-wide bragging rights. The initial tournament ran from January 17-20, organized into pools A and B, culminating in the grand final on the 27th.

    Image Source: AFL Nauru

    Ultimately, the Boe Lions took home the flag in a high-scoring grand final, defeating the Buada Tigers by 13 points. Both teams had come into the match with high expectations; the Lions and Tigers had dominated the competition, with both recording at least one shutout apiece in the previous week’s action.

    The grand final itself was a fast-paced and exciting match at Linkbelt Oval, featuring lots of physical action and numerous lead changes in spite of humid conditions. Both teams had shown plenty of accuracy in front of goal in the cup so far, and the granny was no exception.

    Joesen Kanimea and Pilo Dagiaro both booted three goals for Boe, with Lucky Ika and Zac Detenamo also coming in clutch with key goals at crucial moments late in the second half. The Lions’ defense stood tall against the Tigers, who boasted a potent offensive attack of their own. Marcus Detenamo and Bronco Deidenang each kicked three for Buada, but in the end, the Lions’ superior accuracy helped them secure a big victory.

    Dagiaro -- whose brother Charles plays for the Nauru national team -- took home the best and fairest for the grand final. As winners of the Jubilee Cup, the victorious Lions will be heading to take a tour of Brisbane in March, where they will be able to show homegrown Nauruan talent on a much larger scale. Best of luck to them!

    Jubilee Cup Grand Final

    Boe 11.3.69

    Buada 8.8.56

    GOALS

    Boe: Kanimea 3, Dagiaro 3, Emiu 2, Spanner, Ika, Detenamo

    Buada: Deidenang 3, Detenamo 3, Scotty, Olsson

     BEST AND FAIREST

    Boe: P. Dagiaro, Kamtaura, Kanimea, C. Dagiaro, Spanner, Detenamo, Harris, Star, Ika

    Buada: Deidenang, Moses, Scotty, Detenamo, Olsson, Maaki

    FINAL LADDER -- Pool A
    FINAL LADDER -- Pool B
    Boe (5-0)
    Buada (4-1)
    Anetan (4-1)
    Meneng (3-1)
    Ainbare (2-2)
    Nibok (2-2)
    Aiwo (2-2)
    Ewa (1-3)
    Yaren (1-4)
    Anabar (0-4)
    Baitsi (0-5)
     

     

    Image Source: AFL Nauru ...


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    Australian Football Sri Lanka continues to forge forward to build the game in Sri Lanka following their debut at 2017 AFL International Cup in Melbourne. 
     
    It was today announced that Australia Football Sri Lanka (along with the Himalayan Leopards) have been granted Associate membership of AFL Asia.  
    The Fonseka brothers (the founders of AFSL pictured with Kevin Sheedy) will be heading to Sri Lanka in near future to to promote the game within rugby clubs, schools, etc., to begin the recruiting process for upcoming tournaments around Asia and the IC20 to be again be held in Melbourne, Australia in August 2020.
     
    Additionally Australian Football Sri Lanka will have Australian based players competing against the Bharat Football Club in Melbourne in an Anzac Day clash. The Bharat Football club formed in Melbourne last year to bind "the Indian community of Australia to footy".
     
    To be played on the 24th of April the match will be the inaugural Anzac Day clash between the two sides. Both teams hope this will become an annual fixture.
     
    Plans are also in the works for an annual national tournament in Sri Lanka taking place each October with the hopes that AFL players and other footy fanatics will take part in a sporting and cultural tour to the island nation. ...

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    On Thursday, a wonderful announcement was made by the Osaka Dingoes AFL Club and AFL Japan. They have gained a partnership with the Kobe-based Canadian Academy.

    In an agreement,

    - Complimentary ground bookings have been offered by the Canadian Academy to the Osaka Dingoes and AFL Japan in a certain months in 2018.

    - Canadian Academy's PE staff members will get opportunities to gain coaching and training skills for their students, with the training and development coaching program conducted by Matt Gale, the President of AFL Asia and the Osaka Dingoes.

    - Footy gear will be provided by AFL Japan for footy activities at the Canadian Academy. The partnership is a big step moving forward in developing and promoting Australian Rules Football in the Kansai region of Japan. Meanwhile Osaka Dingoes are back training and are looking forward to being back in a structured competition for the first time since 2013. ...


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    The Blues notch up win number two by 21 points in front of 4,952 fans at Drummoyne Oval in Sydney. There was thunderstorms at quarter time that put a halt to proceedings for about 20 minutes.

    The Blues were inaccurate and wayward in front of goal, as they scored 3 goals and 12 behinds on their way to be remaining undefeated in this year's AFLW.


    Scores were leveled halfway through the second quarter but the Blues were able to get on top during the second term, because they dominated possession and in general gameplay around the ground.

    In this match, Blues star Darcy Vescio was able to slot through her first goal of this second AFLW season. Also for the Blues Katie Loynes and Nicola Stevens the new recruit from Collingwood were able to kick one goal each. The Giants were only able to score a goal and 3 behinds. Phoebe McWilliams was able to trouble the scorers for the Giants with the only goal for her team. Alicia Eva led the way for the Giants with 17 disposals and Brianna Davey led the disposal count for the Blues with 16.

    Davey injured her leg after she came off second best in a extremely hard tackle in the final stanza.

    The Blues were victors over a Giants outfit in the end, as they were able rack up heaps of the ball and gameplay all over the ground.


    GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY 1.0 1.0 1.2 1.3 (9)
    CARLTON 0.4 1.7 3.7 3.12 (30)

    GOALS
    Greater Western Sydney: McWilliams
    Carlton: Stevens, Loynes, Vescio

    BEST
    Greater Western Sydney: Farrugia, Gum, Eva, McWilliams, McKinnon
    Carlton: Davey, J Hosking, S Hosking, Audley, Vescio, Harrington

    INJURIES
    Greater Western Sydney: Tully (shoulder)
    Carlton: Davey (leg)

    Reports: Nil.

    Umpires: Rawlings, Crosby, Newell

    Crowd: 4,9 ...

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    Melbourne were dominant at Casey Fields this afternoon with a percentage boosting win over the reigning premiers Adelaide in front of 3,800 footy fans. The Dees were all over the Crows who were not able to put a halt to the Dees immense pressure.

    It did not start well at all for the Crows, because before the siren even sounded for the match to begin there banner fell apart on one end with the post falling off on the right due to the strong breeze and the crowd could not believe it. This trend unfortunately continued for the Crows who were unable to get on top of a Demons team that was exceptional and played top notch football.

     Image Source: Twitter @melbournefc

    Captain Daisy Pearce won the toss to loud cheers and the delight of her team's supporters.

    The first quarter was very tight with only a point separating both sides on the scoreboard at quarter time. Aleisha Newman from the Dees kicked a beauty of a running goal from outside 40 from the outside of her boot after she took on the Crows defender. It was great to see Newman take the game on with her speed and her goal is most likely in running for one of the goals of the year.

    The Crows had a few inside 50s, but the Dees defensive half held up well with their marking in the first term. In the first the Dees had a lot of the ball but let themselves down when they were near their forward half, as they were wasteful with their disposal and struggled to get it past their attacking 50. Abbey Holmes slotted through the Crow's first goal of the first quarter with about three and half minutes left on the clock, after the Dees made a mess off it in their backline.

    In the second term the Dees were able to kick away from the Crows with four goals into the breeze as they lifted their run, intensity and pressure in all areas of the match. Their footy was impressive to watch, as their skills with and without the ball were exceptional. They had answers for everything the Crows threw at them.

    The Dees scored their first goal of the second quarter from a team effort after Daisy Pearce kicked forward to Tegan Cunningham who kicked to Shelley Scott. Scott took the football and ran towards the goal square and kicked an easy goal just metres out.  Richelle Cranston kicked another easy goal for Melbourne from the goal square and team mate Alyssa Mifsud set up another team goal for the Dees as she put two great efforts on to ensure her team scored a major when Lauren Pearce marked in the goal square.

    The Crows only goal of the second came about halfway through the quarter after the Dees gave away a free kick. Jasmyn Hewitt from the Crows was the recipient of the free kick and she slotted truly from 60m out. Tegan Cunningham for the Dees marked it 20m out and kicked a goal on a slight angle and Melbourne went into halftime with a 20 point advantage over the reigning premiers.

    The Dees started the third quarter as they ended the second with immense pressure and intensity. This paid off for them, because Mel Hickey kicked a nice running goal from outside 50 after a clean pick up. The Crows had no answers for the Dees. This match was very much one sided due to the Crows unable to match the Dees ferocity and pressure all over the ground. The Dees skills were top notch and they had a lot of long nice quick kicks forward, which put the Crows defenders under immense pressure.

    In the last few minutes of the third term the contest tightened up with neither team able to break clear with possession with stoppage after stoppage. The Crows tried everything to put a halt to some of the Dees dominance. Fortunately for the Crows they were finally rewarded for all their hard work, as Ruth Wallace kicked truly for Adelaide's only goal for the quarter. The Demons responded with a quick reply after a quick kick inside attacking 50 and Tegan Cunningham scored from the goal square. At the end of the third, Melbourne were up by 28 points.

    In the final stanza, the Dees were only able to trouble the scorers with one goal despite all the play and Newman the youngster was the one who slotted through the goal. The Crows kicked an easy running goal from the goal square via Jenna McCormick.

    This quarter the football was mainly in the Dees attacking half of the ground, but their kicking in front of the big sticks let them down with four behinds. Fortunately they did not have to worry too much about their wayward kicking as they already had a match winning lead on the scoreboard.

    The Dees won by 32 points at their home at Casey Fields over a Crows outfit that was outclassed from the second term till the final siren. As a result they remain undefeated and the Crows remain winless in season number two of the AFLW and their hopes of winning back to back premierships are slowly drying up.

    Karen Paxman was everywhere for Melbourne and this was amazing, as she came off the ground early with a back spasm from last week's match against the Giants. Paxman finished with 21 disposals and Ebony Marinoff tried hard for her Crows all afternoon and ended the match with with 18 possessions. Cunningham and Newman were both lively in the forward line for the Dees with 2 goals each. The Crows had no multiple goal kickers.

    MELBOURNE  1.1  5.2  7.4  8.8 (56)
    ADELAIDE      1.0  2.0  3.0  4.0 (24)

    GOALS
    Melbourne: Cunningham 2, Newman 2, Scott, L.Pearce, Hickey, Cranston
    Adelaide: Holmes, Hewett, Wallace, McCormick 

    BEST
    Melbourne: Paxman, O'Dea, Jakobsson, Hore, Mithen, D.Pearce,
    Adelaide: Marinoff, Cox, Randall, Varnhagen, Cox 

    Umpires: Gibson, McGinness, Heffernan

    Official crowd: 3800 at Casey Fields ...


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    The Fremantle Dockers won by 13 points over the Pies in front of a massive record crowd of 41, 975 at their new home the Optus Stadium. This crowd was the biggest crowd in the history of Women's sport in Australia.

    For the first half of the first quarter, Collingwood were on top in all areas especially slick and clean in their forward half. As a result, they were able to kick two goals. Emma King from the Pies slotted the first goal at Optus Stadium and shortly after Christina Bernardi was able to score goal number two for the visitors. However in a tight and open first quarter, the Dockers led by six points at the end of the first after three goals in a row.

    Image Source: Twitter @freodockers

     
     

    The Dockers kept the Pies scoreless in the second term and the Dockers only managed to kick one goal of their own in the second.

    Bernardi became the Pies only multiple goal scorer when she was able to kick her second goal of the match in the third quarter. Mel Caulfield also became a multiple goal kicker for her Dockers after she slotted through her second in the third term.

    In the last quarter, both the Pies and Dockers were able to score a goal each. Most of the match was free flowing and open, which was great to see.

    Dana Hooker who was the 2017 best and fairest winner for the Dockers had a standout performance. Hooker ended with 20 disposals and 14 of them were contested possessions and 2 goals. She also had 7 tackles and 5 clearances and was best on ground. Chloe Molloy played another quality match and was her teams best again like last week with 15 effective disposals and 6 marks.

    Collingwood's Stacey Livingstone injured her shoulder from the match and she looked to be in serious pain, when she came from the ground.

    The Dockers were victors in the end at their new home after they were able to score 6 of the last 8 goals for the match. This Dockers side were different from the one that lost against the Dogs last week. They played a tough, defensive and free flowing brand of football.

    FREMANTLE                         3.0     4.1     5.3     6.4     (40)                  
    COLLINGWOOD                   2.0     2.0     3.1     4.3     (27)            

    GOALS
    Fremantle: Caulfield 2, Hooker 2, Atkins, Lavell
    Collingwood: Bernardi 2, King, Lambert 

    BEST 
    Fremantle: Hooker, Antonio, Caulfield, Webb, Donnellan
    Collingwood: Kuys, Chiocci, Duffin, Molloy, Bernardi 

    INJURIES 
    Fremantle: Nil
    Collingwood: Stacey Livingstone (shoulder), Sophie Casey (concussion) 

    Reports: Nil

    Umpires: Simmonds, Curtis, McPhee

    Official crowd: 41,975 at Optus Stadium ...


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    The Western Bulldogs overcame the Lions in hot conditions in front of 5,300 football fans. In the second season of the AFLW the Dogs remain undefeated and the Lions have zero wins to start this season. The Dogs had been fantastic all day and their slick ball movement and gameplay all over the ground getting them get over the line. They unfortunately let themselves down in front of goal, as they were only able to score three goals for the entire match.

    Image Source: Twitter @BulldogsW

    It was a tight opening term with the first score a behind only coming with 6 mins left on the clock from Katie Brennan. Izzy Huntington played tough in and around the contest, as she cracked the packs and took strong marks. At quarter time the Lions led the Dogs by one point with neither team able to score a goal in the opening term. It was a real arm wrestle in the heat. Ally Anderson from the Lions was able to rack up nine possessions in the first. She was the only player able to get more than four disposals.

    Emma Kearney kicked beautifully to Jenna Bruton who took a mark on a tight angle. Bruton set up the goal for the Dogs, as she kicked it forward to a pack in the goal square and Huntington the no.1 draft pick from last year took a solid mark and slotted home the Dogs first goal of the second only metres out. This was also the first goal of the match. Huntington played with flair, prowess and was a lively dangerous target up forward for the Dogs. She kicked two goals in the space of about two minutes, after she took two great pack marks and she helped her team get out to a lead of 11 points.

    About 90 seconds after she kicked 2 goals in quick succession and owning the second term, Huntington threw her body at the contest and she came off second best. She held her knee in immense pain with what looks like a possible ACL injury. Huntington has done her ACL before in 2016 and she has just come back from a knee reconstruction.  Footy can be cruel at times after Huntington showcased some of the great skills she has to offer and was looking like she was going to continue to play a gem of a game.

    Huntington was stretchered off and it was sad as she was giving it her all for her Dogs and truly bought the forward line for the Dogs alive. The Dogs were able to get three consecutive goals with a goal through Hannah Scott who crashed out of the pack and scored a goal off a banana kick. Bruton was really involved in the second and gave it her all and slotted another major for the Dogs in only her second match and they had a 24 point lead.

    Their ball movement and play was exceptional and possibly can only be matched to the Dees. Sabrina Frederick Traub tried to give her Lions a lift with a strong pack mark 30m from goal and the crowd cheered. Unfortunately Frederick Traub's kicking in front of goal let her down on this occasion. Dogs had a 23 point advantage at the main break over the Lions who had only managed three behinds for the whole match so far.

    Jess Wuetschner scored the Lions first goal of the game at the start of the third term, after she curled the kick perfectly from the boundary. The game heated up late in the third term with both teams not allowing each other to breakaway clear from the contest with possession. At three quarter time the Lions were down by 16 points.

    The fourth stanza started tight with both teams unable to breakaway from the packs with clean  disposal. There was stoppage after stoppage due to the good tackling by both teams who were playing a contested style of football. The Lions did all of the attacking in the middle and in their forward part of the ground for the first half of the last quarter. Fortunately for the Dogs, the Lions were unable to make the most of their opportunities when the football was inside their attacking 50. The Lions were all over the Dogs in the last term, but to the relief of the Dogs they could not capitalize with majors on the scoreboard.

    Ally Anderson slotted through the first goal of the tight last quarter for the Lions. Aisling Utri for the Dogs saw an opportunity in front of goal and nailed the open goal. Wuestchner responded straightaway for the Lions with a goal of her own on her left foot for her second goal of the match. The Dogs were outscored in the last quarter, as they only kicked one goal to the Lions two.

    Wuetschner ended the match with two goals to her name and so did Huntington for the Dogs. The smalls for the Dogs were great today. Katie Brennan led the way as captain again for her side with 11 quality disposals, 7 marks and 2 score involvements. Emily Bates had 21 possessions and Anderson had 16 disposals. They both played well for their Lions. Sabrina Frederick Traub was well managed by two Dogs players all match. Kearney was the standout for the Dogs as well with 18 possessions, 5 marks and 9 tackles in a fine display.

    The Dogs were victors by nine points over a Lions team that almost over ran them in the last quarter. Even though the dogs were able to get the win this afternoon they will be anxiously awaiting the results from Huntington's scans on her knee.

    BRISBANE                             0.2     0.3     1.4     3.6     (24)
    WESTERN BULLDOGS     0.1     4.2     4.2     5.3     (33) 
     
    GOALS
    Brisbane: Wuetschner 2, Anderson
    Western Bulldogs: Huntington 2, Bruton, Scott, Utri
     
    BEST
    Brisbane: Anderson, Bates, Zielke, Lutkins
    Western Bulldogs: Lamb, Kearney, Blackburn, Bruton 
     
    INJURIES
    Brisbane: Nil
    Western Bulldogs: Huntington (knee)
     
    Reports: Nil
     
    Umpires: Broadbent, Adair, Strybos
     
    Official crowd: 5300 (approx) at South Pine Sports Complex (Brendale)
      ...


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  • 02/12/18--03:41: A Simple Equation – NTFL

  • The finalists for the 2017/18 NTFL season will be decided by one particular final-round match next weekend, and the equation is simple – the winner of the clash at Tracy Oval between the Tiwi Bombers and Waratah will play finals. The loser will commence planning for next season. After weeks of jostling, a final round epic will decide fifth place.

    Both teams lost over the weekend, to make things even more interesting, but the Tahs lost by less and hold the psychological edge over the Bombers after stealing fifth place from them. With all other finalists now guaranteed, the script is now perfectly written for a thrilling finish.

    Waratah answered the eternal question on the weekend as to whether there is such a thing as a “valuable” loss. The answer was a resounding “Yes” with their narrow three-point loss to ladder leaders, Southern Districts, being enough to leap-frog the Bombers. Waratah were after a win, and played that way. They hurled everything at the Crocs. After a first half where the teams needed to be prised apart with a crowbar, Waratah then kept the Crocs goalless in the third term to snare a 22-point lead. However, Crocs fought back with a big final quarter to steal the match with a goal on the final siren to break Waratah hearts, but not their spirit.


    The Tiwi Bombers had the chance to secure a finals place against St Mary’s, but simply were not good enough in the end. The Green Machine warmed up for yet another finals campaign by playing the wet conditions so much better than the Bombers and piled on the defensive pressure. Apart from a burst in the second quarter, the Bombers just couldn’t get themselves into the game. The 43-point loss stung, dropping the Bombers out of the top five and putting them under enormous pressure now to even reach the finals. St Mary’s didn’t coast to victory – they had to work hard and did so in a game which suggested they could menace anyone during the finals.

    Nightcliff Tigers tied up second place, and the double chance, with a strong performance against Palmerston in the wet. The Magpies kicked two first quarter goals to be down by just eight points at the first change, but they did not add another goal for the rest of the match. A combination of a strong Tiger defence and heavy conditions ensured that the Magpies just couldn’t get back. For Nightcliff it was a good tune up match headed into the finals. Premierships are built on defence, and their efforts on the weekend will help their campaign enormously.

    The Darwin Buffaloes secured third place and a double chance for the finals with a big win against Wanderers. Steered by a seven-goal performance from Adam Sambono, the Buffaloes were relentless in the wet conditions and simply wouldn’t let the Muk Muks into the game. Darwin held Wanderers goalless in the first half, and built on that dominance throughout the rest of the game to cruise to a 71-point win.

    The final round of NTFL matches will see most eyes on the outcome of the Twi Bombers and Waratah clash for fifth place. Palmerston get a chance to ruin the Saints’ plans and hopefully sneak a last round win, however unlikely. Southern Districts take on Wanderers and in another finals preview, second plays third with the Tigers and Buffaloes locking horns.

    Final Scores:
    Nightcliff Tigers 12 10 82 d Palmerston Magpies 2 4 16
    St Mary’s 12 18 90 d Tiwi Bombers 7 5 47
    Darwin Buffaloes 15 10 100 d Wanderers 4 5 29
    Southern Districts Crocs 16 11 107 d Waratah 16 8 1 ...

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    Most people enjoy a feel good footy story where a football team that has fallen off the radar for whatever reasons rises again like a phoenix and returns. The story is even better when that club goes on to enjoy great success. For the Aarhus Bombers in Denmark, that s exactly what has been happening in the background – the phoenix is rising and time will tell if that success follows.

    But according to Morten Merhøj, founder of the Odense Lions and currently driving the Bombers to rise again, his version of the Aarhus Bombers will be bigger and better that previous models.

    “[The] Aarhus Australian Football was started back in 1996. Before then you had to travel to Aalborg or Copenhagen to play. After a meeting at the local Australian bar, the Billabong Bar, the club was founded. Many people were at the meeting, but three men was the driving forces: Grant, Jason and Dean.”


    “[The] Aarhus Bombers joined DAFL Premier League the year after and had almost 10 years of great results and victories before losing players and having to find another solution [to remain competitive]. Australian Football never stopped in Aarhus, despite the club not participating in the Premier League. Players from Aarhus played as Jutland Shinboners, Randers Dockers and Aalborg Kangaroos, so once again you had to travel outside of Aarhus to play.”

    “Despite it being 22 years since the club’s first meeting, many of the Bombers from back then were quick to react when the rumour about a relaunch made its way around town. With the sport growing in western Denmark, more volunteers at league level and development funds were available to help Aarhus. It did not take long to recruit some former Bombers and DAFL personal to the project. More people have since then announced their support to make the Aarhus Bombers fly again. The initiator was Morten Merhøj who currently plays for Odense Australian Football.”

    Morten adds that, “Aarhus is the second biggest city in Denmark and it is the sports capital of the country, so it seemed foolish not to have a team there. I have been involved in the creation and re-start of two clubs before. Odense I started from nothing with only one person to help me in the beginning. Copenhagen Giants was a team who were on a short pause, and they only needed someone to be a catalyst and help them along before they quickly found momentum and made it to the DAFL semi-finals that year.”

    “Aarhus is somewhere in between. A lot of players and supporters in Aarhus are eager to help, but there is no proper setup with a field, playing gear, footballs and a big enough playing group. This is what we will grow and solve in the beginning so we can harvest the potential Aarhus has.”

    “There is still a long way to go before Aarhus Bombers are back, but it is looking really promising. There is a lot of work being done to build stronger bonds with the local university to make recruiting easier and get the word out about the comeback of the team in red and black. The first goal is to get weekly training sessions in Aarhus so that locals can train and play in the city once again.”

    “Having done all the paperwork, the club is now working with the council to find a field to be the new home for the Bombers. The club is patient and knows that success won’t come straight away, but one thing is for sure - when the Bombers set their minds to something, things happen, and they will happen with explosive results. The Danish Australian Football League should prepare themselves because here comes the boom!”

    It is going to be fascinating to see if that “boom” is powerful enough to put the Aarhus Bombers back where they once were in Danish footy. Nevertheless, it is a commendable effort to date that can only be good for the club the league and the game of Australian football in Denmar ...

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    When the team was first forming for the 2017 International Cup Anslam Diaz as proud Sri Lankan expat in Australia was excited to the he might be able to play for Sri Lanka. But eventually as the rules were understood as to eligibility it became clear Anslam would not qualify as he lived majority of his life in Australia. 

    He was obviously disappointed he couldn't play, but that did not stop him taking part.  He was at almost every training session of the Australian based players in the lead up to IC17.  He found the team sponsorship, he ran water and he was the runner for all of Sri Lanka's IC17 matches.

    Diaz is pictured at the top of the photo above

    He took days off work to be part of the team even though he couldn't play. His enthusiasm was clear to anyone who saw him around the team, he didn't walk water out to his thirsty mates, he always ran the water.  He even arranged champagne when for the team celebrations when the nation won their first International Cup match.  

    We received news today that Anslam met with a car accident couple of weeks ago and is in an induced coma at the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne. His Sri Lankan team mates are shocked and deeply concerned for Anlslam and hoping for a positive outcome for the man who gave them all so much support at IC17.

    Diaz pictured above as he was in all the matches in the pink runners top during last year's IC17 tournament.

    Prabath Fonseka from Australian Football Sri Lanka told us "he was the ideal team man , instead of walking out when he couldn’t qualify he did the team thing - raised funds , got sponsors on board , took time off from work to run water etc. I really hope in a week or two he'll be able to do what he does the best - join our team and train to play in the Anzac Day game against India. Get well soon brother"

    At the moment all the Australian based Sri Lankan players are arranging times with his family to visit him. He has a very young family and support and recognition from AFSL , footy around the world and World Footy News readers will be appreciated by his family members and Anslam him self.

    From all of us at WFN we are thinking of Anslam, his family and his footy mates and hoping for a quick recovery.  Please add you well wishes in the comments below, on our Facebook Group or directly to AFSL. ...


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